TIME has published an exclusive interview with Monolith Soft founder Tetsuya Takahashi. The insightful interview sees a number of interesting points discussed regarding the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Nintendo Switch. One highlight was when Takahashi discussed how the collaboration between himself and Kingdom Hearts III producer Tetsuya Nomura came about. Here’s what he had to say:
“Good question. This story goes back 20 years. Back when I was about to start on a new game, and the name “Xenogears” wasn’t set yet, for that new title I needed a designer. And at the time there was someone who was directing the Final Fantasy series, Mr. [Yoshinori] Kitase. And then Mr. Nomura and I were in the team together doing character design. At the time, Mr. Kitase was handling Final Fantasy and I was doing this new title, and I wanted to work with Mr. Nomura.
So I was waiting for the final call to be made, whether he was going to be working on the Final Fantasy series or on this new title of mine. And then Mr. [Hironobu] Sakaguchi [the creator of the Final Fantasy series] came and said ‘Tetsu is going to do Final Fantasy.’ So I thought ‘Okay, I’ve got to find myself a new designer.’
But I’ve always wanted to work with him. And this idea of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 came up, and I thought I’d love to work with him again. After our discussion with Nintendo went through and this project was a go, I went directly to Square Enix, thinking that I’d be denied, asking if I could work with Tetsu. To my surprise, it was approved, and that’s how it happened.”