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Seven in Line-Up: Make or Break?

A Cinnamon
By Cinnamon Cookie

Picture this: March 2. Novotel Ambassador Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, a large ballroom full of people and a person up front, explaining about business plans. There is a presentation projected behind him, and it contains some Korean letters. Later pictures reveal some artwork of the Cookies you have heard of your entire life. Can you visualize that? If not, it’s okay. Whether you can imagine that or not, it all leads to one event: a new era for Devsisters, a company that has long brought you the Cookie Run franchise since 2009.

On that day, Devsisters hosted a business strategy presentation regarding the expansion of the Cookie Run as well as some new projects. It also announced that it will be creating a new mobile platform to expand their business in the global marketplace. In other words, it is creating a new platform with its own script language, its own graphics, its own way of sorting game files, and many more.

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GameFocus.co.kr

The presentation consists of Ji-hoon Lee, co-CEO of Devsisters, acknowledging about Devsisters’ slumping developing schedule and declining sales of current games. What was expected for Cookie Run: Ovenbreak did not come out as predicted. He mentions, though, that they are still developing their games to make constant expansions to the so-called Cookie Run IP (Intellectual Property).

Seven new projects will be done in general. This includes a “Cookie Run: Defense,” a “Cookie Run: Puzzle,” a “Cookie Run: RPG,” a “Project: Action RPG,” a “Project: MOSNG,” a “Project: AP,” and a “Project: S.” We do not know what AP and S stand for, but AP definitely does not mean “Advanced Placement.”

Based on recent game market observations, there are many RPG games sprouting up more than games in other genres, causing a trend of RPG games. Unfortunately, the “Cookie Run: RPG” game is not going to be the first one of the projects to be released.

The predicted release dates are in order: “Cookie Run: Defense” and “Project: Action RPG” will be released in the third quarter this year (July–September 2017), “Cookie Run: Puzzle” and “Project: MOSNG” will be released in the fourth quarter this year (October–December 2017), and “Cookie Run: RPG” will be released in the first quarter next year (January–March 2017). “Project: AP” and “Project: S” are scheduled for release next year, but we are not sure in which part of the year it will be released.

Some of you might have remembered a game exclusively released in Korea called “Cookie Run Munjil Munjil (쿠키런 문질문질).” The game was created in partnership with a larger company called NHN Entertainment. With these seven new games, many of them are created in partnership with several game studios. For example, “Cookie Run: Defense” will be co-developed with Enple, and “Cookie Run: Puzzle” will be co-developed with Jelly Pop Games, which Devsisters has established.

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This Is Game

What can you hint from this picture above? One important attribute about these games is that the action RPG, the MOSNG, and the two upcoming projects without a picture are NOT in the Cookie Run franchise. If you are a huge Cookie Run fan that is not comfortable with action and RPG or sandbox-based games, don’t pressure yourself to download those games. Nevertheless, in later articles, we might be talking about these games, and if we find them interesting, you might as well change your mind.

Another important attribute is that several of your favorite Cookies will be featured in the upcoming Cookie Run games. Be on the lookout for any Cookies that have not come to Cookie Run: Ovenbreak, but will come in the upcoming games. Not all Cookies that will come are featured though; these are just hints of what to expect in each games.

OwO what's this

Look closely at these two hints of a picture. Which Cookies do you see? If you see a Cookie you love, shout “Aye!” in the comments. Besides Brave Cookie/GingerBrave of course, the following Cookies will come in “Cookie Run: Defense”:

  • Wizard Cookie,
  • Alchemist Cookie, and
  • Cherry Cookie.

The following Cookies will come in “Cookie Run: RPG”:

  • Prophet Cookie,
  • Alchemist Cookie,
  • Pistachio Cookie,
  • Wizard Cookie,
  • Princess Cookie,
  • Werewolf Cookie,
  • Cherry Cookie,
  • Knight Cookie, and
  • Wind Archer Cookie.

Remember, this is only tentative. The actual Cookies that will be released will be subject to change.

What We Know From the Interviews

Some articles that I base this article from have interviews with the CEOs, and these interviews have revealed some info on future projects and the future of Devsisters itself. Here are some highlights:

  • Cookie Run: Ovenbreak had to be changed three times before releasing the game we know today.
  • Devsisters once tried to bring Cookie Run to China through WeChat, but it failed due to a similar game in the Chinese market. It’s QQ Cookie Run isn’t it?
  • The first Cookie Run IP was created in April 2009 as the hit game Ovenbreak. It resulted in success globally, and it has shaped what Devsisters is today. Devsisters hopes that the Cookie Run IP will continue to be loved in the next 10 to 20 years, just like Pokemon.
  • Unfortunately, Devsisters is not into creating games involving virtual reality. Sorry about that.
  • Project AP and Project S will be strategy games that will reach an audience that is more accustomed to an intense game base rather than a casual game base. If successful, they will hold on for about 5 to 10 years.
  • They did not announce this prematurely. All of these works are being created right now.
  • There are plans for a Cookie Run anime and a Cookie Run-based theme park, but again, these are only plans. Right now, Devsisters is focusing on expanding the original games.
  • Two subsidiaries exist, and they are composed of 10 to 20 people.
  • Devsisters is willing to allow major developers to create a game under the Cookie Run IP, as long as it does not harm the original integrity of Cookie Run.
  • The Cookie Run: RPG game will not be like other RPG games in the market. Instead, the Cookie Run: RPG will focus on developing the story and characteristics of the Cookie Run world.
  • The secret to a successful Cookie Run IP: develop a game that focuses on the characters, world, and story of Cookie Run. The better Cookie Run is, the more popular it will be. Soon, Cookie Run will be a nostalgia initiator: a child who has loved Cookie Run will come back as an adult and remember those days.
  • According to Devsisters, releasing a game globally simultaneously is dangerous. First, the game has to target a specific region. If it becomes successful there, it’s time to move on to another region!

But… Will It Succeed?

Some controversy has arose from this decision to launch new games. Not that the new games might contain sensitive references, but rather the decision to launch a new game every quarter. Already some news articles have reflected on this issue, but I think it is important if I express my own opinion about this.

Devsisters is a company with very less employees than other big companies (while big companies usually have around 500 or more employees, Devsisters has only around 110 employees). Having too much employees focus on many different games can be stressful for the company. Remember that after CROB was released, LINE/Kakao Cookie Run slowly lacked new updates? I believe that after the new games will be released, CROB might slowly discontinue as well.

Consider the stock market as well. Look into Devsisters’ stock and notice that Devsisters has a loss from end of October 2016 to December 2016, and the end of October was when Cookie Run: Ovenbreak was released. Based on this evidence, it is likely that it will continue to decline if the new games do not successfully perform well in the game market. This is really dangerous, seeing that their stock is hanging on a “knife edge,” with a value of ~₩13,500 and a market capital of ~150 billion. If they continue to go down, this would result in a huge debt.

But… who knows? Maybe they would change for the better, considering that the hype might last until next year, with the much anticipated Cookie Run RPG. All we have to do is wait and see, and stop speculating too much.

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