Gameloft’s tactic-based MMO military game, War Planet Online now has a big screen legend joining the battlefield - John Rambo. The unlockable lieutenant added all new content and narrative to the game.
We spoke with War Planet Online’s product manager, Andrey Marinov to discuss the new update and the importance of keeping players engaged with regular content and how the team went about working with such an iconic IP.
Pocketgamer.biz: War Planet Online brought John Rambo to the game, in addition to the character himself, what else does this add to the game?
Andrey Marinov: John Rambo blasted onto War Planet Online with action-packed events and a minigame that runs for two weeks. During the event, players can craft Rambo’s iconic knife and bandana that gives bonuses to players in battle when assigned to offensive commanders. Players can also earn many exclusive vanities, including base skins, avatars, and emojis. The icing on the cake is the opportunity to recruit Rambo as a Lieutenant to fight by your side.
Lieutenants are brand new heroes we recently introduced in WPO that, when combined with recruited Commanders, can vastly improve their troops in various ways. Also, with our Rambo update, we have introduced additional crafting items with powerful bonuses to give players competitive advantages when participating in the Rambo event.
What was the process like bringing such an iconic character to the game?
Our team was extremely happy and honoured to have John Rambo joining the ranks of the WPO army. Initially, we had an in-game survey amongst our players about their favourite heroes of all time, and John Rambo was one of the most popular. We thought he would make the perfect match for our adrenaline-packed events and worked closely with the IP owner to bring this truly epic hero to the game in the most immersive way possible for our players. That’s why we created a story-driven chain event with a special narrative where all players could dive into Rambo’s world and have him as a personal advisor. Making Rambo was also exciting, as we had to ensure that the favourite hero of so many generations was as authentic as possible.
How long was the development process, from the initial idea of bringing the character to the game to having all the content ready to launch?
We were aiming at a 360-degree implementation because it makes sense to enhance the overall feel of the game to spark players’ interest and imagination. That is why the development phase took around six months, from the idea creation to the final design and the official approval of our in-game assets. We should also mention the significant marketing efforts on our side to promote the Rambo integration in War Planet Online.
How important are your content updates? Is there a target you try to reach to bring new experiences to players?
Content updates are absolutely crucial in order to stay relevant and competitive in the modern 4x market. And we all know that happy players keep a game alive. With that said, new and exciting content means improved retention & more daily sessions. That’s why we aim to have at least three really big updates throughout the year in order to shake up the players and provoke them to explore new experiences.
War Planet Online is available on various platforms. What advantages do you think this offers?
There are two main advantages here. First is the convenience for the player. War Planet Online is truly a cross-platform game in the sense that you can have a short session on your Android or iOS device while commuting to work and then continue playing where you left off on your PC once you are back home. The second is that we can reach more people and introduce them to the immersive world of War Planet Online.
What does the future of War Planet Online look like? Any big plans for the rest of 2023 or more supporting characters on the horizon?
This year has been very busy for WPO, and we have been working on some truly exciting new things. We can’t share many details at this moment, but something really thrilling is coming your way very soon! Stay tuned!