We spoke to Chris Chung recently about his goals, inspirations and veteran team.
Motiga is a Washington-based independent game studio packed with talented individuals. They stand on the principals of having a good time while making games, strong collaboration and being highly immersed in their project (as well as sending awesome holiday cards). What project are they working on? CEO Chris Chung will leave you wanting to know as much as we do!
We had the chance to speak with Chris, formerly of Trion Worlds, whose passion and excitement about their not-yet-unveiled title and his team has us on the edge of our seat.
You have a number of high-caliber developers on your team. What is so exciting about Motiga’s upcoming game that attracted them to your product?
One of the things people notice when they come to our studio is the sheer talent. The team is being led by creative leadership behind some of the most successful PC online games of all time, [such as the] StarCraft and Guild Wars franchises. Most of the people on the team have 10-plus years in the industry and experience shipping AAA titles from well-known studios. For a company that hasn’t even announced its latest title, the caliber of our talent is quite amazing.
During job interviews, we have the best candidates sit down and play the game with us during our daily playtest sessions. We can’t disclose particular aspects of the game, but suffice it to say they have fun and want to play more.
How long has your current project been in development, and is it an original IP?
The current project has been in development since the middle of 2012, and yes, it’s an original IP.
What kind of games are you looking at for inspiration and why?
There are so many great games out there that inspire us. I find inspirations in most games I play. To give a more relevant example, World of Warcraft provided a template of how you could expand the audience of what was previously a niche genre into a global phenomenon. While many others tried to take a piece of its success, I don’t think anyone has succeeded in supplanting it. It is not a coincidence that the decline of MMO players in the US correlates directly with the decline of WoW players.
The only game that has succeeded in taking market share from WoW was not another MMO, but a game in a different genre: League of Legends. I believe there is a thematic lesson there. We get inspired by these market-changing events and the characteristics of games that bring about those changes.
What themes and goals do you hope to achieve with your project?
We wanted to create a fantasy multiplayer online game that’s accessible and fun. A game that has rich characters that appeal to a broad age group of core gamers. Our goal is to develop a game that we hope will appeal to the hard core gamers but also can be enjoyed by people who play multiplayer games occasionally.
What type of audience will your game be targeted toward?
We are targeting core gamers who love multiplayer online games. While that could mean half the gaming population, we are especially interested in people who are passionate about playing games competitively.
What do you think is the most frustrating thing about gaming currently? What is the best?
There isn’t a lot that frustrates me in gaming. One of the few things I find frustrating is how there is a constant barrage of sensational statements made about the industry. Not a day goes by without someone claiming that "console is dying," "PC is already dead," or "mobile is where it’s at"—and then you hear, "Oh wait, the new user acquisition cost on mobile is higher than the average revenue per user, so the sky is falling!" All this focus on sensational statements is distracting and not even reflective of reality.
When I started in the industry, "gamer" was a clearly defined demographic. Now, everyone plays games in one form or another. There is a much bigger audience for gaming, which is a good thing. For more and more people, gaming is becoming a primary form of entertainment. So as a developer, this is the best time to be in the industry. I see a future where gaming will become not only a more dominant form of entertainment, but it’ll bring about other changes to our society including fundamentally impacting the way children learn.
Which gaming ideals are you bringing into your new title?
Motiga’s core belief is that the best games are made by a team of people who are passionate about the core experience. We have a game that certainly brings out passion in all of us in the studio and the people who had the opportunity to play the game. We also believe that the successful online games need to be not just fun but are able to sustain that fun for many months. Also, as a free-to-play game, we must provide all our players including those who will never spend a dime an awesome game experience. We won’t force the players to purchase anything that is meaningful to the core gameplay.
Will you be offering Mac or console support for your title?
We are definitely thinking of supporting more platforms. However, the first version will be focused on Windows PCs. While we would love to be able to do more platforms, we are a relatively small team and we need to focus.
Have you picked out a name for the game yet?
As a matter of fact, we decided on a name just two weeks ago! There were several good candidates for the name, but there was a particular name that resonated with the entire studio. It was a name that one of our artists came up with, and the more we played with it, the better it fit the game we are making. We are planning a huge announcement soon.
You can find more great articles about the Motiga team over on Motiga Unleashed!
Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor