Tales Producer Says He’s Interested In Making Open-World Games Like Skyrim

By Ishaan . November 3, 2014 . 4:30pm


In a new video released by Bandai Namco, Tales series producer Hideo Baba once again comments on the possibility of Tales games being released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Regarding the new platforms, Baba says he doesn’t want to use them to focus on graphical improvements for the series.


“I believe the next-gen consoles such as PlayStation 4 or Xbox One have big improved potential, but I really don’t want to focus on improved graphics when considering the future of the Tales of series,” Baba says.


“The Tales of series focuses on the characters and the storylines. Of course, we can utilize the improved graphics, but we really want to focus on improved storyline and more interesting characters. I really want to consider first the unique characters and world of the game and not necessarily how to utilize new and improved graphics.”


Moving along, when asked if he would like to make games that are different from the Tales series, Baba says that, while he really does want to continue to make JRPGs, he’s also interested in creating a more fantasy-esque open-world game.


“The Tales of franchise has a very long history and I really want to keep developing this kind of JRPG to keep the history going,” Baba says. “But outside of the Tales of series, I’d like to try and make an open-world fantasy game similar to Dragon’s Dogma or Skyrim in the future, something brand new.”

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  • Anthony Birken

    “Baba says he doesn’t a”

    doesn’t what?
    And Open World game (Tales related or not), I’d buy it anyway~
    Always looking forward to this man’s work

  • Kevin Lima Ferreira

    I believe Baba could make a new series that utilize some elements from open-world games but with the fantasy of the Tales of Series like the spells, character designers, soundtrack composers etc.

  • JustThisOne

    Oh god. If he ends up make a Tales-esque Dragon’s Dogma clone, I would be so hyped.

  • LightningFarron19

    “Tales Producer Says He’s Interested In Making Open-World Games Like Skyrim”

    How about instead, we focus on making a game that is either good, decent or alright? Not every RPG has to be a Skyrim clone. Just because you can make an open world, doesn’t mean you should make one. Create a game design that will help forward what your creation is about, not what somebody else’s creation is.

    Is anybody else sick of everybody trying to make their game the next Skyrim like me?

    • Open World is the new popular thing, so it’s that one “This of GTFO” design choice people seem to want.

    • sidspacewalker

      You see that mountain up there in the distance? You can go there!!!

      *facepalm* *yawn*

    • Nicholas Perry

      Skyrim isn’t even any good. So many games get shit reviews because of bugs and issues and Skyrim just got free passes from everyone. Just from a technical standpoint, Skyrim released in piss poor condition. Not like any of those fixes make the game any fun

      • Kango234


      • animefreakhq

        The PC version is the superior one with mods having already fixed majority of the problem.

    • Bunzi

      A developer wants to do something different than he normally does? BURN THIS HEATHEN AT THE STAKE. GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN AND KEEP CHURNING OUT MY PRECIOUS JRPGS

  • KingGunblader

    “but I really don’t want to focus on improved graphics when considering the future of the Tales of series,” Baba says.

    How about optimization? Tales of Xillia 2 was the 4th game released for PS3 (not counting the HD collection), and the lag during more intense fights was RIDICULOUS. Not to mention how much time was spent bumping into invisible wagons that hadn’t loaded yet.

    I don’t need glorious HD for Tales of either, but I feel like the engine would be running so much better on PS4/One.

  • Adrian Duran

    Not even Elder Scrolls fans like Skyrim, so why does everyone and their mum like Skyrim?

    • Kelechuckuw K.c.W

      some how from what I’ve seen & from people I eve met it’s the opposite of what you said & the people posting after you seem to be thrilled about this idea. Maybe it just limited to the people you know & talk to..

      • Adrian Duran

        I feel like it’s an Fire Emblem Awakening situation where many of it’s detractors where series veterans and it’s fan where relatively new to the series

        • Kelechuckuw K.c.W

          well I met some people that played elder scrolls prior to Skyrim & they liked it eve after skyrim came out. Alot of people have varied views/ tastes.

          Everyone won’t like the same thing and some people aren’t used to change well it depends on how change was executed / implemented.

    • Ni ~Algidus~

      the marketing for Skyrim was huge and provided alot of hype towards it. heck i know people who said that “Skyrim V (!!!!) was the best Skyrim”. that why “everyone and their mum like Skyrim”
      I hated it. Daggerfall is my favourite TES by far

  • Ecchitori

    I’m a sucker for Skyrim-like games so I’ll see where this is going. I won’t mind if it becomes related to Tales of even though I’m not a fan…

  • Raymond

    If he makes a game like dragons dogma with some tales sprinkled in there, I would buy that game in a heartbeat.

  • lolcatz6657

    Sounds pretty interesting. Of course most tales of games are usually beyond awesome anyways.

  • Mark Lengod

    I’d totally play an open world RPG with CC system.

    Baba is charism itself, btw.

  • I don’t know, Open World is all the West ever makes. But if you want to make one I would try it.

  • pokepokun85 .

    just stay in the line please, remember lightning returns?

  • Nicholas Perry

    NO. No thanks. Please just don’t. Don’t do it man.

    At the very least,, NEVER make a Tales game like this. I won’t touch it with a ten foot pole personally.

    • awat

      MMOish !? like online Tales game would that destroy the actual REAL Tales game mechanism !? ( i kind of think so too , and ToZ is already looking like a open world game the battle system will be very new for us..) Lets just hope they dont overdo it in Changing the Real Tales Style game :)

  • Ban The Jackass

    And take 10 years or so like FF15?

  • Izzeltrioum

    Before all of you hold an en garde position, read it carefully:

    “I’d like to try and make an open-world fantasy game similar to Dragon’s Dogma or Skyrim in the future, something BRAND NEW.”

    Because I was about to post ragequit in text form, but I’m rather pleased he wants to do experimentation with a new brand series instead of ruining already-installed ones (Take note, SE).

    Other than that, I’m more interested in them fixing accesory/skins-to-3d-model blending >_> (regarding 3D tales games).

    • Slayven19

      Its not like they haven’t already experimented with tales games already with spin-offs.

  • Suriel Cruz

    “Yes!” Keep doing what you love, because WE ALL DO LOVE IT. A bigger world could be a PLUS in the Amazing series that is “Tales of”.

    • awat

      well said ! and bro i trust BABA hes a great guy Will you be buying Hearts R ?! it is coming out soon I will buy it Day 1 !!

      • Suriel Cruz

        Dude! I’m getting that game 1st Day and my social life will be ruin. lolz

        • awat

          Awesome ! :)

  • H_Floyd

    I haven’t played all Tales games, but those I have, I haven’t liked the stories at all. I think the producer ought to focus more on getting better writers.

    (I haven’t played Tales of Destiny 2, which was written by one of my favorite authors. Shame it’s JP-exclusive)

    • DesmaX

      Yeah, I definitely don’t see the “focus on storytelling” he’s saying. The series always had sup-par plots

  • DesmaX

    Well, It would be nice if he got to make a different game. I feel sad when I see designers struck with only one series.

    A Elder Scrolls-esque game with a more Dragon Dogma styled gameplay would be so amazing

  • Raregroove

    All roads lead to Grand Chokmah

    • urbanscholar

      *claps* bravo, bravo

  • Harry Potter

    no not all open world is good except gta and minecraft

  • MaidKillua

    As long as it doesn’t have bad combat and almost nothing of substance in all that open space… Skyrim was the most empty thing I ever played, and mashing right trigger gets old fast

  • s07195

    Hm, while I agree to his sentiments, I find that Tales games usually are battle system first, story and characters second. While Tales games might not have the most unique characters or best written plot… there are reasons for its continuing popularity.

    But yeah, I don’t think open world is a direction Tales games should go in.

    • brian

      Nahh, they’re normally about the characters and drama between them created by certain events in the setting.
      After that are puzzles, then the battles since they only take about 20 seconds each on average, with minimal thought required on normal mode for most battles.

    • HarakiriKami

      The games are already halfway there.

  • Woot Woot

    Skyrim with guns 11/10

  • chroma816

    You know, an open-world Skryrim-like JRPG in the vein of Tales, with the pastel colors and the general aesthetic of the series would be wonderful. Like, it’s what I expect out of the new LoZ game, if the early info is to be believed.

  • It seems like he’s experimenting in getting closer to that with Zestiria, and I look forward to how that’ll go. I hope he gets to work on more stuff~.

    I’d also like to see Tales be cross-platform for this gen, more than ever, because of how pricey consoles and games are, but I feel like we all know the pattern already. . .

  • Anontastic

    Know what’s actually a little sad?

    The way I’m reading this, even Hideo Baba, one of the biggest game devs/producers in Japan, differentiates JRPGs from other types of RPGs by their gameplay tropes. Why can’t “JRPG” grow and expand to the degree where it envelops “open-world fantasy” just as the regular “RPG” tag has? Maybe I’m looking too much into this, but I’ve just been getting the feeling lately that the biggest Japanese game devs are losing their interest/respect for Japanese gaming…

    Also, Baba, stop being so based all the time. I love how this guy is always looking forward to bigger things~!

    • I don’t really think that’s the case. I can’t remember for sure if it was the site I’m thinking of, but I read somewhere about an interesting look at the difference between WRPG and JRPG (and somewhat the overhead of RPG for both). I think ExtraCredits may have also gone over it?

      To me, what Baba is saying is that games like Skyrim don’t have a strong focus on many pre-established characters and their relationship. Skyrim is very open-world; it’s a world of free-roaming, versus a slightly linear game like Tales where sure you can roam, but there’s already so much decided. I think that’s what it comes down to.

      I also get the feeling that he really loves what he does with Tales but also wants to experiment; but because he knows and also appreciates the series for its strength, knows it isn’t the franchise he should try his experimenting with. He sounds sensible to me, especially compared to people that lose sight of what their series is about and would rather mess with it and use brand name instead of take a little risk and try something different.

      Lol, sorry that got so long.

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    heh. Skyrim and GTA V really made devs interested in Open World Games now. I’m totally okay with it.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    No thanks. Open world doesn’t automatically mean better. I don’t understand the logic that every damn game needs to be open world.

    • Slayven19

      But he never said he’d make tales open world at all. He said something brand new.

      • HarakiriKami

        Tales is already open world. They just segment the access to areas like Assassins creed.

  • MrTyrant

    The important part of making and open world game interesting is that they keep their focus in the storyline and their characters along with the gameplay and exploration….in a balanced way. Open world games could mean step-forward to most people but unfortunately most devs made step-backs when they sacrificed single player content or made the main adventure so dull and boring.

  • Spirit Macardi

    I think it’s good that he’s not focusing on improved graphics, since as it’s been shown this gen it’s impossible to get stunning graphics AND 60 FPS gameplay at the same time. At least on PS4/XB1.

    An open world Tales game would be interesting, though I often find that the core flaw in open-world RPGs is that it’s easy to completely lose track of the main plot. I mean, let’s face it, most of a player’s time in Skyrim is devoted to doing sidequests, making armor/weapons/potions, beating up Mudcrabs, stealing the clothing off of NPCs, and modding the dragons to look like Macho Man. All the Dragonborn stuff usually gets pushed to the wayside.

    what I WOULD like to see would be another attempt at licensed Tales games. By which I mean more stuff like Keroro RPG, but with other franchises. I thought it was an interesting concept and I’d love to see another attempt at it. Maybe make a Tales game out of another Namco franchise… How about “Tales of Phantomile” ;3

    • Oxybelis

      What? MGS5 is 1080p/60fps.

      • HarakiriKami

        That’s not confirmed.

        (Also the fox engine is built for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 so of course it’d look good on machines with 5x the power

        • Oxybelis

          MGS5: Phantom Pain on PS4 is 1080p/60fps.

          • HarakiriKami

            Is it?

            Ground Zeroes is but is MGS5?

    • E.T.993

      Tales of Phantomile would be a great idea to give the Klonoa franchise more attention. And I’m totally fine with MOAR Klonoa. :3

  • John Pena

    If it is a lot like Xenoblade Chronicles, then I am in! It is one of my favorite JRPGS!

    • HarakiriKami

      A fantasy open world game like dragons dogma doesnt sound like Xenoblade to me

    • Spicydicey

      Xenoblade or Ni No Kuni. Which is better?

  • Learii

    ps4 plz

  • sakanaとkoeda

    I’m kinda bothered that he didn’t mention improving the soundtrack for Tales. Also no more cookie-cutter towns please >_>

    • Hehehe. I’ve been really sick of Sakuraba for a while now. He has great sounds, but it’s been the same exact sounds for a long time now. And it’s beyond old. But a lot of people really value him now, so I guess it’d be rare to see him switched out. I wish they would get Haruka Shimotsuki to compose for them, because she’s a great composer, could do vocals and is a fan of the series.

      • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

        Dude’s talented, but he’s become such a one trick pony! Such a gap between the varied stuff Sakuraba composed at Telenet, and the recycled themes he’s been putting out for Star Ocean and Tales for decades. It’s possible that he was at his best when he was forced to work around sound chip limitations.

        • Tarkovsky

          Doesn’t help that the man has worked on over 70 titles since 2000 without taking a single break. I struggle to find another composer/musician who has worked on more or even as many titles as he has. I still enjoy his stuff but hey to each his/her own.

        • Yup. That’s why it bothers me so much too because his stuff sounds great, but I want to hear more than the same sound every time. Hmm, that’s a good point~.

      • pekikuubik

        Don’t blame Sakuraba. He’s perfectly capable of producing original music (see Dark Souls, Beyond the Labyrinth, Resonance of Fate etc.). He’s even said himself that producers like Baba ask him to compose music that has that “Tales sound”.

        • I only partially blame him. I was thinking that BtL did have a more distinct sound to it and RoF a bit so as well, but I think he is being a bit lazy with Tales and SO.

          • pekikuubik

            He can do more distinct Tales music when he’s allowed to do so, like the jazzy themes in ToX and ToX2. I’m sure he’s tired himself from being made to compose generic Tales music all the time, which is why it keeps getting more and more uninspired.

            And SO is dead anyway, so… :P

  • Shippoyasha

    The issue will be budget, I suppose. I have nothing against open world games, but they require so much effort to craft compared to a more linear level design in an RPG, it may not be worth the trouble for already money strapped JRPG developers. It could be interesting if they can find a way to do so without destroying their budget limits.

    • HarakiriKami

      You do realize tales is open world right?

      • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

        Care to elaborate how you’ve come to that conclusion?

      • Shippoyasha

        Tales aren’t exactly open world as I see it. It just utilizes the overworld to emulate the sensation of freedom. The plot progression is still fairly traditional.

        • HarakiriKami

          Yeah the story is linear. Same shit as GTA.

          The map just isnt fully available from the beginning like it is in GTA. You can traverse the overworld completely by the end tho so its more like Ass Creeds

    • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

      The pseudo-open world SaGa games were always produced by Square’s “b-team”, weren’t they? I know those games are pretty divisive, but they did a lot of unique stuff with limited resources.

      • Yause

        The A, B, C, organization only existed during the NES era. The classification had to do with team leader, not budget.

        A = Hironobu Sakaguchi
        B = Hiromichi Tanaka
        C = Kazuhiko Aoki

        Nevertheless, it’s true that Kawazu’s team (SaGa 2 was under Tanaka, so he had his own group starting from Romancing SaGa, I guess) tended to be resource limited.

  • decus

    I’d be interested in another original RPG setting from bamco, open world or not. Tales of is really nice, but its world and battle system and all sorts of other things like character tropes are pretty set, leaving little room for something radically different.

    I like that about it, but at the same time something different would be really cool too. Maybe something that actually lets you be the bad guy? Even Xillia 2 didn’t fully allow for that and most people naturally gravitate toward destroying things when given a giant, open world sandbox.

  • That would be pretty amazing

  • awat

    Baba said “ToZ will be coming to your country” you are awesome Baba <3 a Big Thank you !

  • Namuro

    Huh, so while Japanese developers are expressing interest in open-world games, Western developers (at least the indies) are scaling back to Metroidvania style…

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    I’d be all for it, as long as he doesn’t try to copy Western open world RPGs verbatim. Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls are OK and all, but there’s a distinct lack of open world RPGs with Japanese visual stylings. I’m sure many people would love to play one.

    • HarakiriKami

      Then play Xenoblade

      • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

        I have it. I love it. Between Xenoblade, Romancing SaGa and Steambot Chronicles, I can’t think of many other similar games. Hence, the distinct lack of titles.

  • Monterossa

    at least make sure you have females in the party.

  • Nhatalya

    Do it.

  • KazukiNanbu

    don’t do it!! everyone will complaint that the game is no like the old ones!

    • HarakiriKami

      You cant read either?

      • KazukiNanbu

        i’m sorry, i just made a comment based on the title

    • Theob Vious Choice

      The games aren’t like the old ones, the last time Tales felt like a Tales game was Vesperia.

  • Kai2591

    don’t focus too much on graphics. Don’t be THAT studio.
    characters and the storylines are most important.
    Also gameplay mechanics.

    • HarakiriKami

      I dont like how you put that last

  • Haganeren

    I would like to have this kind of game with an anime aesthetics…. But maybe it’s just me… And stopping making another fantasy-themed game also.

    • HarakiriKami

      Then play xenoblade

      • Haganeren

        I suppose so, it lack some subtle toon shading for being what i am really searching though… But here i am being too difficult.

  • artemisthemp

    Skyrim mix with Tales serie would be… Awesome

    • HarakiriKami

      …. Tales is already open world.

      And where did you get Tales mixed with skyrim from? Read properly please

      • jonoepic69

        The recent tales werent open world excepte hearts an innocence r. Graces f xillia and xillia 2 are not opened world. Cant use a boat to freely travel around nor airship. Open world is the older final fantasy 1-9 dragon quest 8 and a few others

  • animefreakhq

    For some reason, Japanese interviews are too hyper but that must be their culture.

  • phayroent

    DO IT!!! Tales of Oblivion.

  • ehtnah

    an open world could be awesome, but it should be really time/money consuming too…. and I think that there is better example of open world then skyrim… ok the maps and freedom are really great, but it lost on all other point….
    but the only thing that really matter is the fact that those future tales of are going out of Japan ^^

  • Mar Mar

    Open World JPRG.

    OPJRPG not overpowered JRPG.

    Make it happen.

  • Josh Asher

    See now, this guy’s got it figured out, has his priorities straight, and doesn’t do things ass backwards…like most of the game industry

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    It’s weird he mentions Skyrim and not something closer to his content like Xenoblade

  • Theob Vious Choice

    I wouldn’t mind that at all, I just hope that we get less of the post-Xillia style and more or the style we got in the beginning. I like the Tales games up to Vesperia because it feels like you’re traveling, you’re going on an adventure. It’s a huge world full of places to explore, instead of what it ended up being once Graces and Xillia took over, which was more or less a bunch of chapters to a story and a bunch of themed worlds.
    Symphonia got the perfect balance imo, exploration, character growth, travel, the areas you traveled were varied and colorful instead of the whole “This is a field area, this is a giant crystal castle thing”. Zestiria seems like a step in the right direction with more emphasis on the world map, I have high hopes for it. Open world may be the way to go, because honestly, if I want to play a game where I just go through the motions to progress a story and do random quests, I’d play a Compile Heart, Gust, or Tri-Ace game.
    Tales is a long running and rich series, there is no excuse for it to have downgraded from what it started as and become just another “follow the story” JRPG series as it was during the PS3 era.

  • Zazon Zenzy

    I like open world and all, but fun and tight stage design is more important to me. Better not screw that part up like Mass Effect 3, Baba!

  • Lelouch Vi Britannia

    Shut up and Take my Gald.

  • Ric Vazquez

    Speaking of voice actors and actresses, get Kana Hanazawa on the next game! :D

    Edit: Yes I know she already did Sophie in Graces but there is no such thing as too much #KanaHana right?

  • Kornelious

    I’m glad that someone realizes that story and characters come before graphics….though I would like to see a Tales game on the PS4 just to see them be able to utilize the hardware to make a longer story, perfect, cel-shaded graphics, and a vastly improved battle system….>Though no rush, Just because everyone else is hoping on the PS4 train doesn’t mean Tales needs to, keep doing what your doing Baba! :D

    Also making an open world game similar to my two favorite open-world games is fine by me! I already liked how Dragons Dogma combined more of a JRPG (Sorta) story with a western setting, imagine what NB could do! O_O

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