Interview: Netmarble N2 on Meta World: My City’s Gameplay and Metaverse Features

Let’s get rich.

That’s easier said than done, of course, but for the last few years casual game developer Netmarble N2 has been allowing us all to get rich virtually with a hugely popular digital board game called, aptly enough, Let’s Get Rich. 

More than 200 million players have downloaded Let’s Get Rich, so we’re expecting big things from the sequel: Meta World: My City.

To get you up to speed on this bold new digital take on the city-building board game genre, we spoke to Netmarble N2’s CEO, Minkwan Kwon, and Development Head Youngsuk Hong, two veterans with decades of game development experience under their belts. 

Let’s start at the beginning.

Meta World: My City is a game of two halves. According to Kwon, “It features board game mechanics and the opportunity to have virtual buildings and real estate in the metaverse world called Meta World, which is based on real-world locations like New York City.”

He continues, “For the board game part, players will compete against other players by securing blocks in the map. They can choose to either bankrupt their opponent or monopolize the map. A deck of four character cards with different skills adds even more dynamics. 

“In the metaverse part, meanwhile, players can earn rewards by holding onto virtual real estate and forming their version of a city, while also interacting with other players via virtual real estate sales and building trade.

He goes on. “Players will be able to have virtual land in famous cities, as well as constructing and upgrading buildings. Metaverse also supports board games as rewards, which can be used to upgrade character cards, are given to players who hold virtual lands.”

Meta World’s metaverse is reassuringly similar to our own universe, Kwon reveals. 

“Various iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty are also displayed in the metaverse map to further intrigue interest among players.” 

So how does Meta World: My City differ from its hugely successful predecessor?

“There are a number of notable advancements in Meta World: My City compared to the original game,” insists Hong. 

“In terms of the board game aspect, players use number cards (dice cards) to move around the map, unlike in the original title, which uses dice only. Players can also use a deck of four character cards with different skills, upgrading character cards according to their chosen strategy.” 

And there’s more. “In the previous title, players were dependent on luck to win the game. However, the player’s experience and decisions will be a major factor in Meta World: My City, via dice cards and character cards.

“Further,” Hong adds, “there’s also the metaverse, which duplicates real world locations, allowing players to have virtual territories and construct buildings. The metaverse component of the game will be updated so that players can enjoy a variety of games and interact with other players. 

“We plan to further develop metaverse features step by step.”

The real world location that the game’s metaverse is currently based on couldn’t be more appropriate. Load up Meta World: My City and you’ll find yourself in a thriving virtual Manhattan, complete with the Statue of Liberty. 

“Landmarks are among the most important features of board games like Let’s Get Rich or Meta World: My City,” says Kwon. 

“During the ideation process, we naturally came up with the Statue of Liberty and ended up thinking that NYC is the place most familiar to people around the world. As a result, we decided to make Manhattan the first city in Meta World: My City.”

But there’s more in the pipeline. “We are also considering cities like Paris, London, Rome, Bangkok, Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo, and the most famous landmarks of each city will be presented.”

Of course, the biggest question mark hanging over any sequel is whether you can play it without having played the previous title in the series.

Is Meta World: My City the kind of game that comes with homework?

Kwon doesn’t think so. “We sincerely believe potential players who have not experienced the original title can also enjoy this game.”

But if you have played Let’s Get Rich, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the various tweaks and improvements that have been ploughed into this sequel. 

According to Hong, “Strategic play has been enhanced. Players can collect and equip character cards, and they need to consider the ways to upgrade and combine these cards.”. 

Kwon gets the last word on this point. “We sincerely believe that both fans of the original game and new players will be able to enjoy casual yet well-developed features.”

Meanwhile, Hong has some advice for beginners. “The board game component of Meta World: My City sees you competing against other players from all over the world, anywhere and at any time, via a one-on-one online matchmaking system. 

“Once you enter the board game part of Meta World: My City, you move around the map by selecting a dice card every turn. You can increase your chances of victory by building landmarks, monopolizing certain color blocks/lines, reaching certain scores, and bankrupting other players. 

“I would like to advise players to set a unique strategy and character card deck to increase their chances of winning. If you can continuously win board game matches and maintain your rank, you’ll collect virtual land and buildings. 

“Leveling your Investor License is important, too, as higher levels give further benefits.”

Hong also has some essential words of advice on character cards.

“Character cards are an essential part of the board game. Each character card has different rarity, cost, and active/passive skill attributes. 

“For example, Sophie has a skill that allows her to instantly move to the desired block on the board. Beatrice, meanwhile, can preview dice cards and select certain ones. Because dice cards are randomly supplied on every turn, having a choice of dice cards can be extremely beneficial.”

He continues, “You can form a strong card deck by adding a character card with skills that can hinder your opponent and provide Marbles, a currency used to buy blocks within the board game.”

The metaverse is an increasingly important component of our virtual lives, but it’s fair to say that it hasn’t had much of a showing so far in the world of casual games. Why did Netmarble N2 decide to take the plunge?

According to Kwon, “For the past few years, as people had to physically isolate themselves, we saw the necessity of having different spaces to interact with others. 

“Lots of people joined online spaces, but there were not enough solutions. We wanted to provide such a solution with Let’s Get Rich. Later, in order to make our online world closer to reality, we decided to add metaverse.”

Hong explains how the metaverse actually enhances social interaction. “Players engage in social activity with other players at Meta World: My City by conducting virtual real estate transactions. Plus, they can create virtual buildings and form villages together.” 

We can’t think of a better application of the metaverse. 

To get your virtual city-building adventure underway, download Meta World: My City for free right now on the Google Play Store or the App Store.

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