How have you maintained player interest in Shadowverse?
We release an expansion every three months. This was a rule, or a pattern that we introduced at the very beginning, and we have stuck with it ever since. Recently we have been introducing cards in between the expansions, both to maintain interest and fix the balance.
Regular expansions and the addition of new cards can threaten the game’s balance. How do you monitor this to ensure fairness?
We have a team full of pro level analogue card gamers and esports athletes who continue to test the game on an ongoing basis. And since the game’s launch we have monitored actual play data assiduously. If we spot any problems we conduct card adjustments. Going forward we'll also be using AI to test the game.
Have you heard from any other designers who play?
Ever since we released the game other companies have been trying to create digital card games. Shadowverse is a household name, and there are others trying to compete with us. On my flight to PAX the guy sitting next to me -- a designer from Square Enix -- played Shadowverse for about 12 hours straight.
What is your favourite memory of working on the game?
Recently, we launched a pro league for Shadowverse. It was the first time in Japan that a game was able to pay a monthly salary to its pro players. As someone who came out of the professional arena, having built a game that enables people to make a living is exhilarating.