The MOFPS (Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter) Soldier Front 2 is now in closed beta. The launch is eagerly awaited by our readers. FPSReport.com has managed to catch up to Kennan Ho, who is overseeing the launch as Producer at MMO publisher Aeria Games. Check out this exclusive interview as Kennan answered to our burning questions.
Q: Tell us about Soldier Front 2 and what potential do you see for the North American market. How different is Soldier Front 2 from its predecessor Soldier Front in terms of the concept, graphics and gameplay, and what are its key features even compared to other free-to-play FPS?
A: We’re very excited to be working with Dragonfly on publishing Soldier Front 2 in the North American market. We definitely feel it has the potential to gain a strong following here. Not only is it leaps and bounds ahead of the original Soldier Front graphically, but the core mechanics and supporting mechanics of the game are also more modern and refined, putting it in a much more competitive position in the genre.
Q: Can you give us an overview on the game modes, especially on the PvE modes in Soldier Front 2, and do you have a roadmap for future updates, modes and maps?
A: Right away the player can jump into a variety of game modes depending on what they’re looking for. There are more classical modes that offer fast action, competitive and strategic play such as basic deathmatch, team deathmatch, and sabotage bombing missions. But for those looking for a different experience there are additional modes such as ‘Hero,’ a MOBA style mode or ‘Shatter,’ a small map with 3 layers of glass floors over a pit full of spikes. There are plenty of others planned as well, including survival mode, man vs. aliens, breach, and hardcore. All in all the content roadmap features over 10 modes and over 20 maps either in release or in the near future.
Q: Soldier Front 2 is free-to-play and the current versions in Asia offer in-game items that are rather of cosmetic nature, in other words they are not based on a “pay-to-win”-concept. Will you keep this model? What is your monetization strategy to accommodate for North America?
A: Cosmetically altered guns and other vanity items will still be our primary focus for monetization, but these guns will be purchasable via several methods. Most items can also be obtained with SP, the in-game currency that you earn simply from playing, so that all players can remain competitive.
Q: Like most of free-to-play FPS Soldier Front 2 is a competitive game. It enjoys quite a success in Korea and some gamers there say that it is highly competitive, since it is based on purely skill-based gameplay. I could imagine that quite a number of people will try to use hacks. Are there any plans to prevent the usage of hacking tools?
A: Preparing for hack prevention has been a high priority since day 1 and we have several measures in place to identify and deal with any hacking issues that arise. We fully understand the frustrations that can be caused by hacking and want to ensure a clean competitive environment for the players. For Soldier Front 2 we’re employing the same high-quality hacking solution that is in place for AVA.
Q: Aeria Games has gained massive experience in operating free-to-play shooters. You guys run Alliance of Valiant Arms (A.V.A), Born to Fire, Soldier Front, Wolf Team, publish Tribes: Ascend and operated Repulse for a short period. Out of curiosity, do you fear that Soldier Front 2 might cannibalize the player base?
A: We try to present a variety of titles to cater to all of our players’ interests. The most important thing to us is making sure that we’re always offering something that a player can enjoy, which is why we strive to bring our community the newest and most exciting games out there.
Q: What kind of eSports activities do you plan for Soldier Front 2? Will you apply for eSports platforms outside Aeria Games? Will there be tournaments hosted by Aeria Games too?
A: While we’re definitely committed to fostering a competitive community on the high end, we’re still working on the exact logistics. We’re excited to be already seeing players prepare for competitive play. You can find Soldier Front 2 on Twitch.tv, and we’re in touch with some gaming leagues, including Unified Competitive Gaming, Logic Gaming, and USF United. We would love to have an Aeria hosted tournament!
Q: Lastly, what stage of development is the game currently in?
A: We just concluded Early Access and began closed beta testing.
Anyone can join CB and interested players can download the game from soldierfront2.aeriagames.com.