Many games handle the Free-to-Play model differently – what existing titles have been the biggest influences on H&G?
We were ten guys who started Reto-Moto a little over four years ago - when the world almost didn't know anything about F2P. Our business case was built on a classic subscription based model, but we all came from a company with AAA boxed titles, so we didn't have any experience with online multiplayer games - and no clues whatsoever about subscription based games. At first we looked at EVE Online - fascinated by both their solid and steady growth in users - and of course their business model. But when World of Tanks entered the global scene in 2011 everything changed. We could really see the benefits from having a F2P model, both in terms of a business model and as a way of growing a large numbers of players. In many different ways a F2P model is ideal for our game; it suits our massive campaign game to have a huge population, and the monetization model works for both the core players and the players with less playing time available.
Do you think free-to-play will eventually replace the traditional $50 / £40 upfront game? Or live alongside it?
That's a tricky one as there are so many gamers out there, and they all want to access their chosen games in their preferred ways. I think there are enough consumers to sustain multiple business models, I don't think it will necessarily be a case of one size fits all.
How important is community to your game? How are you planning to stamp out the cheats, and keep your players engaged?
The community is essential for our success; it's as simple as that. As a small company with a small developing team we are trying to involve them as much and as often as we can. We listen to their thoughts and complaints, and our most dedicated community members help us test new builds and mechanics before we release them. A while ago we made a live-action trailer with a bunch of community-members, and occasionally we have visits from community-members at the studio. Our QA Lead and Community Manager are in dialogue with them on a daily basis - they're cool.
Would you consider bringing Heroes & Generals to console?
Yes, why not? Connectivity is the keyword and if we somehow could manage hand-held devices, PC, Mac and consoles and use them together in a new and different way with the advantage of each media, I wouldn't say no. But it's not planned.
Finally, would you rather be remembered by history as a hero or a general?
An everyday hero is what our civilization was built upon. I do find both types of involvement in Heroes & Generals fun - but I always end up being in the front line with an SMG!