Marvelous Interview Part 2: The Future Of Rising Franchises

By Spencer . September 9, 2011 . 5:00pm

As a publisher Marvelous may not be as well known in the West as other Japanese developers, but the creative company made a number of games cherished overseas. Titles like No More Heroes, Luminous Arc, and Deadly Premonition are some of Marvelous’ games. Yesterday, we discussed their merger with AQ Interactive. Today, we’re going to address some of their key franchises and future titles like Grand Knights History and Senran Kagura.

 

senran_kagura_004You know, Senran Kagura has a positive reception on Siliconera. Do you think there is a chance for the title to come out overseas?

 

Toshinori Aoki, Executive Managing Director of Digital Contents: We are certainly looking to bring this over to America and we’re working hard to do so.

 

Daniel Kurtz, Business Development Coordinator: With any of our games, if we can find a partner in the West that we can publish with be it Senran Kagura or No More Heroes. If there is somebody we can sell it with, partner with, and find a market with then we definitely want to push forward. Senran Kagura is no different.

 

Grand Knights History is another interesting project Marvelous has in development. It’s with Vanillaware, but Ignition is beginning to work directly with them too with Dragon’s Crown. Does Marvelous plan to work with Vanillaware in the future?

 

TA: In the past, we did Muramasa: The Demon Blade with Vanillaware, which was a sleeper hit in North America. We’re currently working on Grand Knights History, which has high expectations worldwide and we’re thankful for that.

 

They are a small company, but we do planning on making new titles with Vanillaware.

 

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The PSP market is beginning to wane in North America. Do you think you will be able to bring it over?

 

TA: Yes, I think so.

 

DK: PSP is a little bit tougher, if you compare it to Japan. If you want to take a look at a swan song. If you want to take a look at a game that caps off the best parts of the PSP. That is a fantastic high resolution screen with really good color reproduction, network capability, and really just brings forth that full visual experience. Combine that with the very best visual talent from Vanillaware and the directorial vision of Hashimoto-san over at Marvelous, I really think it’s a trifecta. This is something we look at as a flagship as one of the last titles, as a whole, from Japan that will strike a chord with gamers.

 

Have you thought about HD remakes perhaps for Grand Knights History or other titles through the PSP remaster series?

 

Tomio Kanazawa, Producer: This is a title that hasn’t been released in Japan yet, so it is a little difficult for us to talk about future plans. In the future, users will be able to download PSP titles for PlayStation Vita and we hope they will do so with Grand Knights History.

 

Currently, we are not planning a HD remake for Grand Knights History. Is that something we can consider in the future? Yes. As of now it is not in the cards, but it is something we can think about in the future.

 

How about Muramasa in HD?

 

TA: We’ll do our best! [Laughs.]

 

TK: Muramasa is one of those titles that has a lot of history behind it and we know fans appreciate it. Like Grand Knights History, it is also a Vanillaware title with beautiful 2D graphics and we also don’t have anything currently in the works. It is something we want to think about and something I think at a later date we will put more thought into.

 

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Marvelous said they want to work on core IPs and strengthen those. No More Heroes is one of those titles that sold well in the West. What future plans do you have for this series?

 

TK: In regards to No More Heroes, we partnered with Konami to bring the full remastered version to overseas markets.

 

DK: It’s Heroes’ Paradise in the West, but it’s Red Zone Edition in Japan. It’s nothing like Heroes’ Paradise in Japan. It’s fine-tuned, easier to play with Move, and better looking. That’s in the near term. While we cannot talk about our plans currently, we are always considering it and have plans in the works for it.

 

lumin3 How about Luminous Arc? Since Imageepoch is self-publishing games is this going to affect the future of this series?

 

TK: Being a traditional JRPG, don’t you think it will have a tough time with gamers in America?

 

I think there are many types of gamers in the West and there will always be an audience that appreciates JRPGs. Perhaps, that audience shrank from the PsOne days, but there is still a core fanbase that appreciates story driven games like Luminous Arc.

 

TA: With [Luminous Arc] 3 in particular, it’s a bit tough because the DS market has shrunk significantly.

 

DK: We very much rely on Western partners to get our games out here. We understand we have diehard fans and we understand our fanbase is large, especially for a Japanese company of our size. I can’t say thank you enough for it. Since we rely on partners they may or may not decide like listen the platform and this timing, this could be a little difficult for you. We would rather pass on it and bring it to a new platform in the future or do a remix series later on or something like that.

 

For the future of the Luminous Arc series, years ago Imageepoch had big plans for it expanding it from a strategy RPG to possibly an action game. But, since Imageepoch is developing titles like Black Rock Shooter, is the series on the hold?

 

TK: Like you probably know, we are very close with Imageepoch still. We’re not sure what platform we will put the next game on. We do want to continue making the series with them and there will be a possibility to do so down the road.

 

deadly

 

Deadly Premonition surprised fans in the West. While it was in development hell for a long time it became a success overseas. Have you thought about working with Access Games on a sequel?

 

TK: Rainy [Woods], Aoki-san was the original producer of it.

 

TA: That would be pretty interesting wouldn’t it? We are not exactly sure what we want do right now, but this is something we would like do. If feelings are mutual, which we think they are, even better.


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