Game Development Reference
Interview with Jason Decker: Love Letters from
Q: Pocket Legends is an amazing product. How many people play at any
given time together?
A: When it first came out, it was a pretty big deal. We weren't free to play
at the time. And I can't remember exact concurrency numbers from then,
but it was in the thousands.
Q: So you had thousands of people getting together in instances?
A: Well, the instances would hold between 20 and 30 people at a time,
and you could go on dungeon runs with groups of 5. So we'd have hun-
dreds of people playing together at any time.
Q: And now?
A: Last E3 we started doing something called “Chase the Droid
Flashmobs” where we would announce, “At various times in the day, look
for the droid. If you wave to him, he'll give you some presents!” So on
the big screen at E3, we'd have the droid character running around. And
it was funny to see 30 or so people from inside the world running around
chasing this guy to get the prizes. We've done a few of those flashmob
events in the game world.
We've learned in the past year how to go more social. We'd Twitter
stuff, and use every avenue you can imagine to get the word out. Little
sidebar ads, Facebook, friend us, like us, tell your friends. That's how
you have to make it; you have to keep chipping away at delivering to
new people and getting their friends to go viral with it.
It sounds cheesy on some level, but for social games, the cus-
tomer is always in your face. Previously, in the retail world, some-
one would buy your game and spend $60 on it. Maybe they didn't like
it, but you already had their $60. We're trying to get you to give us a
nickel! A dime! A dollar would be great. But we're letting you have the
game for free, and you can à la carte your way to be anywhere you want.
We rely on people who love the product to help us build the
community. Some people spend more time on our forums than they do
in the game. We're trying to create a network of people that love to live
in the world, make friends there, and go to the forums to talk about
where they go to school or where they live. It's not just the game—
we've created a social space. And it's one that's big enough to include
everyone, but still small enough that people know each other.