At PAX East 2018 this weekend, NieR: Automata creator Yoko Taro, composer Keiichi Okabe, and producer Yosuke Saito had some interesting comments to share on the action game’s development.
Here’s the full panel recording:
The NieR: Automata panel is overall a great watch for any fan of NieR, Yoko Taro, Keiichi Okabe, and Yosuke Saito with plenty of trash talk and friendly jibes going on, but they also shared some insightful and entertaining bits of info.
Those of you interested should definitely check out the whole entire panel, but here are a few highlights with the time stamps:
(19:34) In your panel last year, you likened your game to a grade school crush—you don’t know why you like that person, you just do. Do you aim to have that reaction for all of your games?
Yoko Taro: Just listening to how a game can be explained like a grade school crush, I don’t even remember saying that, and I can’t even understand what that means, so I thought that whoever said that was really crazy.
Yosuke Saito: You said that yourself!
Yoko Taro: I don’t remember it at all.
(20:40) Are you planning to continue the NieR: Automata series? Also why was there no romantic scenes in the game?
Yosuke Saito: Rather than the NieR: Automata series, but speaking of the NieR series, I would say about a 50 percent [chance] maybe?
Yoko Taro: I think the question also asked why weren’t there romantic scenes, I actually think there was, where 9S and A2 are kind of stabbing each other. Isn’t that kind of romantic?
Yosuke Saito: I did say 50 percent earlier, but that’s because we- I, Saito, would like to work with Okabe-san again, Yoko-san again as well, so I think the remaining 50 percent will have to do if Yoko-san wants to do another game or not.
Yoko Taro: I don’t really like creating sequels, especially because I feel that the storyline of NieR: Automata is complete in itself and I don’t want to continue that storyline, but maybe because 2B and all the others like 9S are all androids, I feel like I can turn them into bugs maybe and have a bug fighting game next.
[Applause from audience]
Yosuke Saito: It sounds like they’re okay with that.
Is everyone okay with that?
Yosuke Saito & Keiichi Okabe: That’s not good. [laughs]
(23:35) Has there ever been an instance where Yoko-san proposed an idea and the team said “that’s too crazy, we can’t do it”?
Yoko Taro: So I remember this very clearly, but in the ending of the first Drakengard I had this idea where Japanese idol Ayumi Hamasaki would come down from the sky, like a colossal Ayumi Hamasaki, would come down from the sky in silver spandex and I was thinking about having you fight against her as a last boss rhythm game battle, but the development team was strongly against it and the idea was discarded.
Yoko Taro: However, the rhythm game part, at least the core concept of it, was carried over to Drakengard 3 at the very end.
Bonus (12:17) Yoko-san, what is the narrative appeal of writing a game with multiple endings?
Yoko Taro: As a big premise, the reason why I created a game with multi-ending is because we were only able to create a small map so we added more endings just to increase the volume. So, if I do get more money to be able to spend on my game, I would actually like to create a single-ending game.
Yosuke Saito: I actually have a question for everyone—If you would like a multi-ending game created by Yoko-san, can you raise your hand? See, look how many there are.
Yoko Taro: I can’t see. [Wearing Emil mask]
How about a single-ending game?
Yosuke Saito: There are some but it looks like multi-ending has more. They’re saying multi-ending is better, Yoko-san.
Yoko Taro: Then I’ll make a single-ending game next.
NieR: Automata is available on PlayStation 4 and PC. Last September we learned that Square Enix was recruiting staff for something new related to NieR and producer Saito mentioned that they’ve already recruited a scenario planner, but we haven’t heard much else since then. While waiting, it was recently announced that two NieR: Automata novels will be localized courtesy Viz Media with one coming this October and the next in 2019.