Interview

With $50 million to invest in VR, why COLOPL thinks arcades are the best place for its early adoption

With $50 million to invest in VR, why COLOPL thinks arcades are the best place for its early adoption

Pocket Gamer Connects will be heading to Vancouver for the first time ever on 28-29 June.

Tickets are still available.

So, to give you a hint at what you can expect, we're shining the spotlight onto our speakers to provide a deeper look at the personalities who will be taking the stage.

  • Jikhan Jung is the CEO of COLOPL NI, the US arm of Japanese mobile (and now VR) giant Colopl.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us about your company's role in the mobile games industry.

Jikhan Jung: We are a top 6 grossing mobile publisher globally, and we have been very successful in the Japanese market.

We are trying to provide unique and fun games to the market, especially with our two mobile titles Rune Story and Downtown Showdown.

Each features real-time strategic co-op gameplay, which is very unique for the mobile market.

Give us an update on Rune Story and Downtown Showdown. How are the games performing, and what's next on the agenda?

What we discovered about Rune Story is that while we believe the combat mechanic is so fun and intuitive that it could work for any audience, the art style and story wrapper around it really has a strong appeal to fans of Japanese anime.

We are trying to localise with a light touch.
Jikhan Jung

That audience loves story and narrative, and values the intricate character designs. So we are now focusing our efforts on that audience by attending Fanime in San Jose and Anime Expo in L.A. this Summer.

We are trying to localise with a light touch, to keep the charm that has made the original game, White Cat Project, such an unbelievable success in Japan.

For Downtown Showdown, we have a core player group of passionate PvP city-building fans.

We think this mash-up is compelling, so we are focusing on delivering content they love and expanding our player-base through Twitch-streamed events. It is a fun game to watch!

How do you regard the progress of VR development in 2016 so far? Were you excited by Google's Daydream announcement?

We released our first title, CyberpongVR, on Steam on the 28th of April.

Our game has more than 1,000 downloads within 3 weeks and was recognised as having the 2nd highest playing time per user on Steam.

Vive is the top-end VR system for COLOPL

We are encouraged by the variety and quality of the games and experiences available on VR already and are looking forward to seeing more this year. We ourselves are already working on another game for the Vive and another for Oculus.

Since we are focusing more on high-performance VR than mobile VR, the announcement does not directly impact our business, but it is great to hear that Google is putting more effort in VR.

VR arcades will play a very important role in familiarising the public with this technology.
Jikhan Jung

We are curious to learn more about their controller as well.

You're set to discuss VR as an arcade experience at PGC Vancouver. Could you briefly summarise why you think this is important?

As of today, we believe the Vive is the most favourable device to have best VR experience and makes the best case for VR as the future of gaming, due to the room scale and hand controller technology.

However, the barrier to entry is high for personal use, due to the expense, the space requirements in the home, and the high-quality of the hardware needed to run it properly. We think it will be very hard for households to have this kind of device in the beginning of the VR era.

So, VR arcades and VR cafes will play a very important role in familiarising the public with this technology as the costs and hardware requirements come down.

We will be thinking about this play environment as we develop CyberpongVR and our portfolio going forward.

You can find our more about all the speakers at Pocket Gamer Connects Vancouver here.

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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