Things have been going pretty well for Natsume on the Switch. The titles they're bringing over seem to be hitting their mark, and that includes Harvest Moon: Light of Hope. In an interview with NintendoEverything, Natsume producer Taka Maekawa mentions how well the game has done so far.
We’re very happy with the way it sold. We’re glad that people – so I read lots of reviews, of course there are lots of critical reviews too, but I see lots of people saying that this has the Harvest Moon feel to it – story-wise, characters, charm. So I’m really happy with the sales and also the reviews too.
What's next for the Harvest Moon franchise? In the immediate future, we have Harvest Moon: Mad Dash, a puzzle spin-off. Why did Natsume decide to go in that direction? Maekawa discussed that move as well.
Last year my boss told me, since we released Light of Hope, he wanted to test the possibility of taking Harvest Moon in different directions – like a spinoff. Like Mario – Mario Kart, Dr. Mario – those things. He wanted to test the possibility of Harvest Moon, so that was probably the initial idea that made me think about it. Then I started to think about, “Okay, what kind of spinoff can I do? I can do racing, horse racing, anything.” But when I thought about it, since Switch has two Joy-Con and lots of multiplayer co-op games were coming out, I thought that should be the direction that I should go. So the game had to be multiplayer.
Also, Harvest Moon as you know takes a long time to play. But how about doing the opposite – like just 3-5 minutes per play. Not only with yourself, but maybe with parents and friends. And that came to the idea of how about doing farming, taking care of animals, fishing – making that into a very compact mini-game. So that was the initial thought that came when I thought about it.