In a recent interview with Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo and founder Masayuki Kato, the team put to rest the notion that Falcom hates Nintendo and why they decided to back Sony’s PSP rather than the Nintendo DS, which proved to the more popular console by far. Here’s what they said according to Siliconera who translated the interview.
When you released games on PSP was there any trouble deciding on the platform?
Toshihiro Kondo, Falcom President: At the time the Nintendo DS was extremely popular, so there was a flow of all the companies going with DS. After looking at the lineup of games that were selling on DS, we had a bit of a difficult time picturing our products fitting in there. Family-oriented games and games focusing on a younger audience were the ones becoming hits, after all.
In the end, the reason we decided to go with the PSP was because we determined that PSP users and Falcom fans simply overlapped. Although it was from there that people started saying “Falcom hates Nintendo.” [laughs]
Masayuki Kato, Falcom Founder: That’s right, always from a certain message board. [laughs]
Toshihiro Kondo: It’s not that we hate them, rather, we’ve always been wanting to become closer to them. [laughs]
When the DS was booming, I went with former president Yamasaki (former Falcom president Shinji Yamasaki) to greet them in Kyoto. At the time we even had their approval for development.
Rather than it being about console wars, I truly felt that “having released games on PSP” rejuvenated Falcom fans.
Toshihiro Kondo: As a result, I believe we felt that “it went well.” However, when we visited Kyoto that time, we went with newly written plans for a command-based RPG type of Ys game. It’s a shame that we couldn’t make it happen…
So we went that far and still had to be told “Falcom is hating”? [laughs]
Masayuki Kato: Yup. [laughs]
Toshihiro Kondo: Even recently right before releasing Ys VIII on the Nintendo Switch there was a bit of online flaming going on. Our publisher Nippon Ichi Software even got a phone call from Nintendo’s PR asking “Are you guys okay? and “Is Falcom okay?” But we didn’t think much of it.