News Wire: Snowbreak JP Staff Interview

A staffer with the JP branch of the Snowbreak team talks about the game's comeback, its future, and their favourite character outfit.

Recently, the Snowbreak: Containment Zone operations team conducted an interview with a staff member working in the Japanese division of the game. I was fortunately granted permission to post the English transcript, so I hope you all enjoy getting to hear the thoughts of one of the people that make this game possible.

Can you please introduce yourself?

Hi everyone, I'm P. I'm responsible for the operations of "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" in Japan. I'm honored to get the opportunity to share a little about our project and team with you.

Recently, "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" seems to be enjoying great momentum, receiving support from many players. To begin, are you personally feeling that popularity? If it has caused any specific feelings, please let us know!

I can feel it extremely clearly. The most straightforward indication is that our community members, daily active users, and revenue have all increased significantly. More specifically, the team's workload has increased a lot (laughing).

Actually, the game had been gradually growing in popularity since we shifted the direction of our development, then it finally exploded with the release of Version 1.7 [Gradient of Souls]. The average number of daily players increased by over 50%, and activity within the community and fan content has also seen a large increase, attracting even more players to "Snowbreak: Containment Zone."

At least in Japan, "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" began gaining popularity some time after the game's release. In your opinion, why is the game receiving so much support from players at this point in time?

I think there are several reasons, but the most important aspect is that the R&D team is very committed to creating content our core playerbase enjoys — a so-called "fanservice-focused" game. As word of mouth slowly spread among players, the popularity of "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" gradually began to build. It's been a constant cycle of making improvements and seeing the results.

"The most important aspect is that the R&D team is very committed to creating content our core playerbase enjoys"

In all honesty, the game wasn't performing well in the early stages. However, many of our players supported and encouraged us, providing valuable suggestions. We realized we had to serve our loyal users, get closer to our players, and listen to their needs. It was the only chance for "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" to gain new life. So our operation team remained committed to researching player demand, improving our localization, and maintaining a community of core users.

Furthermore, the R&D team never gave up on "Snowbreak: Containment Zone", even when things got tough. By focusing on the needs of our core players, they've done everything they can to make comprehensive improvements to the main story, character design, gameplay, and more, which are all extremely vital factors.

Will the current popularity of the game have a large impact on how it runs? Which specific aspects will be affected?

A lot of new players have joined us, and the game performance has improved drastically. That's been the biggest positive for us. I'm extremely grateful to all of our players for their support and for allowing "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" to gain new life.

Meanwhile, our staff is beginning to be stretched a little thin. We've mentioned through our official channels that after the crisis during the early stages of the game, several team members left for various reasons, so the number of people overseeing global operations for "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" is actually rather small. With so many new players and our 1st Anniversary fast approaching, everyone is incredibly busy, especially within the community operations team.

I'd also like to mention that some people who aren't "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" players have made some criticisms of our game and the creative direction we're taking. But rest assured, we know who "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" is really meant to serve.

Could you outline the percentage of players in each country and region and the estimated revenue percentage?

Since this is a global project, the list of specific countries and regions is quite long, so we usually divide it up by language. English players make up the bulk of our playerbase, with about 60%. Japanese players account for around 20%, while Traditional Chinese and Korean players make up the remaining 20%. Japan is our best-performing country in terms of revenue, making up about 30% of the total. We'd like to thank our Japanese players for their continued support.

Note: the above data does not include mainland China.

Can you give us some specific examples to illustrate the game's high popularity in Japan?

The most specific example would probably be during "Snowbreak: Containment Zone's" latest Version 1.8 [Realm of Illusion] release, when we topped the best-selling list on Steam in Japan, and the number of online players also hit an all-time high.

Whether it be the sensual, enticing outfits or the exciting interactive scenes with the characters, these aspects of the game have gradually come to represent "Snowbreak: Containment Zone." Could you tell us why the team decided to pivot in this direction?

It was actually a gradual process. Older users who have been playing "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" since launch should be able to tell that the style in the first few versions was pretty different. Our R&D team went through a lot of trial and error, testing several designs and ideas for the game before finally determining that our current strategy of highlighting the charm of the characters, focusing on their bond with the Adjutant, and increasing intimate interactions with the characters could improve "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" and increase its popularity. The feedback provided by our players, along with the data, has made the result very clear to us.

Recently, the game's age rating has increased. Does that mean there will be even more enticing characters, outfits, and interactive scenes?

The age rating was raised in order to allow us to more freely create game content and better serve our playerbase.

The first interactive scene worked great and was received very well by players, so the answer is yes. We'll do our best to release even more enticing characters, outfits, and interactive content. We hope you look forward to it.

How did the players react when these more enticing, sensual outfits and interactive scenes were launched? Did the response meet the project team's expectations?

The players loved them. They received the most approval among all the outfits we released. Naturally, there were some design flaws as it was our first time launching this type of feature. Our players have given us several suggestions to optimize this feature, and we're very grateful to them.

As for the team, you could say the response exceeded our expectations to a certain extent. After the interactive outfits [sic.] were launched, there were several related posts and a lot of fan content created, leading to a spike in new and active users.

Which character or outfit is a favorite among the operations team?

There are quite a few people on our global operation team who like Katya's "Graceful Danseuse" outfit. It perfectly shows off Katya's personality and figure, making it an extremely well-designed outfit.

In addition to the charming characters, I'm personally a big fan of the shooting mechanics and the online multiplayer mode. Which direction will "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" evolve in the future, and what kind of game will it become?

In the future, we plan on exploring more types of combat and online gameplay. After all, using these charming characters to achieve a sense of excitement and accomplishment in combat is another aspect of the experience we like to give our players.

Compared to other mobile games, the operation team for "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" seems more like a social media management team. In terms of running the game's operations, do you make a conscious effort to communicate
with your players? What is the goal you hope to achieve through that process?

Yes, we see our community and communication with our players as incredibly vital.

We only have one goal, and it's to serve our players well, faithfully passing on their opinions to our R&D team to create content that our players enjoy and want to experience.

"Snowbreak: Containment Zone" is gaining popularity outside of China. Will there also be a focus on communicating with players in global regions, just like you communicate with Chinese players?

"It's difficult for us to frequently communicate with players directly, but that doesn't mean we don't value establishing communication with our global players."

We want everyone to know that our team is working diligently to solve this problem. As I mentioned earlier, our global team is limited by insufficient manpower. It's difficult for us to frequently communicate with players directly, but that doesn't mean we don't value establishing communication with our global players. In fact, we keep an eye on the discussions and feedback of players on Discord, X [formerly Twitter], Reddit, and other channels every day, regularly relaying that information back to the R&D team.

Were there any situations in which feedback from the players made you especially happy or left a deep impression?

Yes, actually, the feedback on the changes made to the localization and story left the biggest impression on us.

In the beginning, player satisfaction with the story and translation was quite low, at only around 3.1 points out of 5. The problem wasn't only isolated to translation; it was also related to our production capabilities and the entire creative process for each version. It was a difficult issue to solve, and it troubled us for a long time. Later on, we put out a series of surveys related to this problem, worked with the R&D team to gradually optimize and improve the creative process for each version, and recruited passionate volunteer players to help us improve our localization. Currently, the satisfaction rating has increased to 4 points, and the feedback has transformed from criticism to praise, making us very happy.

It's clear that the operation team is committed to optimizing the older game content, as well as adding new content. Could you tell us more about any future updates?

Actually, in our Version 2.0 preview, we announced a lot of new content for the new version, including characters, outfits, game modes, Base items, and more. We also revealed some future development content. Check out our official social media channels, like X [formerly Twitter] or Discord, for more details.

Recently, there has been some controversy on social media about the characters in "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" catering too much to the male gaze. What are the project team's thoughts on this?

The achievements "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" has been able to make are undoubtedly thanks to the passion and support of our players. That's more exciting to me and the project team than any success shown in the data, because it taps into our original intention when making the game, which is to allow people to see our creation and enjoy it.

I think this feeling is also a suitable answer to this question. In this challenging and competitive age, deciding to be a game developer means you have to face several difficulties and challenges along the road, with constant obstacles and failures. The current voices raising controversy are only a small part of that. These distractions won't do anything to shake our original goal. We still want to listen to the needs of our players and fulfill their needs. We believe that our sincere, hard work will elicit a positive response from players. So we prefer to not comment on any outside opinions, and I believe no one has the right to decide what is right and wrong in creative endeavors. I hope we can stick to our path, live up to the expectations of our players and supporters, and create even more content to satisfy them. We ask that you pay attention to the game itself and look forward to what we have in store.

Finally, I was hoping you could say something to your Japanese players.

The Japanese "Snowbreak: Containment Zone" players are very sweet and passionate. You have provided us with a lot of suggestions and help over the past year, continuously supporting our team and this project. Reading your feedback and comments is an important way for our team to get stronger, so we'd like to thank you all very much. We also hope everyone can visit our official channels, like X [formerly Twitter] or Discord, to communicate with us further. I hope you will all continue to support and enjoy our new content moving forward. Thank you!