In a recent interview on Sword Art Online: Lost Song with Dengeki, Bandai Namco discusses the game and its future. Japanese blog Game Jouhou summarized the interview in bullet points, and you can find our translation below.
- Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment was made with plenty of feedback from those who played Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, with over 100 cases of feedback that helped in its development.
- Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment sold 450,000 copies around the world. 285,000 of those came from Japan, 90,000 from Asia, and 70,000 from North America.
- Sword Art Online: Lost Song is currently in development by ArtDink, known for developing Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z. They chose ArtDink as the developers around the time the anime’s second season began production.
- Producer Yosuke Futami previously stated that if Hollow Fragment sold over 200,000 copies, they would work on a sequel; however, in the interview they state that Lost Song isn’t a sequel, but a completely new title, which basically means a sequel for Hollow Fragment will be made, if it isn’t already in development.
- One thing that they wanted to do in Hollow Fragment but couldn’t, was the “story of saving Strea”. They mention that Strea, is in a way, inseparable from SAO, but she’s normally not part of ALfheim Online, but they felt that fans would be happy to see her, so it was decided to include her in Lost Song. Bandai Namco would like to provide a nice episode that will allow fans to accept her [being in ALO].
- Updates are expected for Lost Song after its release. While they can’t share details on its content or release date, they’ll work on it while listening to fan feedback. There will be missions and such as part of DLC, which will all be free of charge.
- Bandai Namco would like to keep continue doing more with Sword Art Online, with both apps and console games. Lost Sword is just one of the games to keep the development for the series going. While this may be something for the distant future, Futami would also like to make a VRMMO someday. He mentions that he’d like to some day put together a team, with people from his development staff and company, so they could brainstorm some ideas on how they could get closer to having an actual virtual reality game someday.
Sword Art Online: Lost Song is slated for release in Japan on March 26, 2015 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.