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Developing An Epic: Nakazato On Lost Odyssey And The Future
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Developing An Epic: Nakazato On Lost Odyssey And The Future

April 21, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

So does AQI have a shared technology team now, for all three studios? Or does everyone have their own tech?

RN: It's not really shared; that's something that we're trying to do now. So there are three studios, we have our own technologies, and we're trying to integrate them for next time.

Yes. How about the reaction to Lost Odyssey from fans and critics?

RN: Yeah, it's been very good. I mean, we kept saying for a long time that it's a turn-based RPG, right? And, knowing that it's a turn-based RPG, I think it was received well. People still say that it's a turn-based RPG, it's an old-fashioned game, but knowing that it's a turn-based game, you know, people received it well. Especially, we have a lot of -- have you played it?

I haven't yet.

RN: OK. So there is this leading character who lives for a thousand years, but he lost his memory. But occasionally he remembers his past memory, and that comes out as one short episode in text form.

In Japan, there is a genre called the Sound Novel. It's like a novel; it's all text messages. And we were, how do I say -- we weren't sure if it would be accepted well, but it actually was accepted very well, because that writing was very beautiful, and it translated well to other languages.

Who did you use for your translation studio?

RN: The original writing was done by Mr. Kiyoshi Shigematsu, who is an award-winning writer in Japan. And it that is translated by -- I don't actually remember his name, but he's a guy who is famous for translating Japanese novels into...

Oh, yeah. He has translated, like...

RN: Haruki Murakami novels.

Haruki Murakami novels, that's right. OK. So, no wonder! Well, that's good. [Ed. note: The segments were translated by Jay Rubin.] Do you know if the game helped sell as many Xboxes as Microsoft hoped it was going to sell? Because they were really banking on that for a while.

RN: In Japan? I don't know. I guess it depends on the timing. I mean, of course, when we started -- when I was at Microsoft, and we started 360, we had a much bigger goal, but as it didn't launch well, they changed the numbers. And I think with Lost Odyssey and this winter in Japan, they reached their goal. The revised goal, I should say.

The revised goal, OK. I remembered that the thing that -- the game that was selling the most Xboxes for a while, which surprised everyone, was Ace Combat 6!

RN: Yeah. It was surprising.

What is your estimation of the Japanese market this year, versus last year? How has it changed in this last year?

RN: Well, Wii and DS, those platforms are doing very well. As last year, it was doing well last year, and this year they are doing well. I think PlayStation 3 has started flying much better than the last year. But it's interesting, most of those next-gen games, like 360 or PS3, are still foreign games.

Yeah. And it seems even the local next-gen games are still not selling that well. In the U.S., SEGA has released that Golden Compass game, based on the movie. Do you know it? Over here, they had it across every platform. Like, Wii, DS, 360, PC, PS2, everything; and in Japan, they only released PS3 and DS. That's really interesting to me. It shows that people are taking sides.

RN: I don't know. Like, Call of Duty 4 -- I think [sales are] like, even between PS3 and 360 in Japan. It sold fairly well. I think... Probably 80,000 units in total with PS3 and 360, which is pretty good, yeah.

That's pretty good, actually. So, I don't know if you want to answer this now, but how do you think Nintendo is affecting the market?

RN: They are great. It's really that the Japanese video game industry is growing, and that's mostly because of the contribution of Nintendo.

Yeah. Right. I guess my concern is that most third parties are not capitalizing very well or very consistently on Nintendo hardware. You know, it's kind of hit and miss; sometimes they're able to have a success, like with Cooking Mama, but a lot of the time there are just so many games out there that it's hard to make any kind of...

RN: Yeah, I think Japanese publishers still struggle. I don't know how struggling they are, but AQI is struggling, so we need to look at the overseas market more seriously.

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