Onmyoji Interview: NetEase Games Talks Releasing the Game in the West

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Onmyoji is a phenomenal mobile game in Chinese market and what’s more, its Chinese version is already a popular title in international market. The game will be coming to the west later this year and it’s worth a lot of expectation. We have just forwarded some burning questions to the developer team about the game’s western version. See what they said.

Onmyoji will launch the English version soon. What regions will the game be available in?

The English version mainly targets at English-speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and many European countries.

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Has Netease Games or its US subsidiary conducted any market research in the English-speaking markets? Could you share what you learned with us?

The Onmyoji team as well as Netease Games are always committed to players and believing user research is a very important thing to do. We’ve been doing the market research for English-speaking regions for while and we’ll host a FGD in early April. We learned from the research that players in English-speaking markets are sensitive to privacy, discrimination, and Nazi-related topics. In terms of gameplay experience, they have very distinctive characteristics. For instance, Chinese gamers enjoy leveling up and progressing in the game, so progression system is more important for them. Western players care more about whether the content they are currently playing is fun. Besides, North American players tend to pursue the immersion.

The game isn’t rivaled by a tough competitor in the English market. Do you think it’s a good thing for the game?

It could mean the market isn’t big enough for this genre, and it could also mean a lot of potential audiences haven’t been reached. Everything is to be seen. But we decided to go into this market, only because we were very confident of the future we will have there.

Onmyoji’s universe, lore, and characters are inspired by Japanese mythology and ghost stories, so how do you plan to translate these content and make sure those contents can be perfectly perceived and understood by western players?

We have been polishing the translations for a long time and we of course have many translators and QA staff whose native language is English. We have confidence in the English version and believe it can be enjoyed by western players.

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Will you develop specific gameplay content for western players?

We won’t make too many changes in the core gameplay systems but will adjust the in-game events according to the market. Onmyoji is developed for international market from the ground up, and it aims at providing the best quality of art, music, story, and gameplay. What’s more, Onmyoji’s cultural content and diversity are also world-class.

One important reason Onmyoji prevails in China is that the huge Japanese style anime, Dojin and Cosplay community helps promote the game. However, the western market may not have such a big community, how do you think of it?

Before the game released in China, it’s considered a game for minority and wouldn’t succeed. The fact is the Japanese anime, comic and game culture keeps going to the west since last century. Many western players like this culture, and don’t forget the huge ethnic Chinese in the west are also actively promoting the Asian culture.

At last, could you talk about your expectation of the game in the western
market?

Of course I hope it will succeed, in both revenue and player number. We noticed many players asked for English version on Facebook and Twitter, and we were inspired and encouraged. So I hope western players will enjoy Onmyoji English version.

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