Game Informer had the chance to speak with the Wii U Paper Mario’s producer Kensuke Tanabe, to talk about the future of the series, and also the the idea of not returning to old NPCs. Tanabe talked about his thoughts on building new methods and what they would do differently if they had the chance to continue with new iterations in the future.
“Mario is not an IP that I created. From the position of someone borrowing the IP, I think it’s only natural to show respect to the person who created it, and let that feeling of respect guide us. When Miyamoto-san, the father of Mario, asks us, ‘Could you make a game with only characters from the Mario family?’ I think it’s only natural for us to give it our best shot. In other words, we are not currently thinking about returning to old NPCs.”
Incidentally, I do think Color Splash may have proven that we can still make a game entertaining, even if our original characters don’t appear as NPCs. And with that belief, we will keep on continuing to do our best.”
“Personally, I don’t give much thought to how we are leaving old methods behind in any series, not just Paper Mario. I always prioritize thinking about how we can build new methods and new elements. Of course, there were some series where we have not made big changes to the systems, but sometimes that’s because we feel as though these systems haven’t been perfected yet, or the gameplay can be expanded even further. We felt both of those things in Color Splash. However, I do feel as though we reached the end of where Color Splash is headed, so if we get the chance to continue the series, I think we’ll want to create a Paper Mario with a different system.”