GS: So is Q Entertainment actively looking at online and mobile markets?
TM: Yes, we’re really focusing on networking, and Q Entertainment is looking very hard at online and mobile as part of our future. This kind of convergence is really something, I think.
GS: So in terms of putting new people forward, how did you pick up Every Extend? Originally that was a doujin game [hobbyist game development in Japan, which often approaches professional levels]. Do you think those doujin circles are a good way to enter the industry in Japan?
TM: This is kind of an indie band type aesthetic. The original Every Extend, the director, Reo Yonaga, he found it. He found it on the PC, as freeware. He wanted to contact the creator, and asked me – I said ok, you should go. He contacted the guy, and surprisingly to me, he is a student. A university student in Nagoya. He’s very young, so I thought “wow, this is really nice!” So we should talk about the possibilities of Every Extend Extra as a console game with the music and visual effects. He was really excited about it. He joined the Every Extend Extra team, as a game designer.
This kind of situation and opportunity is really nice. A young guy making a free game for PC, and then somebody finds it – I think it’s a really nice story.
GS: Do you think this sort of thing will happen more often? In the U.S., people often use independent development as a method for entering the traditional game industry. But in Japan, the doujin game scene is huge, and yet it seems not so many of them are entering the industry. Kenta Cho is one of the biggest names there, and yet he still stays out of the mainstream, for example.
TM: Kenta Cho?
GS: He’s probably the most popular in America, with games like Tumiki Fighters, and Noiz. He’s one of those who creates everything, design, art and music. But it turns out he’s almost 40 years old, and works at a computer company on the technical side. But his games are really popular.
Anyway, do you follow the scene much, or is Every Extend your first?
TM: Yeah, I don’t watch it myself, but in Q Entertainment, young talent like Yonaga are always watching. And he sometimes asks me “what do you think?” So yeah. We may have a chance to get another like this.
GS: So you’ve got EEE (Every Extend Extra) and NNN (Ninety Nine Nights) – are you going to have any more three letter combinations?
TM: (laughs) No! No.
GS: I was thinking you could make Lumines 2 LLL.
TM: (laughs) no, no, no, no!
GS: So you’re not spelling something?
TM: No, it’s just a coincidence, I swear.