Shift Up Interview – Keeping Destiny Child Fair and Full of Waifus

The mobile gaming space is packed with gacha offerings that fill a demand for all types of gamers. There are some casual farming experiences as well as match-three puzzlers, but one genre has really found a dedicated niche, the mobile CCG. These games have players collect characters through gacha systems and then mix in RPG elements to create a gameloop of story, characters, and battles. Still, only a few of these games make it past a year on the market, given the saturated market.

However, there is one game that is making a name for itself named Destiny Child. Maybe its the waifus, the RPGs, the narrative, or that the name closely resembles a famous pop group from the 90s, but this game has something going for it and, more importantly, a community that supports it.

To learn more about this game, we reached out to developer Shift Up to not only discuss the success of Destiny Child’s global release, but also other projects the team is working on. We spoke with Destiny Child producer Jackie Lee, who was once a member of the Soft Max team in 1996, where he began his work on War of Genesis.

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Azario Lopez: When Destiny Child launched in South Korea, did you have hopes that it would receive a global release, or were your release plans only focused on your region?

Jackie Lee: We were considering the global release from the beginning. Though the domestic market was clearly our first priority, entering the global market was an important goal as well.

AL: You’ve been creating original characters for a long time, has it become challenging to create new Childs for this game?

JL: Designing a new character is always a big challenge. However, as the world is constantly changing, new ideas and trends keep coming up in movies and comics that are being made around the world. Since the members of our development team are both creators and consumers who enjoy various contents at the same time, the challenge to make something unique also brings us the pleasure of embracing a new culture. Of course, we will be much more satisfied if we get positive user reactions to our character design.

AL: People have said that Destiny Child is one of the more balanced mobile gacha games available. Was this a goal for you to achieve when creating a free-to-play game, or did it just happen naturally for this title?

JL: Thank you for such a compliment. From the beginning of Destiny Child, our aim was to create a fun user experience. For that sole purpose, it was important for the development team to produce a game that was both fun to play and well balanced. Gratefully, receiving various feedback from the users while running the service also helped us greatly to set a more fair balance in the game.

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AL: Do you have a favorite Child? I know this might be a difficult choice. I would have to say Bari is mine, for obvious reasons.

JL: I also like Bari very much. She is a character with distinct concepts in her visual design. I am also fond of Frej, Lisa, and Neamhain. For them, I think more of their charms come from their backgrounds and stories rather than the visuals.

AL: What do you think it is about Destiny Child that keeps players returning to the game? I can’t imagine that it’s just the waifus because many waifu-only games have come and failed, but I’m sure you have a better insight into this.

JL: In the long-term perspective, I believe the affection toward a character, coming from users who actually play the game, contribute the most for the character to stay alive in people’s memories. To instill such emotions into the user’s mind, I consider the story to play a very important role there. As Destiny Child is pursuing the genre called Narrative Character Collection Game, we have prepared a lot for the story. For instance, every character has its own episodes other than beside the ones the main story, and we always include a whole story for the main events of the game. I think that such aspects of the game allow the characters and the game service to last longer with the users.

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AL: When it comes to the global release, there have been some alterations made to some of the character designs. Was this done to release the game in certain territories, and what are your thoughts on changing your character designs?

JL: Changes in the character designs for the global version were made at the request of the previous publisher before the service was transferred to SHIFT UP, and they didn’t account for the original intention of the development team. After the service has been transferred to us, characters are being released with the same design as the Japanese version. We are well aware that many users around the world are unhappy about the design changes. We also have a strong desire to provide global users with unchanged designs of Destiny Child’s characters, just like the DMM GAMES version in Japan. However, in order to do this, we need some time to prepare it. It will take some time but we will find a way. We always have.

AL: Destiny Child has had some unique collaboration events. Are there any IPs that you’d personally like to collaborate with for the game?

JL: We have intentions to collaborate with an IP that suits Destiny Child’s design philosophy and the characters very well. The development team has drawn up some hopeful options, but we will share it with the global users when the plan gets more specific.

AL: It’s been 15 years since the western release of Magna Carta, do you ever think about the IP? In this generation of remakes and remasters, would you like to see Magna Carta receive that treatment?

JL: As I have also participated in producing Magna Carta as the PD and Story Writer, I indeed have a lot of valuable memories regarding the game. However, its copyright is not with SHIFT UP, unfortunately… Should the developer who owns the IP now decides to release its remake version, I would also want to purchase the game to keep a copy. 🙂

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AL: I’d probably get plenty of backlash from our readers if I didn’t ask about the development progress on Project Eve and NIKKE. After being teased, we haven’t really heard much, but I’d love to hear how the development of these two titles has been.

JL: There has been a lot of progress. Though it is difficult to disclose the detailed information now, I believe there will be an opportunity to introduce something new in the not too distant future. Please wait a while!

AL: Is there anything you’d like to say to global Destiny Child players?

JL: First of all, I send my sincere gratitude to the Global Users who’ve cared so much about Destiny Child. After the story on St. Michael Academy ends in Chapter 2, a new, full-fledged story will begin soon. In addition to the story, we are also developing a lot of new systems, contents, and characters. We genuinely wish to service a fun game that could be with you for a long time. We always think about how we could make the global users more satisfied. Please look forward to it and support the game!

Destiny Child is available now on iOS and Android devices.

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.