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Interview: Capcom’s Matt Walker on Devil May Cry 3, Working at Capcom, and Card Fighters DS

capcom matt walker interview siliconera feature

The original Devil May Cry trilogy is now all on the Nintendo Switch, but there’s a little more oomph for the third game. Capcom took the time to add a few new features to this port, which came as a surprise to some fans considering the first two were relatively untouched. We reached out to Capcom and got a chance to talk to Producer Matt Walker about this release, what his job entails, and why I wish I had the power and influence to mold jokes into reality.

Lucas White, Siliconera: It seems like the role “producer” could mean a lot of different things in games, depending on who you ask. Can you talk about your day-to-day and how that pertains to Devil May Cry?

Matt Walker, Capcom: You hit it right on the nose! A “producer” is something that changes depending on lots of different factors. Often what a producer does is different between companies, and sometimes different between different projects in the same company. There can also be different kinds of producers that focus on specific fields, like outsourcing. My day to day is even often pretty different depending on the project.

I’ve had projects where I’ve been responsible with coming up with the overarching content plan and development schedule, then driving that team to finish on time and on budget, and most importantly maintaining a high bar for quality. I’ve also been on projects where my role was focused on driving one specific part. For Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition, my day to day tended to be staying updated with the dev team; approving various assets; acting as the hub and fielding requests in regards to the game’s publishing, PR and marketing and making sure that everyone from each arm of the organization had what they needed to do their job. And of course, offering feedback or suggestions when necessary. I think the vast majority of my day is spent talking to different people to make sure that everyone has what they need while smoothing out any issues.

Pertaining to Devil May Cry in general, I still deal with certain aspects related to DMC5, I’ve worked on the DMC Switch games, and I also do approvals on all DMC-related merchandise and advertising, often with Itsuno-san. In retrospect, the first time I was credited as producer was on the PS4/XB1/PC versions of DMC HD Collection, so I’ve been involved in the DMC series for a little while now.

Why has the strategy for Devil May Cry on the Nintendo Switch (ostensibly) been different compared to other platforms?

WaIker: I think one of the biggest drivers for taking a different approach on Switch for DMC3SE was that we had an opportunity to try and add to the game in a way that takes advantage of the unique aspects of the Switch. Specifically, the idea to add co-op to Bloody Palace – wherever you have your Switch you always have two controllers with you in the form of the Left and Right Joy-Cons. It’s the only setup where you can just pop it out of a bag, prop the kickstand, then hand a Joy-Con to a friend for spontaneous co-op demon slaying. Otherwise, it was just a matter of having the opportunity – when we started making this we asked ourselves what we could do to add anything to the experience, without detracting from the original game, and that’s how Free Style mode came about.

How much effort goes into adding features to a game like Devil May Cry 3, and how involved does the process get?

Walker: It really depends on the title. For Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition, right at the beginning of developing in earnest, we came up with a list of things we wanted to look into, and that’s where Bloody Palace Co-Op and Free Style Mode were born.

What led to Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition getting special additional features over similar treatments for other Devil May Cry ports?

Walker: As mentioned previously, it was about finding the opportunity to do it this time around. My friends know that I’m a huge Nintendo fan, but that actually had nothing to do with the Switch version getting new content. So far, the response from players has been amazing, which is really great to see. I’m interested in seeing how people enjoy the game now that it’s out.

I’m of the opinion that it makes sense to add to a game when bringing it to a new system if possible, to give the game not only more value, but ideally new ways for people to play. Legendary Dark Knight mode was born when the DMC4 team brought the game to PC, so this isn’t a first for the series, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

How did Devil May Cry 5 influence Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition’s new features?

Walker: I think the only real influence Devil May Cry 5 had on Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition was the momentum we’ve had coming into this title, which was by and large created by DMC5. Although DMC5 has style switching on the fly, DMC5 didn’t originate that, and it wasn’t an influence in making the decisions we made on bringing Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition to Switch.

Do you feel like we have Devil May Cry 3 in its definitive form as a whole now? If not, what’s missing from your perspective?

Walker: That’s a hard question! I think DMC3 was already an amazing game when it came out on PS2. It certainly by no means was lacking anything. I think seeing updates like those we’ve made on Switch, this could be the best version we’ve made now. But who knows, with the right opportunity and creativity down the line, maybe we could enhance the game even more!

What’s your favorite Dante appearance outside of his own games, and why isn’t it Card Fighters DS?

Walker: [Laughs] I actually have never played Card Fighters DS. I’m going to use this as an excuse to cop-out and mention that Dante and Lady are both currently acquirable as playable characters in the Japan only free to play Sengoku Basara Battle Party!

Building off of that, what’s your holy grail for Devil May Cry? Given infinite resources for the brand with little to no notice, what’s your first move as a producer?

Walker: Before anything else, the first thing I would do would be to walk downstairs and talk to Itsuno-san to assemble a team and start drawing up plans.

Out of necessity, it would be completely international, using all of the best game devs in the world.

Our goal wouldn’t be accomplished easily with a small team…

So we’d need to find a new space for everyone…

Their promise for cooperation sealed, we’d need to create an Avengers style headquarters for everyone to gather, probably in Dubai.

It would need to be a fantastic place to work…

Specialists in corporate management and governance would be necessary to help make sure that the studio only ever contributed positively to, and never hindered the lifestyles of those working there.

Not to be outdone by Valve, we’d have a yearly corporate retreat covered by the company for everyone’s family to Kyoto, where we’d all stay at Jake Kazdal’s house.

Eventually we’d also buy Jake a bigger house to accommodate everyone.

After a reasonable but not too long development period, we’d finally have a giant, international, worldwide party in several locations to celebrate…

Releasing “Card Fighters DS Special Edition Featuring Dante from the Popular Devil May Cry Series

Follow your dreams folks; one day you may get to do something as rad as sneaking a Card Fighters bit into an official interview. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is currently available for the Nintendo Switch. Other Devil May Cry 3 ports are available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Lucas White
Lucas writes about video games a lot. Sometimes he plays them. Every now and then he enjoys one. To get on his good side, say nice things about Dragon Quest and Musou. Never mention the Devil May Cry reboot in his presence. Backed Bloodstained on Kickstarter but all his opinions on it are correct regardless.