Xenoblade Developer, Monolith Soft, Want To Be Like Bethesda Softworks

By Sato . December 14, 2012 . 6:00pm

Monolith Soft, best known for developing the critically-acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles, opened a new studio in Kyoto, Japan, last year, in order to be closer to their parent company, Nintendo. What exactly have they been up to since then?


After Xenoblade, Monolith Soft went on to develop Project X Zone, a crossover RPG for the Nintendo 3DS, featuring characters from Capcom, Namco Bandai and Sega. They also helped out with certain aspects of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. And finally, in September, Nintendo revealed that they’re working on a brand new Wii U game.


In a series of interviews conducted internally last year, Monolith Soft discussed their projects and aspirations. Regarding their Wii U project, they were rather tight-lipped regarding what to expect, but they did say that it will be a challenging game that will get people together, and that you can expect it to be both very flashy and addicting.


This is going to be their first jump into next gen gaming. Monolith say they thought about it for a while, but and decided that if they were going to jump into the next generation, they’d like to have the perfect team in order to do it the right way. Working alongside Nintendo will be a huge advantage, they feel, as Monolith Soft will have a better understanding of the Wii U’s capabilities, in order to produce top notch titles for the company.


Monolith Soft’s Michihiko Inaba and executive producer, Hirohide Sugiura, had a couple of quotes to share, regarding their upcoming Wii U game.


Inaba: “I’d like to make an HD game that will wow the players. I want to show that Japan can still keep up with the USA when it comes next gen technology. Our goal is to become something like the developers of the Fallout series, Bethesda Softworks.”


Sugiura: “I believe that today’s Japanese gaming industry has lost its touch, and we’d like to do something to change that.”

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  • I wonder are they going to make a JRPG with a multiplayer?

    • angelx03

      It’s theoretically doable. The Tales series, for instance, has some essence of that in battles so it’ll be cool to expand that.

      • Draparde

        There’s also dragon quest IX. i feel that was done well too.

  • Zexill

    I just wish Xenoblade had a better ending. Got all Star Ocean 3 on me. Plus I felt like the character development ending could of gotten better for each character. I still felt as though a certain someone should of stayed dead to put more deep emotional content to the game.

  • monkey

    please god no

    When it comes to rpgs they havent lost a step not at all

  • DesmaX

    Well, that’s a lot of ambition there

    I just hope the Wii U download the patches with full speed, lol

    (Just kidding)

  • -Why-?

  • TheTimeMage

    I’m sick of hearing devs I like (From Software, Monolith Soft) say they want to be like Bethesda or have their games be more like Skyrim.

    • sandra10

      Edge said that they wanted to see the Souls series to sell as well as Skyrim. From Soft doesn’t care – they’ve been doing their own thing for generations. If they wanted to be more like TES, they could have emulated them ages ago. But nope, they came out and stuck with King’s Field then just like they’re sticking with Dark Souls now.

    • eilegz

      agree somehow japanese industry in general have so much pissing on themself or that self pitfulness.

      Japan must man up a little and try to stop believing that every single western tendency be a good thing when its not….

  • Nitraion

    If become like famous as bethesda=Ok
    But become like bethesda like itself=NO

    Just became famous with your hardwork like kojima….
    You don’t want to became famous because glitches game don’t you? *_*…

  • Paradox me

    In terms of ambition, which seems to be what he’s referring to, then sure. Bethesda’s projects are very ambitious and I would love to see more Japanese developers step up to the plate and really push themselves, their games, their tech, etc.

    However, I feel that Bethesda’s games are fairly mediocre in more than a few key areas and really only shine because of the amount of freedom they offer players. Monolith has already shown their ability to craft an amazing game world in Xenoblade (in terms of appearance, at least), and beyond worldbuilding there isn’t much I feel they could learn from Bethesda.

  • Charles

    I don’t mind this, but please no first person combat please.

  • You lost your touch after Xenosaga 3, Sugiura. I don’t want another blondy guy to save the universe. I want an epic story without the japanese cliches.

    • brian

      You want western cliches?

      • I want Xenosaga Episode IV.

        • DesmaX

          I want a Xenosaga HD Collection

        • Nemesis_Dawn

          Well, I hope you’re willing to buy a Wii U to get it because Monolith are owned by Nintendo now. Any games they make are going to be on Nintendo systems, unfortunately.

          Unless you want a different developer to handle Xenosaga IV and that’s probably a bad idea.

          • Yes, I know. And yes, I will buy the console for the new Monolith project and Fatal Frame 5.

    • > Xenosaga
      > without Japanese cliches

  • creid8

    Funny, I’m playing through Skyrim now and wishing Bethesda was more like Monolith Soft.

    • Ultima-X

      I think they’re talking more about Fallout than Skyrim.

  • More of this self-loathing from Japanese developers? All I hear is we’re tired of being ourselves, so we’re going to try emulating what’s popular and miserably failing.

    • That’s funny, because I thought Xenoblade was one of the most well-received JRPGs in several years, so clearly Monolith know what they’re doing.

      • Xenoblade was well-received only because it’s big Nintendo exclusive. The game itself is empty.

        • “Empty”? Did you miss all the discussions on the site about various elements of Xenoblade? Because I can’t imagine an empty game sparking any discussion to begin with.

          • Yes, Xenoblade is empty, soulless. You can run, fight, jump, explore, but it’s pure mechanics. There is no thoughts in the game, like it was in the Xeno games. That is why I think Monolith should avoid games like that.

          • I’ll have to say I find a big contradiction between what you said about the game being “empty” and consisting of “pure mechanics” at the same time. As for “soulless”, there are several mechanic-oriented games with minimal story (Souls, for example) that can be just as solid a game. I don’t think a game becomes less worthy just because it paid less weight to story. Not to mention that Xenoblade isn’t formally part of the Xenosaga series.

            And I will differ from what you said about the game having no thoughts. Several of its mechanics that serve for the convenience of the player wouldn’t have been there if the developers had no consideration or thoughts. It may lack a complex story, but the technical achievements on a console with limited specs like the Wii is nothing short of praiseworthy. After all, game development isn’t merely about writing; a large part of it is software design.

          • Sorry, but I don’t care about the Souls games. We’re talking about Monolith Soft and their games and abilities. And I think, Monolith Soft is more skilled than it was shown in Xenoblade.

          • With all due respect, whether you care about Souls games or not is irrelevant here; they’re valid examples of mechanic-oriented games that work very well without a big story carrying the player along. If Monolith Soft wanted to make something like them, they have every right to, since this is a creative industry.

          • Ethan_Twain

            I’m gonna counter argue that Xenoblade, unlike any Xeno games that came before it, actually makes it’s mechanics part of the big idea. Though the core theme of Xenoblade is extremely common in the JRPG sphere (We’ll decide our own destiny! Yay freedom!) unlike any other JRPGs I can think of that theme is actually made an integral part of the mechanics. All through the game you are literally seeing the future, and taking actions to change/prevent/overcome it. They’ve found a way to marry their ideas TO their mechanics, as opposed to, say, Xenosaga where the narrative and mechanics were entirely divorced from one another.

            I think it would be fair to say that in Xenosaga you watch the big ideas play out in the cutscenes, and then sometimes play a little of a sci-fi themed dungeon crawler in between

        • What a vague and utterly useless insult to throw against a game. I have no idea what you mean.

          • I’m not trying to insult the game. No one can insult a video game, lol. I said exactly what I said. There is no thoughts or philosophy in Xenoblade. It’s just a faceless mass without any concept. And the game received the hype only because there are masses of Nintendo fans. Isn’t it obvious?

          • “It’s just a faceless mass without any concept.”

            Articles. Read them. You may try to equivocate that a game can’t be insulted, but you’re nonetheless missing the big picture and dismissing the developers’ efforts just because they focused on a different aspect than the generally expected JRPG formula.

          • Why are you moderators bothering with this souless buffoon? He clearly has a very little concept of what the words he is using means. I doubt he even actually played Xenoblade, you cant even possibly have that perspective in any case if you actually played the game. Its ridiculously fun and it has only 1 prevalent flaw in the entire concept(monster level balance ). The game has a pretty well fleshed out story and characterization, the battle system is endlessly complex. I mean you dont even die in it because its an open world game that presents you with a flowing interactive story. Its an adventure in its core.

          • I’d love to leave the unreasonable comments alone and invest my attention in some other things, believe you me. That’s the easy way. But if we don’t say anything, those ideas will stay and, through repetition, eventually drown out the more reasonable ones. That’s something I personally don’t want to allow; especially when those arguments revolve around illogical perspectives and slandering games and developers based on mere personal preferences.

          • “I have no idea how construct an argument, so I’ll just say this game sucks without any reason.”

            We actually have posting rules and guidelines against this sort of thing. I’d advise that you read them or you’ll quickly find yourself shown out the door. Thanks.


          • You just can’t stand an opinion that contradicts your own. That’s normal. I believe I already wrote why Xenoblade sucks. If anyone can’t stand my opinion that’s not my problem, sorry.

          • Ad hominem. Don’t go spouting that when what you expressed wasn’t reasonable to begin with. Anyone can have an opinion; the question is whether an opinion is logical/useful or not.

          • Skyer Ist

            @DrakosAmatras, @Ishaan, guys, please don’t waste your time by answering to that InsaneChronos guy. He’s a complete fanatic, who hates everything created by Nintendo. He’s very well known by moderators of two biggest russian gaming forums, where he’s been banned hundreds of times because of using unparliamentary language during discussion with nintendo community users. It all began with Xenoblade release in Europe, when we saw first wave of high scored reviews etc. He stated that the game is trash because something like “I wanted Xenosaga 4 and Takahashi developed this” lol. But no one promised Xenosaga 4. It is completely different project. It also looks like he played just 5 or so minutes (according to himself) on “his friend’s wii” + youtube watching. It’s ridiculous. He also saying that Xenoblade hype it’s al because “nintendo publishing” (so nintendo fans gone crazy), but this even more ridiculous because it is just an absurd.

            The main problem with guy, as it seems, complete nintendo hating because of acquiring his favourite developer during ps2 era. I don’t know how much time we’ll going to ban him on our forums in Russia again, but he always love to comeback when there’s something god bout nintendo or news on monolith soft.

            so, just save your nerves. you’ll not hear anything really constructive about Monolith Soft and Xenoblade new developments as of now. It is funny how after some many bans his hating spread on western gaming sites, such as Siliconera of Gematsu.

          • He means that the game didn’t flatter his pretensions of intellectual sophistication the way Xenosaga’s babbling pseudo-Gnostic nonsense did.

        • Nemesis_Dawn

          I haven’t play the game, so I can’t judge whether it is good or not, but I will say the typical Nintendo hype that comes with everything that ever releases for their systems did not do the game any favors. Nintendo fans do tend to ridiculously overhype every game they ever get, most of the time without justification, which leads many to automatically dismiss any titles that get as much hype as Xenoblade did.

          It is possible that it’s as great as everyone says, but since everything Nintendo has ever put out is gold to some people, it feels more like a boy who cried wolf type situation. I do know telling me it has a FFXII-like battle system certainly doesn’t make me want to play it.

          It is a shame it’s on a system that most JRPG fans don’t play, so the great majority of us will never know for certain. Some will think, “With all this hype, it must be good,” while others will think, “Oh, it’s just another Nintendo game being hyped up by fans who hype up everything.” We won’t know for certain unless we invest in a system that only has about four exclusive JRPG’s total, so it’s not worth picking up.

  • Ethan_Twain

    It would be interesting if Monolith Soft actually did double down on the technology side of things and become a Nintendo studio that really pushes boundaries. As a wider company Nintendo doesn’t have too many studios interested in striving against those limits, but Xenoblade sure did.

    In the recent past Retro’s kinda been Nintendo’s technology pusher, with Metroid Prime on both the Gamecube and DS. The third Metroid Prime game is still one of the best looking games on that hardware too.

  • Yoshinatsu

    I don’t think you guys understand what Inaba-san tried to say.

    Bethesda is now an icon in the gaming industry. They are the ones who brought huge, deep RPGs back into the scene. They are the ones who made RPGs mainstream again, for better or for worse. They are the ones who almost single-handedly revived this genre. They also make great games. And they make shitloads of money off them. So I’ll be damned if any RPG studio doesn’t want to be like them. I don’t think you can be an RPG developer in the 10’s and not AT LEAST be inspired by them, it’d be a sacrilege.

    So what Mr. Inaba probably tried to say here is that the US has Bethesda. Japan does not have an equivalent of Bethesda. Square Enix is done. It’s about time we see some games of equivalent depth and quality from Japan, because most Japanese RPG’s nowadays are directed towards other aspects, and they’re mostly linear. Xenoblade was a really, REALLY good step towards that ambition, in my humble opinion.

    • monkey

      this is all so wrong, I cant even begin to tell you.

      Please dont generalize and make things up in the future

    • That is precisely what Inaba is saying.

      • Yoshinatsu

        Tell that to the people who downvoted me to oblivion and told me “I’m making stuff up” before you went on explaining what he really meant. Like little kids, they took it all back once you told them how things are. I thought Siliconera readers knew better than that. I thought they wouldn’t be all be like “JRPGs FTW, WRPGs BOOOO”.

        Seems like I was wrong. I’m deeply disappointed and embarrassed by this thread.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          You are seeing far more support than the blind haters, my friend. Every so often a thread sadly brings notice to adjustments that are required within the community.

  • monkey

    Monolith, just do what you do. Dont look at anyone else east or west. Your faith in bethesda is misguided when japan has all the best rpg devs right now like atlus, falcom, namco, square, nintendo, nis, ect.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Whelp, looks like their next game will be pretty bad.

  • amagidyne

    I mostly play JRPGs for combat and storytelling. Bethesda is awful at both of those. These guys seem to be referring more to Bethesda’s popularity and influence than their actual design, though, so it’s okay.

    • MrTyrant

      Yeah it seems they are talking more about the popularity of Bestheda than the kind of games they usually do. Glad to read that at least.

  • dr000d

    So…they want to make awful games?

    • M’iau M’iaut


      Welcome to the site, please review the rules before posting. If you wish to make such comments, at least tell us why — in your opinion — you feel this way about their games.

  • Spirit Macardi

    I don’t think this has to be a bad thing. I mean, they’re already like Bethesda in that they’ve made game worlds with absolutely enormous areas and tons of side-quests, but they still have their own distinct style that sets them apart.

    I do think though that Japanese developers need to stop being so hard on themselves. After all, I’ve seen more unique concepts coming from them lately than I have from the West.

  • Shaun Huseman

    *hangs head and sulks*

    Really Monolith? Like Bethesda? So you want your games to be the same year after year with tons of bugs instead of fixing it up THEN shipping the game out?

    Im very tired of this whole Japanese gaming has lost its touch. No, they are just not as advanced tech wise. If they improve that and keep the same gaming formulas, they will make great games instead of trying to copycat the western game design. Which is actually just as stale as the western devs are saying eastern devs are.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Yet those ‘same gaming formulas’ are not as successful with their home audiences to the extent they once were. I see little in the interview where they speak of copying western game design, but rather becoming better versed with the tech level games find themselves at today.

      • Shaun Huseman

        Or you know, games in Japan arent selling as well IN GENERAL. Bad economy, mixed with less people being born to get into gaming, mixed, mixed with constantly being ridiculed by arrogant fools like Phil Fish or whatever his name is.

        They talk about Japanese developers being uninspired and lost their touch and then say they want to be like Bethesda. They arent talking about it tech wise, in fact they already cover those grounds by saying working with Nintendo will help them out tech wise greatly.

  • Suicunesol

    Come on guys. Monolith Soft wants to adopt Bethesda’s strengths–not their weaknesses. Inaba clearly spells out what he likes about Bethesda, and it’s true–Bethesda does an amazing job with graphics when it comes to creating a world of grand scale. He does NOT want his games full of glitches.

    Kind of like how most video game developers admire Miyamoto and his philosophies, but don’t necessarily want to develop the same kinds of games…

    • JazzWithAttitude

      Yes, is impossible to do such giant world in a game without glitches.

      • Ryudo9

        Xenoblade didn’t really have any

      • Suicunesol

        I don’t really believe that. Most games nowadays will have a few bugs lying around, but not to the extent of Bethesda’s games. Bug control seems to be an ongoing issue with them, and as its been going on for years and years, it doesn’t look like they’re trying to improve their debugging department at all.

    • eilegz

      i hope so, because japanese companies trying to do western influenced game didnt help them that much….

      Japanese games have better stories, better art direction they need to improve gameplay mechanics and graphics and presto you have a good game.

      I dont know what its going to happen to japan once next gen come, embracing new technology its okay but japan seems to stick on the ps2 era, its time to move on….

      • Josh Strange

        “Japanese games have better stories”… “some” Japanese games have better stories cuz believe me im played some games that made no freaking sense what so ever. now if were talking RPG wise then of course it’s better. RPG games is what Japanese devs do best.

        • “RPG games is what Japanese devs do best.”

          That’s also debatable, considering Japanese and Western
          RPGs are completely different from a design perspective (to the point I question myself why they belong to the same genre at all).

          One can’t really say Final Fantasy VII is better than Baldur’s Gate, for example, because it’s impossible to compare one against the other.

          • @google-30a4d6a6f43be27fd28dfbe21fa315a9:disqus “(to the point I question myself why they belong to the same genre at all)” Good point. Which is why I’ve taken to referring each type of game based on where it came from. Fire Emblem? That’s a J-RPG. Fallout 3? That’s a W-RPG. Both have different design philosophies, and are enjoyed by different, sometimes overlapping crowds.

      • No on the graphics. Graphics in Xenoblade Chronicles were just fine. If they start focusing on graphics, you risk creating another Square Enix. Everything else, I agree with.

  • MrTyrant

    It seems people will complain by just reading the title and not the interview. To be honest I was going to post some complains but I decide to read the full article D:

  • Now if they could juuuuusssttt help us convince Namco Bandai to localize project x zone that would be fantastic :3

  • KingGunblader

    I can’t wait to campaign for the Western release of whatever you make. I know that SOUNDED sarcastic but it’s really not.

  • sandra10

    I find this really annoying especially since they’re not going to reach their aspirations anyway. Skyrim sold better than like, every game Monolith ever developed combined. There’s a reason why their worlds are as vast as they are – they can afford to have 100s of designers working on one game for 3+ years. And Monolith can’t.

    What I hope they focus on is creating their dream games. New ideas, new mechanics, and interesting universes/stories/characters. That’s what I want from Monolith, not a Japanese TES game which is what Xenoblade felt like to me.

    • Wat? I don’t even…

      Nevermind, it isn’t worth it.

    • eilegz

      no way xenoblade its one of the most epic and modern japanese rpg should be.

      sure felt inspired by FF XII and some MMO elements but adding and inovating its good stuff

  • Basically they want to make a game like Skyrim that runs 60 fps and glitch free.


  • Hollowkoopa

    From all the comments i’m seeing, apparently Bethesda is like the worst company ever.

  • Altritter

    This comment thread exemplifies everything I dislike about Siliconera’s community.

    • SerendipityX

      Ouch, but I gotta agree with you here. (-_-)

    • Hollowkoopa

      Agree, i tend to be here only for news because i cannot stand the Siliconera community.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        @Altritter:disqus @SerendipityX:disqus Understand the concerns, but would ask you to maybe take a second look. For the shortsighted comments there are those trying to focus the attention on the complete answer/interview. I think some of those folks are far closer to the speaker’s intent.

        Bethesda has made a variety of games that even with their faults, are fun to play and have seen mass success that only one JRPG series can really touch. Sadly that is enough to make a few elitists convinced they are better than the rest of us, to complain.

      • Luna Kazemaru


      • To be fair, they (the mods) actually put some effort into weeding out the really unnecessary crap that you see on some more popular gaming news sites… but that is going to get more and more difficult as this site grows in popularity (and it’s growing alright).

        • sd28

          you mean neo gaf

      • M’iau M’iaut

        If you could give us some general idea of concerns, I can tell you it will at least be listened to.

    • yup

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Nice job generalizing all of us :D

    • You’re talking about the current generation of the community. Try not to generalize too often, OK? Other than that, you’re right.

    • CirnoLakes

      Funny, I feel quite the opposite.

      Seeing a comment saying they wish Bethesda were more like Monolith Soft getting around 150 upvotes, I feel awfully at home.

  • Guest

    Eh, those two quotes in the article are 1.5 year old.

  • 9thsage

    The number of people going “OMG why would they want to be famous for glitches?” are missing the point completely. :P I mean, it’s kind of funny to think of it that way, but really.

  • $29082171

    Isn’t this something that happened a long time ago? Or was it just never posted in here originally?

  • Cameron Ward

    seeing all the idiotic complaints from people who havent even read or understood what Monolith Soft is trying to say puzzles me, did the community here just have a brainf art and forget that Xenoblades is like one of the top 5 best games of this year?

    • M’iau M’iaut

      I agree, but lets do try and remember that we are talking opinions on both sides. If we can keep things to personal thoughts and ideas, the blind personal rage folks will have one less thing to blind rage about.

      • Cameron Ward

        oh right. it just kind of puzzles me why everyone is in my opinion slightly overreacting to the whole thing when they need to read the article and understand what they mean before you post your opinion about your love or hate for bethesda

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Of course they do, and we will remind folks to read the rules only so many times. I do thank you for your understanding.

          • Cameron Ward

            no worries

    • CirnoLakes

      “and forget that Xenoblades is like one of the top 5 best games of this year?”

      We’re allowed to not believe Xenoblade is a top 5 best of anything if we so please.

      Personally, while I liked Xenoblade Chronicles a bit in many ways. I find it just a teeny bit overrated. Certainly not true industry leader material. And many of the things considered an improvement on the genre weren’t actual improvements at all. I know certain groups are clamoring for all jRPGs to have the save anywhere quick-travel mechanics that Bethesda games have, but they are in many cases simply not appropriate and would do little but cheapen and casualize the genre, taking depth instead of creating it.

      Personally, while Xenoblade Chronicles was a great game. Looking at some of the ways the game was lacking and what the game was trying to accomplish. I do have a bit of a worry of Westernization.

      Not that Monolith Soft mean that by their statement. But we are living in a gaming climate hostile to many of the best Japanese tropes. And it’s not a good time to assume that taking influence from a Western development group will mean good things.

  • Yvonne Tsang

    Interesting how Monolith Soft and Kojima Productions both have ambitions to compete with western successes. I hope that brings about some great games for the new generation. :)

  • Nasser Al-Ojayan

    “Our goal is to become something like the developers of the Fallout series”

    Does that mean thier next game is going to be post apocaliptic or maybe SciFi and will have a focus on guns?

    • I’m ok with this! (just not fps, which I seriously doubt anyway)

  • Lester Paredes

    Wait.. that should be Bethesda wants to be like Monolith Soft, because Monolith doesn’t deliver insanely bugged games. Other than that, I look forward to anything these guys bring out. It may not always be the best, but it will be finely crafted.

  • Luna Kazemaru

    So idk whats worst the idiotic complaints or the idiotic comments trying to generalize the site as one big hive mind of hate guess I will go with both.

    • I’m getting tired of complaining about the community. But i’m glad I’m not the only one noticing. It seems like a pretty shitty thing to complain about, I mean we would probably all do ourselves a huge favor by not reacting. I mean what are you going to say on your (the collective “you”, don’t get offended) deathbed? “Ohh man I’m so glad I spent all that time on the internet complaining about stuff with people I don’t even know and getting mad” None of that time comes back, it’s gone, gone forever.

      Doesn’t seem worth it. I think I have a new year’s resolution in the making.

      • Luna Kazemaru

        I know there are bad eggs here but I find it really silly to make everyone out to be some collective hive mind or one person. All communities has its far share of poo it comes with the fact when sites get bigger and get sourced alot.

        • Ishaan is right: Looks like another “clean-up” is in order. I’d prefer everybody behaving reasonably on their own, but if that’s not happening (for some), then the weed has to go.

  • Andar

    I think it’s very interesting that a member of Monolith would mention Fallout; the newest Fallout game is a unique case among Bethesda’s sandbox style games for having stronger character development in NPCs than is usual for them, whereas Xenoblade was a game in which Monolith retained the very strong, character-centric development they usually do but taking place in a much, MUCH more open world. Not to say that either developer is bad at what they do. It’s because of their respective strengths that I think Monolith is able to respect Bethesda in that way.

  • Elvick

    Not a fan of Bethesda games personally, but the sheer scope of the games they create is impressive. I just don’t enjoy their games, find them boring myself.

    That said, I’m a bit tired of Japanese developers talking down toward the Japanese side of the industry. Less so than when western devs trashing it, but still annoying.

    Just because other development studios don’t make games like you do, doesn’t mean they way they’re doing it is wrong or worse. There are tons of amazing Japanese games still.

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Folks — before we just add to the ‘oh you want to create buggy games’ snark, please review all the comments. Methinks you might find a different way to consider their responses.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Or read the damn post and not just the title and assume things :D

  • TruSpindash

    I surprised at all the negative responses, despite any technical issues (which in my experience I rarely run into any bugs or glitches) with games by Bethesda they are nothing short of great. Games like Fallout and Skyrim sure do have that “WoW” factor that Inaba mentioned, and I feel like Xenoblade created a very similar feeling in the world that Monolith has created. Becoming more like Bethesda is a great aspiration while of course retaining their own individuality.

  • LaserVision

    Does anyone here read the articles anymore? Or are we all just allergic to context? The head guy wants to make an HD game that can impress people. He feels this is something Bethesda has done before. That is all.

    • Shoo, shoo! Go away and take your intelligent comment with you before they spot this. You see, most of the people in here are allergic to that…intelligence and insightfulness.

      In all seriousness…yeah. You’re pretty much correct, it baffles me why so many didn’t even bother to read this. I mean, I’m sick as everyone else to see japanese devs “admitting” that they are lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to the videogame industry, but they did have a point and made it clear that they’re simply trying to get better at what they do.

      • I’m honestly surprised at people objecting to developers from different cultures trying to learn from and be inspired by each other. Isn’t that kinda like cultural isolationism (only more dependent on market than nations)? I can’t imagine that working to anybody’s benefit in this multi-cultural civilization. Of course no developer is perfect, but that’s all the more reason for them to learn from each other.

        • Most people don’t know what they’re actually talking about, to put it bluntly. Some people forget that we’re all here because we like videogames, and are ready to jump the gun and take things out of context at every turn.

        • I think for at least some people the alarming thing isn’t that Monolith is taking inspiration from a Western developer, it’s that it’s taking inspiration from Bethesda.

          • Well, who they aspire to be is honestly not ours to choose. Monolith Soft is a smart developer, so they can’t possibly be oblivious of Bethesda’s shortcomings. It’s up to them to avoid the cons and aim for the pros.

    • When a headline is as provocative as this article’s, you shouldn’t really be surprised when most of the comments are a direct response to it (even from people who have read the article).

  • omg.. zelda??

  • anthony apduhan

    “If you can’t comment something nice and good don’t comment at all” that’s the rules in short.

    IMO just watch “there” comments for lulz just don’t comment something stupid or trollish if you attempt to do that.

    • Luna Kazemaru


  • This sounds amazing! Keep it up Monolith Soft, the world needs more of your Xeno-RPG-Awesomeness!

  • SirRichard

    Obvious jokes aside, it makes sense, really; Bethesda are currently the top dogs of the RPG market, and however you feel about the final game, Skyrim still impressed a hell of a lot of people. There’s videos of the audience reaction to the Spike VGA reveal of its first trailer out there, go and watch one; that’s the sort of reception most devs want for their games, so why wouldn’t Monolith?

    They want to be industry leaders, and that’s a fine aspiration to have.

  • ragingmerifes

    Just create a good big game, and then delete random lines of the source code. Fallout 3 for PS3 was made like this.

  • I’d like to ask the editor for a clarification: is the quote about being like Bethesda a reused quote from your interview last year, or did Inaba actually just say the same words again?

    • It’s from the same interview, actually. I think we’d forgotten that we actually covered it last year, but we’re going to be covering more stuff from that interview series in the days to come. No harm done, since a lot of people still don’t seem to know about this, I suppose. :)

      • From what he said, he seems really enthusiastic to tackle projects like those high-resource Western releases.

        • Monolith are an ambitious developer. They’re probably the most important RPG dev in Japan right now, for helping grow the genre, aside from Atlus. :)

          • Indeed! Off-topic, but I hope they help in the next Smash Bros, as well.

          • Haha, there’s only so much Monolith can do! Besides, Namco are a large enough company that they should be able to handle most aspect of Smash by themselves. They have all the necessary departments and connections, for everything from coding to art to cutscenes. :)

            I really hope Monolith’s other team that just got freed up is working on a good 3DS game. I always saw Project X Zone as a bit of a waste of Monolith’s talent.

      • Thank you for the clarification, and it’s good to see a swift response.

  • *looks at comments*
    Way to miss the point guys. lol

    I feel they impressed a lot with their games already, and that wasn’t HD. I think they will do fine.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Xenoblade: journey to Skyrim

  • shogunknight

    Why do they keep saying japanese gaming industry has lost its touch? I dont believe so

    • M’iau M’iaut

      In part because their own community is telling them that with what Japan is and is not buying. The companies we have all loved for so long are in a tough position, costs — even for what could be called a traditional themed game — have exploded with this generation of consoles. A 25k sale financially successful PS1 JRPG or 50k PS2 title are just no longer possible. It’s why so much moved to the handhelds.

      • shogunknight

        You are right. Though considering the trend at which smartphones and handhelds are going, developing games on them would be as expensive as current gen consoles in the near future

  • Settsuo

    Look, then just make a quality game. People recognize passion, hard work, and dedication no matter what. Properly code the game, test mechanics with extreme prejudice, make sure the story your writing has a purpose, and keep it simple, yet challenging. This is what gaming needs. Don’t aspire to become as big as something you’re already towering over.

    Bethesda Softworks: Uh-oh shots fired

    Bystander: What are you gonna do??!

    BS: Bring “Him” in.

    Bystander: Who are you talking ab—

    Dragonborn: Fus-Ro-DAAAAAAAAAAAA


    Japanese developers in general need to take chances in the western market. Yes, you may not succeed here, but you will create some type of need for more of those types of games. The West is indeed all about money, but it also includes people who recognize quality titles or just extremely fun titles. Your success rate is low, but with each title it will most definitely increase.

  • Pockystix

    Ok, I’ve cooled down lol

    y’know, playing Dragon’s Dogma was a great ‘preview’ of the concepts for western and eastern combining to make an open world rpg that didn’t rely on basic-level combat.

    If anything, I would really like to see the Japanese take on open world games, breath more life into it.

    That being said, I think what rubs people the wrong way with the statement (myself included) was that most of us know the lazy and almost insulting levels of flaws in the ES series. PS3 owners of Skyrim were ripped off. And despite the game being broken, and basically just a streamlined Oblivion; it won Game of the Year.

    Alos; folks wouldn’t shut up about it. I think even fans are really tired of hearing Arrows and Knees being substituted for humor.

    I guess, if Monolith Soft wants to be more like Bethesda in terms of expanding themselves, sure. But please do not copy their horrible business practices, or lack of care for their consumers.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Thanks. When we ask folks to think before posting and be willing to defend their own comments, things like you have said are all we are looking for.

      Skyrim wasn’t our game of the year and I’d suspect our community would run anyone who thought ‘arrow to the knee’ a worthwhile post out on a rail. Yet, we shouldn’t have to remind folks that hobbies are meant to be fun and if you don’t find aspects of our hobby fun, just move on to a part you do like.

  • Peter Le

    I’ll be cheering them on. If they can build on Xenoblade’s strengths, they’re gonna have one hell of a game. Also people should read the whole article before jumping to conclusions.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Monolith Soft’s crowning achievement is easily Xenoblade. When I look at their past history, I don’t see much else that I would ever list in my top games. The Xenosaga series was okay, but nothing spectacular; it had its ups and downs. Baten Kaitos was a game I never played, but I know it has a cult following and people loved it. There isn’t much else they’re known for. They did do some smaller games like Soma Bringer and one of the Super Robot Taisen games. Bethesda has a much better resume, IMO.


    Well, seeing as how good a game Xenoblade is, I look forward to seeing what the company can come up with!

  • daylightdies

    They should be proud being Monolith Soft. I can’t think of a truly bad game they have made.

  • Nice to see cooler minds prevail in this thread. Good job, everyone that actually read the article and tried to understand the quote within the appropriate context. :)

  • Adol Christin

    Taking positive feedback, ideas, from anything is good thing :)

  • Why is there still no Baten Kaitos 3? You have TWO SYSTEMS with touchscreens! COME ON!

  • Happy Gamer

    Xenoblade Chronicle’s artistic choice was amazing. can you imagine it in HD? Everything doesn’t have to look like fallout etc. As much as I loved the game, one thing I still feel relevant since well..pretty much since I started gaming is that japanese game’s have amazing artistic charm (those that are good) and characters are extremely lovable. Alot of times, Western game characters seem like I have seen them around my apartment complex.

    I remember years ago when Japan was still dominating, one of the few criticism that western games had were character designs. I still agree with this. There are exceptions however. I personally really loved Alex from half life 2, monkey from Enslaved etc.

    Since western games were not as strong in the design area I think they found “personality” to use as design which I think is something that was not possible before technology developed and succeeded, whereas japanese games still stick with the old formula of design over character.

    This I think had a pretty bad backlash in the new era. Things on how characters are corney, 2 dimentional etc.

    Totally off topic but this could be a cultural thing. I dunno if you guys know but my home country of South Korea and Japan puts great emphasis on outer appearance and first impression. A person well dressed, handsome/Pretty, the “right” weight (usually borderline anorexic) is a person who “takes care of themselves.”

    There of course are people who hate this notion and game developers who use personality alot (Metal Gear Solid imo) but majority of the country is like this and I think identify “prettiness” over substance, at least at first glance.

  • AaqibRawat

    Monolith soft want to make more money.

    skyrim [flyswatter] sold a ton and made lots of money.

    Monolith soft want any future games to sell a ton like skyrim [flyswatter] and make more money.

    -_- the end

    Can not wait for future Monolith titles.!

    I love you Xenogears for ever

  • I think it’s kind of interesting how the Japanese gaming industry is starting to garner more inspiration from Western developers. Dragon’s Dogma, for example, is a perfect example of how a Western inspired game developed by a Japanese company should be done. Same goes for Demon Souls. Japanese developers realize that the industry is changing worldwide and have to adopt the strengths of their Western brothers while keeping their own touch and flair.

  • CirnoLakes

    People are blaming people of “overreacting” and “taking things out of context” there. But this is an old quote put into a headline bound to start controversy.

    I don’t think you can blame detractors for “overreacting” or reacting too negatively when an old quote has been drummed up for a saucy headline. Intentional or not. If unintentional, I don’t think it is a very great choice of words.

    The nature of the title “more like Bethesda” is naturally going to create controversy because we are in an industry loaded with ideas about controversy in Eastern and Western gaming and a lot of soreness. And if one doesn’t want to drum up the fears of those losing beloved franchises and tropes to Westernization, I think a better suited title for the article could be written. Because it is very evocative of everything many fans of many Japanese video game tropes fear in the current gaming industry climate.

    • The article came with ample amounts of text explaining in detail about in what ways Monolith Soft intends to be like Bethesda – right below the title, in fact. The responsibility to read the article before posting out-of-context comments is on the readers/commenters, not the writers. If they’re aware of the “pitfall mindsets”, it’s all the more important to not have jumped to conclusions. I don’t think it’s fair to blame someone else for a fallacy of many.

  • In that they release glitchy, fetch-questy, visually ugly games designed to eat up hundreds of hours? I’ve always loved your ambition, Monolith, but there’s no need to shoot for that!

  • Steven Molina

    I enjoyed the Fallout Series, I can see why they would like to inspire to create a similar attribute, with a wii u game. I guess, I’m a little tired of all the exaggerated anime style robot meets boy and saves robot girl from the clutches of a demon insect. Don’t get me wrong, if they can change with the times and give a more mature audience targeted game, versus a PG version, I’m all for it.

    • Volfos

      How about one where humanity is forced to abandon the earth because of a war that has nothing to do with us but which leaves us as refugees on an alien world under military control until you can revive the civilian population from scattered stasis pods?

  • Ari

    This makes me mourn for the days of Xenogears and Xenosaga. Damn gameplay purists forcing Hashi to change his style. Xenoblade was great but it just wasn’t the same. Too much gameplay and not enough story.

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