Questions by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
Answers by Mike Goslin, VP of Disney Online
Just a few weeks ago, many fans and gaming press veterans were stunned
to see that Pirates of
the Caribbean Online
had been released with relatively
little fanfare compared to many other recently marketed MMOGs. The Ten
Ton Hammer staff was instantly interested in the background behind this
sort of decision, and we put together an interview for Disney Online VP
Mike Goslin to allow him to sort out Disney Online’s process
behind the release. His answers are clear and concise, and we hope you
enjoy the interview!
Ten Ton Hammer: It seemed
like the launch of Pirates
of the Caribbean Online was incredibly sudden. Why
wasn’t there more “build-up” to the games
release, or perhaps a large marketing campaign to draw people into the
It was very important to us to launch with a solid, fun game.
Even though we have conducted extensive beta tests, we wanted the
additional security of a quiet launch so that we can make sure
everything is just right for when the large crowds start to
arrive. The Disney theme parks call this a “soft
launch”. We do have a large marketing campaign that
will ramp up over the coming weeks, so the build-up is starting now.
Ten Ton Hammer: What kind
of response did the games release have from the player community? Have
you seen a large influx of players? What have they thought of the game
with limited promotion, we have received an amazing response from the
player community. Traffic is growing rapidly through word of
mouth and players are logging serious hours and having a great time in
the game. They seem to really appreciate some of the unique
aspects of our game such as sailing around with a crew sinking ships
and gathering treasure.
Ten Ton Hammer: With the
release coming upon everyone so quickly, was there anything that you
wanted to include in the final version of the game that
didn’t make the cut? What are some of the first additions
that you’re going to be putting in the game for players?
: We are
really happy with the features we were able to get in for launch, but
there were still some things that were not quite ready to go, so they
will be coming soon. In addition, we have a significant
amount of expansion content planned throughout the year.
Ten Ton Hammer: Player
communities are a big part of any games success these days. Are there
any plans to further develop the community for Pirates of the Caribbean Online
through message boards, social networking, etc.? Or is that not
possible with such a young age group?
definitely plan to expand and nurture the community for Pirates of the Caribbean
Currently, most of the communication and social networking happens
in-game, but we have some significant web-based tools around individual
pirates and guilds that will launch in the coming weeks. All
of our tools are designed to help players meet up with friends easily
while at the same time being mindful of the safety of our younger
Ten Ton Hammer: To me,
the Parental Controls for Pirates
of the Caribbean Online seem pretty extensive especially
with the movies being rated PG-13. Why are initial options for players
The POTCO team is
committed to bringing a kid-safe game to the general public.
really want to empower parents to maintain the level of safety for
their kids that they feel comfortable with. This
shouldn’t limit the options for our older players, however.
Ten Ton Hammer: On the
other side of the coin, what can parents do in PotCO that helps them
protect their children? Is their anyway to limit play time or what a
child can see on the screen?
: We are
committed to creating a safe and fun environment for families
online. In addition to the extensive parental controls, we
have aggressive chat filtering and monitoring to keep the experience
safe and enjoyable. Pirates
of the Caribbean
is rated E10+, so we worked hard to
ensure the content is appropriate for that age range.
Ten Ton Hammer: The
voodoo abilities seem to be an interesting part of Pirates that
hasn’t been explored thoroughly in an interview before. How
does the voodoo system work? Is it similar to magic we find in our
other MMOGs? Do you have to be a specific class to cast a voodoo spell
or is it simply based upon your “Voodoo Power?”
pirate has the ability to use voodoo once they acquire the voodoo doll
and later the voodoo staff. The doll works by first
“attuning” it to a target, so you start by getting
in close and tagging an enemy. Once you attune, the player
can run away and hurt the targeted enemy from a distance by poking the
doll, setting it on fire, or swarming it with insects to name a few of
the attacks. Using the attacks consumes voodoo power, which
needs to be replenished over time. As players use voodoo
weapons, they earn new attacks and improve the effectiveness of
existing attacks. Pirates
of the Caribbean
does not have a class system –
you just get better at the weapons as you use them.
Ten Ton Hammer: How does Pirates of the Caribbean Online
compare to other MMOGs that are on the market? What sets the game
apart? Do you see the game attaining a massive amount of popularity or
will it simply prove to be a solid game with a good chunk of players?
Voodoo powers are
neat, especially when you're dishing out the damage.
Pirates of the Caribbean Online is the only MMOG where you get to live
the exciting life of a pirate in the world established by the POTC
films and the beloved theme park attraction. This means you
get to interact with Jack Sparrow and the other characters, visit
places like Port Royal and Tortuga, and match wits with enemies both
familiar and new. Being a pirate and having the chance to set
sail on adventures at sea in a pirate ship with a crew of other players
blasting away at other ships and gathering treasure is one of the
things that sets our game apart. Another big difference is
how easy our game is to play. We put a great deal of energy
into making the game fun and accessible. I think all the
effort will pay off as we begin to attract a broad audience of gamers,
casual gamers, and fans of the POTC movies. Also, because a
large portion of the game is free to play and due to the popularity of
the POTC franchise, we think we’ll have a very large number
Ten Ton Hammer: What kind
of overall plans do you have for Pirates
of the Caribbean Online? How do you see the game evolving
and what sort of changes will be taking place over the next few months?
is a long term property for us, so we have extensive plans to expand
and evolve the game in the coming months and years. In the
short term, we plan to focus on giving players new ways to customize
and personalize their avatars and ships. We’ll also
focus on adding new game play, new PVP maps and game types, new
enemies, and new stories.
Ten Ton Hammer: Anything
else you’d like to tell the Ten Ton Hammer readers? They
always love a good piece of news….or a hint of
what’s to come. *smiles*
: All I
can really say is we’ve got some great stuff in the pipeline
already and that you’ll be seeing some familiar friends and
enemies showing up in the game in the coming months.