Puzzle & Dragons has been a money printing machine for GungHo Online Entertainment and localizing the game was one of the first projects GungHo Online Entertainment America worked on. Siliconera also inquired about other games like bringing Akiba’s Trip 2 overseas and what’s going on with the PS3 version of Ragnarok Odyssey Ace.
Puzzle & Dragons has been a huge hit in Japan, but how has it done in the U.S.?
Kazuki Morishita, President: It hasn’t seen a huge success, especially compared to Japan. We’re looking at with a long term perspective and we will continue to update it with new content. We will finesse our service and have more promotions, so we will probably start pushing it more.
In terms of how it is doing, we have been pretty surprised with how well it is doing. It is sort of unexpected of what we initially forecasted. It’s doing well and hopefully after we push a lot more people will be able to play it and have fun with it.
What about the Western plans for Puzzle & Dragons Z on the 3DS?
Nothing has been finalized. We don’t know how we will release it or have a price, but we will release it sooner or later.
Puzzle & Dragons Z is more like a full-blown RPG and we could compare it to other things on the 3DS, sort of like Pokémon. What prompted the change to make it more focused on the RPG experience?
Initially, when we were still tinkering with the concept for the smartphone version in summer of 2011, we already started talking about the 3DS release as well. The 3DS version has always been in the works, we have always been planning it while we were coming up with the smartphone version concept. So, it isn’t a new idea we came up with. We were always going to add that RPG element into the game.
What has Game Arts been up to these days?
Right now, Game Arts released Ragnarok Odyssey Ace in August. It’s a hack and slash action game. They are very busy continuing maintaining the game and releasing new content for it.
How is the PS3 version coming along?
[Laughs] As we speak, they are working on it.
In Japan, there are a lot of crossover items with Dead or Alive, Soul Sacrifice, Tales, and Gravity Rush. Will those items come over in the Western version or will there be new collaborations for the West?
It depends on the content and the licensor, so it will be a case by case issue. We want to release as much as possible, but it depends which one we can work on.
You mentioned that Hiromichi Tanaka* was working with GungHo in our last interview. Is he working on an RPG inside GungHo?
He’s working on something! [Laughs] I can’t tell you yet! OK, there’s a lot of things I can’t tell you.
*Hiromichi Tanaka is best known for his work as the producer of Final Fantasy XI and designer of the Famicom Final Fantasy games.
How development for Akiba’s Trip 2 start? Since it takes place in Akihabara, will we be able to visit Acquire in the game?
You can’t go inside Acquire! In terms of the titles Acquire has announced, Akiba’s Trip 2 and MIND=0, those consumer titles that were announced recently I haven’t touched on the development side. Pretty much everything else I have, but I don’t know since I’m not involved with them.
Here’s a question you might know the answer to. Will GungHo Online Entertainment America bring it to America?
Hmm… I don’t know. What do you think?
I think it’s a very strange title to bring over, but it would have at least a core audience.
There is a lot to localize on that title. It has full voice-acting. It’s a hard sell, but if there is a huge audience out there we will look at it, but we’re not sure about that one.
Any chance of a new Lunar anytime soon? We’re going to keep asking you about this for our readers!
In terms of RPGs in general, if we come up with a good idea we will want to release it. But, creating an RPG like I said when I was talking to Spencer last time is people will die. [Laughs] Coming up with an RPG is a lot harder than I think people realize, mentally and physically for everyone on the team. If we come up with a great idea for the next Lunar we will work on it. Right now, we haven’t come up with a new idea so we don’t have plans for that.