239 days after the July 31, 2018 Kickstarter update, another bit of news has appeared concerning Project Phoenix. Director and Producer Hiroaki Yura released a state of the game address called, “Gearing up to finish Project Phoenix.” In it, Yura noted that the company is going “to begin building the project from the ground up.” However, he also noted that the company is working on other games, which means it needs to get through those before the team is “able to fully recommit to Project Phoenix.”
Essentially, the update suggests that Project Phoenix is being rebuilt. Yura noted that he is “currently cultivating the programming team” and growing the staff, with the group hopefully being ready to get to work once the six new artists led by former Blizzard Senior Environmental Artist at Blizzard Entertainment Takuya Suzuki and former Crytek Art Director Erasmus Brosdau start making assets for Project Phoenix later in 2019.
An update on designs and music was also offered. Go Takahashi created the new piece of concept art shared above, as all concept art is being “reworked” due to time that has passed since the Project Phoenix Kickstarter first launched in 2013. Yura also noted that Nobuo Uematsu is still working on the game’s soundtrack, with an undisclosed number of “parts” already turned in.
Here is the full update from Yura:
2018 was quite a busy year for our team and I apologize for the lack of communication. We have been working to establish a foundation for Project Phoenix to begin building the project from the ground up.
We’re currently cultivating the programming team, but before we’re able to fully recommit to Project Phoenix, we’re working on titles independent of this project. Since we currently only have a small team, we will slowly work to increase its size and capability. They will be working on other projects to develop the tools, systems, and pipelines needed to proceed with Project Phoenix.
Until then, we will begin doing what we can by reworking concept art, as our original designs have aged somewhat. Here’s a concept our artist, Go Takahashi, worked on recently.
We’re also bringing on six in-house artists led by Takuya Suzuki, previously a Senior Environmental Artist at Blizzard Entertainment, as well as Erasmus Brosdau, a former Art Director at Crytek. They will start creating world assets sometime later this year and work on finalizing those designs. Once those assets are complete, we hope to have our programmers ready to take on the task.
Lastly, Mr. Uematsu is still involved with Project Phoenix. He has already submitted parts of his music and we are in discussion on how the remaining music production will work around his recovery. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concerns, well-wishes, and support for Uematsu-san’s health and well-being, and we’re with you in wishing him continued strength and success.
We will be answering questions to the best of our ability, but please note that we’re doing what we can with the limited resources we have at the moment. Our current operation expenditure all comes from what we’ve earned from other projects and I hope you can see we are doing our utmost to bring the project together.
Hiroaki Yura – Director / Producer of Project Phoenix
The Project Phoenix’s goal was to create an RTS JRPG. Its crowdfunding endeavor launched on August 12, 2013 and raised $1,014,600 from 15,802 Kickstarter backers by September 11, 2013. The original estimated delivery window for the game was November 2014. In September 2015, it was reported that the project still didn’t have a programmer. It was then delayed until 2018 in December 2015. In December 2017, Yura stated in a Siliconera interview that Tiny Metal, his newest game, would need to sell “150,000 units, worldwide on all consoles” to resurrect Project Phoenix.
Currently, Yura, Area 34, and Area 35 are working on Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble for the Nintendo Switch. It is a sequel to Tiny Metal and will be released in North America and Europe in Spring 2019.
The September 2013 Project Phoenix update noted the game was in development for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, and both Android and Apple iOS devices. No updated platform list has been released.