By Spencer . November 14, 2013 . 3:15am
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 Idolm@ster 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."