Warface publisher my.com recently announced that the game had hit the 5m registered players landmark for its console edition – which was released on PS4 and Xbox One back in September. Pretty impressive for a game that was released back in 2013 and even had an Xbox 360 version at one point.
Console players have played more than 2.5m PvP matches missions and 126,000 co-op special operations – clocking up 10.3m hours of play in the process, so we thought we’d spend a few minutes of our own to catch-up with Vasiliy Maguryan, head of the game division at My.com.
Why did you feel the time now was right to release this title on the console formats?
The decision was made in response to the demand of our gaming communities and we believe that we chose the right time to act on it. The current generation of consoles is close to its peak, gathering huge audiences worldwide, willing to take on Warface and, due to the size of the game – in terms of content – Warface has a lot to offer to new players.
We believe we had great timing in releasing Warface on console. It unites a huge number of fans both in Russia and from the Western markets, where consoles are a lot more widespread, compared to Russia and CIS.
The Warface launch on PS4 and Xbox One is, among others, a step forward in our foreign markets development strategy. A special source of pride for us is the fact that console version was developed internally in our Moscow studio. We believe that this is an important milestone for the project and we are especially happy to receive positive feedback from our players in the west.
The game’s been around a long time, what do you put its ongoing success down to?
From launch we were sure that Warface was bound to have a great position among gamers. We knew to rely on a strong development team, our dynamic gameplay, a plethora of competitive and cooperative modes – making Warface one of the most well-rounded titles in its genre. This allowed the project to set a Guinness World Record, when the game reached having 145 thousand players simultaneously playing on a single server.
Due to continuous development of the game and regular content updates, today Warface amounts to nine large PvE raids, 10 competitive modes, 58 PvP maps and over 200 models of real life weapons and we are far from being done. This allowed Warface to gather huge community, continuously growing and contributing to the future development of the project. This also allowed us to gather over 5 million new players in PS4 and Xbox One in the first two month since the game launch.
The FPS market is very crowded, and there’s strong competition in free-to-play shooters as well, how do you plan to engage fans in the long term?
The key way to retain our audience is by continuous development of the project. The current content plan extends for the future year-and-a-half – we release content updates on a monthly basis and every year there are one or two large PvE raid-based content updates. Every raid includes tons of new content - new gameplay elements, weapons, skins, achievements, etc. All that content is absolutely free for all our players. It’s also worth to mention our global events, that, apart from content, allow players to take part in a tournament.
Console Warface development plan works exactly the same. As of right now it is developed and approved as far as the end of 2019. We plan to follow the plan and release at least one update every month and one or two major raid updates every year.
Warface has a strong grassroots Esports scene, what plans do you have to bring Warface eSports to these console’s formats?
We are currently working on console version integration into the existing Warface esports’ infrastructure. We accumulated a great deal of experience in creation and maintenance of esports infrastructure and we plan to make sure the demands of our community are met. We are planning towards launching the first console Warface tournaments in the beginning of 2019 while actively working with our first-party partners to make them as impactful as possible.
The numbers of downloads on the console version is impressive, what do you attribute that to?
Firstly the successful launch was greatly influenced by the game itself. Warface is an extremely diverse game, uniting shooter fans with different gameplay styles. Actively developing a wide variety of content is meeting the needs of both competitive players and our fans of cooperative, narrative-driven PVE gaming.
Secondly our launch was based on a strong foundation of our previous experience of console launches. Partner relations that we had built with Sony and Microsoft over the years allowed us to be as effective as possible in terms of the cooperation with platforms. I would like to once again stress that all development process of the console version was done by our own resources in Moscow.
Last, but definitely not the least piece of the puzzle, was our intensive work with the feedback from our community. It was due to our players that we had a chance to maintain the necessary quality level for our product. We plan to continue the proactive work with our community – we believe that together we are able to continue developing our project for years to come.