About this Blog

The purpose of this blog is for my personal use. It serves as my personal diary as I investigate Chinese internet/gaming companies for investment purpose. If you have any comments or disagreement, please give me feedbacks.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

NCTY – SUN – Background Information

My last post on SUN can be found:

SUN went to open beta in China on April 18, 2007. It is extremely difficult to find any review for Soul of the Ultimate Nation (SUN). But let me just writes down all the things I think is interesting.

It is a MMORPG produced by Webzen, a Korean company. SUN had undergone multiple betas in Korea from September 2005 to May 2006. I had heard conflicting reports of SUN goes into commercial operation either on May or November 2006 in Korea. SUN went into open beta on December 20, 2006 in Taiwan.

Therefore, like all other foreign games, it shall be an extremely stable game with full playing features by the time of open beta in China. It is a free-to-play game.

NCTY purchased the right to this game for a sum of 18 millions with 22% royalty.

For the life of me, I can’t find any information regards to the success of this game in Korea or Taiwan. If this game is a great success in Korea or Taiwan, Webzen and NCTY would have publicized it. Therefore, I don’t think this game was a great success in either Korea or Taiwan. If anybody has more information about this, please let me know.

Let me talk about the unique features of the game play. For large scale combat such as siege warfare, SUN uses a combat map with partitions that divides players into multiple fields each containing 20-40 characters; the outcome each battle having direct affects on the combat occurring on other fields.

There are three types of maps. The mission maps are the primary places where players play the mission. The hunting maps are for tracking down monsters. The quest maps are for the quests.

There is a battle zone system. Players create “room” for battles. Players can select different types of maps, set the entry numbers, degree of difficulty and types of monsters.

Players go from missions to missions. When the current mission is near completion, tips will appear for the player to go to the next mission. There are also side quests to complete.

One thing that could slow down SUN is its high minimum PC requirement. It has higher PC requirement than even Ntes’ TX2. Its minimum requirement is Pentium 4 1.8GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and GeForce TI4200 or ATI Radeon 9200 GPU.

Except for a few areas, this game doesn’t really sound all that impressive. But NCTY had done a marvelous job in marketing this game in China. There is a tremendous amount of curiosity about this game. There is no doubt that this game had generated insane amount of hype at the beginning. You really have to tip your hat to NCTY for its mastery of marketing.

At this point, SUN is definitely one of the most advanced games (in terms of graphics, and technologies) among all the free-to-play games. Compared with the recent hit, Sohu’s TL, I think SUN will open the gate faster. There is no comparison in the quality of graphics between TL and SUN. SUN is also much more polished at this point (considering that SUN had being in commercial operation for many months while TL is not even in open beta).

But because of its high PC requirements and because it is an import, while TL would most likely have a great run of 4 to 5 years, SUN will most likely fade in a year. But in the short term, SUN will steal a lot of thunders from TL.


Anonymous said...

I am impressed by your analysis.
I wanted to chat with you on this, but I couldn't find a way to contact you directly.
Ey email is dhvlad at hotmail.com, Can you send me an email.
Thanks, Dan

HenryC said...

Hi Dan,

please give your comments here if you like.

By the way, life sure is good for us Sohu investors!!!

Dan said...

Does SUN have a server status page?
How about Sohu's TL?
Thanks, Dan

HenryC said...

Hi Dan,

Game companies usually don't have server status until the users population stablized. That usually occurs a few weeks or few months after commercial operation.

So the answer to your question is no.


A test for now