Arc System Works surprised the world by announcing a huge crossover fighter BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle last month. There’s still a lot we’d like to know, and producer Toshimichi Mori answered some of those questions in a recent interview with Famitsu.
Famitsu: We were surprised to see BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle get announced for consoles instead of arcade.
Mori: “Yes. This time we’re going with consoles. Even the game contents, we’re focusing on having it go well with a gamepads as we work our best on making something that can express the enjoyment of fighting games. We want those who can’t afford arcade sticks, or young players who can’t reach them, be able to play with ease. The game system itself will also be completely new, and different from the BlazBlue series, so all players including those abroad will fight from the same start line.”
Are we focusing on more of a global approach?
Mori: “We definitely want to have as many people from around the world play the game. Localization is difficult, but I believe that Arc System Works won’t be able to take the next step without doing so.”
Characters from outside the BlazBlue series will be appearing. It was a big surprise seeing a character from the foreign anime RWBY make an appearance.
Mori: “RWBY is a very Japanese-style work from America, and I remember feeling respect for it back when we were working on BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma while watching a trailer for it and thinking ‘this is cool.’ I’ve always wanted to make a RWBY game, and it became a reality in this form. However, its creator Monty-san (Monyreak “Monty” Oum) unfortunately passed away at the young age of 33, and I believe we lost some some very previous talent… By the way, when the folks from Rooster came to visit us prior to the announcement, there was some talk on the Internet about them making a game, but that was all before the project started, so it was completely unrelated [laughs].”
I see [laughs]. So that means BlazBlue isn’t over yet.
Mori: “Nobody said BlazBlue was over [laughs]. Ragna’s story simply reached a stopping point with BlazBlue: Central Fiction.”
Will BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle’s story be a continuation of BlazBlue: Central Fiction?
Mori: “Since we have characters from so many titles this time around, we’re thinking about going with a focus on their fight. The characters of BlazBlue, Persona, RWBY, and Under Night In-Birth all have their own personalities and objectives, so we’re doing our best to make it into something that can be accepted by fans.”
Have all the characters been decided?
Mori: “We’ve more or less decided on the characters. However, we still want to listen to requests from fans, and that’s why we decided to make the announcement at such an early stage. I’m not sure how it’ll turn out, but I think it would be fun to have some kind of fan poll to see which characters people want to see in it the most.”
Will there be any Guilty Gear characters?
Mori: “I’m aware that there’s demand for Guilty Gear characters. However, Guilty Gear’s story hasn’t reached a stopping point, so we haven’t thought about it. If we are to have Guilty Gear characters join, I’d feel much better about it if it’s after Guilty Gear’s story is complete.”
I see. So does that mean the series that were already announced are going to be it?
Mori: “That’s everything ‘for the time being.’ Since we work with all kinds of companies, the thought of expanding later is still there. However, I believe it’s normal to feel wary when one company lends their contents to another. Actually, I don’t think I’d lend my own to someone else unless they have my trust. For that reason, I want to show that ‘we can take good care of your content,’ and when the time comes I’d like to continue developing carefully to not betray their expectations.”
Are the character models being remade for the game?
Mori: “There are some character models that we can’t just throw in the game, so we’re brushing up on some of them. Especially Under Night In-Birth, where they use exceptionally special effects, so we’re working on alterations for this game.”
BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is expected to release in 2018.