Divine Souls: Interview with Aaron Burcell Head of Marketing

We have had an opportunity to interview Aaron Burcell, Head of Marketing for Outspark, about Divine Souls, the arcade-style mmo game which it’s on Open Beta phase right now.

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It’s a pleasure to interview you. Thanks you for concede us your time. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Answer: I’m Aaron Burcell. I head marketing and web dev and design here at Outspark. I joined Outspark in May of this year, and before that I spent a few years working at Gazillion Entertainment.

We are here to talk about Divine Souls. I would to start asking the meaning of the name. Why did you choose “Divine Souls”? What does it mean?

Divine Souls is actually the name that the developer game the game – actually, it was originally Divine Soul, so there was a slight mod to the name as we brought the game West. The name is attractive and summarized the game plot perfectly, so there was no reason to change it before testing. User testing made us feel good about the name.

When is scheduled to be released?

The game went into open beta today, and it will be in commercial release very soon – days, maybe more than a week, but very quickly.

Will you have got different servers to American and European players?

Yes, we will.

How would you describe Divine Souls within the MMO games genre?

PC Gamer said that Outspark is bringing arcade style combat to the masses. That was an interesting take. My take is that this game is a new generation of free-to-play games. But when I show this game to console players, there is usually an immediate appeal and familiarity that goes beyond using the game controllers. This game is beautiful, it’s immersive, it plays very well, the combos and aerials are impressive, easy to pick up and the PVP arenas are addicting. The boss monsters and worlds are very cool, and the weaponry reminds me of the best of Dynasty Warriors.

Could you speak us about Divine Souls’ background?

The game was developed by Gameprix, based in Korea. The design team is very accomplished, has developed some of the most famous games in Korea. The game themes and plot parameters were developed by Gameprix. One of the most attractive aspects of this game during the partnership evaluation period was the completeness of the game background and the well-developed ideas driving the quests. And, I’m excited about the future – Gameprix has shown us a new “Priest” class, and there is plenty of new content in development.

Talk us about special features. Would you dare to say that Divine Souls is genuine as a MMO game?

The special features of the game are really all about the action – the skills, the accessibility of the combos, and the awesome weaponry. The PVP zones are awesome and that is attractive to gamers, especially when clans want to go 8-on-8. There are more special features – this game is built to take advantage of Nvidia’s 3D technology, and those capabilities could be enabled in the future.

But to your question, yeah, this is definitely an MMO, perhaps an MMORPG with awesome PVP, but an MMO nonetheless.

What are the minimum system requirements?

The system requirements are:
OS : Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
CPU : Pentium? 2.4GHz
RAM : 512MB
Graphic Card : Nvidia Geforce FX Go 5700, ATI Radeon 9800
HDD : 3GB hard disk space

OS : Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
CPU : Core 2 2.4GHz
Graphic Card : Nvidia Geforce Go 7600, ATI Radeon X3600
HDD : 3GB hard disk space

Why this game is going to be more fun than others?

Players tell us that the combination of the clan system and the weaponry make this game fun, perhaps more fun that other games. The mage is a surprisingly fun support player – not your typical archer class or supporting character laying down suppression fire for a brawler or slasher. IMHO, the Mage’s weapon is just too fun – it casts poison spells, freezes mobs, but it functions like a wide-sweeping mace-hammer combo, and flips around into a hand-cannon mode. Especially in the sewer instances, where the quarters are tight, the Mage is a lot of fun in group play.

Talk us about the future. What are your plans in 2010 and beyond?

The plans for Divine Souls are interesting – I already mentioned the Priest class. And, we’ve seen conceptual on new content from Gameprix, and some of our employees have demo’d the 3D version. But, for me, I want to work on some really hot events – good prizes, awesome competitions and achievements. We have a lot of new talent managing these games, talent that has defected from some of the most popular MMOs just to work at Outspark on Divine Souls and our other games. I’m looking forward to working with this new talent.

Thanks you for your time. It was a pleasure. Do you have something to add?

The only thing that I might add is this: I want to thank people for their patience. It’s been six months since we previewed this game, and while it felt like a sprint to me, I know that people wanted this game earlier. I’m proud of this team for getting this game out now. And, stay tuned, because Outspark has just released two new games inside of 3 months, and we’re going to move even faster in 2010.

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