Last month, the anticipated action title Granblue Fantasy Relink got a new trailer and new gameplay footage, but before that was an entire year of radio silence regarding the game. In the latest Director’s Letter released earlier this week, Granblue Fantasy director Tetsuya Fukuhara discusses why the game was announced early, why there haven’t been many updates on the game, and more.
Here are the highlights below:
Tetsuya Fukuhara, Director: “Over the past year, I believe we’ve made players worry, but [Granblue Fantasy Relink‘s] development is progressing smoothly. We expressed this on stage as well, but while the game release is in sight, it’s still a while away, so we’ll refrain from releasing details. I hope you can understand and wait a while longer.
I believe that if we were to release info on Relink in an interchanging manner with Granblue Fantasy Versus (GBVS), it would get confusing, so as part of our company’s strategy, we’ll continue to promote GBVS pre-launch, as well as release info on post-launch DLC and updates. I hope you’ll understand, and enjoy that title first.
Recently, I’ve been thinking that the flow of information in the world, as well as the consumption of content, is increasing year by year. I touched on this in the Granblue TV Channel year-end special as well. Before, it was normal for console games to be announced 1-2 years before release, but in recent years, I feel that ‘announcing games 4-6 months before release, with pre-orders beginning the day of announcement’ is becoming the new norm. In that sense, GBVS’ announcement around one year ago was also quite early.
However, in Granblue Fantasy‘s case, it’s a bit different, and a bit harder… rather, there’s no completely right solution. What I mean is that Granblue Fantasy‘s ‘original game’ is still continuing on. It’s a ‘living thing’.
Granblue Fantasy releases major info in livestreams thrice a year, and is a rare case of an original IP in the game industry that adds updates and new story each month, while also having spinoff titles. (It’s a bit embarrassing to say it myself…)
That’s why there was a point to announcing GBVS’ announcement at the time of the Granblue Fest, where the most players would be watching. Because the IP is a living IP that continues to evolve, there is merit to announcing it early, but it’s true that the demerit is that there is now a period of time you have to actually wait for the game. It’s quite difficult.
Either way, even saying that, I feel that Relink‘s announcement was too early. Of course, that was because of the Cygames NEXT event, where we announced new games on a company-wide scale, so I won’t judge whether it was a good or bad thing. Well, in the end, we’re making players wait for a long time, so I’d say it isn’t good…
We plan on facing the criticisms that Cygames has only made smartphone apps head on. While not limited to game development, across society there is a strong notion that ‘no results equals that it’s impossible’, which is a headwind blowing against those wishing to challenge themselves; but Cygames, and especially the Granblue team, have always been challengers. I strongly hope you will encourage us in this endeavor.
Granblue began from the unconventional notion of adding in rich animation and voicework in a browser-based game, after all. Our stance and mindset haven’t changed, so I hope you look forward to the quality of Relink. We are aiming to meet everyone’s expectations.”
Granblue Fantasy Relink is in development for PlayStation 4. You can watch last month’s trailer and gameplay in our previous report here.