With the Japanese partnership in hand, Excite Japan Co. Ltd., one of the top five largest Internet portals with more than 16 million registered users and more than 40 million page views per day, and Frogster look forward to make TCoS an important asset of Excite’s business.
For the exclusive MMO marketing rights in Japan, Excite pays a non-recoupable advance license of $1.2 million USD and a significant percentage of running gross profit plus additional bonus on all revenues exceeding a hurdle of almost $20 million USD with the product. Excite expects to draw at least 100,000 TCoS players in Japan and a monthly revenue of $1.5 million USD on a conservative estimation. This would bring Frogster Studios’ yearly revenue of roughly 4 to 5 million USD from Japan alone. Alongside the Japanese rights, Frogster Studios owns the license for China, Korea and other Asian countries. Frogster Interactive holds a 50 percent stake of Frogster Studios. On a consolidated group level, Frogster Interactive expects at least $100,000 USD gross profit per month from Japan alone, if the expectations are met.
Game experts from Excite have intensively tested TCoS in the run-up to the contract closing. According to the CEO of Frogster Studios the license deal is one of the largest closings for a single product for the territory of Japan in the history of PC games. Frogster interprets this as a milestone on its way to become a leading European provider of client-based 3D-MMOs and virtual worlds. They next plan to sale the sublicense in China, where Frogster expects an even higher advance license due to the market size. In Frogster’s view, the Japanese contract with Excite raises the chances for a good closing in China and the value of the 50 percent stake of Frogster Interactive in Frogster Studios significantly.
Players will be able to interact with each other in an original fantasy setting, experienced through a unique graphics style. Players can fight with or against each other, forge alliances and control parts of the world. The players’ strength is not determined by the sword that he or she wields, but by the skill with which it is wielded. This is one of the things that allows players to create varying but recognizable identities for their characters. In addition, players are free to use a wide variety of faces, clothes, armours and symbols to customize their characters in the game. Players will change the world with their actions, from unlocking entire new parts of the world, to putting a personal lasting mark on a small part of the world. High adventure is offered even at the lower levels: Hidden doors can be found, conquering clans can be joined; you will make a difference even at lower levels.
Developed by Spellborn International, The Chronicles of Spellborn will introduce gameplay that challenges MMO gaming conventions. No longer will back stories be irrelevant, players will move back and forth in time to experience the storyline. The Spellborn team has thrown out the old "auto lock" MMO attack system. Players will actively maneuver and aim in combat while they manipulate a "skill deck" that allows them to string together hundreds of different possible attack combinations. Also, armour and weapons do NOT affect combat so players can dress exactly how they like from the very start. Finally, the successes and failures of every player from the lowest to the highest levels will determine the fate of their House and the rest of the world.
Players selected to participate in the closed beta will be the first ones to experience this new model in MMO gaming. They will assist the developers in testing gameplay and provide feedback directly to the developers. The closed beta test began with a limited number of applicants. More beta testers will be added periodically over the next few months. In early 2006, the Spellborn International team plans to hold a large-scale open/stress beta test.
What differentiates ‘The Chronicles of Spellborn’ from other MMORPG?
- Dress to impress: From day 1 you will be able to look cool by choosing and changing clothes, armors, weapons, skills.
- Influencing the world with your actions: This ranges from lifelike statues of your character in Quarterstone to unlocking and owning new parts of the worlds through questing, politics and conquest.
- ‘Join and play’, you don’t have to walk whole marathons before the fun starts.
- ‘The Chronicles of Spellborn’ combat system based on skill decks. You will be able to create your own individual fighting style.
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