Back in August last year, Type-Moon announced that they were opening a new development studio, studio BB, headed by Kazuya Nino (Dragon Quest Builders, Etrian Odyssey, 7th Dragon). In a recent interview, Nino talks about how he ended up working at Type-Moon after leaving Square Enix, their team size, and some news on their first game. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]

Here are the highlights below:

Nino’s history with Type-Moon and Studio BB’s creation:

4Gamer: Nino-san, you were the producer of Fate/Extra, so it was understandable you’d join Type-Moon, but what sort of connection did you have with Type-Moon beforehand?

Kazuya Nino, studio BB director: “It was when I was working at Atlus on Etrian Odyssey… around 13 years ago, I think. While working on development, I was searching for what I wanted to create next, and personally I was a fan of Tsukihime, and so I asked Type-Moon if they would allow me to create a Tsukihime-related game. That was my first time contacting Type-Moon.

4Gamer: So you approached Type-Moon first.

Nino: “Right. I didn’t know how to contact them, and I still remember getting the appointment by using the contact form page on their official site. (laughs) However, Type-Moon was in the midst of developing Fate-related products, so that opportunity to work together didn’t come to fruition.

After that, I was working at Imageepoch, and at that time, I once again thought, I want to create an RPG with Type-Moon’s world. Back then, Fate was more ‘in’ compared to Tsukihime, so I proposed an RPG related to Fate.”

4Gamer: And that became the Fate/Extra series.

Nino: “Right. I knew from last time that Nasu-san liked interesting things, so I proposed a title with as strong an impact I could think of. ‘The oldest thing on the Solar System, found on the Moon – the 3cm cube “Type-Moon”, was actually a wish-granting machine that could grant any wish’… It was a prosoal with quite a strong sci-fi feel. The name “Type-Moon” ended up being changed to Moon Cell, but… it’s a bit embarrassing, but yeah!

Speaking of which, I made the proposal for Fate/Extra CCC quite early in the planning stage. I really liked Sakura, so I wanted to make a game where you chased around Sakuras all day, a silly idea like that. (laughs) Personally, I thought there was only a 50% chance of it becoming a reality, so I’m glad we were able to make it.”

4Gamer: Speaking of Sakura, one of Extra CCC‘s key characters is ‘BB’. Was the studio’s name named after her?

Nino: “I think it’s fine if you take it that way. When we were deciding the studio name, I was thinking of just making an unassuming studio name under ‘Type-Moon’. Like Studio A, Studio B, etc. And then I was like, “Well, if we’re going with B, may as well go with BB”, and decided it just like that. BB is a phrase quite familiar to me, so I felt like the name BB would watch over me as I tried out new challenges.”

4Gamer: So tell us about the process of studio BB’s creation.

Nino: “Before studio BB, I was working at Square Enix’s 3rd development headquarters, and it began when I proposed to my then-boss Naoki Yoshida-san (Final Fantasy XIV director/producer) that “I wanted to make a game together with Type-Moon”.

4Gamer: That Yoshida-san, huh! Quite an interesting combination.

Nino: “Around then, I was about done with development for Dragon Quest Builders 2, which I was the director of, and so I proposed we worked together with Type-Moon for our next title. Yoshida-san was quite interested, but the end result was that because of the timing and staff composition as a company, while it would be possible if we spent a lot of time at it, it wasn’t possible to start it immediately. And so, I thought seriously about what to do…

Not to mention, I’m already past 40, and I wonder how many more games I can make before I retire… I don’t have many active years left, so I wanted to continue creating the games I really wanted to make. I couldn’t just plan something else and wait for when that day would come.”

4Gamer: Right. And so, in order to create the game you wanted to make the most, you knocked on Type-Moon’s door.

Nino: “Right. I thought of many plans and talked to Type-Moon about it, and Takeuchi-san (Type-Moon’s Takashi Takeuchi) said, “Well, wouldn’t it be faster if our company did it?” And so, rather than the proposals of past, it suddenly became that we were opening a new studio.”

studio BB ambitions

4Gamer: So Type-Moon and studio BB’s game development will be handled separately?

Nino: “Right. Type-Moon proper will work on its own series at its own pace, and we at studio BB will work on Type-Moon-related titles from a different vector.”

4gamer: It’s been rumored on social media that Type-Moon is creating the new studio to ‘move “that” title into full development’. So that isn’t the case, then.

Nino: “Nope. (laughs) However, we’re aiming to bring the forces of Type-Moon and studio BB to create a large-scale game around 5-6 years later, and I’m speaking to Takeuchi-san and Nasu-san in order to work towards that.”

4Gamer: I’m looking forward to finding out what it is. By the way, what sorts of titles will studio BB handle?

Nino: “It’s not at a stage where we can announce anything yet, so I can’t give details, but there are three projects in mind, and one has entered development. This one will be a joint project with another development company, and will be a mid-scale title. Apart from this, we’re slated to start working on a small-scale title that can be developed and completed within studio BB.

All these titles are steps towards the large-scale title I mentioned prior, and can be taken to be tests to presenting Type-Moon’s worlds, and to bolster studio BB’s strength. If that large title can see fruition in a satisfying manner, I feel like I’d be fine with retiring just after that. (laughs)”

4Gamer: From the games you’ve been involved with like Etrian Odyssey, Fate/ExtraDragon Quest Builders, a lot of people likely expect that you’ll probably make a great RPG with the new studio.

Nino: “Thank you. I can’t say much right now, sorry. We’re hoping to announce something more detailed by Summer 2020.”

4Gamer: By the way, have you decided on the platforms for the in-development title(s)?

Nino: “Currently, the game(s) are planned for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC, but we’re also looking into Xbox One, smartphones, and cloud options.”

studio BB’s working title is in development.

Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!

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