During our interview with Motohide Eshiro, Producer of Ace Attorney Investigations, we asked him how the project got started and why changed the gameplay rather than making the obvious spin off where players try courtroom battles as Edgeworth.
Why did you want to make a spin-off of Ace Attorney?
Motohide Eshiro, Producer: I was also the producer of Trial and Tribulations and while making that I thought wouldn’t it be fun if we could make another game using the characters from the original series. That’s how Ace Attorney Investigations started.
I heard that Ema Skye was originally supposed to be the protagonist. How come you changed the lead character to Edgeworth?
The director originally proposed to use Ema as the main character, but according to the feedback we got from our fans it seems Edgeworth was the more popular character. So we decided to listen to the fans and use the more popular character.
What other character would you want to do a spin off with?
Personally, I really like Edgeworth, but if we were to make another series why not make a game with Gumshoe? We can have Ace Detective!
The Ace Attorney series puts players in court so there is a narrow focus of gameplay. We could have simply added a few things, but it wouldn’t have been very interesting. We decided to move it out of the court room and into the crime scene to add a whole bunch of new elements. This time you control Edgeworth directly, you can investigate the scene, and walk around.
The logic system, though, reminds me of the courtroom battles where you link evidence together. How did this idea come about?
The logic system came about because we wanted to show how Edgeworth thinks. His main weapon is he thinks through situations. The logic system is our way of representing what’s going on Edgeworth’s mind. He’s got this very cool, calm and collected way of thinking. You can see this as you play through the game.
I don’t want to spoil any of the new characters for you. As the new characters go, today we introduced Kay Faraday. She was the first new character we created for Ace Attorney Investigations in that sense she’s one of my top characters. Edgeworth is still my number one favorite!
So far we’ve seen all of the Ace Attorney games in North America on the DS and mobile phones. Have you thought about releasing them on the PSP or a downloadable platform like Xbox Live Arcade, similar to how the PC version was released in Japan?
Right now, we have no plans to make ports for any other hardware.
How come? The Ace Attorney series is quite popular in North America now.
It’s not that we don’t like other hardware and that we don’t want to do it. It’s just it was original made for handhelds, it was made to be played on the go, and also the interface we created the game, especially for Ace Attorney Investigations, uses the touch screen and we want people to interact with that. You can’t replicate that on Xbox Live. For us, the DS seems like the most natural fit.
As the producer of Trials and Tribulations do you ever think we’ll see Phoenix in the courtroom again as a lawyer?
[Laughs] No comment!
As far as Ace Attorney Investigations goes we want to focus on Edgeworth because he’s the main character. When people give us feedback and, fans say we want this and we want that — the more we hear from fans the more we can take their comments into consideration. Then we can think about what they really want.
Do you view Ace Attorney Investigations as its own series then? Since the game is out in Japan are you working on a sequel?
Right now, we don’t have any plans. We are considering it, but we are waiting to see what the reaction is even in Japan where it’s only been out a couple of months. If fans demand it we will consider making a series out of the whole thing. For now, it’s just one game.
I would also like to hear feedback from American fans too, what they want and if they would they want a sequel.