INTERVIEW: Arena Breakout: Infinite With Producer Yiming Sun

Arena Breakout: Infinite Interview

Since launching in a closed beta in early May, Arena Breakout: Infinite has become a hit with extraction shooter fans looking for something different from Escape From Tarkov. Insider Gaming recently had the opportunity to talk with Arena Breakout: Infinite producer Yiming (Onrry) Sun for an exclusive interview.

In the interview, we talk about the beta’s success and feedback from players, allegations of plagiarism from Battlestate Games, avoiding the PR nightmare that Battlestate Games found itself in, a possible console release and more.

Arena Breakout: Infinite Interview

With the game being in closed beta for a bit now, what’s been the feedback from players that you’ve experienced? What are some positives and even negatives to take away from the players?

Yiming Sun: We’re thrilled about the overwhelming love and excitement we’ve seen from players worldwide for Arena Breakout: Infinite since the start of our beta test. In less than a month, total beta signups on our official website and Steam wishlists have both surpassed 1 million. We now also have almost 400,000 members in our Discord community. These metrics have surpassed our expectations, especially considering the beta launched a handful of weeks ago.

Many players have expressed their excitement about Arena Breakout: Infinite on social media and within our community. Even the well-known streamer Shroud stated during one of his streams: “This is probably the best extraction shooter that’s currently out… (It has) the best quality of life I think I have ever seen.”

As we continue development, we have received valuable feedback and suggestions from players around the globe regarding game optimization, bug reports, server performance, and more. We greatly value player feedback, and we are fully committed to addressing and resolving these issues in future updates. 

How do you go about convincing players on the fence to try the game? Some might look and think it’s just a mobile game and not want to give it a second thought.

Yiming Sun: Since the beta test started, we’ve had nearly 2,000 streamers broadcasting Arena Breakout: Infinite live on Twitch, accumulating over 36,000 hours of on-air time. I think this overwhelming response from so many PC streamers speaks for itself.

We started development on Arena Breakout: Infinite  before the global release of AB mobile – it’s been three years now. ABI was designed and optimized for the PC platform from the very beginning, incorporating elements tailored to suit the preferences and habits of PC FPS players. It is not simply a matter of porting AB mobile to a different platform, as some might assume. 

Furthermore, with the enhanced hardware performance of PC devices, we have been able to explore more intricate design and production elements, including lighting, weather, in-game TOD, and more VFX in the current version and upcoming updates.

I am confident that once players enter the game, they will immediately recognize that ABI is a game originally created for the PC platform.

Will mobile and PC players be able to play together, or are they two separate games entirely?

Yiming Sun: Arena Breakout: Infinite and Arena Breakout mobile are two separate games. Considering the differences in ease of operation between mobile and PCs, which can potentially result in game balance issues, we have decided not to implement cross-platform gameplay.

Will there be a console release?

Yiming Sun: For now, our main focus will be on the PC platform, where we will continue refining and expanding the content and gameplay of our game. Considering the mechanical differences between consoles and PCs (controller vs. keyboard) and their influence on extraction shooter gameplay, we recognize a console release will require thorough research and thoughtful deliberation to ensure an enhanced control experience.

Please stay tuned to our official announcements for any updates regarding new platforms.

What can you say of the accusations and allegations from Battlestate Games about plagiarism in Arena Breakout: Infinite? They seem to be going pretty heavy handed with them.

Yiming Sun: We respect the intellectual property rights of others and believe in the importance of IP protection. The alleged copyright infringement is untrue. Our current focus is ensuring the beta continues to run smoothly so that we receive player feedback and deliver the best game we can make, rather than getting caught up in the noise on Twitter.

Speaking of BSG and the Escape from Tarkov drama over the last few weeks, how can you make sure that More Fun and Arena Breakout: Infinite doesn’t have the same communication problems with its audience?

Yiming Sun: I believe the key lies in maintaining positive and effective two-way communication with our players worldwide as game developers. From the global release of AB mobile to now Arena Breakout: Infinite, we have consistently prioritized listening to the community. Since the beta test started, we have established various user communication channels, including in-game channels, official social media platforms, Discord groups, and more. These channels ensure that we can receive timely feedback and suggestions from players and streamers around the world.

Additionally, we have conducted multiple user interviews and hosted “Developer AMA” sessions to keep the community informed about our latest progress and provide transparent responses. We value all feedback we’ve received from our players.

Obviously free-to-play means monetization in some way, what are the plans for monetization in the game and how can you make sure the game doesn’t become a pay-to-win experience that alienates players and turns them away?

Yiming Sun: Thanks for bringing up this question. I know this is something that many players care and are concerned about.

First of all, I firmly believe that “Free to Play” does not equate to “Pay to Win.” We have adopted the “F2P” model so that anyone interested in ABI can download and play the game without any barriers.

While there will be paid content options available in ABI, they have no impact on gameplay or fairness. Instead, they offer convenience and personalization features. Players have the option to pay for certain conveniences, such as safes, extra warehouse space, battle pass, as well as personalized appearances and melee weapons. However, it’s important to note that players who pay gain no direct advantage in combat abilities. The in-game economic system will not be designed to push players to “pay for in-game money.” We will ensure that the majority of players can get sufficient in-game money without paying to support a positive gaming experience.

In Arena Breakout Infinite, paying does not guarantee victory. Even if you are fully equipped, there is still a high chance of defeat from other players – you could still lose everything. Victory or defeat are determined by factors such as shooting skill, tactical ability, and a deep understanding of the game, all of which cannot be bought.

What is being done to combat any potential hacking or cheaters? We know there’s an anti-cheat but is there more to stop it from happening? Are there plans in place to prevent banned players from creating new accounts?

Yiming Sun: Arena Breakout: Infinite uses advanced algorithms and real-time monitoring systems to detect and fight against cheating behavior, ensuring a fair and clean gaming environment. Our experience dealing with cheating issues during the release of AB mobile has given us valuable insight and allows us to enhance our ability to tackle blackmail and cheaters in the PC version.

Unfortunately, no technology can guarantee a 100% anti-cheating rate. There’s also the risk of false banning. We will continuously refine and optimize our anti-cheating algorithms and methods based on extensive testing and feedback from the community.

With this in mind, we will be introducing a “Kill Cam” feature in an upcoming version, which will enable players to better assess whether or not they were defeated by cheaters.

Aside from being free to play, what would you say makes Arena Breakout: Infinite different from other extraction shooters? Why should someone give the game a try?

Yiming Sun: Arena Breakout: Infinite is the first free-to-play GaaS (Games as a Service) extraction shooter on the market, and we are committed to providing players with sustainable content and services. This is one of our strong competitive advantages. The gameplay of ABI is straightforward: equip, fight, and extract. Every aspect of the game is designed with this core gameplay loop in mind.

Unlike many other extraction shooters where players need to play daily to obtain loot and avoid falling behind, Arena Breakout takes a different approach. Players can join at any time during the season and have a unique experience. Our focus is on providing a repeatable and sustainable single-match-based experience, rather than emphasizing RPG-style accumulation. Our current motto is, “easy come, easy play, easy go, easy return.”  We hope to lower the barrier of entry to extraction shooters, allowing more people to enjoy the genre.

Player data has been at the front of conversations lately. What is being done to keep player information safe, especially when it’s a game that will allow players to spend real money?

Yiming Sun: We adhere strictly to the data security regulations of each country, and we ensure the proper and secure storage of players’ game data. We highly prioritize the privacy and protection of players’ data.

Is there a development roadmap in place for the game? What type of updates are planned for the game post release? Any new game modes or maps?

Yiming Sun: We will be focusing on two main parts. The first part involves creating a diverse range of maps, weapons, and additional content to ensure an enjoyable gaming experience for different types of players, including both casual and hardcore gamers. We will continue to introduce new maps, weapons, game modes, and other elements to maintain a healthy and engaging cycle of game content.

Additionally, as a GaaS title, we recognize the importance of providing good services alongside game content. This includes optimizing game performance, implementing effective anti-cheating measures, fine-tuning the economic system, balancing gameplay mechanics, and more. This commitment to service-based content will be a long-term focus for us.

Do you have a timetable or a set release date for 1.0 of Arena Breakout: Infinite?

Yiming Sun: Due to the overwhelming response and feedback, we plan to continue the CBT for Arena Breakout: Infinite for an extended period as we look to launch the game later this year. Stay tuned for more official announcements soon!

Arena Breakout: Infinite is currently in closed beta. Players interested in joining can sign up on the game’s official website.