Various other developers from top Japanese companies had many kind words to share, but since Yoko Taro’s was the most humorous, and also a pretty interesting one to think about, I thought that it’d be fun to share.
“Hello, nice to meet you, I’m Yoko Taro. I believe that many Atlus fans don’t know me, so I figured that I should introduce myself. I make games such as NieR and Draken-something for Square Enix, and I was asked by the folks from Atlus’ PR department to share a comment about their brand new fantasy RPG project.”
“You might not be able to tell from the video alone, but this conference room is actually Square Enix’s conference room, and as you may know, Square Enix is known for being the head temple of that big fantasy RPG. And to think that you’ve come all the way here, to this head temple, to express that you’re starting a new IP… I think that Atlus, rather, Atlus’ PR, is very courageous.”
“Actually, there’s something I thought I should show you guys—Japan’s video game distribution map.”
From the top going clockwise, the graph shows “fantasy,” “real,” “modern,” and “pop.”
“I believe that it [Japan’s video game distribution map] is something like this.
“If you’re wondering what the Japanese game industry is like, first we have Final Fantasy in the upper-right like bam, and Dragon Quest on the upper-left like bam. I believe this about covers half of Japan’s game industry.”
“If you’re wondering where Atlus is located, it’s something like this. The bottom-middle has Persona, the bottom-right has Yakuza hiding there, and Danganronpa on the bottom-left. When it comes to Danganronpa, I think that their market kind of overlaps that of Persona’s a bit, but since they’re from different companies, it’s whatever.”
“And if I were to point where NieR, the games that I make, is located in the Japanese game industry, it would be this tiny part here. That’s the game I make. Caught right between the crevice of Square Enix’s giant titles and Atlus’ wonderful titles, we’re barely making it alive, somehow, and that is the current situation.”
“In regard to this and what will happen with Atlus’ new fantasy RPG project that got announced, Atlus’ Persona part would be entering the fantasy territory.”
“So what does that mean if Persona goes into fantasy? It means NieR would die.”
“If it were to die, that would be no good, and we need to find a way to survive, so I figured that if Persona comes to the fantasy area, then we should just go down there. So I thought we might as well just make NieR into a school setting, or something.”
“But when I spoke to Atlus about that, they said that the fantasy RPG project will be made as a fantasy RPG, but they will also keep making Persona games. So, if you’re wondering what will come of this, that means that NieR has nowhere to run and will die either way.”
Conclusion: I want you to reconsider
“What I want to tell you guys about Atlus’ new fantasy RPG project—I want you to reconsider it. I strongly want to ask you guys this. And to you Atlus fans, I want you to give up on the new fantasy RPG project. That’s what I’m thinking.”
“And finally, the game I’m working on, called NieR: Automata, releases next year on February 23. Thank you for your continued support!”