GameSpot has published a riveting interview with members of Monolith Soft and Nintendo. The interview talks about a number of things including the relationship between the two companies and also the current state of Japanese Role Playing Games. Tetsuya Takahashi, who is the Executive Director at Monolith Soft, also says that’s he is slightly worried about the future of the industry with the rise of smartphones and tablets. Read on to find out more.
GameSpot: How would you describe the relationship between Nintendo and Monolith Soft?
Yamagami: At Nintendo, we’re always thinking of how we can reach a variety of different users. One thing that can help us reach a certain kind of user–that core gamer–is by partnering with other companies. We were looking for someone to help us design games with that specific audience in mind. All we need to do is look for a good partner out there who is willing to work with us, and after looking, we started discussing with Monolith Soft [and] it all came together.
What about Monolith Soft makes them a good partner for Nintendo?
Yamagami: I think, what they bring that most impressed us, was the amazing quality of JRPGs that they’re able to produce.
When you’re developing a game like this, which you refer to as a JRPG, do you design it with a global audience in mind? Is a good game universal?
Yamagami: Yes, I absolutely agree that good games are universal, and whenever we’re designing these games, it’s not our idea to add the “J.” Sometimes we talk about it that way, but in our minds, we’re just making RPGs.
Yakota: Certainly, we have the Japanese audience in mind. We want to ensure that this will be a comfortable experience for them, but we don’t mean to exclude anyone, we want to create something that can be picked up and played by everyone.
Yamagami: We’re looking to take all of the best qualities, even from what might be Japanese design impulses, but make sure they can be enjoyed everywhere.
How do you feel about the current state of the Japanese gaming market? Does it seem like we’re entering a new golden era of Japanese games?
Takahashi: This is just my opinion, but sometimes I wonder about the health of the industry. When I walk around E3, I see some wonderful games that Nintendo and other manufacturers are putting out, and these are games that I truly love, but I also worry about the shift towards mobile, and wonder [what] the shift towards developing for smartphones might mean for the future of the industry. Certainly, if you talk about the scale of the market including them, then yes it’s doing well; there’s a lot of money and activity there.
Yamagami: I certainly want to stress that Nintendo is doing well. I think our state is rather healthy, our games are selling well in Japan and the rest of the world, so we certainly don’t see it as a problem. We do notice the trends of various developers embracing mobile, and we see a big push there, and people have different feelings about that when they think about it, but for us, smart devices can allow people to play games as well, so that, in our mind, is part of the market.