I am no stranger to First Person Shooters (FPS). In the late 90s, I played Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament, and Soldier of Fortune on the Sega Dreamcast. Half-Life, Counter Strike, Postal 2, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, and Modern Warfare 2 on the PC. But, I have never heard or played Special Force (blame it on my lack of presence in computer shops and cyber cafes, and I believe I was addicted to Sony PSP at the time), a game that is actually quite popular among pinoy gamers in late 2000s. Then it disappeared in the gaming scene and is now making a comeback. The return was first teased at this year’s E-Sports and Gaming Summit. To know more about the game, I accepted an invitation by PlayPark Philippines for the Special Force Press Conference last November 8 and I learned a lot of things about the game and PlayPark’s plans in promoting it.
Due to my lack of experience in the anticipation of Makati traffic and routes, I arrived at PlayPark’s office at 17:41. Though I missed some information, I did make it on time for the Q & A portion.
One of the questions asked by an attendee is, why Special Force and not the sequel, Special Force 2, and are they not worried that they will cannibalize the market. The response, Special Force is still in demand the Philippines. A follow up response was the difference between the game, Special Force is more like an arcade-style, pick up and play feel, while Special Force 2 is more realistic and may not appeal to the majority of the target audience. In my opinion, it’s like the situation in South Korea’s popular e-sports game, Starcraft. When the sequel, Starcraft 2, came out with better graphics and enhanced gameplay, most players still prefer the first game (Brood War). The simplicity of Brood War made it fun to play and that is the reason why Starcraft 2 never reached the same popularity or success that Brood War did in South Korea. Add to the fact that some Starcraft 2 players returned to playing Brood War could have similar effect on Special Force 2 players returning to the the first game that enticed them to play in the first place.
To promote the game, Play Park plans to stage more events and tournaments. The first will be a simultaneous launch party in four areas this December. The date and locations are still TBA. After the game’s official release, expect bigger tournaments to come including a regional tournament for the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore called the Super League. There will be a Special Force Bang Tournament for Cybercafes to reward participants with in-game items and other prizes. The nationwide Special Force Philippine Championships to determine the country’s best players, to gather the best of the best to compete in the biggest tournament of all, the culmination of the series, the Special Force World Championship. It was also mentioned that PlayPark plans to invite some Thai players for friendly exhibition matches and vice versa.
As for the Press Conference, it was a lot of fun. Prior to the Special Force mini tournament, there’s a raffle with very nice prizes, and good food.
I did not play the game, I think it was best not to get my arse handed to me and just observe the veteran players play and do their thing. And based on my observation, the game is very easy to play and I could get the hang of it in an hour. After the tournament, the final raffle was initiated, save the best for last. The lucky ones got the Razer Abyssus mouse and Blackwidow keyboard. I’m ecstatic to have won a Razer Hoodie. It was an awesome presscon, they were handing out beers and snacks for those who wants to hang out for a bit. Since I still have work at 2300 that day, I had to take a pass on the alcohol.
The upcoming events and tournaments are exciting, just imagine how fun it will be and the prizes will be awesome (Just like what at we had at the presscon). With game developer, Dragonfly in full support, PlayPark Philippines is very committed to the return of Special Force, so expect great things coming. Close Beta Test (CBT) for Southeast Asia is scheduled on the 24th of November. For now, keep yourself updated by liking and following their facebook page Special Force Online facebook
About PlayPark Inc. Formerly known as Playweb Games, Inc., PlayPark, Inc. is the publisher and operator of Level Up! (www.levelupgames.ph) and PlayPark (www.playpark.com) in the Philippines. With a vast portfolio of hugely popular Massively Multiplayer Online Games, which includes Special Force 2, Cabal Online and Ragnarok Online – the game that started the online gaming craze in 2003, PlayPark Inc. is the leading game publisher in the online gaming industry in the country today.
About Asiasoft Corporation Public Company Limited Asiasoft Corporation Public Company Limited (“Asiasoft”) is a Leading Regional Online Entertainment Service Provider in Southeast Asia with a dominating market share in the region covering Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines. The company was established in Thailand in 2001 and listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand since 2008. The Company’s affiliates are involved in international investment for online games publishing and development, as well as game portal services (www.playpark.com) and other IT related business. Currently (1Q2016), we have 27 enjoyable and interactive online games from all over the world with more than 158 million registered IDs in the region.