Last week, Falcom held their shareholders meeting, where they announced Hajimari no Kiseki, ports of Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki for PS4, and the intent to create an in-house game engine. As an addition to that, they talked about their stance on ports to other platforms like the Switch, how overseas sales fare ratio-wise by platform, and more. [Thanks, michsuzuki!]
Here are the highlights below:
On how the game’s platform is decided, and whether Falcom might consider other platforms like Switch since it’ll take time for PS5 to become commonplace.
Toshihiro Kondo, Falcom President: “Hajimari no Kiseki will release next Summer for PS4. Regarding our platform strategy, up until now we’ve focused on PS locally. For our sales in Japan, we first release on PS4, and then inspect Nintendo Switch versions going forward. Overseas sales have risen in recent years, and more people are saying they want to play on platforms other than PS4, not just in Japan but overseas as well.
With this background in mind, we worked with a third party to release Ys VIII on Nintendo Switch. Overseas, apart from Switch and PS4, Steam is also a big competitor. Japan’s core gamers are all focused around the PS4, but there are no such barriers overseas, and Switch and PS4 sales are about equal.
Depending on the title, we’ll release Nintendo Switch versions. We look at these sorts of situations, collect info, and choose our platforms.”
Current percentage of download sales:
Kondo: “A bit less than 30%. 2-3 years ago it was around 20%, and in these 2-3 years the numbers are growing even in Japan. This trend has also increased DLC sales. Going forward, we need to consider expanding more with DLC, and not just release the game with no further plans for expansion.”
On the risk of losing potential new fans thanks to a constantly ongoing story and reoccurring characters:
Kondo: “The Kiseki series has continued for 15 years, and there are many players who started then. Trails in the Sky, Zero no Kiseki, Ao no Kiseki, and Trails of Cold Steel have developed into their own series, and are points where the cast is changed up, and there are quite a few players who leave are join with each new title.
Trails in the Sky players are mainly 30-40 years old, Zero/Ao no Kiseki players mainly late 20s-30s, while most Trails of Cold Steel players are around in their early 20s. Through effort in the content, we’ve been able to deal with this problem to a certain extent.
We understand the sentiment that “we can’t just rely on Ys and Kiseki forever”. We developed the completely new title Tokyo Xanadu, and we’ll consider more while keeping into account company resources and development team motivation.”