Today, Atlus published quite a few videos showcasing welcoming messages from many prominent Japanese developers for the upcoming JRPG Project Re Fantasy by the publisher’s new development team Studio Zero, led by Persona 5 Director Katsura Hashino.
Below you can see videos from Dragon’s Dogma Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Danganronpa Writer Kazutaka Kodaka, Nihon Falcom President Toshihiro Kondo, Yakuza Producer Toshihiro Nagoshi, Phantasy Star Online 2 Producer Satoshi Sakai, Koei Tecmo Producer Kou Shibusawa and Nier: Automata Creative Director Taro Yoko.
They include Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu writer Kenji Inoue, Vanillaware President George Kamitani, Super Smash Bros. Creator Masahiro Sakurai, NieR: Automata and Dragon Quest series Producer Yosuke Saito, Fatal Frame series Director Makoto Shibata, Army Corps of Hell Producer Yuichi Tanzawa, Fate series Writer Kinoko Nasu, Dragon Quest Builders Director Kazuya Niino, Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto, Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi and NiOh Director Fumihiko Yasuda.
Basically, many of the biggest names in the Japanese gaming industry rallied to welcome the new studio and its project in what can be defined, I believe, an unprecedented show of support.
The most hilarious video was, as you would expect, the one from Taro Yoko, that deserves a recap, and that you can see at the bottom of the post.
First of all, he jokingly says that Atlus’ PR department is very brave for letting Square Enix know that they’re starting a new fantasy JRPG, then he showcases a diagram of the themes of Japanese games. On the vertical axis there is “fantasy” (top) and “modern” (bottom). On the horizontal axis he has “pop” (left) and “realistic” (right).
The yellow circle represents Dragon Quest, the dark blue one is Final Fantasy, the red one is Danganronpa, the light blue one is Persona and the green one is Yakuza. Lastly, he places the “small” NieR franchise as the purple circle, mentioning that it’s barely getting by, surrounded by Square Enix’s giant games and Atlus’ awesome titles.
Then he mentions that with the new fantasy project, Persona would shift in the fantasy quadrant, effectively killing NieR (the big red mark means “death”).
Since it would be problematic if NieR died, and Yoko-san needs to find a way to keep making a living, he thought he’d shift NieR into a high school setting, but when he told Atlus about that idea, they mentioned that they’re still still making Persona games, so NieR would have no way to go, and would die no matter where it hides.
That’s why, Yoko-san continues, he’d like Atlus to rethink the idea of a fantasy JRPG, and possibly to give up on it. And yes, he said all of this with a straight face. Well… more with a straight voice, since his face was covered by his usual mask. No doubt about this, Taro Yoko is the best comedian of them all.
If you want to see more of Project Re Fantasy, and read the messages from Studio Zero’s developers, you can check out our dedicated article here.