It turns out hopes of continuing one series is what led to a formation of a studio that has since become known for its RPGs. A June 2020 Famitsu interview with Monolith Soft’s Hirohide Sugiura talked about the dreams of perhaps somehow creating a Xenogears 2. However, it instead ended up leading to series like Xenosaga and Xenoblade. [Thanks, Frontline!]
As noted by Frontline, Sugiura said in the interview that he fell in love with Xenogears, even though he wasn’t a part of the team that helped make it. It was released in 1998, right when Square was going to be working and investing in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which would come out in 2001. Since the company was making that decision, Xenogears 2 wasn’t going to be a possibility.
That’s what led to Sugiura founding Monolith Soft with Tetsuya Takahashi and Yasuyuki Honne in 1999, with the help of Namco founder Masaya Nakamura. Since members of the new developer still wanted to carry on Xenogears’ legacy, its first project ended up being Xenosaga Episode I in 2002 for the PlayStation 2.
While it started out as a Namco, and then Bandai Namco studio, it ended up being acquired by Nintendo in 2007. As of February 2020, it had over 243 employees and created a whole new successor to the series. Sugiura remains its president and as noted by him in the Famitsu interview, the Xenoblade series is now another means of carrying out a Xenogears 2 sort of dream. Frontline said he considered it a “prototype” for the goal.
Xenogears was originally released for the PlayStation in Japan and North America, though it eventually become a PSOne Classic for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition will come to the Nintendo Switch on May 29, 2020.