After teasing a new project named Tribe Nine, Akatsuki and Too Kyo Games officially released the teaser trailer for the IP. It shows something like anime cyberpunk baseball being played in Tokyo. Apart from the concept trailer, Famitsu has also released an interview with Akatsuki’s Shuuhei Yamaguchi and Too Kyo’s Kazutaka Kodaka talking about the game’s conception and themes.
Here are the highlights below:
- Kodaka was the one who came up with the concept of Tribe Nine around the time they announced the formation of Too Kyo Games. He approached Yamaguchi with not even a game design proposal, but rather just an image board with a few key words written down on it. Through lots of discussions, they finally came to the stage where they felt they could make something fun out of it. So the project is finally able to move onto actual production. This concept movie was made in order to correctly understand the direction they are going with this title.
- Kodaka wants people to focus on the “atmosphere” of the characters, world, battles, and music, and imagine what the IP will be like going forward.
- There’s a lot of baseball imagery, not only in the trailer, but the logo, which is shaped by a baseball diamond. According to Yamaguchi, “Tokyo,” extreme sports” and “street fights” are the three keywords of the game.
- In this world they have conceived, there are various outlaw gangs in each of Tokyo’s 23 wards that fight each other via “Extreme Baseball,” which takes place across the the entire ward. However, “Extreme Baseball” is not a sport. Thus, it doesn’t take place in a stadium, but rather encompasses entire wards, bringing in the characteristics of each ward.
- Kodaka says that Tribe Nine uses baseball precisely because they wanted battles to take place utilizing all of what cities have to offer. For example, for Shibuya City, you’d go from Shibuya Center Gai to Takeshita Street (near Harajuku Station), and tour the city’s famous spots, which act as “bases”. In this sense, baseball is good, because for a sport like soccer, you’d be going back and forth instead. Kodaka feels that it would be fun to battle at various places that define the areas, although it’s so exaggerated that people who live there will probably feel like they’re being made fun of.
- Based on each ward’s theme, they have designed the characters based on that particular theme. Rui Komatsuzaki (Danganronpa character designer) and Simadoriru (Danganronpa V3 manga artist) will be the main character designers, but Kodaka is open to the idea of having various guest artists.
- Why Tokyo? Kodaka says it’s to appeal to overseas players as well, in order to let overseas players know more about Tokyo. That’s why the character designs and backgrounds also have a Tokyo-esque pop aesthetic. Yamaguchi mentions that they are keeping in mind that the world’s recognition towards Tokyo will likely increase thanks to the Olympics. However, that said, the setting of the title is the fictional Neo Tokyo Country and not Tokyo itself.
- Essentially everyone in Too Kyo Games is participating in this IP, as they decided to go big on it. But in terms of what content is being made, this isn’t as clear-cut. A game is definitely being made for the IP, although they aren’t revealing the genre or platforms yet. Kodaka only promises that there’ll definitely be a story, and that the scenario will fit the platform. Kodaka imagines this will be a giant multi-media project and hopes that there will be an anime and manga as well, perhaps with different characters as the focus, and also board games. He wants this to be ideally like the MCU, where you’ll be able to enjoy the anime, game, and more on their own merits, but each one expands the world of more and more.
- Finally, Yamaguchi stressed once again that the project is just getting started and clearly stated that the game is in no way ready enough to enter pre-registration just a few months later. (The usage of pre-registration hints that the game might be for smartphones.) They’ll be going silent on information on the content going forward.\
Currently, Akatsuki and Too Kyo Games are hiring 3D and 2D artists, engineers, and planners to help out with Tribe Nine. You can find the project’s teaser website here.