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Japanese Developers Share Ambitions And Teasers For 2019



2018 is coming to a close, so that means we have 4Gamer’s annual year-end talk with the developers from Japan who shared their ambitions for 2019 as well as some teasers for projects they’re working on.


The 4Gamer feature has comments from 195 participants this year. Below are some of the highlights:



  • Keisuke Miyauchi (Director): “It looks like 2019 will be a year of preparation, so there’s not much I can say yet… I believe we’ll poke our  heads out after some time, so when the time comes I’d much appreciate all your support.”



  • Akira Nishitani (President)L “2018 is almost coming to an end. I’d like to thank you guys for everything this year. Again, Happy New Year 2019! I’m working hard on a new project at the moment, so look forward to when it gets announced!”



  • Yoichi Yamaguchi (Executive Director): “We’re thinking of various new approaches for the Neo Atlas series. Please look forward to it.”


Bandai Namco

  • Ryuichiro Baba (New Business Relations General Manager): “I’m currently taking on a challenging creative for a digital entertainment that isn’t for consoles, arcades, or mobile. I want to put in all of my experience gained up to this point so that we can have as many people possible try it out, so look forward to it!!”



  • Hajime Chikami (President): “The PlayStation 4 horror adventure game NG releases on February 21. To go with it, the previous title Death Mark’s novel and comic adaptations will also debut. I hope to see people further enjoy the world of Death Mark. Again, in 2019 we plan to release two dungeon RPGs in which we specialize. We might get something more than that ♪”



  • Fuyuki Hayashi (Producer/Director): “While it’s been partially announced, we plan to release Crystar overseas in 2019, and it would make me happy to see as many overseas fans possible get to play the game. Again, I’d like to do my best so that we can quickly announce a new something for you guys to play.”



  • Kazuma Kujo (Chief Producer & Game Designer): “In 2018 we quietly released games like Manga Kakeru and Disaster Report 4 Plus: Summer Memories, as we moved forward with preparations to announce a new game sometime in Spring 2019. We caused some trouble with delays in 2018, so I’d like to improve on the precision of our production, and release a game that can make you guys feel excitement or a game that remains in your memories. Thank you for your continued support.”


Idea Factory/Compile Heart

  • Makoto Kitano (Director/Producer): “This year we released an RPG called Dragon Star Varnir where you’re required to eat dragons in order to survive, and we received all kinds of feedback for it, but we’re working to bring you guys a new kind of surprise for 2019. Other than the titles I’m working on, we have a rich lineup coming including something with the keyword “” (Editor’s Note: Shinobu, so some kind of Ninja-esque hint) so look forward to that!”


  • Norihisa Kochiwa (President): “I feel the passionate anticipation from you guys, for titles such as Arc of Alchemist, Azur Lane: Crosswave, Eshigami no Kizuna, and Hypnosis Mic –Division Rap Battle Game (tentative). We’re also working on an unannounced RPG that is characteristic of Compile Heart! We’re moving forward on projects with some unexpected creators which I think will be surprising. We’ll work hard on titles that will bring you joy next year, so please look forward to it!”


JP Games

  • Hajime Tabata (CEO): I want to make the future more entertaining with video games, using the experience and technology I’ve cultivated in game development to let loose on a larger playing field. 2019 will be a year or preparation for that. And of course I’ll be developing games.”


Kadokawa Games

  • Juntaro Kono (Executive/Producer): “In 2018 we released the first new Metal Max game in a while with Metal Max Xeno. This might be ahead of time, but 2021 is the series’ 30th anniversary. Director “King Miya” is doing his best in planning. Please look forward to it.”


Koei Tecmo

  • Kenichi Ogasawara (Omega Force Brand Lead): “First of all, enjoy Dragon Quest Builders 2: God of Destruction Malroth and the Emtpy Island, which was developed by Omega Force. Leading to what will likely be a big festival around the world for the year 2020, I believe 2019 will be a year of big announcements for new hardware and platforms, so do keep an eye out!”


  • Keisuke Kikuchi (Producer): “Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World is for the Atelier series’ 20th anniversary, featuring alchemists from its history who gather to have fun and build a town. Again, in March we have Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland that is shaping up to be an appropriate title as the latest entry of the series. We’re zealously developing so that we can announce a new title after that. There’s a lot coming next year, but we’re carefully working on everything one by one.”


  • Hisashi Koinuma (President): “I’d like to make 2019 an active year. Not just as the current president, but active as a producer as well, and perhaps we can announce something new in 2019. Thank you for your continued support.”


  • Kou Shibusawa (General Producer): “We’re currently working on the final touches for Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi with Power-Up Kit. I’d like to meet the demand of Nobunaga’s Ambition fans, and the development team is working hard, so please look forward to that. In 2019 I’m thinking about using more AI, and make an amusing game we’ve yet to see.”



  • Kenichiro Takaki (Senior Executive Officer/Honey∞Parade Games President): “To close out 2018 we released the latest of the Senran Kagura series in Peach Ball: Senran Kagura for the Nintendo Switch, and with the airing of TV anime’s season 2, the series fans are happy. The work will have a hill to climb, but I plan on actively announcing new titles to take a leap into making next year an even more entertaining one.”



  • Ryoei Mikage (Representative): “We’re currently preparing new titles with the joint company Mikage, using IP that was under production during the Imageepoch era. We’re making preparations to have an announcement in early 2019.  Stay tuned.”



  • Hironobu Sakaguchi (Game Designer): “I’ve begun working on a new project. I’d like to turn a new leaf and work hard at a new starting point.”


Nippon Ichi Software

  • Sohei Niikawa (President/Producer): “We will actively release new titles in 2019 as well. As for my own personal work, I’m developing a Disgaea app. I’m working hard to deliver a Disgaea that you can only get from an app, so please look forward to that!”



  • Shunsuke Kawarazuka (Director): “I think what I’m lacking is ‘challenges.’ In 2019 I’ll be working on fixing that. You guys, too, try ‘taking on a challenge regardless of anyone else, just for yourself.’ I’m sure it would bring a change of pace to your life.”


  • Kazuki Hosokawa (Judgment Producer): “We released Judgment on December 13, 2018. I’m relieved that the title we put so much time into was able to finish and release without any issues. We faced so many new challenges and went through a lot of difficulties during development, but being able to hear fans say ‘That was fun!’ truly made it worth the hard work, and that’s a sentiment shared with the entire staff. At the beginning of next year we’ll put our heads together for the next title again, so thank you for your continued support of Ryu ga Gotoku Studio.”


Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Keiichiro Toyama (Creative Director): “2018 was a troubling year that was full of things I never thought about and things I don’t want to think about, however, in the middle of that during the Siren Exhibition I spoke with fans of 15 years. They gave me motivation to make games as well as some big hints. While things will still be behind-the-scenes, I want a fresh new start so that I can give it everything I have from the very start and go all out!


  • Teruyuki Toriyama (Japan Studio Producer): “In 2018 we released the VR platformer called Astro Bot: Rescue Mission that lets you enjoy a 360-degree action, and a VR adventure game that lets you explore a world where time stops in Déraciné. Both fully utilize the PlayStation VR functions, so it’d make me happy to see players give it a try. In 2019 we’ll see the debut of an unannounced title we’re working on, and we plan to begin preparations on a new project as well, so thank you for your continued support.”


Spike Chunsoft

  •  Takayuki Sugawara (Director): “This year, we were finally able to release Zanki Zero in the last summer of Heisei. To those who got to play the game for themselves, thank you very much. For those who’ve yet to do so, there’s a demo out there so please give it a shot. It’s hard to say that Zanki Zero is for the masses, but in the least I believe it offers a unique kind of fun that you can’t get anywhere else. However, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to communicate it better with our customers. Next year we’ll release the overseas version and Steam version, so I’ll be working on getting as many people possible to try it out. As for what’s ‘next’ I’m thinking of various ways to connect things. I wish all of you readers a happy new year.”


Square Enix

  • Tomoya Asano (Business Division 11 Executive): “In 2019 we’ll have a challenge that is different than the others we’ve had up until now (Octopath and Bravely). I’ll do my best! We’re moving forward with several game developments at Square Enix’s Business Division 11. Each one should make fans happy! It might be a little while until we can reveal information, but please look forward to it.”


  • Yosuke Saito (Executive Producer): “It would be more to share more news on Babylon’s Fall that is being developed together with Platinum Games. Also, please support the idol group Gems Company! I’ll make a live show happen in the near future! It’ll happen! I promise! We also have numerous unannounced titles, so I’ll keep doing my best while sacrificing all kinds of things! [Cries] Why do I always keep myself so busy like that. Maybe I’m sick…”


  • Atsushi Hashimoto (Tokyo RPG Factory Director): “In January 2018 we released the overseas version of Lost Sphear along with the latest update. While we’ve yet to make anything public, everyday we’re diligently working on a game that is being made to surprise a lot of people, so please look forward to our next title.”



  • Yoko Taro (Director, errand boy, and such): “On the stage in 2018 we have the YoRHa Musical, Shonen YoRHa, Kimi Shi ni Tamou Koto Nakare Zero – Kai, and other NieR and SINoALICE concerts, so it felt like a year full of events. This was made possible thanks to related work being hits and from the support of fans. Thank you very much. Now for 2019 I plan on a downfall.

However, Yoko Taro won’t die that easily.”

[Editor’s Note: Yoko Taro proceeds to rap telling the shining youth of the industry to step up, but not long before going on about killing handsome dudes, busting your liver and pissing off the doctor.]

Gamer, avid hockey fan, and firm believer in the heart of the cards.