The annual GTI Asia China Expo in August served as a boost to the Neon FM brand, bringing the title to new audiences in Korea via Andamiro. The Korean release is now in testing at Gametopia, giving Unit-E Technologies CEO Eric Yockey some data and insight on having the game featured in the region.
Yockey said the arrangement was a long time in the making that culminated at the recent trade show.
“We’re always seeking new markets, but we reached Andamiro through a liaison,” Yocke said. “(Pump It Up Infinity lead) Eric Holniker recommended Andamiro to us for a partnership and arranged a meeting with them as soon as we started the U.S. tests. Andamiro’s been really easy to work with – time zone differences aside – which was a pleasant surprise!”
The Korean announcement indicated the arrangement will see songs from notable Pump It Up artist BanYa worked into the title, but Yockey said any other developments are under wraps for the time being.
“Everything I’d like to talk about regarding Andamiro is covered by NDA and unreleased, but hopefully we’ll have some announcements there soon,” he said.
Neon FM has been no stranger to trade shows, and Yockey said the China expo allowed that region’s industry to get a first-hand account of the game’s technology.
“The GTI show went very well,” he said. “There was a crew of seasoned Pump players in attendance, as well as some major buyers that were particularly interested in our mobile integration features: login, cross-platform online multiplayer. We’ll be at IAAPA again this year, too.”
The online integration is a plus for Unit-E, as Yockey is able to review data from the Gametopia testing without leaving the country. Since our Oct. 7 posting on the Neon FM test launching in Korea, “Love Is A Danger Zone (Cranky Remix)” by BanYa has crept up to tie G-Dragon’s “Crayon” as the location’s most-played song. While the top 10 mostly remains unchanged, “Systemization (DJS Remix)” by Archefluxx and “Eye Opener” by Brisk have worked their way up into the eighth and 10th places respectively, knocking off “Bubblegum” and “Dance To It.”
The climb of “Eye Opener” may likely be due to it being the number-one played daily track as recorded Thursday evening. The daily favorites at Gametopia also include “Systemization,” “Sweet,” “U Got 2 Know,” “How Many Sukkas,” “Accident,” “Tek -Club Copenhagen-,” “House,” “Bubblegum” and “Razor Sharp.”
“About 50 percent of the players at the Gametopia test location are logging in, which is much higher than we experience at our locations in the U.S.,” Yockey said. “They also tend to clear songs at much higher difficulties. Whether this is unique to the early launch of a new music game, unique to that location, or indicative of Korean players in general will be better understood by us after further testing. I suspect it’s a combination thereof.”
For those outside of Korea, one of Unit-E Technologies’ upcoming features – Neon FM Mobile – was reported to be progressing through its beta testing.
“(The testing is) really good! We’ve already added some features requested by mobile players,” Yockey said. “Testers were also having issues related to device memory, so we’ve spent a lot of effort in reducing the memory footprint. We’ve reduced it by over 50 percent now. Really the only remaining issues are related to our databases and servers, which was expected, and why we’re only letting a few people in at a time. When we migrate that stuff to places designed to handle this sort of traffic, those issues should resolve themselves.”
Yockey said the developer is still working through the mobile beta queue, adding more members as the testing advances. Bemanistyle.com will have further reports once more information is available.