Level-5, the developers behind fantastic games such as Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni are fast approaching they’re 20th year of game development and to celebrate they want to do something massive.
In a recent interview with 4gamer.net Bandai Namco producer Katsuhiro Harada spoke with Akihiro Hino, CEO and President of Level-5 about their past and future. He began by asking if they wanted to make an MMORPG and Hino said he did indeed and that the past failure of Fantasy Live Online hasn’t put him off the idea. Below is interview in full.
Harada: “Don’t you want to make your own MMORPG?”
Hino: “I do. I always think, ‘If I get a chance I want to make one.’ However, I still feel the pain of having to cancel True Fantasy Live Online (Xbox).”
Harada: “Ah, for you that was enough, huh.”
Hino: “To make an MMORPG, you need a well-oiled company as well as the knowledge and skill to create online games. It’s not enough to just sort of want to make an MMORPG. Back then we weren’t able to adhere to the schedule because we prioritized our mood. Then there were certain things with regards to the platform that ultimately forced us to have to cancel the project.”
Harada: “Even after such an experience, you still felt you wanted to make one, then. I don’t know whether or not you still have such a
plan, but if you had the investment what kind of theme would you choose? Based on your past work, it seems like it would be a medieval kingdom theme.”
Hino: “We do have an idea. I’m not sure if we can call it an MMORPG or not, but were plan to make a big title on the same scale as one. Also, since were going into our 20th year, we want to make something we like. If we able to get support from talented people able to do things we can’t, then I think we’ll be able to make it. By the way, the game we’re preparing won’t be fantasy but rather ‘modern day.’”
Harada: “Oh, is it OK for you to be saying that here?”
Hino: “It was said somewhere that we’ll make a game for our 20th anniversary, so I think it’s OK. Although we say it’s a game for the 20th anniversary, it won’t come out this year. Rather, we wanted to make the announcement in the year of the anniversary. For example, Ni no Kuni was a 10th anniversary celebration title, but it wasn’t actually released until two years later.”
From the interview it’s clear that something big is coming. It’s a shame that we’ll probably have to wait a few years until we get it and I imagine it’ll be a while before we get any solid details on it.
That said, with 20 years of experience behind them now it’s not hard to believe that Hino and his team at Level-5 are capable of making the MMO he’s always dreamed of.