It takes something special to get us excited about the announcement of a new MMO, and one coming from the team behind King's Bounty and Space Rangers is just that. We got hold of Katauri Interactive's boss, Dmitry Gusarov, to ask about Royal Quest, finding out how they're making their hobby their business, their plans for payment models, aims for Diablo-style speed, and how they hope their games are all cosy and understandable.
RPS: It's been a great few years for Katauri games - how has your company changed as a result of the success of King's Bounty?
Dmitry Gusarov: Due to the fact that our projects managed to become pretty successful we're doing quite well. Our team is now larger and currently consists of 19 fulltime members, as well as a considerable amount of outsourcers. All our efforts and knowledge are now dedicated to one game, Royal Quest.
RPS: You've been very successful with single-player games. Why have you decided to make the move into MMOs at this time?
Dmitry Gusarov: We consider the future of games to be in the MMO genre. Actually, we have played online games a lot during recent years. And now the time has come to combine hobby and business.
RPS: What do you think Royal Quest will bring to MMOs that we haven't seen before?
Dmitry Gusarov: What we can currently see on the MMO market is stagnation in terms of creativity. For many years people are playing the same games like WoW and Lineage II. As we can see there are no fast paced Diablo-style games at the moment and we want to bring this experience to the audience.
RPS: What plans do you have in mind to keep things fresh, and to avoid grinding?
Dmitry Gusarov: Well, the question is a bit too generic. We do have really vast plans and have some interesting ideas in mind. We will be regulary updating players on our progress and hopefully you will be able to check the Beta in about a year from now.
RPS: Can you explain a bit more about how the Elements system will work? It sounds like it will make PvP a lot more interesting.
Dmitry Gusarov: First of all, that considers of what the monsters are mainly afraid. And there will be many options of how to attack them. We don’t want players to have just one uber-weapon capable of killing anything anywhere. We will push players to adapt their tactics constantly, as every area will feature different challenges.
RPS: King's Bounty made turn-based combat popular again. What sort of combat can we expect to see in Royal Quest?
Dmitry Gusarov: You will be able to check it all in the gameplay video soon. We will launch it November 3rd at Russian Igromir trade show.
RPS: One of our favourite things about King's Bounty: The Legend was quite how funny it was. Will you be bringing a similar humour to Royal Quest? Can we expect the equivalent of zombie brides and castles hidden in belts?
Dmitry Gusarov: I doubt that we'll handle our next game without a good dose of humor. We always try to make our games cosy and understandable.
RPS: What sort of payment model are you looking at for the game? Are you looking to charge a subscription, or perhaps go free-to-play?
Dmitry Gusarov: Different payment systems do not exclude one another. Depending on the market the player will have the option of Free-to-play or Pay-to-play system. It is a bit early to discuss details about financial aspect of the game.
RPS: Thanks for your time.
Royal Quest is due out in 2012.