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Vainglory Interivew: You Will See Better Communications Options This Year

Aaron

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In E3 2016, we had a chance to sit down with the COO & Executive Director of Super Evil Megacorp and talk about the well-known mobile MOBA Vainglory, VR support potential, future plans of the company and more.  

Q: It's my great pleasure to interview you on the Vainglory and Super Evil Megacorp. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Kristian Segerstrale. My player name is EdTheShred and I’m the chief operating officer and executive director at Super Evil Megacorp, makers of Vainglory.

Q: In E3 2016, Super Evil Megacorp has just announced to enhance Vainglory gaming experience through a partnership with Samsung’s Vulkan graphics API. Could you tell us more about this?



Yeah, so we’ve announced the partnership with Samsung, the makers of the Samsung Galaxy S7 regarding the Vulkan graphics API and the latest Samsung hardware is already very good but instead of open GL, which was the old standard for graphics, they’ve added a new standard called Vulkan, which improves the performance of the devices by 30%. So that means you get 30% better graphics. You also get 30% longer battery life when you play a game like Vainglory.

Q: Super Evil Megacorp has been cooperating with Giant Interactive for publishing Vainglory in China. Could you tell us more cooperation details and upcoming plans?

We’ve been working with Giant Interactive in China to bring Vainglory to China. Today, Vainglory is available for iOS in China and we have an early beta for Android. We’re working very closely with our Chinese player community, as well as with Giant Interactive to make the localization better and to support more and more Chinese handsets for Android. We are very excited about doing more in China with Vainglory this year, and we are very happy that we have such a large community already in China but we want to do more. So we are expecting to release more news about Vainglory in the upcoming Chinajoy soon. 



Q: With more and more creative mobile MOBA games coming out, what do you think about the challenge for the traditional mobile games? 

Well, we think that the touchscreen generation growing up without PCs deserve the same kind of core gameplay that we grew up with ourselves on PCs. So it’s unfair that touchscreen players haven’t had access to PC-style gaming so far. What we want to do is to create for people without PCs and for the touchscreen generation, gameplay that is very tactical, very strategic, teachers for very high skill and teamwork but it’s also not pay to win, very important to us that you don’t have to pay money to be powerful in the game. What we do is you can buy skins and cosmetics and other things, but it’s very important to us that the game is fair, that it can be competitive and played in tournaments everywhere else, just like games on PC. And that’s why we think it’s new. It is different and it will grow over the next few years. So we think that in the next three or five or seven years, someone will build a game for touchscreens that is much bigger than any of the games that we’ve seen on PC so far because there are many more touchscreens out there. And we think that that game will also be fair to play and that game will hopefully respect more gamers.

Q: Regarding of fair, game balance is very important. How do you guys keep the balance of the game with more contents adding to the game?

We actually work with the community so we have a very large beta testing community that help us check up on the balance of new heroes. Like you say, balance is very important and the summer season launches in Vainglory next week on Wednesday in China and everywhere else with a new hero, Lyra, with five new and completely new items in the game, as well as new change balance. So we’ve been testing that now for many weeks with the whole community to make sure that it is as balanced as it possibly can be. We monitor every statistic, as well as monitoring other community plays and we play ourselves everyday so we feel it immediately if it’s not right.



Q: The length of mobile game is getting shorter. Would you guys have plans to decrease the duration of each Vainglory’s main game? 

The Vainglory main game mode lasts about 20 minutes, and we think that’s probably the shortest  competitive play mode can and should be because it gives you enough time to build, to counter build, to react, to have real strategy and real tactics. We now also have a shorter game mode called Battle Royale, which is about a seven or eight-minute game mode which is really fun. But fundamentally, we do think that mobile games so far many of them have been built so that you can play for fun for two minutes or three minutes, which is good and it’s a good way of playing games, but at the same time, we think that a lot of gamers want to also play longer game modes. They just want to play a game that has more strategic and tactical depth, and today, if you want to play that, you have to get a PC or go to console. We think that there should be games like Vainglory on this device that lets you play as a real gamer on touchscreens.

Q: Could you tell me the future plans of e-sport and the tournament? 

Vainglory has grown very quickly. Its competitive framework has grown with more sponsors, with more professional teams, and also more tournaments all around the world and including in China. And what we are excited about is to firstly help the game grow itself because when the game grows, the competitive scene grows. The other things that we are doing is we are actually for North America and Europe announcing whole new competitive structure instead of tournaments next week. So in the summer season launches, we will be announcing all of that and that’s very exciting together with a new very large sponsor for the e-sports competition in North America and Europe. 

Also a few months ago, we partnered with Twitch, the streaming company, for North America and Europe in a multimillion dollar deal to also grow the e-sport. We will expect many more professional e-sports organizations to join over the next few months and for different new types of partnerships to be formed around the competitive play. So that’s in North America and Europe. We’ve also been very excited by how quickly the game has grown in Korean and in Southeast Asia for example, so new competitive structures will come out there. And we are very excited to hopefully be announcing some new things at ChinaJoy together with Giant Interactive.



Q: In-game communication is very important in MOBA game. Will Super Evil add team voice and text chat to Vainglory?

I think our communication system right now is very basic. And it’s in particular challenging. We are right now working on improving our communication systems across the board. There is text chat in the game for that so if you just want to chat that way, but we are not yet announcing or sure exactly what form that will take in terms of expanded text chat or voice chat or whatever, but we understand communication is very important even for us as players and it’s something that we are working on. You will see better communications options this year.

Q: Nowadays VR is very popular. Have you guys considered to bring your games into this area?

We are completely focused on Vainglory today because we think we have a really great community that’s growing quickly, and we need to make sure that we do them justice by making the game better. Like there’s still many, many things about the game that we want to add to the game. Like you mentioned, better communication is one thing, also richer content, more ways to play, more game modes. There are just many thing is that we are working on right now that we think the community will really love, and because we play the game ourselves every day, that’s why we really care deeply about it. 

VR is very exciting right now but there are not that many VR devices out there. So I would be certain that sometime in the future that we will look at VR. Today, we are not looking at VR. Today, we are focusing on the very basic ways of making Vainglory a better game.
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