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Mages Producer Masaki Sakari On All Things Phantom Breaker


Recently, Siliconera got a chance to have a brief chat with Mages producer Masaki Sakari about all things Phantom Breaker and what exactly is going on with the fighting game part of the franchise’s future in the West.


Even though Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds: Overdrive is a sprite-based game, is there anything you’re able to do with the PS4 that you haven’t been able to do previously?


We’re still exploring what’s possible, since we’re still in the early phases of bringing the game over to PS4. We definitely want to add more content and new layers of expression, so to speak. We’re investigating ways to add that to the PS4 version.


What about the Vita version of Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds?


The Vita version will match the 360 version down to the finest details.


Phantom Breaker had an arcade release, Phantom Breaker: Another Code. Is Phantom Breaker: Extra an adaptation of that?


We licensed out the arcade version, but Extra we developed ourselves. Naturally, the balance is totally different. Both have a much faster game speed than the original release though.


But Extra isn’t getting an arcade release, which seems kind of rare for a fighting game.


Well, we know it’s kind of a nuisance, but a lot of users are shifting to consoles. The amount of arcade customers is decreasing and more players are playing online, so we decided to do an original console game with Extra.


The original Phantom Breaker was only released on Xbox 360, but you’re releasing Extra on Playstation 3 as well. What prompted that?


Of course, Japanese sales figures were a big part of it. [laughs] There are a lot more Japanese PS3 owners than 360 owners. However, there were a lot of people who didn’t own an Xbox 360 who requested a version of the game, so we decided to make Extra for both consoles.


What’s the story on Phantom Breaker’s release in the west? Is there any chance Phantom Breaker: Extra will see an English release?


To be quite frank, there have been some goings back and forth between 7Sixty and us. The original contract was for physical goods, like a packaged product, but with the change in the climate of the market, we’re reconsidering that, and they expressed their concerns. We were in the process of negotiating it.


Even though we’re kind of giving them suggestions, we haven’t really had a kind of productive discussion that’s critically pushing us forward. I would almost say that we’re kind of waiting on them, from our perspective. That’s really the cause of the holdup.


We really would like to bring Extra to the states as well, but it might be a little weird if Phantom Breaker original doesn’t come out, and Extra comes out first. So we’re in the process of attempting to get the rights back from them from our original contract and rereleasing it in some other shape or form.


Out of sheer curiosity, who’s your favorite character in Phantom Breaker?


Out of the new characters, I’d have to say Sophia. But out of the original characters, my favorite is the ninja, Yuzuha.