Shot Online combines the MMOG world with golf and today we talk to Christopher Yamauchi of Shot Online about their game. He gives us a general update on everything that's been going on with this Korean title that has carved out a strong niche in North America.
Answers by Christopher Yamauchi
Questions by Dana Massey
WarCry: For those new to Shot Online, explain how your game is different from traditional golf games like EA's Tiger Woods series. What do you offer that they cannot?
Christopher Yamauchi: At its very core, Shot-Online is a traditional golf game similar to EA's Tiger Woods series, but the similarities stop there. We also built a unique MMO system that promote community interaction through trading, chatting, tournaments, and auctions. Multiplayer is key in Shot-Online where we have players from all across the globe. We have missions, levels, guilds, stores, clothes, and many other elements you would find in RPGs, but not necessarily a sports game. We believe these attributes really enhance the game for the user as they personalize their in game persona.
WarCry: One of the next big waves in the MMO genre seems to be the sports game. Empire of Sports, Football Manager Live and others are coming to market. What do you think the proliferation of Sports MMOs will do for you?
Christopher Yamauchi: We think it's great and will bring better awareness of the genre. As it's a relatively new area and a cross breed of sorts, we're always looking to make new improvements as well as see what other people bring to the table to improve this genre.
WarCry: Last time we spoke, you guys were adding new "fantasy" golf courses in exotic locations. What are your current expansion priorities?
Christopher Yamauchi: We recently added some new functions including golf caddies, separate guild rooms, player hosted tournaments, and new missions. In the future, we're working on a variety of things including numerous graphical updates.
WarCry: Shot Online often confuses people, as it has so many versions run by so many companies. Can you explain the territorial divisions of your game and how you make sure they're all up to date?
Christopher Yamauchi: We currently have 4 different language versions of Shot-Online; English, Korean, Japanese, and German. Each version has a different publisher, for example, the English language version (Global version), is published by OnNet USA under our game portal banner, GamesCampus.
WarCry: As the GNG World Championships enters its second year, Shot Online is again a featured game. What does this tournament mean to you as developers and to your community?
Christopher Yamauchi: We think it's a terrific opportunity for us to showcase our new updates in the game. The GNGWC this year was the most successful so far and we hope we can offer the same to our players in the future.
WarCry: Some other MMOs are starting to do huge tournaments for millions of dollars in prizes. Obviously, as a golf game, you could do that. What kind of tournaments are you doing, aside from GNGWC?
Christopher Yamauchi: We've been doing monthly cash tournaments where we give out thousands of dollars in prizes and CampusCash. We're also hosting an end of year tournament for our best players with even more cash prizes!
WarCry: Your game has long embraced micro transactions, why do you feel this is the better business model, especially with regards to your Western operations?
Christopher Yamauchi: We believe micro transaction games are best for the community. By allowing everyone to join and play the game regardless of their monetary status is very important in creating a large, self sustaining community.
WarCry: It's been a few years, do you have any intention of doing a sequel or updated version of Shot Online?
Christopher Yamauchi: Yes, definitely! We have major updates approximately every six months in Shot-Online. As for talks of a sequel, I'm going to have to remain tight lipped on that :)