Nexon Red, a development studio under the major Korean-Japanese video game publisher Nexon, is soon going to release the mobile MMORPG AxE: Alliance vs Empire worldwide for iOS and Android. Currently, AxE is available for download in Korea and Japan, but bringing the title over here in the West is a huge undertaking, especially since the mobile games market is so massive. To stand out amongst the crowd, mobile game developers need to, at times, be creative and think outside the box with the games they deliver. In hopes of making AxE appeal more to the western market, Nexon Red has decided to make a number of changes to the game, including revamping character model designs. It’s a bold move from the developer, to say the least.
It was at an AxE hands-on preview event at Nexon M that the developer shared its localization process for the game. Curious to know more about the process, Noisy Pixel decided to send along a few questions to the developer in hopes to learn more. Daehwon Kim, CEO of Nexon Red, had a chance to provide more insight on localization, AxE’s character designs, and how the team strives to be unique within the mobile games market.
Note: The answers provided were slightly edited to fix some minor grammar errors.
Brad Crespo: Censorship and western localization, in general, has been a hot topic lately. During the press event, the development team mentioned that AxE’s localization changes, which was referred to as culturization, was due to the western market. From your experience, what are the differences that you see between players in the east and players in the West?
Daehwon Kim: We think the biggest difference is that Eastern players focus on result and Western players focus on course, relatively. So players in the Asian market mostly are used to the ‘Auto play’ system since it can shorten their play process, but Western players mostly much prefer manual playing since they can enjoy controlling the character directly. In addition, the preference for art design is also clearly different, which we’ve mentioned during the Press conference.
BC: Is it possible that the AxE character designs in the Asia release will be added in an update or as DLC for AxE‘s release in the West? I’m sure that many AxE players would really love to have the option to switch character designs.
DK: We don’t have the plan for that yet, but will try to considerate it if the players want it after the game launches worldwide.
BC: The mobile games market has become so massive over the years, and Nexon M, as a whole, has been a leader in bringing quality mobile games to Google Play and the App Store. What makes Nexon Red and AxE standout against the competition?
DK: We have three rules internally while we are developing. First, we always try to make decisions from the players’ side (not from the developers’ side). Second, we concentrate on ‘quality’ of the game above all. Last, we try to make differentiations in our own games. Under these rules, we’ve strengthened RvR and PvP features which is the biggest differentiation in AxE compared to other games in the market as it maintains the game quality that players want.
AxE: Alliance vs Empire will be launching soon on iOS and Android for the West. We’ll share the release date once we have it.
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