One of the most overlooked and underestimated tasks of launching a successful online game is the support aspect of the live service. After launch, MMOs are as much a "service" as a "game," yet many do not often consider the service aspect until shortly before launch. Here at NCsoft, we have a long history of providing excellent service for our products. Since we are a multi-product publisher of online games, we've learned a few tricks that help us successfully support the games that we publish. We house our entire support process in a department we call "Studio Services," which includes Quality Assurance, Customer Service, Game Support, and Localization. Each of these teams plays a critical role in the live support and operation of our games.
When planning for the support of a new game, such as our recent launch of Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, or evaluating the support of an existing game, we must consider three important aspects that are critical to creating a successful service, which I describe below:
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