Beomjun Lee & Minseok Joo Talk The First Descendant, Ultimate Character Plans for the Future, Early Access Success & More (EXCLUSIVE)

The Final Descendant is here to take the crown.

The First Descendant
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The First Descendant is finally here, after alphas, betas and much waiting, we can finally jump on in and wreak havoc with our friends in the latest entry into the free-to-play multiplayer shooter arena.


We were lucky enough to be able to talk to two of the main people involved with the creation of the game, Beomjun Lee, the Producer of The First Descendant, and Minseok Joo, the Creative Director, and discuss the finer points of what they were bringing to the table with the game, and what we could expect in the future.

[This was a written interview, so some questions have been edited for brevity and clarity.]


For the readers of FandomWire who may not be aware of yourselves, would you mind telling us who you are, and your roles with The First Descendant?

Hello, I am Beomjun Lee, the Producer of The First Descendant, and I am Minseok Joo, the Creative Director.

And a good follow-up would be to ask exactly how you both got started in the gaming industry and what led you to where you are now?

Beomjun Lee – Like all game developers, I started as a gamer who loved games dearly as a child and arrived here after encountering various connections. I participated as an early developer of MMORPGs such as Lineage 2 and Blade & Soul. My desire to create games for a global audience and cross-platform games, including consoles, has brought me to where I am today.

Minseok Joo – I’ve loved games since I was a child, which led me to become a game designer. As a true fan of the looter shooter genre, I am thrilled to be part of The First Descendant. I am committed to this project with the determination to create a game that will be loved for a long time. I hope this game brings joy to many players.

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Water and AOE-based Valby will be a big hit for players. Image credit: NEXON.

Would you be so kind as to explain The First Descendant to our readers?

Beomjun Lee – The First Descendant is a cross-platform online looter shooter game that supports both Steam and consoles. Above all, this game pursues the fun of cooperation, with its core being cooperative battles against massive bosses and challenges in difficult dungeons using diverse player characters known as the Descendants. In the game, players take on the role of Descendants and has a mission to defend their homeland from alien invaders.

What prompted the Free-to-play decision for the game?

Beomjun Lee – From the beginning, our goal was to target global audiences and support many platforms. By releasing the game as free to play, we aimed to remove acess barriers for gameplay. As an online cooperative game, we believed it would be better if more people could join and play together.

The giant boss raids is a symbolic content of The First Descendant.

The First Descendant is certainly a unique world. What inspired the setting?

Minseok Joo – The Dev team wanted to create a world where captivating characters come to life. We aimed to introduce many characters and provide a stage where each character’s story can unfold.


The world is in the middle of a war with invaders, but each Descendant is fighting their own personal battles. Gley is struggling to find her lost daughter. Freyna is trapped in the trauma of losing her comrades and lover. It was important to create a vast world where players can immerse themselves in the stories of these Descendants.

As gamers, the Dev team enjoys various sci-fi games and loves sci-fi movies and literature. We are influenced by multiple sources and strive to build a unique universe for The First Descendant.

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The First Descendant can descend into chaos pretty quickly. Image Credit: NEXON.

One of my editors spent a lot of time playing the game, as did a fair few of us, during the Beta, and he’s still yet to stop talking about the world, but specifically the characters and the weapons. Were there any specific inspirations involved during their design?

Minseok Joo – As The First Descendant will be presented to global players, we made a concerted effort to design a variety of characters that can satisfy diverse tastes. Characters vary greatly in personality, narrative, and appearance.


Therefore, rather than designing with a consistent source of inspiration, we chose to embrace diversity. The process of creating characters reflected this approach: many developers participated, some starting with the story while others began with concept art. Sometimes, characters were designed based on their skills, and other times skills were developed after the character’s appearance was designed. I’m also curious to know which character resonated most with you as an editor.

What tips would you give players just starting out on their The First Descendant journey, who didn’t play any of the Beta, to make them better players in the long run?

Minseok Joo – I hope you first discover a character that resonates with you. Take your time to carefully examine their background and skills, and start by selecting the character that appeals to you the most.

Next, understand the character’s skills and contemplate how to effectively utilize them. Use modules to enhance the skills in that direction. By progressing step by step in this manner, you will be able to develop your own unique character.

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Just one of the many attacks you’ll come to grips with defending against. Image credit: NEXON.

Will each character have an evolved version or will only some receive this treatment? As a follow on, why?

Minseok Joo – Our long-term plan is to eventually add an Ultimate version for all characters. However, we want to approach this gradually through updates. Above all, new characters will be released as normal characters, allowing us time to fine-tune their balance and enhance their completeness through reworks.

Ultimate characters will be updated one by one per season. With each Ultimate character update, we’ll introduce Ultimate-exclusive enhancement modules, expanding strategic options for players who favor those characters.

Not to go back to it too often, but we’ve recently seen the reception Destiny 2’s The Final Shape received near-unanimous acclaim, and proved to be a fantastic ending point for the story so far. Are you planning on having a similarly expansive story for the game, or will it be broken into defining chapters/seasons, etc?

Minseok Joo – We plan to unveil expanded stories with each season. At launch, we focused on the conflict between Karel and humanity, warring over the Iron Heart. Currently, we are preparing the next chapter to be introduced in the upcoming season, delving deeper into the origins of the Descendants and exploring deeper about the stories of Amon and Karel, the Vulgus forces.


We certainly consider our launch as just the beginning of our story. During each season, we will unveil the hidden realms of our world, Ingris, with new episodes. There are many stories waiting to unfold in The First Descendant. We plan to unravel not only the stories of the Descendants, but also the mysteries surrounding their origins, the purpose of the Colossus, and the secrets of the connected universe through updates.

Many people have been curious about this, and I’ve mentioned it in live chats as well: PvP is not in our plans.

The grappling hook is seen in a variety of games as a method of transportation, but very few as a weapon. Was there ever a point where this was just a way to zip around quickly, or was it always intended to do damage too?

Minseok Joo – Since the grappling hook is one of the main features of The First Descendant, it needed to have various uses beyond just movement. One idea we had was to use it in battles against giant bosses. Developing scenes where you grapple onto weakened parts of a Colossus and hang from them was incredibly exciting.

During cooperative play, there are moments when players can become a hero. Shooting the grappling hook at a powerful Colossus allows teammates to focus fire while the Colossus struggles. Successfully tearing off a part puts the Colossus in a groggy state, granting teammates an opportunity for free deal damage.


Looking ahead, we’re contemplating how to further expand the use of the grappling hook. In our recent technical test, we introduced modules for aerial hooks, expanding the grappling hook’s range, and allowing three consecutive shots. We plan to continue developing the potential of the grappling hook.

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Viessa is another of the heroes likely to become a big meta in-game. Image credit: NEXON.

What lessons from failed looter shooters did you make sure to keep in mind during development?

Beomjun Lee – I’ve played many looter shooter games, and I don’t like to label any of them as failures because each has its own appeal, which I appreciate. As a fellow developer, it’s heart-wrenching for me. One of the key lessons I’ve learned from various games is the importance of transparent and honest communication.

Especially for online games with live services, you eventually encounter diverse issues like outages, bugs, lack of content, and update plans, and these are inevitable. In dealing with all these problems, I’ve come to believe that openly sharing situations and thoughts, receiving feedback, and moving forward step by step are more important than anything else.


Game development is an iterative process, so as always, ideas get left by the wayside. What was the one thing that got cut (for whatever reason), that was a feature you’d love to have included in the final product?

Minseok Joo – Hmm… There are many. These are what we are trying to add through updates. First off, there are the companions. Our goal was to create a large dog that assists the player. However, since it involves creating a new platform and numerous R&D tasks, we had to postpone this update.

Also, there are bows and swords. It’s a sci-fi world, but I like traditional weapons like bows and swords. I’d like to update them quickly, such as a sword with a boosted engine to maximize centrifugal force or a bow with guided arrowheads that automatically track enemies.

Above all, new characters will be released as normal characters, allowing us time to fine-tune their balance and enhance their completeness through reworks.

The same editor mentioned above begged me to ask this. His favorite boss (that he’s seen so far) is Greg, and he’d like to know if you have a favorite?

Minseok Joo – I like Stunning-Beauty among the Intercept Battles.
The mechanic of avoiding the gaze is so intuitive and fun. The skills are flashy, and the fast movements while leaving trails are really cool.


As for the dungeon bosses, you may not have seen it yet, but look forward to Khulan. It’s a boss you encounter in The Fortress and it will be a very unique battle experience. I won’t say more to avoid spoilers.

And as a follow-on to that, can we expect more and different types of bosses in the future, other than what/who we’ve seen thus far?

Minseok Joo – Certainly. At launch, we’ll introduce Molten Fortress which was never been disclosed before. Additionally, we’re preparing two more Intercept Battles, and we plan to continue updating it with new ones.

The same goes for dungeon bosses. Perhaps Amon and Karel, who appear in the main story, will eventually stand in the way of the Descendants?

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Bring all the heroes. Bring all the weapons. Image credit: NEXON.

How did the Beta specifically help you tweak the final product, and what did you learn from it?

Beomjun Lee – We conducted a total of three beta tests, which I believe is quite rare for most games. Such tests don’t always bring only positive outcomes. However, we approached each test with the mindset that any critique must be endured as part of making the best possible preparations for launch. As a result, although it was stressful, we gained valuable data and feedback.

Thanks to paying attention to these test results, I believe First Descendant has been able to come this far. Without these tests, I don’t think we would have garnered as much attention and love.

Would there be any plans to add raids in the future? The giant boss fights/raid bosses present already fulfill this partly, but what about something with a longer playtime?

Beomjun Lee – As you know, the giant boss raids is a symbolic content of The First Descendant. For this official release, we’ve added instance dungeons that we hope will be as enjoyable as the boss raids. We are continuously considering the addition of new types of content through live updates, so please look forward to it.


During cooperative play, there are moments when players can become a hero. Shooting the grappling hook at a powerful Colossus allows teammates to focus fire while the Colossus struggles.

And lastly for future related features. Would you entertain a PvP mode for the game?

Beomjun Lee – Many people have been curious about this, and I’ve mentioned it in live chats as well: PvP is not in our plans. From the beginning of development, we aimed to focus on a PvE game centered around cooperation rather than competition.

For fans of the game that sit back and think “This has inspired me to get into game dev”, what advice (or warnings) would you want to give them?

Beomjun Lee – It’s truly an honor! Like many other developers, we started as gamers ourselves and have come this far. Surely, there are those who won’t stop at being just gamers and aspire to create games themselves, much like we did. I dare say, follow your instincts. Imagining someone inspired to become a developer by playing our game is incredibly thrilling.


Written by Luke Addison

Articles Published: 441

Luke Addison is the Lead Video Game Critic and Gaming Editor. As likely to be caught listening to noughties rock as he is watching the latest blockbuster cinema release, Luke is the quintessential millennial wistfully wishing after a forgotten era of entertainment. Also a diehard Chelsea fan, for his sins.

Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd