Rieko Kodama was the producer on Skies of Arcadia, an extremely-beloved JRPG. In an interview with Kotaku, Kodama talks about all things Skies of Arcadia, including how the game was originally planned to be about train-top battling, rather than airships.
At the beginning of the project, Skies of Arcadia was originally planned to be on the Sega Saturn console, but production eventually was set in motion for the Dreamcast. This is when we started considering the concept of a world filled with airships flying around its skies. This contrasts with a previous concept where the story would have revolved around battling on top of trains and on land in general.
Once the “travelling the skies” concept was set, subsequent ideas fell in place. These ideas were inspired by the Age of Discovery when pirates roamed the vast seas. Back then, people wondered what lie beyond the vast expanse of ocean, and they took to their ships in search of answers. That frontier spirit permeates the game’s narrative.
Fans of Skies of Arcadia have been hungry for two things; a port or a sequel. What are the chances of the game coming to Switch, or a sequel in general? Kodama's answer to both will likely leave fans unfulfilled.
I am very grateful that this game has a special place in the hearts of many fans, and that they are voicing their wishes. Responding to each fan’s experiences and stories may be difficult, but the universal fact that they all cherish Skies of Arcadia is proof that it was all worth the effort.
I personally feel that [the GameCube’s] Skies of Arcadia Legends completed the “director’s cut” of the title. But I am honored when fans of the game who have become game developers themselves express interest in creating a sequel. It makes me happy to think of its legacy being passed on in this way.