Much More Than Naruto: Catching Up With CyberConnect 2
October 18, 2011 Page 2 of 3
How many development lines are going on at CyberConnect 2 right now?
HM: There are currently seven teams working right now. And we're in the planning phase of three more.
You've always worked with Bandai -- now Namco Bandai. Now you're working with Capcom, as well. Are you working with any other publishers?
HM: Yes, we're currently working with other publishers, as well.
Have those games been announced?
HM: No, those haven't been announced yet. We're working with new partners while also trying to create new CyberConnect2 games. But, I think we work best with Bandai Namco. Another thing is that we get a lot of requests from slot-machine companies, but we're turning down all those offers. Another thing that I dislike is social games.
Of course. CyberConnect2 is a hardcore game developer.
HM: Everybody is talking about social this, and social that. Even Bandai Namco. I don't like that.
Have you played a social game?
HM: Yeah. I'm up to level 250 on [DeNA's] Kaito Royale.
HM: And Gundam Royale. So stupid. They're not fun at all. But, I have to play it. The reality is that it has over 3 million users, and it's true that they're making money. I need to be aware of those businesses, so of course I play them. GREE's Dragon Collection. I've played that, too. [Matsuyama pulls out two smartphones] This is my iPhone, and this is my Android phone, and I play these games on both of these phones -- but they're all rubbish.
Have you found any decent social games? Can they exist?
HM: Well, native apps -- I'd be willing to play those. But, if you're asking whether I'm playing a decent social game right now, the answer is no.
The Facebook games in the States are becoming more complex and deep, so maybe it'll change in Japan, as well.
HM: Sure. Do you know the native app game Infinity Blade? I think that game is really good. I love that game. I even finished it. That was fun. It was a proper game. But, the others are junk. They're not fun.
Yeah. Infinity Blade is made by Epic Games' Chair Entertainment. And, they made Unreal Engine. What do you think about Unreal Engine, since you've been using it to develop Asura's Wrath?
HM: No matter what you use, it's all the same. Unreal Engine was originally made to make Gears of War [Ed. note: Gears was the first console game to use Unreal Engine 3], but we're not making a third or first person shooter, so the people at Epic Games are surprised at the ways that we use it for rapid action shots.
I think the tools don't matter. And, a perfect engine doesn't exist. There's always something that's difficult to do with every tool. That's the case even with the engine we use here at Namco, called the NU Library that we're using for the Naruto games. Namco has their culture, and we're using it knowing this. We come in using their engine, and even adding our own engine to theirs.
As you said, Unreal Engine is originally made for shooters. Is it difficult to make a game in another genre?
HM: Basically, yes. Very difficult. But, we're using it in Asura's Wrath, right?
Is it difficult to make the cinematic quality that CyberConnect 2 is known for in Unreal Engine?
HM: Yes. It's difficult. But, it's still possible.
How about support from Epic in Japan?
HM: They made an office in Japan last January. So, they're able to offer support in Japanese. But, it's slow compared to support in the U.S. and China, because they don't have as many people in their Japanese office. So, if you're going to use the Unreal Engine, you should have English and Chinese-speaking members on your team. And, we have both Chinese and Canadians on staff. We also have a Korean, as well as a few Chinese. We're in Fukuoka, so we're close to China. We can fly to China in an hour and a half. It takes the same amount of time to fly to Tokyo and China.
Does CyberConnect 2 hire a lot of foreign employees?
HM: Yes, we get applications almost every week.
Are you developing a game for any North American publishes?
HM: Not currently. But, we're in communication with a few, because we get requests from North American publishers. But, honestly, there aren't any publishers that I feel we could work well with right now. We've have a relationship with Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts, and THQ, and Activision. We're talking with a lot of companies, but we can't seem to come to an agreement.
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