Hooked Gamers: Hi, and thanks for participating in our interview. Can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us what your job is on the team?
Wes Yanagi: Sure. I'm Wes Yanagi, and I’m the Senior Producer on DC Universe Online.
Hooked Gamers: Apart from gameplay, a good story is vital to the success of a massively-multiplayer-online game. Given the diversity of heroes and villains within the DC universe, the question of how the game will explore the various characters is still mostly in the dark. Will players be exploring already told stories such as the Death and Return of Superman? If not, will DC Universe Online utilize unique stories that will be developed as the game progresses?
Wes Yanagi: To really pay off on the DC Comics license, you have to get the stories and the characters right. That’s why we’re working closely with industry professionals like Jim Lee, who is our executive creative director, Geoff Johns, and Marv Wolfman. All of them have a hand in crafting the unique stories for the game, especially the main back story that explains why all these new heroes and villains are suddenly appearing on Earth. The stories that are introduced throughout the game resonate to existing themes in the DC Universe but at the same time introduce new stories as well which give players their chance to make an impact in the world.
Hooked Gamers: The DC catalogue has a huge range of characters, locations, etc. under its belt. How does one maintain balance while integrating the core characters in the universe so as not to make the lesser known ones seem insignificant?
Wes Yanagi: Luckily massively multiplayer online games are pretty huge too, so there’s plenty of opportunity to work various characters into the game depending on the story needs. Most people are familiar with the famous characters like Superman and Batman, but due to the scope of this game, we have a unique advantage to introduce mainstream fans to cool lesser known ones like Dr. Fate or Black Adam. And since this is an online title, new content and characters will be introduced often.
Hooked Gamers: What other DC landmarks will we see besides Gotham, Arkham Asylum and Metropolis? Will gamers be able to explore, say, Superman's Fortress of Solitude or Wonder Woman's Themyscira?
Wes Yanagi: Since the DC Universe is so huge, there was no way we could build it all for launch. Because of this, we wanted to put players in the two cities they’re most familiar with first, Gotham and Metropolis, for initial release. We do have other areas in the game that players can visit and explore outside of those two cities such as The Watch Tower and the Hall of Doom and of course, Arkham Asylum. But, as the game continues to grow and expand you will see new areas introduced over time.
Hooked Gamers: The DC universe is not just a balance of good versus evil as fans are well aware. Will there be other factions and perhaps sub-factions outside of the Justice League and the Legion of Doom?
Wes Yanagi: Definitely. I can’t give away any specific details, but we have a pretty intricate storyline that spans a lot of different groups from H.I.V.E. to the Gotham mob families.