Level-5 President Akihiro Hino Explains Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tenbin's Delays

Level-5 President Akihiro Hino explained the reasons behind Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tenbin's multiple delays, in a concise yet detailed live stream.

December 25, 2018

During a 15 minutes live stream held today, Level-5’s President Akihiro Hino personally addressed Inazuma Eleven fans, explaining the multiple delays Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin has suffered from.

Hino-san started by explaining how Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tenbin‘s game and anime projects were born. It was in order to release them a bit before the 2018 Football World Cup was held, June-July 2018, as having the biggest Football event right around the corner would get everyone fired up for the series. And yes, I said Football. I’m French and thus have the right and duty to call the sport by its true name, Football, instead of “soccer”.

As you should know, France brilliantly won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin anime did air in Japan, with a sequel titled Inazuma Eleven: Orion no Kokuin airing right now. And yet, the game still isn’t out. Hino-san enounced multiple reasons for this.

First off, development itself started later than scheduled because they spent too much time deciding on the story. They were even considering pushing back the anime version’s broadcast, which started in April 2018, and in the end, decided to tweak the story a bit. This is why despite airing during the World Cup, the Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin anime’s story focused on Japan, and the World Cup-like tournament story only started in Inazuma Eleven Orion no Kokuin, whose broadcast started on October 2018 in Japan.

The next reason was quite saddening to hear. In the past, Level-5 developed each Inazuma Eleven game alone, without outside help. Because they wanted to release Ares no Tenbin in time for the 2018 World Cup, they decided to hire another company to help develop part of the game. According to Hino-san, this company accepted the job, even though it didn’t have enough employees to develop what they were assigned to. To make things worse, the company purposefully hid this fact from Level-5 for a long time. Level-5 did follow their work, but by the time they realized what was happening, releasing the game by July 2018 was impossible.

Hino-san explains how they couldn’t use the work that company provided either, as the game wouldn’t have turned out satisfying at all. Level-5 didn’t want fans to think they don’t care about Inazuma Eleven anymore. As such, Level-5 partnered up with a new company and restarted development from scratch.

As for a new release estimate, Hino-san says that he can’t guarantee it, but there’s a high chance the game will release not too long after May 2019. They’ll do their best to make a great game that won’t disappoint fans.

Following these explanations, Hino-san revealed new information on the game, introducing some of its characters, including Team Raimon, Team Ogre, Team Oumihara and Team Yokato. Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tenbin is a game that’ll include all popular teams from past games. It’ll also have multiple events showing the characters interacting, including many story parts not shown in the anime version. You can take a look at the teams and some event scenes in the gallery below.

Lastly, because at this point Ares no Tenbin will release when everyone’s hyped with its sequel anime, Orion no Kokuin, there’s a high chance the Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin game will include content from Orion no Kokuin. If they do it, there’s a high chance it’ll be as DLC. They’re even considering changing the game’s name to reflect that as well.

To wrap things up, Hino-san talked a bit about Orion no Kokuin’s story, and its mysterious character Mitsuru Ichihoshi. He saw how many fans on the net speculate about his secrets, but everyone will be extremely shocked when they learn the truth. Currently, the anime reached a point where bits of information were revealed, but it’s far from over. Hino-san is having fun reading everyone’s theories, and it seems no one managed to get it 100% right yet. Enjoying the story like that and making theories is also what makes Inazuma Eleven fun. He also said to pay attention to the finals of the Asian tournament, as the main characters will face Team Chuugoku. Chuugoku being where coach Zhao Jin Yun is from, so there will be interesting things revealed.

While Level-5, like many other game companies, often delay their games, hearing all this makes it clear the company isn’t the sole entity at fault. It’s a very rare occurrence, seeing the President of a studio as big as Level-5 explaining himself like that. I’m not even into Inazuma Eleven and yet this was quite hard to watch at times. I hope they won’t run into further problems, and finally be able to release the game.

Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tenbin will launch sometime after May 2019 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.

Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane (He/Him) is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been loving anime and Japanese games for over 25 years and plays Genshin Impact for its story and exploration. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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