Having launched at the Thailand Game Show 2018, Disney Epic Quest is an original mobile title that brings Disney and Pixar characters into one action-packed digital experience for all ages. Developed and published by the Singapore-headquartered goGame, it is the first Disney mobile game to debut in Southeast Asia.
The free-to-play game will be available on both Android and iOS devices in English, Bahasa Indonesia, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai, and will launch across the region in 2019.
The game embodies a digital universe wherein players will assemble a squad of three Disney and Pixar characters who embark on a journey to save their digital realm from a menacing virus that has infected the land.
Epic Quest features Disney and Pixar characters across multiple franchises in new environments. At launch, the line-up will include characters from Big Hero 6, Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Incredibles, Wreck-It Ralph and Mickey Mouse & Friends. Disney Epic Quest also marks the debut of original costumes for Mickey, Donald and Goofy, created exclusively for the game.
Casual players will enjoy the simple hack-and-slash nature of combat, while dedicated fans will be delighted to know that the personality of each Disney and Pixar character in the game has been thoughtfully designed to be as unique as in the movies.
Players can also engage in multiplayer co-operative battles in at least two different game modes. Players can invite their friends to play together, or make use of the game’s matchmaking system to meet new friends for real-time play. Future plans include a competitive player-vs-player (PvP) mode.
“At the heart of everything we do at Disney is great storytelling, and we draw upon the most beloved stories and characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars to create high-quality interactive game experiences for fans of all ages,” said Dan Dossa, Vice-President & General Manager, Consumer Products Commercialisation, for Disney Southeast Asia.
The strategy in Southeast Asia is new for Disney - this is the first ever game it has produced in the region. However, Dossa said, this is not a new strategy globally, as Disney has been working with game studios in the US, Europe and Asia for localised content.
“The growth of the mobile-gaming market in Southeast Asia has shown us that’s where our audience is, and that’s the place we need to be in order to connect with our fans. Our strategy is to always make the product that is best for our fans and, if that means taking a local approach, then that’s what we’ll do.”
For example, there is a difference between gaming habits in Asia compared to North America: while RPGs and MMOs are very popular in Asia, casual gaming dominates the US mobile-gaming market.
“Taking the local approach means we are able to connect our stories, characters and brands with the fans, wherever they are, and in Southeast Asia they are mostly in the mobile-game space,” he added.
Before, Disney used to localise global content to make it more relevant for Thailand or Southeast Asia. Its current strategy is to create everything from the ground up.
Creating a product for a particular market doesn’t only mean translating the game in the local language, but also looking at the choice of characters and the back end of the game, to ensure it is smoothly integrated with local payment systems and so on.
There are some specific features of the Southeast Asian gamers, said Dossa, noting that language is the most obvious. It makes sense in Thailand to play a game in the Thai language, not in English. From Disney’s perspective, it gets to tell stories from across different brands and characters, and it has found out that different markets have different preferences for characters. As a result, the characters Disney chooses to make available for the players within the games can differ considerably from market to market.
Another thing that characterises Disney’s approach is that it has made the game very accessible for all levels of players, from hardcore gamers to more casual players, from kids to adults playing the game.
This means that, in Asia, rather than targeting a very specific demographic, the games are accessible and fun for gamers of all levels. Also, some of the art style used in games has been modified to suit the markets.
Last year Disney worked with goGame in localising a game for Southeast Asia called Disney Crossy Road, a casual mobile game. Its success was the prelude to the strategy of working with goGame on Disney Epic Quest.
According to Dossa, industry data points to over 65% of the gaming industry in Thailand being in mobile gaming.
“This is an extremely interesting space for us, as our characters and brands resonate in this space. Disney Epic Quest is the beginning of a strategy of creating local products in Southeast Asia, making the products more locally relevant, and working with local developers to tell our stories to fans in a very compelling way.”
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