Posts Tagged ‘Iwata’

Xenoblade Chronicles series is Monolith Soft’s attempt to redeem itself

Xenoblade_Chronicles_CoverA new Iwata Asks series has been posted on the Nintendo website, this time with the Monolith Soft developers and speaking about their series, Xenoblade Chronicles. Of course the team has been hard at work on Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U, but for those interested who may have missed the first game in the series on Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will be released on New Nintendo 3DS on April 10. Iwata sat down with the developers to discuss the series.

One of the main motivations for making the Xenoblade series is the perceived failure of the Xenosaga series. According to the developers, that series was not received very well among fans, which led many in the team to want to create something that fans would love.

Also, Xenoblade was very much the result of the team wanting to redeem themselves after their perceived failure on the Xenosaga series. Xenoblade was their attempt at righting all of the wrongs after the team had received several more years of experience in the industry.

That’s right. We released three games in the Xenosaga series, but they weren’t very well received. It was really mortifying. All of the young team members felt that way, not just the leaders. So we all decided, “Next time we need to make a game that players will enjoy.” So that made the atmosphere during the Xenoblade Chronicles development very different compared to other games.

Xenoblade Chronicles producer Tetsuya Takahashi also stated that his team at Monolith Soft wanted to create the ultimate JRPG series when they set out to create the original game. According to him, the design principle between the first game and the second hasn’t changed, and the ultimate JRPG has a balance between story and gameplay with neither side leading the production of the game too much.

To give a brief outline of the structure of JRPG, first you have the story as the y-axis, and the game system and game play as the x-axis, and it’s really important to keep those two things balanced.

The full interview is a rather interesting read, as Takahashi details how Monolith Soft came to be as a company, as well as the influences in their design from his time working on the Final Fantasy series at SquareSoft, before it was turned into Square Enix through a merger. Takahashi’s experience with the Final Fantasy series and the perceived failure of the Xenosaga series has led to the creation of Xenoblade Chronicles, one of the better JRPGs released in the past few years.

While there’s very little conversation about Xenoblade Chronicles X, it’s safe to say that Takahashi’s design principles have carried over to the development of it as well. Perhaps Iwata will do another sit down with him around the time that Xenoblade Chronicles X goes on sale in Japan.

Source: Wii U Daily

Iwata says Nintendo was not cornered into joining the smartphone market

satoru-iwata-smiling-640x427Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata has gone on the offensive, arguing that the company was not forced to backtrack on its plans concerning the mobile market, as reported by some outlets. Iwata had long been a hold out when investors asked about Nintendo’s mobile plans, but after the surprise announcement of his company forming a partnership with Japanese mobile firm DeNA, many felt as though Iwata was backtracking on previously made statements. In a chat with investors that has now been translated, Iwata stated that he doesn’t feel as though Nintendo is backtracking from its original goals.

A variety of media have written that Nintendo is cornered a number of times, but I do not think we were cornered at all. Needless to say, we are also aware that unless a company can deal with the rapidly changing world, it will face decline. But I would like to emphasise here that our alliance [with DeNA] is not the result of a lack of better options for a cornered company.

Instead of seeking out a company, Nintendo says the DeNA CEO spoke with him about remaining in the background, while being able to utilize Nintendo’s intellectual property to create new experiences on mobile. According to Iwata, this is exactly the type of arrangement Nintendo needed in order to get its feet wet in the mobile pool.

When I first met with [DeNA president and CEO] Mr. Moriyasu I started to wonder if there was anything we could work on together. After that, the more we discussed, the more I realized that DeNA knew so many things that Nintendo did not. Mr Moriyasu even said that DeNA did not mind remaining in the background as long as it could collaborate with Nintendo, and I came to realize that this could be a very productive opportunity as in comparison to what Nintendo might have been able to achieve by itself.

According to Iwata, the DeNA firm presented the right amount of knowledge and willingness to work with Nintendo that provided the right time to step into the market. He was careful to reiterate that Nintendo has received several offers from other companies, but it hadn’t found the pitch to join mobile until DeNA came along.

We have finally found a clear way to achieve a win-win relationship both for the dedicated video game and smart device businesses by deploying Nintendo IP raised in dedicated video game systems to smart devices,” Iwata said, implying that a smartphone strategy was previously rejected only because Nintendo was yet to identify a satisfactory solution.

One of the many statements thrown around by press after the announcement was that Nintendo was too late to join the mobile market, that firmly established companies have already been taking advantage of the boom in mobile for years now. Iwata doesn’t see it that way however, as he says the products they produce in the future will be the determining factor of whether or not the company was late to the boom.

As for your criticism that the decision is late, I think that whether it is late or not will be decided by what we produce in the coming years, and it could rather be described as the best timing.

Obviously there has been a certain amount of flip-flopping from Iwata on the issue as we’ve highlighted statements he’s made in the past where he reaffirmed the company was not committing to mobile. But as he stated here, it’s definitely possible for the company to change its mind, once the right partner and right strategy are found. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether or not this strategy will pay off for both Nintendo and DeNA.

Source: Wii U Daily

Satoru Iwata says his company wants to surprise gamers with the Nintendo NX


Last week’s announcement of the Nintendo NX was designed to be a softening blow for those who were afraid if Nintendo tossed its hat into the mobile ring, it would no longer produce a home console. The only real detail that was given by Iwata is the fact that the Nintendo NX does exist and if rumors and the direction Nintendo has taken in the past few years are to be believed, it will be a console designed with compatibility for Nintendo’s next handheld.

Despite all this, president Satoru Iwata has recently stated that the company wants to surprise gamers with the Nintendo NX. Many have been asking what kind of hardware and architecture the system will be based on, but Iwata has refused to answer any questions about the upcoming console.

“However, if you only expand upon existing hardware, it’s dull. In some shape or form, we’re always thinking about how we want to surprise players as well as our desire to change each person’s video gaming life.”

So while Nintendo is still not discussing the hardware specifics of the Nintendo NX, it’s pretty clear that Nintendo is cooking up something that could very well surprise us all.

Continue reading:

Source: Wii U Daily


Iwata talks on moving forward with both mobile and dedicated hardware games

Ashley King – 2 hours ago

In case you missed it, Nintendo announced a huge shift in policy change on Tuesday by announcing an alliance with mobile firm DeNA in order for DeNA to begin licensing Nintendo’s IPs to utilize in upcoming mobile games. During this announcement, Iwata was careful to iterate that Nintendo will not be releasing full-fledged games on mobile devices and that consumers should expect mobile games in-line with what traditional mobile companies have produced over the past few years.

Now that the world has had a chance to react to the announcement of Nintendo throwing their hat in the mobile ring, Iwata has made a few more statements about some of the criticisms surrounding the direction Nintendo seems to be taking. In perhaps one of the most candid statements about the future of the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and its mobile presence, Iwata has acknowledged that the communication about the direction of their home consoles hasn’t been as clear as they’d like to consumers who buy their products.

I have never intended to dismiss the entertainment experiences that people are enjoying on smart devices or any other media. On the other hand, my understanding is that, on smart devices, the main demand is for very accessible games which smart device users can easily start and easily finish. These are not necessarily the characteristics that people demand from games for dedicated video game systems.

We do have doubts [about] continuing to extend our business in the way that we have in the past. We have doubts about whether or not people will continue to see those simple extensions of what we’ve done as new and surprising. If it takes a lot of explanation for people to understand your entertainment product, you’re doing something wrong.

Once again, Iwata is re-iterating that he isn’t dismissive of the style of smartphone game that has become popular in today’s market, but he does mention that the sort of play you do on a smartphone doesn’t jive well with the sort of dedicated experience most gamers are familiar with. That sort of acknowledgement is grand for any nay-sayers who believe Nintendo may be selling out to chase bigger profits. While that’s definitely part of the motivation for finally joining the mobile revolution, it’s also about expanding their audience to be more interested in their core products, like a dedicated gaming console or portable.

Part of that strategy is not by adapting core games that have resided on consoles and home computers for ages, which is what many of Nintendo’s competitors have been doing. If you look at Electronic Arts’ attempt to capture the mobile market with re-makes of old classics like Dungeon Keeper, you see failed attempts at monetization using a franchise that fans are familiar with in the hopes that nostalgia will cause them to part with a few bucks.

Even Square Enix and Capcom have released full versions of old games on mobile systems and while that’s certainly acceptable for some genres, such as JRPGs, it won’t be for the style of game that Nintendo makes. Iwata acknowledges this problem and says the type of mobile game that Nintendo plans to create in partnership with DeNA will be finely tuned to be the best experience you can have on a smart device.

“In the digital world, content has the tendency to lose value, especially on smart devices. We finally found solutions to the problem. We will not merely port games developed for our dedicated systems to smart devices just as they are—we will develop brand new software which perfectly matches the play style and control mechanisms of smart devices.”

So what about monetization? That’s what has ruined several mobile-remakes of classic games, including EA’s Dungeon Keeper. Iwata says Nintendo will never embrace a monetization scheme that is seen as hurting their brand or intellectual property and given how reluctant Nintendo has been in the past to embrace DLC, I believe him.

“Nintendo does not intend to choose payment methods that may hurt Nintendo’s brand image or our intellectual property. It’s even more important for us to consider how we can get as many people around the world as possible to play Nintendo smart device apps, rather than to consider which payment system will earn the most money. We would like to create several hit titles by effectively leveraging the appeal of Nintendo IP.”

So while Nintendo’s new approach to mobile may be foreign to some and it may seem like Nintendo is selling out to others, Iwata at least acknowledges that the pitfalls of mobile can be overcome if Nintendo is willing to work with its partners to create a mobile game experience that customers actually want to play.

Source: Wii U Daily

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