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`Anarchy Online` Interview

21 Apr 2008  by   Paul Younger
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We spoke to Craig Morrison, the Games Developer for ‘Anarchy Online’ about the graphic updates and the future developments for the game&h**ip;

How many people are working on ‘Anarchy Online’ at the moment?
The production team is around a dozen developers directly involved in making the game, then we have the additional resources like our Quality a*urance, Customer Service and Operations teams that are now operating across all our products.

What kind of an impact did the introduction of the “item shop” have?

The paid points system has been a great success and we are delighted with the number of players that have chosen to buy and use the new paid points. I think the new vehicles have been very popular and a lot of players have also enjoyed being able to purchase the previous pre-order only items.

Is the in game advertisement really that profitable for both the developers and advertiser?

Yes, the system allows our free players to generate revenue for the game that can then in turn contribute towards the games ongoing success. This advertising avenue has pleased both us and our advertising partners so it’s definitely been a positive addition and one that is still proving very popular with advertisers.

Are you planning ‘AO’ to be completely free someday (except for stuff in the “item shop” and adverts)?

I can’t see that ever being something we would consider, there are certainly no current plans to do anything like that. Subscription revenue is a vital part of being able to maintain the quality of the ongoing updates.

Can we go back to this graphics update you’re planning? When do you think it will be ready?

We are currently close to having a solid alpha version up and running internally. Our QA teams will soon be going over it. This version is complete as it were, but without the gfx effects incorporated, as all of the effects in the game need to be converted to work in the new engine. That is the next phase of development that we hope to complete over the coming months. We haven’t set a firm release window yet because with an update like this there is a lot of a*ociated testing. We hope to start comprehensive beta testing sometime in the late summer and then we will make a decision as to when we might look to release it to the live servers. The team is definitely aiming for later this year.

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