In March 2020, Nioh 2 released for the PlayStation 4. Next, the title will be making its way to additional audiences via the PS5 and PC. With Nioh 2: The Complete Edition in the works, Siliconera had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Nioh 2 Producer Fumihiko Yasuda about weapon implementation, yokai, and how the team chose which major historical figures to include in this action-packed period piece.
Kazuma Hashimoto, Siliconera: How did you get your start in the games industry?
Fumihiko Yasuda: I started my career at Tecmo as a game developer working as a level designer for Ninja Gaiden 2. After that I took on the role of director of the Ninja Gaiden series, and currently I’m working as the director and producer of the Nioh series. Somehow I am always involved in games that revolve around cutting people with katanas.
Each Nioh 2 DLC focused on very specific time periods in Japanese history. How did the team decide on which events and historical figures (like Abe no Seimei) to include in the expansions?
Yasuda: From the development of the base game, we were considering having the story take the player back in time, and having the story itself revolve around characters that are considered symbols of the Heian period. For example, Minamoto no Yorimitsu is the most preeminent yokai hunter in Japanese history, and Abe no Seimei is the most powerful Onmyo Mage. We chose these characters based on what characters from this time period users would most want to see make an appearance.
The events of Nioh and Nioh 2 collide at the end of Nioh 2‘s story. What led to the team having Hide and William’s stories intersect and how difficult was it to make this happen?
Yasuda: As Nioh 2‘s story went farther back in time than the first Nioh, we felt it was necessary for the two stories to connect at some point. Furthermore, as William is the player character from the previous title, fans would have a strong emotional connection to them. We felt that we were able to accomplish what we set out to do quite naturally and smoothly in Nioh 2 in order to have the two stories intertwine with one another.
Famous Japanese historical figures like Akechi Mitsuhide and Ieyasu Tokugawa appear in the franchise. Are there any historical figures that didn’t make the cut for Nioh and Nioh 2?
Yasuda: We wanted to include the military commanders Kobayakawa Takakage and Mizuno Katsushige, so it was really unfortunate that we weren’t able to include them. There are also a lot of characters that made it in but we weren’t able to showcase them as thoroughly as we wanted to.
How did you decide which weapons to include and implement in the Nioh 2 expansions?
Yasuda: Generally, we took into account fan feedback, along with what new fun gameplay the weapons would introduce when deciding which to include. The second DLC expansion added in fists, which introduces a fighting style that Team NINJA, as a studio that develops fighting game titles, wanted to include since the previous Nioh. We took these details into consideration as well when deciding on which new weapons to introduce.
Were there any weapons you wanted or planned that weren’t able to be added into the game for technical reasons?
Yasuda: There weren’t any particular weapons that we couldn’t implement due to technical reasons. However, as we received a lot of requests from fans for specific types of weapons, we felt it was necessary to choose the best ones from those ideas.
Which yokai are your favorite?
Yasuda: In terms of the boss battle itself and their design, my personal favorite would be Kasha. For the Nioh series as a whole, I quite like the Kodama too.
Did the team expect the Scampuss to become so popular among players?
Yasuda: Scampuss was designed as a yokai that comforts the player, but I feel that they have become much more popular than we originally anticipated. In the PS5 version, we implemented the ability for the player to use the DualSense feature so that they can feel as if they are really petting a Scampuss.