Square Enix producer Shuichi Kobayashi revived the Star Ocean series that was dormant for over seven years with the release of Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. He recently spoke in an interview with Sisilala to talk about some behind-the-scenes info on the reboot of the series as well as hopes for future developments. [Thanks, Game Jouhou.]
Here are highlights from producer Shuichi Kobayashi’s interview:
- When Kobayashi went to get approval from producer Yoshinori Yamagishi who said he’ll no longer make a Star Ocean game, he was jokingly told “So you’re going to take one for the team.”
- Kobayashi said there wasn’t any chances in his favor but felt it was a waste to see the IP that is Star Ocean remain dormant. He always felt that it was worth doing since he understood that it has many passionate fans, but since nobody stepped up to the task he decided to do it myself.
- Unfortunately, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness didn’t meet its sales expectations, but that was also something that Kobayashi expected.
- Resource management was one of the first things Kobayashi thought about. From the very start, he had no intention to simply make Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness and stop right there.
- The producer explained that nowadays if you make something from scratch and end it there, the hurdle of making profit is very high. For this reason, it’s important to manage resources. For better or worse, by “customizing and recycling” well you can consequently secure its quality.
- Assets are part of your resources, and something that has been cultivated doesn’t go bad. By using those resources, you can think of various new developments, reduce risks, and develop with a sense of speed. Simply put, you can use assets as a base and from there it is possible to make something even better.
- Kobayashi used assets from Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, including its game engine, character model data, backgrounds, and other texture data in the early development of Star Ocean: Anamnesis.
- When Kobayashi first brought the idea to bring back Star Ocean, he presented a three-step proposition to Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda:
- The Star Ocean series that has been dormant will reboot under Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness on console and revive the IP.
- With the revived IP we’ll develop an IP and bring sales from there.
- If this development works out we’ll continue boosting the series with new title developments.
- Star Ocean: Anamnesis is being supported by many fans. If Star Ocean’s popularity continues, and there’s enough demand from fans, Kobayashi hopes to be able to do the next thing for the series.
- Star Ocean: Anamnesis uses tri-Ace’s very own Aska Engine, and they have modeling, effects, and textures on a level that can even be used on PlayStation 4. That said, unlike Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness that was made from scratch, Kobayashi feels that they can make a sequel with less expense and time using their resources.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is available on PlayStation 4. Star Ocean: Anamnesis is available in Japan for iOS and Android.