Rumble Games believes its upcoming action role-playing game KingsRoad can provide a deep social gameplay experience for both core and casual gamers while eschewing traditional social mechanics like energy bars and forced player invites.
KingsRoad is inspired by Blizzard’s juggernaut hit Diablo, with hack-and-slash action and glossy production values. It looks like it’s designed to only appeal to core gamers, but Rumble CEO Greg Richardson claims the game is meant for anyone who enjoys great storytelling and will be easy to pick up with its mouse-driven control scheme. The game is planned to initially launch for web browsers but it will eventually be fully playable on social networks like Facebook and Google+, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. Richardson tells us smartphones are not a focus quite yet, mainly because the small screens of these devices provide limited in-game view.
“We’re technology agnostic,” he says. “The consumer we have cares about graphic fidelity and wants the games to be simple and accessible, but sophisticated enough to keep them around. Whateve technology can ge us the best possible experience to the broadest audience we can reach, we’re a fan of.”
The game’s social elements are designed around co-op gameplay, as opposed to leaderboards and viral sharing of milestone achievements. Richardson doesn’t believe in creating a title that relies on the standard social game mechanics like an energy bar or requiring players to invite friends into the game in order to progress, going so far as to call such things “crazy.” The game will utilize microtransactions, but Richardson won’t reveal any specifics. Instead, he says, “we strive to let players amplify their fun by paying, rather than punishing players if they don’t spend money.”
Richardson’s not worried about the game’s monetization potential because he believes the audience Rumble is pursuing monetizes incredibly well. “When you’re going after an audience that loves to engage and has a propensity to spend money on it, that’s half the battle,” he explains. “These games are progression driven, and people are going to want to spend more money in the game. As they do this, we’re going to give them opportunities to spend money that will make the game more fun to play.”
Innovation isn’t always a recipe for instant success and there are elements here that could lead to a misfire. The recent god game Idle Worship includes stunning production values, synchronous multiplayer and deep gameplay, but it hasn’t taken off yet and is instead hovering around 40,000 daily active users. KingsRoad’s epic scale and action-driven storyline could potentially turn away players simply because it’s so different from anything else that’s available on social networks right now. Rumble Games wants the game to appeal to both core and casual players, the two groups that respectively represent a high amount of monetization and traffic.
Rumble is building one other unannounced game right now, but is also using its $15 million first round of funding to become a publisher for third-party developers. The company will publish titles on browsers, social networks and mobile devices, but Richardson didn’t disclose what kind of promotion and marketing Rumble will do on behalf of these games. Although no deals have been revealed yet, Richardson says that a public announcement is coming soon.
The signup for the beta of KingsRoad is available on Rumble Games’s website, as is more information about joining up with the company’s publishing program. KingsRoad does not have a release date yet.