Video Tours Beluslan Zone; Letter Discusses NCsoft

Kotaku has posted the newest Aion video tour, and this one focuses on the Beluslan zone. The area is covered in ice, and the official tour guide tell us why: "Kurngalfsberg, once a thriving city, fell under the disapproving gaze of Ereshkigal, one of the Dragon Lords in the world of Aion, and in a fit of ire he encased it in ice. ... Kistenian and his fellow Flame Daevas hope to breathe life back into it with the help of the ancient tree people, the Elim."

If you've watched the video and are still curious about what's going on at NCsoft, you can read a letter written to the community by Lance Stites, the executive producer a NCsoft West's game production studio. The letter basically updates readers on staff additions and changes to the Lineage, Exteel, Lineage II and Aion teams.

Stites lists some of the tasks that are being completed as Aion nears its September launch date. "I know that many fans are extremely anxious, impatient even, awaiting the release of Aion. I can assure you the team is fully engaged in the release of this product," he said. You can read the full letter below.

Greetings and salutations,

It's been just over three months since I've settled into the Seattle office, and I must say it's been an incredibly busy 100 days. The restructuring has resulted in the staffing of the NCsoft West Game Production Studio, which, as previously mentioned is tasked with supporting the Lineage and Aion franchises, as well as Exteel. At this point I'd like to pause and address the wider audience of all of the products supported by our NCsoft West Game Production Studio—Lineage, Exteel, Lineage II, and Aion.

Our major release with Lineage II on the North American 5 year anniversary was a big accomplishment on April 28. This was Producer Sam Han's first launch at the helm of this project. His many years as Associate Producer and Customer Service experience with the project served him well. Sam and team are currently in planning stages for the upcoming months. Recent additions to the team include Assistant Producer Marissa McWaters and Community Manager Lauren Duncan.

With Lineage and Exteel, we welcome a new face via our European and Korean office. Hyunah Chun will be taking the lead of both projects as Producer. Hyunah will be in transition mode while she relocates to the Seattle office from the European office. We'll continue working with the existing Lineage team to deploy weekly maintenance, events and also work to deliver our next big update. We are also working to update Exteel with the latest content from Korea. While we are making every effort to deliver timely updates, our resources are being stretched supporting existing and upcoming projects.

Of course, all eyes are currently on our next big release: Aion. We have some staff announcements of the team that will lead this project through launch. Brian Knox has been functioning as the project's Producer for the past few months and is doing a fantastic job. He's wrangling all the production elements and working with the various teams to ensure a top quality product and service. Supporting him in this role is Chris Hager, recently transiting from the Lineage II team. Chris is ensuring Quality Assurance support, age ratings submissions, beta tests, coordination with IT teams for server and software deployments, and host of other support issues. Adding to this leadership is Lani Blazier, whom I am happy to report has transitioned from Community Manager to Associate Producer. Lani will continue to support the community effort, but from the production standpoint and will provide guidance to our other Community Managers, Martin Rabl and Sebastian Streiffert. We're interviewing for the French Community Manager position—I'm personally well aware of the enthusiastic French gamer community, having witnessed the Festival du Jeu in Paris of last year, so I do consider this a priority addition to the team.

I know that many fans are extremely anxious, impatient even, awaiting the release of Aion. I can assure you the team is fully engaged in the release of this product. We've got an army of creative writers generating an enormous amount of rewrites as we execute to our total commitment of quality of content. Our Localization Manager has vendors in place, keeping pace with the French and German translation. We're actively recruiting an additional native German speaking localization Project Manager and have added QA Testers (native French and German speaking) to the Seattle office. We've got Voice Over recordings underway (of course for all three languages) and our PR and Marketing teams are releasing the hounds—you've likely seen the articles on class descriptions hit the internet. We also have tutorial videos in production, this should provide a great Aion first experience—both to novice and experience MMO players. We've shared details of our Collector's Edition recently, our first public access beta event was very well received, and we'll continue these events through our launch. We'll have a flood of information in the upcoming days and invite you all to share the experience as Aion takes flight in North America and Europe this fall.

Faith and arms,

Lance Stites
Executive Producer, Game Production Studio
NCsoft West


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