Puzzle & Dragons Beats Forecast In The West, 3DS Version Planned From The Start

By Kris . October 23, 2013 . 6:05pm

Puzzle & Dragons has been a money printing machine for GungHo Online Entertainment and localizing the game was one of the first projects GungHo Online Entertainment America worked on. Siliconera also inquired about other games like bringing Akiba’s Trip 2 overseas and what’s going on with the PS3 version of Ragnarok Odyssey Ace.


Puzzle & Dragons has been a huge hit in Japan, but how has it done in the U.S.?


Kazuki Morishita, President: It hasn’t seen a huge success, especially compared to Japan. We’re looking at with a long term perspective and we will continue to update it with new content. We will finesse our service and have more promotions, so we will probably start pushing it more.


In terms of how it is doing, we have been pretty surprised with how well it is doing. It is sort of unexpected of what we initially forecasted. It’s doing well and hopefully after we push a lot more people will be able to play it and have fun with it.


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What about the Western plans for Puzzle & Dragons Z on the 3DS?


Nothing has been finalized. We don’t know how we will release it or have a price, but we will release it sooner or later.


Puzzle & Dragons Z is more like a full-blown RPG and we could compare it to other things on the 3DS, sort of like Pokémon. What prompted the change to make it more focused on the RPG experience?


Initially, when we were still tinkering with the concept for the smartphone version in summer of 2011, we already started talking about the 3DS release as well. The 3DS version has always been in the works, we have always been planning it while we were coming up with the smartphone version concept. So, it isn’t a new idea we came up with. We were always going to add that RPG element into the game.




What has Game Arts been up to these days?


Right now, Game Arts released Ragnarok Odyssey Ace in August. It’s a hack and slash action game. They are very busy continuing maintaining the game and releasing new content for it.


How is the PS3 version coming along?


[Laughs] As we speak, they are working on it.


In Japan, there are a lot of crossover items with Dead or Alive, Soul Sacrifice, Tales, and Gravity Rush. Will those items come over in the Western version or will there be new collaborations for the West?


It depends on the content and the licensor, so it will be a case by case issue. We want to release as much as possible, but it depends which one we can work on.


You mentioned that Hiromichi Tanaka* was working with GungHo in our last interview. Is he working on an RPG inside GungHo?


He’s working on something! [Laughs] I can’t tell you yet! OK, there’s a lot of things I can’t tell you.


*Hiromichi Tanaka is best known for his work as the producer of Final Fantasy XI and designer of the Famicom Final Fantasy games.




How development for Akiba’s Trip 2 start? Since it takes place in Akihabara, will we be able to visit Acquire in the game?


You can’t go inside Acquire! In terms of the titles Acquire has announced, Akiba’s Trip 2 and MIND=0, those consumer titles that were announced recently I haven’t touched on the development side. Pretty much everything else I have, but I don’t know since I’m not involved with them.


Here’s a question you might know the answer to. Will GungHo Online Entertainment America bring it to America?


Hmm… I don’t know. What do you think?


I think it’s a very strange title to bring over, but it would have at least a core audience.


There is a lot to localize on that title. It has full voice-acting. It’s a hard sell, but if there is a huge audience out there we will look at it, but we’re not sure about that one.


Any chance of a new Lunar anytime soon? We’re going to keep asking you about this for our readers!


In terms of RPGs in general, if we come up with a good idea we will want to release it. But, creating an RPG like I said when I was talking to Spencer last time is people will die. [Laughs] Coming up with an RPG is a lot harder than I think people realize, mentally and physically for everyone on the team. If we come up with a great idea for the next Lunar we will work on it. Right now, we haven’t come up with a new idea so we don’t have plans for that.

  • Jesse

    Another remake of Lunar 2 would be nice, too, or at least finding some way to put the PS1 version on the PSN.

    • Yup Lunar 2 remake is awesome XD

  • DAT Bird From DAT Cage

    So this means we can kissgoodbye to Mind0 and Akiba Trip 2 coming over to NA and EU?

    Great – just great. Another 2 PSV JRPGs that we are NOT getting. This sucks.

    • Interface23

      No one said that?

    • Renaldi Saputra

      I don’t think Mind0 will come to west, seeing ppl will accuse it as Persona/SMT rip-off

  • Ethan_Twain

    Keep interviewing this dude! Not only is he actually a very important person in the industry, but he interviews WAY better than standard corporate mouthpieces from the old blood of the video game industry. Very cool content.

  • Razlo

    I would love Akiba’s Trip 2 to get localized!

    • michel

      I’d love to get it with the original Japanese voices. Just a translation of the text parts.

      • Kai2591


        • Aristides

          Third Vote. The game is set in Japan and is super Japanese, text is fine lol.

          • Fourth. It’s a game that shouldn’t be “localized” at all, just translated, keeping the honorifics and perhaps adding some explanations. As said, it’s set in Japan! No need to Phoenix Wright it and make it look like it’s set in California instead. We’re all adults now. It’s the 21st century. Surely we can appreciate a game set in Japan.

            Guess the question is, who would buy it. There is probably not a “huge” audience, but it seems to me like it would be worth their while if they did it barebones.

          • InfectedAI

            I think anyone looking for something unique and in a different setting would be interested.

  • alangato

    Thank you for asking about Lunar and Game Arts, definitely wanting to see a comeback from them!

    I mean, on the puzzle side and everything else they have been really good…but I still want to see new great RPGs from them, just like the Saturn~Dreamcast era!!

    Thanks, really nice interview.

  • Audie Bakerson

    I’d take no dub (it takes place in Japan and runs on how utterly Japanese it is, why do you need a dub?!), but unfortunately SCEA won’t without it being digital only.

    • doubleO7

      I would take digital-only over no english release at all.

      • Audie Bakerson

        So would I, but I REALLY hate that SCEA policy, especially when they don’t even apply it to SCE products.

        • Digital-only makes a lot more business sense. I would be thrilled with a digital-only release, and it would have a lot more chance of making a profit digital-only.

          • Audie Bakerson

            I LOVE digital only… on PC.

            On consoles, the single store system just makes for VERY stagnant prices.

          • Yeah, can’t argue with you there, especially if we’re talking the eshop. The PSN does a little better with PS+ and the kind of sales Atlus and Xseed often have.

  • Renaldi Saputra

    I’m really afraid even though it’s so popular in Japan, PuzDra will be very niche in the west, just like Medarot, Kamen Rider, Gundam, and Summon Night..

    • That would be a sad thing to see. It’s probably some of the most fun I’ve had on my tablet when it comes to gaming (outclassing pretty much all of Square’s offerings) and I would love to see anti-mobile gamers get into it with the 3DS release.

      • Renaldi Saputra

        what I’m afraid is just 1.. ppl will say “Pokemon rip-off”, no more than that.. and those words affect the sales so much

        • That’s very true, and worrying. Too many great games (that involve monster collecting) have been written off for not being Pokemon. Hopefully this one isn’t going to be one of them.

          • Renaldi Saputra

            I hope so, but unfortunately, it’s going to be true for most of western gamers..

            every title that looks alike, they simply call it rip-off..

  • Alex Sargeant

    Did we have a Puzzles and Dragons Z confirmation beffore? I didn’t know anyone saying it would come out in the West until now.

    I’d love for PAD to come out in the UK. Weirdly it’s kind of missed this territory so far. I really enjoy what I’ve played. I’m not hardcore into it due to a lot of the limitations of being a free title, but I could see a console release being impossible to resist.

  • I hope Akiba Trip 2 comes over, I like those wacky Japanese games.

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