NieR Director Departs From AQ Interactive

By Spencer . November 5, 2010 . 4:14am

imageRecently, AQ Interactive folded studios like Cavia and Feelplus under one giant AQ Interactive label. We first heard about this when Taro Yokoo, Director of NieR, announced Cavia was being dissolved.


Yokoo announced he plans to leave AQ Interactive today.


Yokoo explained he does not have a dispute with his employer and the reason for leaving is so he can increase the breadth of his work. Project(s) Yokoo are working on are in the midst of being adjusted. Yokoo doesn’t have a set resignation date and he may continue to develop video games. If there’s work to do he’ll do it, if not he won’t. Yokoo also responds to fans that say they love him by saying me too.

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  • Nier was an awesome!! its problem was that ppl didnt give th trouble to understand story and all they cared about was th dam “graphics”!!…

    i want to see more games like this one!

    and sayonara~

  • Kaoro

    Makes me sad that NieR wasn’t more successful. I can’t explain why but it’s one of the most memorable games this generation for me. I think its unique visual style and music help it stay in my mind. Maybe with a larger budget and some combat polish or refined graphics it could have done better.

    • Feynman

      NieR is definitely something else. Like other Cavia games, the gameplay is a bit rough around the edges, but man oh man, it has the single most well-written story of the current console generation. Miles and miles beyond the mindless crap that other games offer.NieR proudly stands amongst games like Planescape: Torment and Ultima IV in terms of sheer storytelling excellence.

      • Belenger

        And its a shame it was such a huge world and we only got told the beginning and the end drag-on dragoon and Nier, and only got told Kayne-Nier story, I really wanted to play the story of hamelyn where weiss got into what was in Nier.

        At any case I’m going to point to the fan translation of the Grimoire Nier, a 223 page artbook that was released sometime later than the game and features the summarized story, the Gestalt project which is a complete timeline of how the hell everything ended like that in Nier, short stories that reveal way alot information, the story of all the weapons (think Drag-on dragoon), interviews with the creators, well anyone that liked the game and completed it fully should go read it, plus it has the E ending.

        • Aoshi00

          I wish I had fully completed it, still haven’t gotten endings C and D (w/ so many new games coming out). Also I imported Replicant as well and only played the beginning, figuring out how to keep more than 3 save slots w/ addt’l flash drives.. because unlike the 360 ver. the PS3 ver. doesn’t allow you to save on other devices other than the HDD, looks like I could only manually back up the saves on a flash drive, and then write over those on the HDD.. I picked up the book quite a while ago, but I was afraid of reading it because of spoilers as I have also gotten the first two endings… I’m just missing one weapon from getting ending C. Can’t believe someone actually went thru the lengths of translating all the text, so many novellas, interview, and tons of background info on top of the awesome artwork.

        • Tokyo Guy

          Wait, do you mean that Nier was actually connected to Dragoon?

          • Aoshi00

            They say it was hinted Drakengard and Nier shared the same world maybe in different times. I didn’t read the artbook yet because I don’t want to be spoiled. Also while I liked Drakengard, my memories of its story is kind of vague since it was quite a few years ago.

          • Belenger

            “SPOILER” Remember the last ending on Dragoon/Drakengard while you fought against the giant pregnant thing in the past with the sound and in the end you got shotdown by sukhoi and fell into the ground in Shinjuku? Well that’s the start of Nier timeline, going to copy paste the translated start of the Gestalt report from the artbook:

            Chronology of “Project Gestalt” related events

            * June 12, 2003
            o A mysterious giant and red dragon appear
            o At approximately 3:00 PM on June 12, 2003, an immense white statue (the “Giant”) appears in Shinjuku [in Tokyo].
            o At the same time, a red dragon-like entity (the “Dragon”) appears and does battle with the Giant. The principles behind, and effects of, these attacks are unknown.
            o The Japan Self-Defense Forces study how to attack this Giant and Dragon. An emergency Cabinet-level committee is formed.
            o At 4:00 PM, the Giant falls. What the Giant is made of unable to be determined, and at this time damage on the ground is comparatively light.
            o After the fall of the Dragon, the Scarface, of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 6th Air Wing, 303rd Squadron, attacks the dragon. Its body is secretly taken to a government research facility.
            o This incident becomes known as the “6-12 Incident”. It results in 56 dead, 320 injured, and total economic losses of over 60 billion yen.

            The director said that Nier was the second part of the game he wanted to make, the first part that got deleted would have been enough content for two other games, the team really thought a huge plot for the whole setting.

            Also they explain that Nier timeline is a sequel and a parallel timeline to dragoon and that even dragoon 2 works in this setting, but in the end canon ending is Ending E.

            Also drakengard was by far one of the most censored/changed script and horrible localizations works that has Squeenix done, while Nier was a mixture of good and bad, the VA on the english one was great and fitting, changing the main character affected greatly the decisions of the player for ending C/D and you also loose the hints of love that Kayne showed at briefly moments, for example when she is out from the petrification stage, before that Nier was younger than Kayne by a year, shorter and with spiky (cloud) hair, then five years passed and when Kayne wakes up again she keeps staring him because he transformed into an adult male (without spiky hair) he also goes through a voice change in Replicant version.

          • Aoshi00

            Yea, some of the dynamic was lost (like when Kaine was punching Nier in near game, you could see a glimpse of love), but old man was also cool in his own right, and young Nier’s cloud-like chicken head doesn’t sit very well w/ me either.I just got back to playing Replicant right now (very early, just finished the boss with Kaine when it was using her grandma’s voice), have to say the Jpn dub was a bit distracting w/ its constant censoring/muting/bleeping over Kaine’s swearing, she felt like Barret in the US ver. of FF7 or something except it’s more jarring because there’s spoken dialogue.. one of the reasons why Kaine is so unique is she has a “potty mouth” saying stuffs so unbelievably foul they sound poetic and funny at the same time, adding a lot of personality in the Eng. ver., because Nier is a very mature game that does not shy away from dealing w/ adult themes. So Kaine’s “bleeping” (literally written in “X!#@”) felt a distracting.. just like the bloodless Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.. I didn’t get the multiple endings for Drakengard back then, so I really didn’t remember its true ending, it’s not that important if the two worlds are connected or not.P.S. The Jpn text is unnecessarily tiny too, quite hard to read :(…

      • Kaoro

        SPOILER: A lot of people say this. It’d been 5 or 6 months but I don’t remember the ending sequences explaining much. I remember waiting for some good explanation of project gestalt and none came.

        Maybe ending A is supposed to be vague.

        • Tokyo Guy

          Oh I agree with that. The entire game you’re wondering what the heck is going on, especially with the totally random introduction part, and then when it ends you’re kind of like “what a total letdown.”

          Note that I too have only seen the first ending, and thus is there is more to the story that’s great, but at the same time I think there was so much more that could have (and should) have been done…

    • I can honestly say that the elderly S&M caveman character is what turned me off to the game. Now that it’s only $30, I’m giving consideration to picking it up, only based on the constant recommendations on this site, but yeah, I much would’ve preferred the younger Nier character from Nier Replicant to Conan the Octogenarian.

      • Aoshi00

        Well, the only other option is to import it at $70 and learn to read Japanese. Otherwise just because the main char isn’t as handsome as the main chars like other JRPGs (or androgynous like the young Nier) and you’re skipping this, then you’re definitely doing yourself a disservice. Not to mention the father-daughter relationship was more touching anyway, and the Eng. dub is much much better than the Jpn dub (for Nier, Kaine, and Grimoire Weiss). BTW, the reviews from both Amazon US and Jpn (Gestalt and Replicant) are all highly positive, none of those so-called 2Ch spammers I guess. Guess people appreciate good games w/ good story telling other than aesthetics. I think this is one good looking game though like Ico.

        • Well, at its lower price I’ll definitely check it out, although I may hold on to see if I can get it for $20 now.

          As for the character, he just totally turns me off to the game, but if the story is as good as you all say, I’m sure I can ignore my initial reluctance to his design. I just happen to relate more to, you know, tall, skinny, long haired characters, for somewhat obvious reasons. lol

          Even if I am old enough to have owned a Colecovision. XD

      • Kaoro

        Hmm I much prefer the middle-aged Nier we got than a little boy. He has great VA too. Never been a fan of the young/androgynous characters some Japanese games feature, anyway.

        His face may not be very pleasant looking but like Aoshi00 said the father-daughter thing is very nice. Either way tho, don’t let that hold you back, it’s still great.

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    Supposedly, Square sees Nier as a brand, so maybe they’re up for a sequel. I’m not sure if it was profitable at all, but okay… In such a case, maybe Taro can do freelance director work… I hope so.

    If he can’t, I just want him to continue making video games. He’s responsible for the best game I’ve played so far, this year. Even though I would be happier if some other members of cavia went with him… Well, let’s just see!

    • I would imagine NieR sold well in Japan. Good reviews from Famitsu and it’s Square after all. Not sure how large the budget was for it though.

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        Yeah, makes sense… Probably not too big. I don’t think it needed a bigger budget, though. I was too busy caring about the story to care about the graphics. And we all know how rare that is.

        • Kris

          I think that Replicant actually sold out in some places in Tokyo, but I’m going to assume that it was a flop in America, which I think hurts the chances of a sequel, sadly.

          • [The Hunter] Doomrider

            Now that you mention it, I remember reading something about that… Yeah, in Europe too. As I mentioned in another topic, it bombed hard, less than a month after it came out.

            Being a story heavy game, I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy a possible sequel if I imported it, unfortunately. If it is made and is published outside of Japan, great. If it isn’t… Well, it’s only understandable.

      • Tokyo Guy

        While I don’t have specific sales numbers to go on, I will say that Nier was basically forgotten almost immediately after release.

        It’s funny though because there is still a GIANT poster for The Last Revenant, of all games, on a major store like the Shinjuku Yodobashi Camera (which replaced the ORIGINAL Blue Dragon billboard that had been there for years). In Akihabara they change the giant billboards almost every other week…

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Ooo maybe he too, can join the modest sized J-devs who’ve recently absorbed much of the talent diaspora from major companies: Grasshopper, Platinum, Vahalla, Prope, or Tango… take your pick.

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        While that would be pretty cool, none of those devs are particularly RPG or story oriented, sadly. And even then, only Grasshopper seems to care about story in their games, and that’s every once in a while (not criticizing, just stating).

        I would prefer he could form his own studio with cavia staff, but seeing as how that’s not really a possibility at this point, maybe one of the studios you mentioned will pick him up! I’m eager to hear news about him!

  • Code

    rar, as soon as I’m a bit more solid money wise, I’m definitely picking it up, recently saw a copy where I work, in really good condition marked down to $39.

    • Aoshi00

      Too bad there’s no Kmart where you live, they price drop Nier to 19.99, but still that’s only if you’re lucky to find a store that has it in stock.. they say they have Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 for $19.99 too, but I went to my local and other store they don’t have that, I dont see Nier being there either because they don’t really keep that many games past the new release phase.

    • Joanna

      :OIt’s still at full retail price here (Canada) at last least where I live and I’ve been checking it pretty faithfully. But I’m in the same boat as you, I’ve been meaning to pick up Nier, but something else is always coming out.

      • Code

        To be truthful initially I was put off by the visual look of the game, plus Nier’s face does still fill me with a bit of omo; but I’ve only heard good things about it, particularly that for a lot of people it’s the best Square game released in years — so I think I better give it a shot >w<' But yeah from my checking I've found it used/new $39-$44 at EB Games for the PS3 version, haven't checked to see what the 360 version is at.

  • RAVENKam

    It pains to me to know that the average gamer cannot take their head out of their arse and see this game for the breath of fresh air it represents for the genre! It failed to garner the attention it so well deserved on the single fact that it didn’t carry a Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts moniker.

    And people (myself included) bitch and moan why Namco Bandai DON’T care for bringing the latest Tales titles to western shores!? Here’s hoping Square Enix don’t follow suit.

    • GamerKT

      Is it really that good? I heard that it was, and I was gonna buy it for cheap, but I chickened out and bought MK vs DCU due to my recent infatuation with Superman. If it’s really that good, I’ll get that next. Hell, maybe even today.

      • RAVENKam

        Oh yeah, it’s really that good. Game of 2010 for me, flaws and all…

      • vrakanox

        It’s amazing.

      • Aoshi00

        I think 50 yrs later when I think about Nier, I would still shed a tear remembering its story or from listening to its soundtrack. yes, it’s that good.

      • Wait…you bought what?!?

    • Aoshi00

      Because you have crap like FF13 that sell millions of copies (regardless of quality) and then someone would think it’s the most awesomest game evar created..

      • Okay, we get it, you don’t like Final Fantasy XIII. I hate Final Fantasy XII, but I don’t find a way to stick it into every conversation.

        • Aoshi00

          Why not? The topic tied to good games might not necessarily sell and that games that sell might not be necessarily good, just listed FF13 as an example because it is the more pronounced and most recent in memory (and they both share the coveted S-E “label”). Nier is one such game that “deserves” to sell more than FF13 if we’re talking about quality alone. Alas, it’s a new IP, and Nier doesn’t look like Lightning (or Snow, or Hope the pretty guys w/ girlish names, makes Tidus look manly..). I thought S-E went down the crapper some time ago, and that one of my fav. games in years came from Cavia and only “published” by S-E, which is a bit ironic.

  • If you guys are looking to pick up Nier, Kmart just discounted it to $20.

    • Aoshi00

      Yea, but problem is it’s been months since Nier’s release, I’ve been to two stores an didn’t see Nier, they probably sent back the unsold copies or something. I was there looking for NG Sigma 2 today for $19.99 too but couldn’t find it.. The point is people need to pick up this game, $20, $30, $40, any price.

      • Do you live in a major metropolitan area or a more rural one? I’ve found that if I search enough in New York City, for example, I can find a lot of out of print stuff used, just by chance. I mean, I still will occasionally see a copy or two of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne at various Gamestops throughout the city.

        If you live in a more rural area, though, I can totally see the problem.

        • Aoshi00

          I live in Jersey and work in New York City. I rarely or almost never buy used games because I’m a bit of collector/germophobe, and I think I could afford buying them new. My local kmart in NJ is pretty big. The kmart I referred to was the one in midtown next to LIRR. They carry new games but seem to only stock big titles later on like CoD, or other shovelwares. Recently they have all the new releases thought because they are having such incredible deals outmatching Target, Best Buy, or Amazon in most cases. One cashier asked me why I buy games in “kmart”.

          • I usually only buy new games, myself, but in some cases, where the game is out of print, like the PS2 Megaten games or where I refuse to support the developer’s policy for that particular game, like Dead Rising 2, I’ll buy them used.

          • Aoshi00

            I don’t like dirty boxes or even hairline scratches, the only time I’m forced to pick up used copies from ebay is if I can’t find the original new once the platinum or greatest hits were out, which was the case w/ Dead Rising 1. I bought it on ebay twice, once from a seller that said the game was like new but actually was quite beat up, got my refund.. and the 2nd time was a charm almost like new. Otherwise if there are games that I’m in no rush to play, i would wait for price drop but still pick up new copies. Nier is not rare, it’s just that I don’t seem them anymore at kmart, maybe they would become $20 in other stores later. Pls do check it out though, Nier is not a skinny rocker, but he’s cool, very cool :)

    • Oooh…$30 was a maybe. $20 seems like I’d have nothing to lose.

  • FireCouch

    Oh well. It was a good game while it lasted.

  • Kris

    It’s sad that he’s leaving AQ, but I can’t wait to see what he works on next! I loved Nier, and it’s nice to see that there are games that can still tell really interesting stories by utilizing the strengths of the medium.

    • Aoshi00

      Maybe AQI is only interested in making animal games that’s why this guy needs to go. Definitely hope he would carry the spirits of Cavia w/ him, found a new studio or something.. We need more games like Nier. And I’m still “cry-ing on…”

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        I’m sure he’ll find his place with one of the more “indie” devs…

  • neo_firenze

    1. Aoshi already said it all, but all of his praise of Nier is dead on. Probably the best game I’ve played in 2010, certainly the best thing Square-Enix has published this generation. Buy it.

    2. I’ll certainly be interested in whatever Yokoo does next.

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