I am Jungsoo Lee, General Manager at Nexon America, and would like to offer my sincere apology for taking too long to write my first letter to the MapleStory community.
I have been spurred to write this letter as I have recently seen many player comments comparing the MapleStory 2 team and the MapleStory team. Whenever I read those comments, it breaks my heart because the team behind MapleStory works as hard as the MapleStory 2 team, if not harder. MapleStory is a game with lots of legacies, and the game requires an extensive amount of hours to plan, design, test, and deploy an update every month. As needs of games arise, it is my job to support the game teams by allocating the right resources. As the company couldn't support MapleStory with right resource and focus, I failed to support the MapleStory team’s needs. To right this, I have been gradually making changes to the company structure to give MapleStory more focus and support. You might not be able to feel the change yet, but internally we are seeing a shift that we hope you will feel soon too. We can talk about this in a future blog if the community feels the need.
In this first blog though, the first of many Producer Blogs to come, I would like to discuss a popular topic in the community today, which is what role and how much say Nexon America really has in shaping Global MapleStory (GMS).
First, a little context about the GMS structure:
I started my career in MapleStory in early 2005 at Wizet. I worked as a marketer, QA, CS agent, and production manager when we designed the GMS-exclusive wedding system, Thanksgiving event, Holiday events, Masteria, etc. The team was truly devoted to providing well thought out localized content that were very successful and the development studio created lots of region-specific content.
Unfortunately, due to too many different regions branching out with our own localized content, we now face huge inefficiency. Whenever we get major version-ups from the main branch--KMS--we have issues from GMS-exclusive or other regions’ exclusive content as the KMS version doesn’t have these. The amount of content discrepancy is massive and it is very difficult for both the development studio and our team to keep up quality service. Also, as lots of live issues happen only in GMS, it takes a very long time to identify and fix these issues.
Now the big question: can Nexon America make things happen for the players?
It’s true that as a publisher we have a limited capability to make changes to the game design and system. As you have heard from us over and over, we do collect your feedback to deliver to the developers with our thoughts. We will continue to do this and take a much more relentless stance discussing the designs with the development studio and share the process with the community.
If the developer delivers to us game changes without logical reasoning with which we can agree, we are going to challenge the development studio. Our goal is to ensure we understand the true intention of the design change, and if it makes sense we will respect the development studio’s decision, and of course, share the intention with the community as soon as possible.
Usually, the more difficult discussions come down to what’s good for the service now and what’s good in the long term. And we ultimately might still have to release changes that are not popular. But at least consistent communication like this will give you early insight into why some changes are made, and perhaps gradually change the development studio’s position as they see feedback before the game change takes place.
One caveat here--even if we cannot all agree that the decision and the logic behind it are “right,” I hope we can all agree to give the studio respect on the design philosophy they want to pursue.
The bottom line is, as a publisher we respect both the community and the development studio. We will continue to be respectful but be much more proactive in sharing what is being discussed and what we are thinking about going forward.
With the upcoming Black Mage update, we are going to invest more in every aspect of the service. There will be some unfavorable changes as well as some positive changes, but we will work very hard to avoid rolling out any changes without explanation or without communicating thoroughly.
Also, please understand the enormous amount of workload the team here is going through. We strive to deliver the best possible gaming experience for the community, but due to not having enough resources we have not been doing as well as our community hopes for.
The Black Mage update is only the beginning of our journey to improve the game service on all fronts. I hope the community can work with us to revive the game back to where it used to be. We will work even harder to gain the trust back from the community by being more transparent.
As a part of our ongoing commitment to increase communication and transparency with our players, we are publishing the reward rates of all items in each of our random boxes currently on sale.
You can find these the rates for each item here on the MapleStory website. We will continue to publish rates for all future random boxes and coupons as they become available for purchase.
In the coming weeks we will touch more on some of the burning topics from the community like the hack situation, Kishin, and Malaysia.