Itagaki on how Devil's Third came to Wii U, poor reviews, plan for sequels

A portion of a Polygon interview with Tomonobu Itagaki...

P: Let's talk about how Devil's Third ended up on Wii U.

TI: When we were working with Danny at THQ, he said that because this is such a unique game it should be on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. So Danny and I initially decided that this game should be a multiplatform game. When THQ went bankrupt, Kanematsu approached [Satoru] Iwata-san at Nintendo and they picked up the game. The reason why Nintendo picked up the game is that they don't have enough strong online games. Devil's Third is not a game that Nintendo could make internally, so we came in as their mercenaries to make a strong online game.

P: I heard that Nintendo U.S. was obligated to find a publisher in the U.S., but when they were not able to find a publisher they had to release it as a first-party title. The way they released it, it seemed they only made the minimal effort necessary to satisfy their legal obligation. It was very hard to find physical copies, and there was very low visibility and awareness.

TI: I generally don't like to badmouth people and I have nothing but appreciation toward Nintendo for releasing Devil's Third. However, I don't believe that they gave this game their best effort in promoting and selling the game. At the same time, I also understand their position.

P: Since you're planning on moving the IP forward with sequels, if all goes according to plan, the next game won't take eight years, correct?

TI: Maybe sixteen years [laughs].

P: The reviews for Devil's Third weren't stellar. A lot of reviews were saying that if it had come out in 2008 it would have been fine, but now it seems dated. The general view was that the game was stuck in the late Xbox 360 era. So, since nobody knows about your plans for a Devil's Third trilogy — I'm guessing this interview is the first anyone will learn of them — because of the reviews and the long wait of the release versus the end result, a cynical response to this is that these are the sequels that nobody asked for. How would you respond to that?

TI: Let me explain this in parts. First, the reason the reviews were so poor. I have analyzed the reason. This game was designed to be a massive shooter, so it would be fun if there were at least a thousand players in the game. But Nintendo didn't set up online matches for reviewers. So there was no way for reviewers to experience the online mode as we designed it, and they reviewed the game based mostly on the single-player story mode. If it had been Microsoft that had published the game, they would have given the game to a group of 500 players who had signed an NDA to play for the reviewers to experience the massive online mode. But NOA didn't do that.

So I don't blame the reviewers for underestimating the experience of the online mode. There's no value to the review of someone who's evaluating a piece of art with blindfolds on. That was 95 percent of the negative criticism toward the game. The remaining 5 percent was by people who wanted to build credibility by criticising the game. And this is my assumption, but one person wrote a negative review and NOA didn't do anything to stop or change the review, so others followed suit. So I don't really believe that the reviews were credible. Although I haven't read all the reviews, the reviews I saw were not very objective, more emotional.

Categories: Interviews, Consoles
Tags: eshop, wii-u, itagaki
Games: Devil's Third


Well, Devil's Second will have to wait, your studio's working on that new Momotaro Dentetsu for 3DS.

If you don't want reviewers to bash your game for not giving the online mode a chance, then make the single player just as engaging or a good companion to the online mode.

...Or have the online mode available for reviewers.

Well the online bit was possibly even worse garbage than the single player.

Still really want to play this game. It always looked fun and ridiculous to me. I'm all about that.

Yeah, but the servers are closed, so there's no point on playing it.

Yeah, maybe for the single player, but that's it.

Whenever I see people actually playing it, they always seem to be loving it. Mayne ithe situation is similar to W101

Man, I really do wish I could have played the version of this game where it got the money and time it needed and did not have the insane development problems.

Despite a lot of weird stupid bits, the singleplayer has a mostly amazing combat system that is brought down by the rest of the game being a Jankmaster 6000.

A sequel that actually played like how the original trailer looked could be great.

"I generally don't like to badmouth people"


What... is a Jankmaster 6000?


Thu Nov 17 16 04:23pm
Rating: 1

"What... is a Jankmaster 6000? "

An earlier, less-advanced model than the Jankmaster 9000.

I'll just Google it... =P

Thu Nov 17 16 07:31pm
Rating: 1


Heheh, my problem wasn't with the Master part, but the Jank part. Hadn't heard of that word before, until I Googled it

Wed Nov 16 16 08:55pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 2 times)

If the game was higher quality, I feel like NoA would have done more to promote it and wouldn't have shopped it around.

They take pride in the high quality of their Nintendo published titles, and even though I didn't hate Devil's Third, it just didn't hit that bar.

Itagaki said:

....but one person wrote a negative review and NOA didn't do anything to stop or change the review

And rightfully so. The day that the free press ceases to be "free," is the day that this big experiment in democracy fails.

Jeezus the excuses and reaching of this guy know no end.

Thu Nov 17 16 02:15am
(Updated 1 time)

I actually enjoyed the Singleplayer. Yes it was buggy, everything felt a little dated and the story was trashy, but overall, a few Reviewers overreacted here. The biggest mistake was to release the Game at a full price. It was even more expansive than a lot of First Party Titles from Nintendo. The pricing was a huge problem. I picked up the Game brand new for only 10 Euros by the way.

The Game itself is everything NoA despises. There is still so much Howard Lincoln in the structure of NoA, even if Devil's Third was a more polished product, NoA would still despise the Game for everything it represents.

I wasn't able to play the Multiplayer for too long. The Servers were dead with the exception of a few desperate Hardcore Player. But I actually liked the concept. It was simply ruined by the microtransaction and pay to win methods. Not a very smart move by Itagaki.

I really do hope that Devil's Third and its sequals come to the Nintendo Switch.


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