Fate/Grand Order for iOS and Android has recently launched in North America after reaching enormous success since it originally released in 2015 in Japan. It is a free-to-play mobile game where you play as the Master of Servants from the Fate universe. Through turn-based RPG mechanics and story cutscenes, players must fight their way through enemies to obtain items as well as strengthen their Servants.
In order to learn more about the title, DualShockers had the opportunity to sit down with Fate/Grand Order Creative Director Yosuke Shiokawa from DelightWorks Inc. to talk about Fate/Grand Order’s North American release, and also what’s to come for the popular mobile game.
Azario Lopez: What was the deciding factor for bringing Fate/Grand Order to the west?
Yosuke Shiokawa: During Anime Expo 2016, I saw a lot of Fate cosplayers and merchandise. This showed me that there was a wide fanbase and we don’t exactly condone our support of overseas players playing the Japanese version, but I saw that there were quite a few people playing this version: so, that motivated us to release the game by Anime Expo 2017.
AL: What do you think it is about the Fate/Grand Order series that would make western players download the Japanese version just to play the game?
YS: Well the anime has been released on DVD in the west, so I think it’s common to all fans that they’ll want to meet and work with a Servant.
AL: With the mobile game market being overcrowded with releases, were you hesitant to release Fate/Grand Order to such a dense market in North America?
YS: I know that our first priority is to make the fanbase that already knows about Fate/Grand Order happy. From there on we may still have anime fans who aren’t particularly fans of Fate – also there might be fans who may not really care about anime – but are avid players of mobile games. I think broadening the market to this kind of audience is the next priority for us.
AL: Were you worried about server issues on launch day in North America?
YS: Been there done that with the Japanese release, so we were ready.
AL: In Japan, there were limited time events for Fate/Grand Order: are you planning to release these events in some capacity in the west?
YS: We’d like all players of Fate/Grand Order to experience the same events as the Japanese players, so we will be putting forth all the events as much as possible.
AL: More specifically, would North American players be receiving the Summer Beach event?
YS: The basic principle is that we’d like to follow the Japanese release as closely as possible, so look forward to it.
AL: Now that the series has reached a much bigger audience, where do you see the series going?
YS: The one thing that I can say is Fate/Grand Order is a unique mobile game, even in the Japanese market. There might be local trends that are a favorite to a particular market, but for Fate/Grand Order, we’d like it to stay unique and not be specifically matched to any other game.
AL: Has development become more difficult now that a bigger audience has been introduced to the game?
YS: In terms of content, everything follows the Japanese release so that’s not the difficult part: it’s the actual management that might need little tweaks.
AL: What would those tweaks be?
YS: Well for example, we just announced that North American players will get 20 Saint Quartz and that will be specific to only that region.
AL: I wouldn’t call myself a huge mobile game player, but Fate/Grand Order has story sections that allow the player to choose specific dialog as if they were the Master. Was this approach intentional?
YS: As you said, you don’t normally play mobile games. So, myself as well as Type-Moon have been developers for a long time and have also worked on console games. We didn’t really have the mobile platform in mind: instead, we wanted to bring the console experience to the mobile platform.
AL: Since Sony Music is involved with the publishing of Fate/Grand Order, is there any consideration about bringing the game to PlayStation 4 in some form?
YS: That’s not currently planned, but who knows what might lurk in the future.
AL: When Fate/Grand Order came to North America, were there any issues with localization that you ran into?
YS: Since the game’s release we have been receiving user feedback in terms of translation quality. That would be one point that we’d like to improve upon.
AL: How do you approach translating and localizing?
YS: Currently, the translation system involves the team at Aniplex of America, using the translators that have worked on the old Fate anime, as well as an outside translation team. In addition to translation, we could use a bit more time in quality check and QA.
AL: Is there anything you’d like to say to North America fans of Fate/Grand Order?
YS: The US release is still a few versions behind the English release so there’s going to be a lot of updates and improvements to come: so, please forward to what’s to come.