Nioh Fatal Frame Director
Image via Koei Tecmo

Nioh and Fatal Frame Developers Appear in Bokeh Interview

Bokeh Game Studios released the latest episode of its “Golden Hour” show. In this series, Founder Keiichiro Toyama talks with other Japanese developers about the development of their games. In the latest episode, the guests are Makoto Shibata and Fumihiko Yasuda of Koei Tecmo, developers behind Fatal Frame and Nioh. Their interview revealed some insights into the development of both series.

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One of the more interesting anecdotes from the developer interview is a reveal that, for less than a year, Makoto Shibata was the director of Nioh. Development of Nioh was a ten-year project that was struggling to gain traction, and for a brief time, Shibata was brought on board before being replaced by Fumihiko Yasuda.

Shibata’s vision for Nioh was vastly different from the final game. He had a slower pace in mind, inspired by Japanese period dramas, and not far from the slow pace of the Fatal Frame series. However, when Yasuda was brought into the director role, he spent four years turning it into the faster Soulslike the final game turned out to be.

Elsewhere in the interview, Shibata and Toyama compared their approaches to horror in Fatal Frame and Siren respectively. The three developers also talked about how games set in Japan can have an international appeal.

Here’s the full interview with Shibata and Yasuda.

Makoto Shibata is the creator of the Fatal Frame series of games, while Fumihiko Yasuda is the director of the Nioh games. Keiichiro Toyama was director on the original Silent Hill before moving to Sony where he created the Siren and Gravity Rush games. Previously, Bokeh Game Studios’ Golden Hour has featured chats with Shuhei Yoshida, Hideaki Itsuno and Shinji Mikami.

Bokeh Game Studio are currently working on their first game, Slitterhead.


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Leigh Price
Leigh is a staff writer and content creator from the UK. He has been playing games since falling in love with Tomb Raider on the PS1, and now plays a bit of everything, from AAA blockbusters to indie weirdness. He has also written for Game Rant and Geeky Brummie. He can also be found making YouTube video essays as Bob the Pet Ferret, discussing such topics as why Final Fantasy X-2’s story is better than people like to think.