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Entropia Planets Presents: SEE Virtual Worlds - Interview with Martin Biallas

Discussion in 'Entropia News' started by Lykke TheNun, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!

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    In our series of interviews with prominent people involved in expanding the Entropia Universe, today, EntropiaPlanets.com is proud to bring you an exclusive interview with SEE Virtual Worlds.

    First of all, would you mind giving us a brief introduction about yourself? We saw your professional profile on the SEE website, but perhaps an introduction from a more personal perspective might give people a bit more information about what drives you, and who is answering the questions.

    My Name is Martin Biallas and I am the CEO and President of SEE Virtual Worlds, LLC. I have been involved with the expansion of entertainment into non-traditional market places for over twenty years. Our core business is SEE Touring, Inc. that takes iconic film franchises across the country in the form of multi-million dollar tours, like Star Trek and The Official Titanic Movie Tour. We specialize in Hollywood IP and are widely trusted with these entertainment gems in many new and exciting applications.​

    What exactly are the goals See Planet hopes to achieve by going virtual? Are you typically aiming at offering virtual alternatives for traditional blockbuster movies, or will there be opportunities for fans of cult releases as well?

    SEE Virtual Worlds was formed to bring popular culture into the ever-expanding on-line Entropia Universe. We feel that the only impediment to the industry's growth, as a whole, is the application of such universal popular themes. We have spent years researching virtual platforms and preparing our Studio partners to see the advantages of the MMOG market, both for building and maintaining a vigorous fan base, and of course to earn in the process. We are pursuing all forms of media in this process, both the new and the old. Everyone will have something to look forward to.​

    How did you find out about the Entropia Platform offered by Mindark, and what made you decide to use their model? (I.e. did you explore other possibilities, and what made you decide to sign up with Mindark?)?

    Well, we did actually research many other platforms over this period, but it was not until we became familiar with Mindark and the Entropia Universe that we felt we had found a suitable arena for such sensitive and important IP. The Entropia Universe allows for greater security, regulation and control than any other model. These issues are of paramount importance to our Studio partners. It can be said that until we found EU, Hollywood was being left out.​

    The See planet is being developed by NEVERDIE studios, which are also responsible for some of the other upcoming planets. How do you ensure that your planet is uniquely different from the others? Are you hiring a dedicated and exclusive team of artists to give your planet that particular feeling of uniqueness you are looking for? Or are you using the approach used by Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings, where dozens of concepts were developed, and Peter walked through the room going: "That one, that one, ooh, I like that, that needs spikes", etc?

    Neverdie Studios, and its visionary leader, Jon Jacobs, are definitely building our worlds - but we have plans to bring dozens of worlds into the Universe and so there will be other approved developers working on these planets in the future also. We have a dedicated team of experts on each themed project, in some cases this includes the original artists or Production Designers of the films being showcased, and at other times Studio personnel that are experts in the genre. I can assure you that each world will have a very different look and feel than any other one, and of course you will be immersed into the specific title - even game play will be tailored to the subject to whatever degree possible. As you know, we have only just begun production, and so there will be many surprises that even I don't know about yet!! But each world will be unique and a credit to both the players of EU and the IP these worlds represent.​

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    See planets as a concept seem to be deeply intertwined with Hollywood. Will this mean that participants will have a chance of receiving a quest from Yoda, seeing a random Non Player Character (NPC) throw famous movie lines our way ("Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, you walk into mine"), or being challenged to movie-riddles? Could you please elaborate on how the virtual worlds will be tied to the Hollywood world?

    We are building multiple worlds, some solely on one TV or Film franchise and others that combine multiple properties on one world. And yes, there will be iconic architecture, familiar locations and other things that truly bring the experience of that Title to life. As far as the specifics are concerned, each planet will be different in not only its look and feel but also in how much interaction there will be with NPCs and other character-based material. Right now we are only just beginning to define those parameters and I can tell you it has already been very exciting!​

    Considering the angle at which See approaches the virtual worlds, it appears as if one idea is to complement a new major blockbuster release with, apart from the traditional different DVD editions and merchandise, virtual worlds shaped around the movie. Could you elaborate on whether this is an accurate description, or whether there are other options out there?

    This is accurate and we certainly have some of the world's favorites on our list - many of which are spawning new films in their series that we will, of course, cross-promote. And then there will be the brand new movies that we are confident will supply the excitement and environment the EU participant demands. But we are also looking at some major personalities to have their own worlds and even down the road, a special SEE Planet that opens the doors of Hollywood to the players of the Entropia Universe.​

    If the idea is to add a virtual world for movie enthusiasts, what is the expected lifecycle of these planets estimated to be? I.e. If we take Titanic, which was a big hit at the box office back in the days, would the See planet part of Titanic still exist today? And in addition, this is by far easier for movies in an unknown number of parts (Saw, Terminator) than it is for projects with limited releases (again, Titanic, Lord of the Rings). Will your model be able to cater to both?

    Absolutely everything is on the table right now. We are developing worlds that cover all the scenarios you list and a few you haven't. But our goal as a company is to bring Hollywood to EU - and we know Hollywood. From the uber fan experience to the casually interested person, there will be plenty to see and do - or "Experience" as we like to say. And then, of course, there will be the unique EU opportunity for the players that each new world brings naturally. We will have extended licenses for our worlds but in any case, we expect the world in some form will continue forever. In some cases that will mean a titled world will never end and in others it means that the world will change appropriately. There is no interest in making anything temporary. As you can imagine, there are many factors that play into this for each specific world but we are very aware of the need for consistency and stability. We are dedicated to being sure that our whole endeavor protects the players' experience and their investment in the EU experience. And assuming people will want to visit our worlds, we expect our studio partners will be there for the long-haul.​


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    How is See Planet planning on generating revenue through the planets? Will your worlds offer different professions than the ones nowadays available on planet Calypso (hunter, miner, crafter, colorer, beautician, etc), or will each world focus on very specifically themed professions? (Vampire slayer, werewolf killer, Willy free-er, Terminator Eradicator, etc?).

    Quite perceptive of you. Yes, again, we are in the process of developing these things - and doing so for each world independently. As you already know, there are new professions being created by Mindark every year and I expect we will be a part of that development with our planets in mind, but generally we feel that outside of a few exceptions, the transportability of the Avatar is paramount to the system. We want players to build skills that can be utilized on every world - and not just our own. But there will be certain items that are specifically more useful on a certain world - and even some professions that will be naturally emphasized, but at the end of the day, one of the major things that makes EU so groundbreaking is the movement that is possible between worlds - and we feel this should be supported.​

    What cost-of-play will See be aiming for its participants, and can you elaborate on how you will strive to achieve this?

    I can't really tell you that anything will be drastically different from what currently exists. There may be opportunities to buy Virtual themed merchandise, which will be a new thing - at least on this level - or even more opportunities to buy actual real merchandise - but generally we are not contemplating any change in the cost-of-play system. Again, our goal is to integrate into EU rather than change the rules to any significant extent.​

    Will See Planet be tapping into the potential shopping revenue generated by major releases? I.e. will participants be able to buy exclusive virtual toys for use, or collector items available only through the virtual platform in order to entice people to sign up?

    Yes, there will be many opportunities for players to get a head-start and/or receive special items in many ways - some that will involve purchases but also some that will be free and part of wider promotions. It will all depend on the planets, the titles, and our partners - but look for the marketing of EU to increase significantly.​

    Our forum is a partner of a radio station broadcasting in particular to Entropia players. There's a particular show on it, called Talk Thyme, where the DJ (Justin Thyme) interviews planet partners, or other participants who have made significant contributions to the community. Would you be interested in joining him on air somewhere late November?

    Of course. Just be sure you give me plenty of notice. Thanks.​

    Is there any indication on when we can expect to "see" the See Planet? Are you planning on doing a beta test? If so, is there any chance we could offer some of our members an opportunity to win such a chance?

    We have a 12-18 month window so we are at least a year away on our first planet, but after that we plan on releasing 2-4 per year. It's going to be an exciting time for all of us who love EU. I am sure our people will consider a contest for Beta in the future, and other ways to involve players in the process.​


    Martin, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to our questions , and we hope that we can look forward to a fruitful partnership in the future.

    I as well. All the best - Martin Biallas​


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    SEE more?​



    Further information:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2013
  2. RAZER

    RAZER Custom title ... uh ...

    that could be exciting, but on the other hand confusing and a way to spread all the players across all the planets and remaining with 1000 players on each planet.

    Good to hear they are planning some big promotion for EU and with the money from the film studios they can make some nice planets.


    oh , and great interview btw :).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. aridash

    aridash large throbbing member

    it rather highlights the point of the franchise platform, for each planet to drive new players into the EU world. alongside the "go to movietitle.com" in the normal film advertising, they will include "go to planetmovietitle and experience it yourself". each one brings new pool of players.
     
  4. GeorgeSkywalker

    GeorgeSkywalker Explorer

    Nice interview. Must say you guys at EntropiaPlanets are doing a great job. Love these interviews from ND now SEE virtual worlds. Keep'em coming :)




    With Hollywood behind EU now the marketing may have some interesting possibilities. I would have liked to ask Martin how or what marketing he had in mind. If SEE virtual planets is not going to be ready for another 18 months is it sensible for them to go heavy on the marketing. Maybe they are just going to do the marketing December ish to promote the platform. Certainly interesting prospects.

    and to Razer. I don't know when people are going to get it into their heads each planet will be attracting a new set of players. So diluting existing player base concept is a fail ! Example say 4 years down the line SEE release a Harry Potter planet. They would be doing marketing to get Harry Potter fans to this planet hence increasing the player base by each planet.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!


    As you can imagine we spend most (if not all lol) of our freetime on this forum, so thank you :) It means a lot to us that you think we're doing a great job to serve you! :tiphat:
     
  6. CycoKick

    CycoKick Notorius cK

    Awesome stuff :)

    Very cool that you take the effort to contact, and get replies from these folks :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Whats the lifespan of a themepark Virtual World? I say 6-12months tops
     
  8. Lavawalker

    Lavawalker RETIRED

    Thanks Martin for your time in providing this interview, very insightful. :tiphat:
    And Lykke & Peter, you guys rock ! Keep up the good work.

    Maybe I will get to see the star-trek tour one day after all :bowdown:

    And to Martin, Live Long and Prosper ;)
     
  9. GeorgeSkywalker

    GeorgeSkywalker Explorer

    and don't forget Star Wars :yay:
     
  10. Lavawalker

    Lavawalker RETIRED

    Oh yes, that is a definite must :D :woohoo:
     
  11. Cool, lots of new interesting info. :)

    I still don't see how "Planet Titanic" or similar non sci-fi themes are going to fit into EU though...
     
  12. I can very well imagine a multiple movie fitting planet with access to several blockbuster special stages.
    Like a planet loosely covering a 1900 - 1914 (pre WW1) timeframe, lots of interesting stuff happened then (like Titanic sinking).

    Or also quite interesting a steampunk planet with stages of maybe league of extraordinary gentlemen or wild wild west.

    If done well it could become a neat experience :thumbup:
     
  13. thanks for the great info and VF for sending me there
     
  14. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!

    Just a quick update.

    It seems EF is covering a Radio interview with Martin Biallas live on Darri's Entropia radio show, and of course we at EntropiaPlanets do not wish you to miss that one out, since we wish to inform you about everything possible going on with planetpartners and other things in the Universe.

    You can find the announcement here:

    http://www.entropiaforum.com/forums...177100-live-call-sees-ceo-martin-biallas.html

    ;)
     

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