Yostar is a company with a prolific track record of mobile games. Founded in 2014, Yostar Games has amassed a large fanbase of the back of Azur Lane. At Anime Expo 2019, GamePress got to sit down with Operations Director Chris and Publishing Team Lead Ryan Qin.
Do you mind introducing yourself?
Okay. I'm Chris, aka Intern-Kun, I'm the operation director of Yostar Games.
I'm Ryan Qin from Yostar Games Shanghai Office, and I'm in charge of the approval and publishing team.
First, we're going to start with questions for Azur Lane. One of the first questions is the reruns. For the events that got the reruns immediately, like Fallen Wings event, are there plans for proper reruns, like adding a content permanently?
As we got Fallen Wings in both EN and JP versions only once, in my opinion we should definitely have a rerun, adding new stuff into it. But we cannot confirm when it'll be.
For collaborations, like the very popular Neptunian collaborations? Is there plans to rerun those as well? Or is it possible to rerun them?
We won’t turn down any possibility for sure, we might, but we do need to confirm with Idea Factory first. We prefer to have another collaboration first, then we are considered a rerun.
So is it possible to comment on putting out the quality of life changes between the servers? So like, if some people want like two times speed for farming or like skip tickets, even something like that, or additionally, updating the old events to have more modernized mechanics as well.
For now, we don't think we have plans for skip tickets. But for other improvements, If you guys really wanted I recommend you to email to us, then we'll forward this feedback to Shanghai Manjuu and Xiamen Yongshi to consider if we could implement it.
For the Japanese localization of a Chinese game, what sort of cultural differences have come up for localizing the game for Japan? Any stories behind that or any particular instances that stood out?
The texts are slightly different between the Chinese and Japanese versions. Sometimes not slightly, sometimes it's very different. Yeah. When we talking about the English version, we have the translation company, localizing company, and we also collaboration with the wiki team. When we translate, we consult with them and see what they think.
"Do you think we should integrate some memes into it, or we've added some Western culture stuff into it." For now, we're just we're still finding the best way to localize it. Because we do make it sometimes we do make some mistakes, some even some typos. I think we'll improved time by time.
Alright, So is there anything that you're looking at right now? Or are you allowed to say?
For now, I think we are still sorting out all the suggestions and improvements from the prayers. And we talked to Manju and Yongshi every week, so we were like, consider all your advice and juicy wishes to add to the game.
How do you determine which collaborations to do?
This is the most important thing I want to say. We consider lots of candidates to collaborate. We do want to hear your opinions about your favorites and make an effort to see if we could collaborate with them.
What's the best way for people to let you know?
You could just email us, they could tell us in the Discord. They could even direct message me on Discord. My Discord name is Intern-Kun.
Got it. Everybody message Intern-Kun.
You can tell me, I'm okay with it. You can even leave your message on our Facebook page and our Twitter. We all read it.
Are there any plans to have online merchandise?
Especially when we attend the Anime Expo, we received thousands of emails complaining - why not online stores? We do consider to make our own store...So when we have some like policies, when we are ready to announce it. We will announce it.
Arknights, the English release is recently announced, Winter 2019. We're very excited about it. Is it possible to get a timeline of the other regions here releasing this well, like JP or KR?
Basically, we want to release it globally. That means Japan, Korea, and English at the same time.
All at the same time? It's gonna be a lot of work.
It'll all be handled by the Yostar team. We have Korean and Yostar Japan, in Japan, and we have Yostar English, Global. We have confidence to release it at the same time. Actually, we announced that in a giant poster, Arknights, Winter 2019.
Is Yostar Global, English based here in North America?
Not yet. We're currently in Shanghai.
So That's interesting. So you have a separate team within the company for each of the different regions.
Sure, sure. Especially when we do localization, we have separate teams.
We want to do marketing right and everything else right, so we have different team for different market.
Oh, you guys definitely did manage Anime Expo right so far!
What other pre-release campaigns are planned for Arknights release?
Actually, we already contact lots of affiliates and the media and others like the advertisement companies to prepare a campaign for us. On our own social media, we prepare some clue events. From Clue 7 to Clue 1 is set up, you have to find one by one. Maybe you can figure out our slogans, or our the release dates, or even you can find some in English exclusive contents there. For now. We already like to send out to the Clue 7.
We have a mysterious code here, you can you must find a way to figure out what's the origin one. We even post passwords on Twitter, so you can find a picture about it and you can with this two info you can feel to the final slogan.
I would like to tell all the players to stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter. This event will be interesting because we have lots of different ways to figure out clues the keys to the event.
That's a leak.
It's okay, I do it on purpose.
Official, purposeful leaks!
There's already an Amiya Nendroid right now, a small figure. Are there any more plans for Arknights merchandise as well?
In the Chinese market, we already release some to a big success, even a TaoBao Shop. Our promises is to grab all of them to bring it to the EN. At the same time we are making English exclusive stuff, and but no leaks for this.
We'll look forward to that. For now it seems you launched all the social media! The Arknights Twitter, Arknights Discord, Facebook. We're looking forward to seeing more news about Arknights from there!
I heard there's a new Nekopara game?
Actually, it was classified before Anime Expo, so it was just announced.
Our news division actually published something this morning about it.
Yeah. Actually, maybe you are the first one to know the launch of the Nekopara game. It's NEKOPARAITEN!, the mobile version is co-developed with NEKO WORKs, the developer of NEKOPARA.
So it's developed by Yostar? How did you come into this? Like, how did you guys like start developing this?
We developed a game that's called Nono. It didn’t go viral, but we have a dream to develop again. Yeah. We actually we have a big developer team upstairs, and that they focus on making games. Not just one, we have many games in development, but the only one we can announce right now is NEKOPARAITEN!
The first of many?
To make games is our dream.
Usually you have been making original IPs, but Nekopara is a license, a big IP.
Yeah, the original IP authorized us to make the mobile version. As for themselves, they would make Nekopara 4. At the same time, there will be an anime about it too. It'll be a combo.
But we can't talk anymore about the anime...
So Nekopara will be crossing the boundaries, worldwide, to be literally a global game.
Also, it'll be a gacha game. What we can talk about is about the mobile version. Yeah. Compared to the classic, we have we will have like nekos, aka cats, from the different countries. So you may be from maybe you can call it Asia Cats, Africats...
That's an important part. Also, please keep Africats.
They're already in the PV trailer, so we'll keep it.
Is there anything else you want to tell your international fans? Anime Expo is kind of your first big splash in America.
I think the Global, English players are the best players in the world. They treat us so well.
Yeah, they mobbed you at Anime Expo!
We can talk. We can chit chat. And we can even shitpost.
It's the best community we have ever met, especially Azur Lane. Yeah. At the same time want to say thank you to our fans. Without your support, we can't like to make Azur Lane to today. Actually, we are we will have like 100,000 followers on Twitter soon. We'll be sending free gifts.
There's only 1~2 thousand players from the closed beta that got Avrora. For our anniversary, everyone who participates in our game will receive Avrora.
It's gonna be our first year anniversary In August 16.
You got anything planned for that? Yeah. Big things planned for one year anniversary.
We can't leak, but we have online and offline events at the same time.
We can't leak.
Okay, we can tell it's America, and it's something offline.
We're definitely looking forward to it!