Granblue Fantasy Versus Interview — Cygames Talks Potential Ports, Tournaments, Beta Reception, and More
DualShockers sat down with Cygames' Kenichiro Takaki at E3 2019 to discuss the response to Granblue Fantasy Versus' beta and more.
During E3 2019, DualShockers sat down with Cygames’ Kenichiro Takaki about their upcoming title Granblue Fantasy Versus. The game is being made in collaboration with Arc System Works and is being published by XSEED Games in North America and Europe. We dived in deep to talk about all things Granblue Fantasy Versus as this is the first console title stemming from mega-popular Japan-exclusive mobile game Granblue Fantasy.
Update: The prior version of this interview had a question about ArcREVO 2019 which was incorrect; that specific tournament is still going on. The event that was actually canceled is Arc System Works Festival 2019.
Jordan: Can you talk about how the reception has been since the Granblue Fantasy Versus closed beta? How have players reacted to the game so far?
Kenichiro Takaki: The feedback and reception have been exceptional. It was super big and it was super positive. We kind of expected that from Japan since Granblue Fantasy is a powerhouse there and it’s a well-known IP, but the fact that North America and Europe had so many people stepping up and really complimenting the game, praising it, that was a bit surprising.
So for the North American market, we’re collaborating with XSEED on this title. After the game got out so many companies were approaching saying ‘Oh, this is an interesting game!’ So yes, it was a great success.
J: So was it Cygames who sort of gave the layout for what they wanted Granblue Fantasy Versus to feel like in terms of moment to moment gameplay or was it a collective effort between Cygames and Arc System Works to find what felt best?
KT: At its core, it’s based on a collaborative effort between ourselves and Arc System. It all comes back to the mobile version of Granblue Fantasy, it has a certain aesthetic, it has a certain feel to it that must be realized so fans will feel at home when they touch this game.
Continuing that, this game was also developed with close collaboration with the producer and director, Mr. Yuito Kimura and Mr. Fukuhara, who are in charge of the mobile version of Granblue Fantasy. So, they were interested in hearing what they think about the game, how they would want it to be portrayed.
J: Why was Arc System Works the right choice for Granblue Fantasy Versus?
KT: To put it simply, the whole team was discussing 2D fighting games. Who are the go-to guys? I think the answer is simple: Arc System Works.
J: In terms of the depth of the game, where does Granblue Fantasy Versus fall as a fighting game? What will set the skilled players apart from newcomers?
KT: Well one example would be the special attacks of certain characters. They can be unleashed with simple commands, but they can’t be unleashed several times in a row, that is not possible. So that would be one point where you have a skilled player who would not just unleash it randomly, versus a beginner who may.
J: So there will be a story in Granblue Fantasy Versus, I think you’ve said that. Can you tell us where and when the story will take place, where will it fall in the overall story of Granblue Fantasy?
KT: At this point we really can’t give too much information in regards to that, stay tuned though, there will be more info at a certain point.
J: This is the first Granblue title coming to the west and to consoles. Was it difficult adapting an IP that’s so prevalent in Japan for a western market where most of the audience hasn’t played the original mobile game?
KT: Of course, there is the mobile version which is such a big game, it has been running for so many years. It has a vast story and it’s super fleshed out but one very big appeal point of this game, this franchise, are its characters as there are so many of them. There are a fair amount of users who really love the characters of the game; therefore, even if you don’t really know the backbone, the story and all of its details, if you just see the characters and see the action you can enjoy that. So we believe it will really be quite easy for users to get into the game.
J: What has been the most exciting part of bringing Granblue to console?
KT: This goes back a bit to what I said before. There is the mobile version which is a 2D RPG so bringing Granblue to console, to see the movement, to see the action, to see the attacks, it’s what everyone had imagined taking shape and that is really exciting.
J: Are you worried at all about mobile games overtaking console games in Japan? You’ve obviously seen great success with Granblue in Japan but does your studio have any interest in bringing titles like Versus and even Relink to consoles like the Nintendo Switch, which has taken off in Japan right now as a handheld?
KT: What you said is certainly true, handhelds are super big in Japan. It’s so easy to play and access. What we envision kind of requires higher specs with the console games. However, one thing that really drives it this time around is that we want as many people as possible to get introduced to the franchise and enjoy the game. We aren’t taken a stance saying no we definitely won’t be doing something on Switch, that’s not the case. Ultimately, it always strongly depends on the game itself. What platform is best suited for a certain title? That is the decision we have to make.
J: Back when Granblue Fantasy Versus was first revealed, Tetsuya Fukuhara said that Cygames was interested potentially porting the game to PC following the PS4 version. Can you give us any updates on that, is that version something you’re still interested in doing?
KT: Nothing is set in stone and I cannot really say. Definitely at this point, as I just mentioned with regard to the last question, it’s important for us to have as many people as possible enjoy the game and get introduced to the franchise. Going by that logic you know what that means (stay tuned).
J: Are there any plans for a Granblue Fantasy Versus World Tour with
ArcREVO 2019 Arc System Works Festival 2019 being canceled?
KT: Yes, absolutely. Small scale or super big scale, we’re really considering having this game featured in a variety of tournaments. Fighting games, it all comes down to people, they brush up their skills and they want to show it off in a certain place. We want to create these places.
J: Can you give us any hints as to what characters may be announced for the roster soon?
KT: I can’t really say anything yet; however, there are new characters being lined up and we’re hoping they’ll be characters that everybody is looking forward to. Stay tuned!
Granblue Fantasy Versus is launching exclusively on PS4 sometime later this year.