PlatinumGames and Square Enix’s next adventure is about to begin. Soon people will be able to head into The Ziggurat. The live service game Babylon’s Fall is about to appear. Siliconera spoke with Producer Junichi Ehara, Director Takahisa Sugiyama, and Director Kenji Saito about what to expect from it at launch and in the future, as well as developing the game during the pandemic.
Jenni Lada, Siliconera: You announced Babylon’s Fall back at E3 2018. How long has it been in development?
Takahisa Sugiyama, PlatinumGames: The game has been in development for a few years. I actually joined this project when it was already in development, and I just know that enough time has passed to make it hard to recall (laughs).
How did the pandemic affect Babylon’s Fall’s development?
Sugiyama: I think this can be said for all game development companies, but it of course had a major impact on our development schedule. In particular, we had to shift to developing remotely, and we, across the company, collectively took on those challenges.
Kenji Saito, PlatinumGames: In the past, game development at PlatinumGames took place among lined-up desks, with various sections communicating openly and without barriers. As the director, I used to be able to just look across, get an idea of what was happening, and quickly communicate what we wanted to do. Not being able to do that anymore was something I definitely struggled with in the beginning. But by exploring different ways, I think that we are now able to resolve that somewhat, although not completely. However, I think this is one of the reasons why the development process took longer.
Babylon’s Fall will be an action-RPG focused on acquiring loot. What are you doing to ensure it stands out and remains memorable?
Sugiyama: It goes without saying that the main goal of a hack-and-slash game is to perfect your builds. While taking that into account, we then focused on how we could incorporate action, which is where PlatinumGames’ true worth lies, throughout. There are very many active skills, and the design we’ve pushed to the forefront is one where builds can demonstrate their power by making the most of their maneuvers via player controls.
How have other PlatinumGames titles influenced Babylon’s Fall?
Saito: We were able to draw some inspiration from other PlatinumGames titles. For example, there are some control elements similar to NieR:Automata, but the feel of the action and game design are completely different in Babylon’s Fall.
We also just announced that there will be a limited time NieR:Automata collaboration taking place in Babylon’s Fall during Season 1. We’re very excited for fans of the NieR series to check this out!
Babylon’s Fall uses some assets from FFXIV for budget purposes. How many items are shared between the two games? Are there any in-game nods to this with regards to weapon lore?
Sugiyama: There aren’t very many, by any means. The FFXIV equipment has only been repurposed for our lower rarity equipment, such as common or uncommon. When you look at the game’s overall lifespan, it’s only a short time that you spend those lower level items. We’ve only selected equipment that feels universal and fit in as medieval fantasy elements, so we don’t focus in on them by explaining about them in the game.
Babylon’s Fall is going to be a live service game. In addition to free content updates, what kinds of paid additions can people expect?
Sugiyama: We will offer what’s called subscription-based battle passes, and you’ll be able to obtain various cosmetic-focused rewards by playing. However, considering the game will be purchased at full price, we plan to provide the Premium Battle Pass for free for Season 1! We will also be offering gameplay-based discounts for the next season’s battle passes, and you’ll be able to purchase the next season’s battle pass at a maximum discount of half price.
Other than that, you will also be able to purchase various cosmetic items in the shop.
Absolutely no elements that are critical to get through the game are purchasable. We’ve designed the game so that gameplay is the most important thing to get stronger.
How long would you hope to support Babylon’s Fall?
Junichi Ehara, Square Enix: As long as the players continue to support it, of course!
Sugiyama: As long as we can, of course!
Babylon’s Fall will come to the PS4, PS5, and PC on March 3, 2022. If people pre-order the Digital Deluxe Edition, they can begin playing on February 28, 2022. Its demo will be available starting on February 25, 2022.