A portion of a Game Informer interview with Bandai Namco's Tomoko Hiroki...
Game Informer: When did you start talking with Arc System Works about creating a fighting game?
Tomoko Hiroki: We actually worked with Arc System Works for Extreme Butoden (which is a 3DS game), so when we were working with them we eventually came to the conversation of, “Okay, how about creating a genuine 2D fighting game based on Dragon Ball for (at the time) the next generation of consoles.
GI: What was it about Arc System Works that attracted you to them for the 3DS game in the first place?
TH: Because we’ve had games like Super Butoden (a fighting game that released on the Super Nintendo - Ed) we’ve had a lot of fans saying, “We believe the roots of Dragon Ball [in games] are actually 2D fighting games.” And we knew that Arc System Works had this pedigree. That’s where we felt their appeal was, and why we’re deciding to work with them.
A portion of a Nintendo Life interview with GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita...
NL: First of all, we’ve heard you have a new Switch title on the horizon! Is there anything you can tell us about that?
KM: We have a few titles in the design stages, and one which is currently under development. It’s an action title, and we’ll have more information about it at a later date, but the earliest parts of its development actually started about 4 or 5 years ago. It’s been incubating over time, and when the Switch was announced we felt that with the new kinds of technology it was bringing to the market it would be a good fit for this project.
And of course, Puzzle & Dragons started on mobile, but there’s also Puzzle & Dragons Z, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, and Puzzle & Dragons X [in Japan] on the 3DS. Since those spin-off titles have all been on a Nintendo platform, we’re looking to see if there’s a possibility of potentially bringing that IP to the Switch. Nothing official at the moment, however.
Coming from a GameSpot interview with Koji Igarashi and Shutaro Iida...
GS: How is development progressing? You recently had to delay the game to 2018. Have there been any unexpected hurdles in development or is it just taking a longer than you anticipated?
KI: Development is generally going smoothly, but there have been a lot of troubles. We encountered a lot of problems during development. Right now, we're trying to speed up the development more because we had to make the system first and then go from there and just created more and more content. It's quicker now in general.
GS: A lot of the later Castlevania games share many similarities with Metroid. What are your thoughts on the new Metroid game that was announced for 3DS?
KI: The two of us are extremely excited! [Laughs] We're looking forward to it!
Coming from Bethesda VP of PR / marketing Pete Hines....
“… talked to the Breath of the Wild folks, and they were big Skyrim fans themselves and loved the idea. We really wanted to kind of do an integration with them – their open world thing, our open world thing. It was a lot of fun. They were great with proividing us with all kinds of assets to make it feel like a cool, unique thing for Skyrim.”
Coming from a GamesBeat interview with Andrew Allanson, co-creator of YIIK, and Brian Kwek, founder of Ysbryd...
AA: “In fantasy, it feels normal for a guy to have a sword, but if it was set in 2017 what’re your options? A gun? A knife? None of that really lends itself to telling stories that are usually appropriate for RPGs. So, if you go for more silly weapons like vinyls, baseball bats, yo-yos, you’re bound to get a quirky game.
It was difficult balancing story and gameplay sections. Getting them to feel fluid. We wanted there to be a nice balance of puzzles, exploration, conversation, and battles. We spent a lot of time taking things out, adding them back in, etc.”
BW: Alex, the main character, is actually kind of an asshole, at least you’ll see that in the beginning. The journey that Alex takes is one that — I think I’d like to believe — in real life people really go through that introspective stuff.”
A portion of a Vice Waypoint interview with Reggie Fils-Aime...
Waypoint: So, Reggie, great to see you again. E3 2017 is here, and for me the big push for Switch this year, for Nintendo this year, was, at least for the Spotlight, was "Hey, we have Switch games coming. We have a lot of games coming this year, a lot of them are multiplayer focused, and by the holiday, we will have a really respectable catalogue." And then there were also a few gestures towards the future: Yoshi, Kirby, Metroid Prime 4, Pokémon. And I'm curious what you thought of the response to those promises so far. Has that been largely positive, or mixed, or–
RFA: The response to what we've showcased, and it really is just a small tip for 2018, has been exceptionally positive. You've got fans seeing Metroid Prime 4, hearing that Mr. Tanabe, who's been involved in all of the Metroid Prime games, is going to be at the helm of that, the fans are tremendously excited. To hear that there's going to be a core Pokémon RPG experience on the Nintendo Switch, the fans are incredibly excited. To see a traditional Kirby experience, with him inhaling enemies and copying abilities, fans are excited about that. And then the Yoshi game that we showcased, with that unique, you know, motion to go "behind-the-scenes," so to speak, has people really intrigued. So just by showcasing those four games, and giving a little bit of a taste, yeah there's a lot of excitement to what 2018 can hold.
But to be clear, we look at E3 in the here and now. Our focus is on games that are largely going to be available between now and the end of the holiday season. And when you look at that lineup, there's a strong game coming literally every month, starting tomorrow with Arms, and then Splatoon 2, then in August is the Mario + Rabbids game, September, October with Super Mario Odyssey. We've got that great pace of content, and I can tell you there's more to be announced.
Waypoint: So, three things there actually to jump off of, first let's talk about getting more Switch hardware to the marketplace. You committed this week that you're going to kind of, pump-up more production, get the Switch out there. In plain words, what happened there? Was that just kind of running things really tightly, running the ship as tightly as possible, was it a discrepancy in the understanding of demand?
RFA: So, again, to unpack this, for March we had publicly committed that we would sell-in 2 million units. Where actually, we sold-through, so not even sell-in, sold-through 2.7 million units.
So, clearly that's a signal that we are aggressively producing the hardware. You look at what we've now committed for the next twelve month time frame, 10 million units, what's interesting is if you look at that roughly 54 week time frame, that includes just one holiday season, that means that we will have sold into retail roughly, roughly 13 million units. That's about the same as what we did for the Wii, to put it in perspective. So, we're talking large significant numbers that we are producing, that we are flowing into retail. So it's not a situation where we've somehow under called the production or had some issue. It really is a situation where the demand is extremely strong and we're working hard to catch up.
Waypoint: So, the second question I have that jumps off of that previous one is that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is doing incredibly well, that's also, there's obviously some new stuff there but, much of that game was available on the Wii U, and I think it took a little time for me to wrap my head around why it was coming out so soon on the Switch, and then I realized, well, completely honestly, a lot of people didn't play a lot of great Wii U games. Can we expect more of those Wii U games to find a home on the Switch, as a way of reaching a larger install base?
RFA: What I would say is this: the observation you have that, given the install base of Wii U, there was some fantastic content that consumers did not get to play. So that creates certainly a business opportunity. On the other hand, one of the things that we've discussed internally is, there really needs to be an additional element to that game to make it fresh, and to further compel the consumer to buy in.
I think the best example of that is Pokkén Tournament Deluxe. Additional fighters, that gives the fan a reason to buy into it. Same is true with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, providing a mode that the consumers wanted in terms of a better battle mode, that was then included in that game. And so, I think the way we will continue to evaluate this is: yes, do we have opportunities with great games that maybe were not played as broadly on the Wii U, but then what's the plus alpha that's going to make it really compelling for the consumer?
Finally, Reggie comments on Animal Crossing mobile being on-track for this year...
RFA: So, specifically now, Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing development continues quite strongly, the teams are very excited about what they have. It's an application that is going to launch this year, as we've committed. And we'll be sharing more information in due course. We believe, just as we've seen with Pokémon Go, just as we've seen with Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, we believe that the application will help broaden the user base for Animal Crossing, and it's going to end up having a positive impact on our dedicated video game business of Animal Crossing.
Coming from an Engadget interview with Keiichi Yano...
"It's clear that there were things we could have done better and that was a good learning experience, but I actually don't regret making that decision, because it allowed us to engage with a community at a time when we weren't 100 percent sure there would be a community.
...Crowdfunding in the modern day, it's a very tough place. It requires certain things to happen even before you start the campaign. And you know, we would have probably been better off doing some things that we just weren't able to, for one reason or another.
We thank everybody that supported us, regardless of the final outcome on Kickstarter. We're very thankful to everybody who supported it. I loved the fan art and everything, and yeah, we're going to try to get this out one way or another. So please stay tuned for updates. We'll have more as we have more!"
A portion of a USGamer interview with Koichi Ishii...
USgamer: Ever Oasis’s main mechanic -- turning a desert into a fertile oasis -- appears to be based on growth and rebirth. What motivated you to adopt this theme?
Kishii: "Life and death" may seem like the beginning and the end, but I believe that "living" means discovering your life’s purpose as well as "struggling" to never giving up.
You can grow and build experience by challenging yourself to see how much of your life’s purpose you are able to fulfill during this life, which in turn can take you up to the next level. What you couldn’t accomplish in this life will be carried over into the next life in a different form. I feel like that kind of repetition is the path that souls travel. Those kinds of thoughts that I have may be deeply embedded in the gameo’s themes.
USgamer: The Nintendo 3DS still has life left in it, but is there any particular reason why the 3DS was chosen as Ever Oasis’s main platform instead of the Nintendo Switch?
Kishii: The big reason is that more people own the 3DS than the Switch. We also felt that the unique 3D feature would allow the players to immerse themselves in the world of Ever Oasis, so that’s how we decided to develop this for the 3DS.
USgamer: Since Ever Oasis is an action-RPG with multiple characters in your party, some people were hoping multiplayer would be an option. Did Grezzo ever plan to have a multiplayer option in the game?
Kishii: What you feel from an experience differs depending on who you shared the experience with compared with just by yourself. I’ve always felt strongly about making this a multiplayer game, but decided to first focus on building the world and the play cycle. A multiplayer element was incorporated into the Secret of Mana, but this was under the assumption that friends, siblings and family members will be playing together. The time you have to play with family and friends as a child isn’t a large chunk of time. That "time" turns into precious memories. So, that’s why we incorporated this feature. If I were to get an opportunity to create another game, then I want the first thing I incorporate to be the multiplayer element.
Coming from a Gamasutra interview with David Condolora of Brain & Brain...
But I will say, as far as console is concerned, the platform we are looking forward to seeing how it develops is the Switch to see how that fits into this equation. We’re talking about a binary thing, Sony and Microsoft, but then you have a third platform that’s becoming more valuable. I wonder how that’s going to change the market as well.
A portion of a GameSpot interview with president and co-founder of Monolith Soft, Tetsuya Takahashi...
GameSpot: During the Nintendo Treehouse presentation at E3, you mentioned the idea of the drama that exists in real life between people, and how that's the key focus for what you want to deliver in Chronicles 2. I'm curious if you could speak to that a little bit more.
TT: In terms of the drama between humans and previous games, this game has the name "Xeno." Like I mentioned, it's about differences or something out of the ordinary. Just take for example all of us in this room, we're all from different places, and we are different personalities, and the way we think is different. To gather all of those people into one place, I think there is both positive and negative that can come out of that...Looking at a bigger scale, it can be survival of the fittest or things on a country-based scale, like invasion, something like that.
In this game world that we're trying to create, there are these enormous beings called Titans that people live on and, that's their land. But their land, the Titans, are dying. Once they die, they sink into the cloud sea, so all these people are going to lose their land. They're not going to be able to survive, and I think when you look at it in the real world, I think something like that, something similar happens where there is a lot of competition for resources in the world we live in right now.
Relatively speaking, the United States or Japan are wealthy countries where people live comfortably, but on the other side there are countries that are very poor where people are struggling and suffering. Trying to think about what can we do for all of us to live together well and how can we do that is something that I think about when I'm trying to create games like this.
Then in terms of touching on the idea of religion a little bit, I think for us as Japanese people, we have a little bit of contradiction in terms of religion in that, in Japan, we celebrate Christmas, and then a few days later we go to the shrines to do New Year's Prayer, which is based on Shintoism. When someone passes away, we ask Buddha's monks to say our prayers. It's kind of all over the place, but at the same time there is this idea of having tolerance for all those religions. That is something that I kind of wanted to put into my game, so that the idea of tolerance is something that can be had between people as well. And when we're creating this world within the game, I kind of wanted to put that idea into the relationships that the characters have with each other and the relationship that the character has with his or her blade as well.