Saturday, 7 June 2014

Artix Entertainment review, Part 2.1

For the previous section of the Artix Entertainment review, click here.

2.0 General Procedures and Problems
This section describes general problems faced by the company, and the steps they have taken to rectify them.

2.1 Company Practices
The rules of Artix Entertainment are stated in their terms and conditions, which can be found on every game they own. These rules are meant to be followed by players and staff alike, in order to ensure orderliness.

The practice of having all staff members of AE use pseudonyms is consistently enforced. Almost none of the staff reveal their actual names in any official announcements on their websites. Only the CEO has mentioned his real name, but he prefers to use a pseudonym as it is much more recognizable. The pseudonyms can be considered a way to separate the staff's personal life from their work.

In order to finance their games, AE offers character upgrades, microcurrency and subscriptions. AdventureQuest Worlds and HeroSmash are financed by subscriptions, while AdventureQuest, DragonFable and MechQuest offer one-time upgrades for players. All AE games sell some form of microcurrency to gain further income. EpicDuel's financing relies solely on 'varium,' a microcurrency exclusive to that particular game.

The importance of planning cannot be denied in business. AE normally makes loose plans before creating new games or updating their existing ones. Before a new game is released, the staff of AE will announce the name of the game, and also post a short blurb through the design notes of the other games and their official forums. This is to stir up interest among existing players and attract newer ones. AE normally allows paying players to test the new game for bugs before releasing the next stage to the rest of the players. EpicDuel was exempted from the testing routine, as it was a game made by a different company that merged with AE.

While releasing updates for their games, AE follows the usual routine of announcing them through the design notes. The company always updates their games near the end of the week, usually Friday, so that players may enjoy the updates during the weekend.

AE has a strong bond with its player base compared to other game companies. The staff often interact with players in game, on the official forums, and through their social networking accounts. Although the staff cannot answer every single player that interacts with them, they do try their best to respond to questions and remarks about the games. The staff interact with each other in an informal manner despite having clear ranks for each member.

Many suggestions from the community have been included in the games, ranging from items to story ideas. In fact, most of the staff were former players who were hired for their talent in art, coding and administration.

Next section: Problems faced by AE.

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