Tactica Online Mini Q&A #3

MMORPG.com has published the third installment to their ongoing Tactica Online Mini Q&A series with Imaginary Numbers’ Luke Carruthers. An excerpt to follow:

Q: You often mention the need to re-educate fans about what Tactica is and how it is not simply another (MMORPG), but almost a genre unto itself. Besides the obvious marketing hurdle, how do you intend to approach the dilema of this (re-education) so to speak and how it will impact new players when the game is live? Are you worried about the game being too foreign?
Luke Carruthers: We’re not so much concerned about the game being too foreign, as players thinking the game is one thing when it’s really another. That’s why we’re so adamant about not using the (MMO) label, it just conjures up assumptions that don’t apply.

A: While we combine different aspects of various genres, each individual piece of Tactica Online is already a well-respected gameplay mechanic in its own genre. Entrepreneurs often advocate innovating in only one direction at a time, and in that spirit we’ve taken the gameplay familiar from the squad-level turn-based games of the past, added the persistent world, story-driven missions, and constant updates from today’s traditional online RPG’s, and fueled it with the sort of combo system used in collectible card games. When combined they make something no one’s seen before, but each individual element is instantly recognizable to those familiar with the sort of game that inspired it.

Of course, it’s no small thing to try something that the market has a hard time classifying. The market is so crowded these days that unless you can get your message across simply, it’s hard for players to understand at a glance what sort of experience you can provide.

This is almost entirely a marketing issue. As soon as you sit down in front of the game, you get it, it’s easy to pick up it’s just that it’s hard to describe in ten words or less. What do you do about this? You educate champions who in turn educate others, you encourage word of mouth, you put copious amounts of information on your web site, and you talk about it in interviews 🙂

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