“PvP is the universal language of gaming,” says Crowfall studio ArtCraft in a new blog post last night. “Killing other players is a transcendent activity; players from every culture and every country like to engage in the sport of killing others.”
This is why the studio is already making plans for international play. ArtCraft has announced what it’s calling a “Crowfall Universe.” All backers, including the 40% not from the US, “will always have a home […] within the U.S. Crowfall Universe,” but regionalized “universes” overseas will also exist.
“Basically, it’s a separate instance of the MMO. At a minimum, it will have a different set of servers, which equates to separate eternal kingdoms and campaign worlds. We always expected to separate off some territories (like China, where it is a legal and cultural necessity). Other territories, like EU, were question marks. That’s still the case, but we are actively engaged with multiple companies to service these territories. Separating them into different universes is one of the things we’ll have to discuss.”
ArtCraft says its short-term focus is its European partner; Russia, CIS countries, China, Korea, Japan, the rest of Asia, South America, the Middle East, and North Africa are on track for later in 2016. The studio is also giving consideration to console release partners.
Already freaking out over the potential for regionlocking and localization nightmares? ArtCraft understands but makes no promises: “To be clear, we don’t take the idea of segmenting the player base lightly. All things equal, our strong preference is to allow everyone to play together, worldwide. But given differences in language, culture, cost of living and legalities, this may not be possible with every partner. We’ll see.”
The Crowfall team leads are in the middle of an AMA on Reddit today for players wanting to know more. Todd Coleman has already addressed one question on the release progress.
“[O]verall progress has been great, especially when you consider that our team is only ~20 people. that said, there are some areas that are critical to ‘get right’ (like combat, movement) that we tackled first because we wanted the maximum amount of time to iterate on them before launch. On reflection, that was absolutely the right decision, because our early iterations frankly weren’t good enough and pushing them forward has allowed us to continue improving them every milestone. So, while these systems still aren’t where we want them to be, I believe we are on a solid trajectory to get them there before launch.”