Panzer Dragoon Creator On Bringing Xbox One To Japan And Phantom Dust

By Spencer . November 14, 2013 . 3:15am

image Yukio Futatsugi, best known for his work on Panzer Dragoon, was a key member at Microsoft Game Studios Japan. He worked on titles aimed at the Japanese market like Blue Dragon. Futatsugi is part of the of the Xbox One launch too with Crimson Dragon, a spiritual sequel to Panzer Dragoon, from Grounding Inc.


The Xbox 360 started with a foothold in Japan when Microsoft invested in games like Ninety-Nine Nights and Lost Odyssey. Third party publishers came on board like Namco Bandai with The [email protected] and Tales of Vesperia. Square Enix brought Final Fantasy XIII over and tri-Ace created Infinite Undiscovery which started life as a first party title from Microsoft before Square Enix took it over. Eventually, support waned and Xbox 360 didn’t even get Metal Gear Rising in Japan. With the Xbox One launch only a week away we asked Futatsugi what Microsoft needs to do to make the Xbox One a success in Japan.


"The Japanese market is somewhat different from the North America-European markets, so I personally feel that it would be great if they could invest more into adapting the rather unique Japanese-style games to appeal to Western gamers, or pay more attention to the games that are selling in Japan," Futatsugi replied. "But that is just my general opinion–it’s not really an issue that I am in a position to do something about."


While Futatsugi is best known for Panzer Dragoon, I think his most brilliant work is Phantom Dust. This Xbox game blends card collecting with real time action and has a unique post-apocalyptic Earth setting where everyone lost their memories. Phantom Dust looks and sounds simple, but when you peel back the layers and collect memory boxes. Microsoft developed the game internally and Majesco ended up releasing it here.


"Of all the games I have created so far, Phantom Dust is my favorite," Futatsugi said to Siliconera when we asked him if he thought about making a new Phantom Dust game. "Microsoft owns the IP, so if Microsoft would say they want to do it, I’m ready to jump on board immediately. I’ve already got ideas for a sequel in mind. Perhaps it’s also good to note here that the art lead for Phantom Dust is a member of our company and participated in the Crimson Dragon production."

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  • John Diamond

    iunno really, apart from tales of vesperia and lost Odyssey (haven’t played infinite indiscovery) the other exclusive xbox jrpg’s were pretty mediocre

    • PS360HD2

      Blue Dragon was epic :)

    • Harley Gorillason

      Infinite Undiscovery has some some of the best real time combat there’s been in a JRPG. Its party system really shines the further you get into the game.

      • CycloneFox

        Imo, Demon/Dark Souls and Dragons Dogma have the bst combat systems, not only in JRPGs but any RPG.

        In general, Japanese fighting systems are always the best.

    • CycloneFox

      Compared to Tales of Xillia, or the Tales of Graces (on the Wii and
      later on PS3, too), Tales of Vesperia (which also came to PS3 in Japan,
      too) was medicore at best. I know, alot of gamers for some reason like
      Vesperia alot, but in my opinion, Vesperia may be the worst Tales of…
      game. Lost Odyssey is still in my shelf (for years now), waiting to finally be played.

    • Lynx

      I dunno.

      Early 360 JRPGs were my primary source until I got a PS3.

      Even then, the 360 had a lot of good ones.

    • Vesperion

      Early in the 360’s lifetime was really the only way to play a next gen RPG. I put hundreds of hours into TOV



        yeah. Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey were the reason that i got a 360 than TOV came out and it turned into one of my most played RPGs ever.

      • John Diamond

        110 hours. not including the time i spent playing with my brother on his game file.

        • I remember being at 60 hours or so near the end and then deciding “I wanna do some side quests.” I resurfaced from that hole in my life 50 hours later. ><

          • John Diamond

            haha, the same thing happened to me. I read up about the secret weapons and some how ended up doing pretty much every other side quest.
            It’s a shame flynn isn’t in this game

          • Oh, I also did the extra side quests included in the PS3 version. I forget, was that super-long dungeon in both versions or just the PS3…?

            I will say that making Flynn master all the recipes and participate in the cooking contest was one of the most hilarious experiences ever.

          • John Diamond

            wait you played the ps3 version? man after seeing that version, even though the game was pretty good i felt pretty ripped off. but hey at least i played it

        • Vesperion

          I banked almost 250 getting the titles and such. And that was only the Xbox version

  • Derek E Nay

    I picked up Phantom Dust when it first came out due to a ad I saw. Best. Xbox. Game. Ever.

    • Aristides

      Never even heard of the game. I guess there really was a first xbox game I’d like to play.

    • Juan Andrés Valencia

      I’d go as far to call it one of the greatest games of all time. Fantastic story, addictive and somewhat deep gameplay, absolutely astonishing visuals and great audio. It is the best Xbox 1 game ever.

    • Vash bane

      heck I still own a copy of it … but sadly I cant play it on the 360 T^T

      • Derek E Nay

        I still have it… along with my… um… special Orginal Xbox ^.^ Can’t play it online anyway :(

        • Vash bane


  • Phantom Dust was awesome

  • Phantom Dust was great. If only Microsoft invested in Japanese 1st party branch better.

    • B4000

      Microsoft studios Osaka…

    • B4000

      Microsoft studio Osaka…

  • Aristides

    Too bad MS gave up on the Japanese market way too early. If they would have been overflowing with JRPGs I might have given them a chance.

    • They didn’t give up on it, numbers were and still are very poor for their system.

      • Aristides

        I was referring to pushing out big budget first party content in Japan. Like lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon.ect.

      • Eder García

        Microsoft thought it would be enough with Halo and Gears of War to dominate Japan

  • Xaltmas

    I look forward to Microsoft publishing and funding some great Japanese games.

    And the following bitching from forum-goers about how they “stole our games!” or “Xbox doesn’t deserve —–!”

    • Godmars

      Well, given that they didn’t manage supporting or promoting what titles they had, they didn’t deserve the titles they got.

  • Pockystix

    it was a real shame that MS was basically handed very very great RPGs, and just dropped the ball on getting them recognized both in the West and especially Japan.

    I don’t really see the Xbone doing much better in Japan, but only time will tell. Both it and the PS4 haven’t instilled me with much hope for more next-gen RPGs. . .

  • Aoshi00

    Other than lost Odyssey, blue dragon, vesperia, Magna carta 2 was unique as well..I only beat eternal sonata on the 360 and liked it. last remnant was unique but buggy.. It was a hard game for me.. I also liked infinite undiscovery.. Even though I bought the system to play jrpgs, I ended getting many other games for it, VN shmup etc… For the record, MS never gave up on it for a long time, there were advertisement and weekly inside xbox content for Jpn, it was Jpn gamers who never gave it a chance.. I look forward to unique Jpn XB1 titles as well since it’s region free :)

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    Phantom Dust was great! One of my favorite Xbox games for sure.

  • Vash bane

    this game was one reason I liked xbox more than playstation even went as far as to get a 360 in hopes that there would be another game like it…nope never happened. if this does get a sequel I might get a one because honesty i’m not a hardcore gamer and I suck at most games that comes out (shooters ‘ and fighters mostly .. but oddly im sorta alright in halo XD).

    so I made myself a deal(lol?) which ever system has 5 games I like im jumping on the ban wagon( no way im buying both gen this time around >_>) lol

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