Pig-Min did an e-mail interview with Jessica Chiang, Marketing Producer for Her Interactive, [Nancy Drew] series. You could read it below.

Korean version of this Interview.

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Their latest game [White Wolf of Icicle Creek, The]. 16th. game of [Nancy Drew] series.

1. Her Interactive is famous for [Nancy Drew] series, but not very popular in Korea yet. Please introduce Her Interactive briefly.

Her Interactive was established in 1995 to create interactive games for girls of all ages. The company designs, develops and markets interactive mystery adventure games. With years of experience developing high-quality adventure games backed by research gleaned from its advisory board of girls and women, the company will continue to lead the industry in offering quality interactive entertainment without gratuitous violence or gender stereotypes.

Her Interactive’s award-winning Nancy Drew mysteries are daring, challenging games
that inspires players to track down clues to crack the case as they assume the role of legendary teen sleuth, Nancy Drew. Players interact with a complex cast of characters, all of whom have secrets of their own.

2. [Nancy Drew] became famous game series at now, and its 77 years old franchise & very famous in US. But when you started making [Nancy Drew], it could be another risky trial, because nobody has done 'Adventure Game Series focused for Female gamers based on over-70-years-old franchise'. How come to make [Nancy Drew] series, at the start? And if there are some episodes about that, please share with us.

Nancy Drew is an American icon and positive role model for girls, which is why it made sense to create a line of Nancy Drew mystery adventure games for girls. In our games, the player gets to be Nancy Drew and is challenged to solve the mystery. In fact, because we’ve combined a 77-year old icon with a quality game formula, our games have created a multi-generational phenomenon where girls, mom and grandmothers ? all familiar with Nancy Drew ? are playing together!

It’s taken awhile for publishers and developers to realize how big and lucrative the female market is. In 1999, when we tried to get our first Nancy Drew game into retail, we were refused and told that the games would not sell because females were computer phobic. Once we proved them wrong by successfully selling on Amazon, our Nancy Drew games were then welcomed into retail. The Nancy Drew series is the #1 PC adventure franchise in units, outselling Harry Potter, Myst and Lord of the Rings for the 3rd consecutive year!

3. [Nancy Drew] series might influence some other game companies, for 'Franchise' - 'Series' - 'Detective(Mystery)' aspects. For example, [Law & Order] - [CSI] Adventure Game Series could be released, due to success of [Nancy Drew] series, as I think. Please share your opinion about that.

If that is the case, we are honored that other gaming companies are looking at the formula for the Nancy Drew games.  The adventure game genre has taken a back seat to first-person shooters and real-time strategy games in recent years, so it’s exciting to see the revival of other similar games in the category.

4. Her Interactive released 1-2 [Nancy Drew] games per year, and recently 16th.(!) game [The White Wolf of Icicle Creek] released. It could be best record for longest series in PC gaming, and record will be broken soon by yourself. How come to make games such fast? And did you get proposal from Guinness record book, for the longest Computer Game series?

Haha! No, we’re not aiming for a Guinness book record ? we just want to make great games! There were over 100 Nancy Drew books in the series, so we have a lot of material to inspire us.  We work very hard to release two games each year: one in June/July and one in October.  Our fans just can’t get enough of the games, so we try our best to keep making them!

5. 'Game for Female Gamers' is not very familiar with plain gamers, especially for Korean people. It might be unusual even in US, except for Her Interactive. How's situation about that, for business size - customer feedback?

Today, there are many developers working to create games for this audience. The Her Interactive team has helped debunk the myth that women / girls are technophobes and are uninterested in computer gaming.  With the success of our Nancy Drew PC game series; we have proven beyond a doubt that there is a significant and vibrant market for females.  We have sold 4 million total units to date and received 13 consecutive Parent’s Choice Gold Medal awards for quality. In all, I feel Her Interactive has helped carve the initial footprint for games that are targeted to female play preferences.

6. Recently [Nancy Drew and the Cotton Caper] movie released, and it's featured in Her Interactive homepage. Are you related to that film in business side, or just cross-marketing for [Nancy Drew] franchise?

We are not directly involved with the film and are just cross-marketing. In fact, Her Interactive did team up with Cotton Incorporated and Warner Bros. for a 15-stop, national mall tour from May 21 to June 17 featuring the game as a sales incentive during the promotional time period and as part of an overall sweepstakes prize package.

7. [Nancy Drew] series has been sold in Big Fish Games from some months ago, and [Curse of Black Manor] was released as DVD game. Are there any other future plans like that, entering new area? 

Yes, we just launched our own digital download store, offering titles 3 ? 16, including the newest release, Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, at www.HerInteractive.com.  Our games area also available on other portals, such as Yahoo, Pogo, and Real Arcade.  We continue to look for new opportunities and distribution channels.

8. Please recommend other good Indie Games & Major Games, and the reason why.

Here are some of my favorites and why:

Indie Games

-    Desktop Defense : a real time strategy game that shows you don’t need a lot of fancy features to make a game fun
-    Puzzle Quest : takes a simple and addictive puzzle concept and turns it into an RPG for the DS
-    Grow : it’s frustrating at first to try to figure out the order of the objects, but it’s also fun to see what happens as each object transforms to the next level

Major Games

-    Zelda Twilight Princess : this long running series has constantly kept fans interested with great storylines and intriguing gameplay
-    Starcraft II : it’s not out yet, but considering the success of the first Starcraft and World of Warcraft, I expect great things from Blizzard
-    Elite Beat Agents : something different and fun that appeals to players of all ages.

9. Did you try some Korean games, or even heard or experienced about them? If so, please share your thoughts about that.

I have seen Ragnorak and really like the anime style of the game ? it makes it more accessible and friendly toward non-gamers.  I understand gaming is a huge hobby in Korea because of the availability of broadband in the country, so I’m exited to see more Korean making their way into the US market.

10. Please leave some message for Pig-Min readers.

Although many readers may not be familiar with the Nancy Drew PC Adventure games yet, I encourage them to check it out at www.HerInteractive.com.  You can download the games and watch the trailers.

Korean version of this Interview.
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