Many of those who play Championship Edition may not have encountered Pac-Man during the arcade era. Those days are gone, especially in the U.S. Do you have any idea how an audience that has never originally played Pac-Man approaches it? You have to worry about that as part of your target audience, I'm assuming, with the wide number of people who play console games these days.
TI: When I was a kid, I did play Pac-Man, but I didn't have the Pac-Man fever that everyone else seemed to have. So when I joined Namco, one of my first jobs was to make an arranged Pac-Man title, and while I played Pac-Man, I wasn't addicted to it. I didn't have the love that a fan would have about it.
I felt that I could really make a non-Pac-Man lover's game -- someone new to the Pac-Man experience. I was looking at the title like those people. So when I was going into development, even when I started working, part of what my job was was to understand why it was fun and why people would want to keep playing it.
So when I started making the games, I started realizing, "Hey, this whole tag and chase and interaction between Pac-Man and the ghosts... this is really fun. If we make this increasingly fun for Championship Edition, this is going to get people who have never played Pac-Man or don't really know anything about Pac-Man, like myself, interested in the game."
I felt that if I could be interested in the game, as someone who wasn't a hardcore fan, then other people who had maybe never played the game before would also be compelled by the game.
NN: I just want to add that even though there are a lot of people who may not know Pac-Man, we're still pushing hard on the mobile phones. We have Pac-Man on the mobile phone, and Pac-Man on PC.
It really appeals, we've found out, to a lot of younger gamers, as well as female gamers, just with the simplicity of the game, and the easy-to-understand, pick-up-and-play game style that it is.
You were saying that when you first joined Namco, you worked on a prior remake of Pac-Man. Can you talk about what game that was?
TI: It was an arcade game called Namco Classic Collection. I did Pac-Man Arrangement. It came out around '95 or '96. This was literally when I first joined the company.
They needed people on titles, and they threw me right in, and the first game I worked on was Pac-Man Arrangement for the arcades. That game still exists in the PS2 and Xbox versions of Namco Museum. So you'll probably find me in the credits somewhere.
Namco's Pac-Man Arrangement
With your remakes, you moved from Pac-Man to Galaga; the obvious question is, how did you decide that the next game you would make would be the Galaga game?
NN: One of the reasons why we went to Galaga first was because of the strength of the IP. It was a very popular series and franchise, and we wanted to work with people who were familiar with it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this game is based on Gaplus. Though Galaga is extremely well-known, Gaplus is less well-known in America, but I guess it has somewhat more interesting gameplay. Can you talk about that a little bit?
TI: Different from Pac-Man Championship Edition, on Galaga Legions, there are a lot of Gaplus fans on the core team. So when they went out to make the game, they really, really liked Gaplus and they wanted to put those kind of features and the feel of that game into Legions.