Senran Kagura 7EVEN Producer is Reconsidering The Game's Content, Teases "Real" Senran Kagura Games on Switch
Senran Kagura's producer Kenichiro Takaki talks about Senran Kagura 7EVEN's development, possible new games on Switch and censorship.
Japanese site Inside games published a new interview with Kenichiro Takaki, the president of Honey∞Parade Games, the studio at Marvelous Entertainment handling the Senran Kagura series. The interview was conducted during Taipei Game Show 2019 at the end of January. Takaki talked about Peach Ball Senran Kagura, censorship, and how it affects the development of Senran Kagura 7EVEN: Shoujo tachi no Koufuku, along with other points. Here are the main tidbits.
Takaki started by talking about Peach Ball: Senran Kagura, the pinball Senran Kagura game now available on Nintendo Switch in Japan. As he already explained in the past, he got the idea to make Peach Ball because he thought it’d be fun making the HD Rumble of the Switch react with a pinball game where the ball would hit girls’ breasts.
Seeing the interview was for promoting the Chinese version of Peach Ball Senran Kagura, Takaki was also asked if it had any of its content censored. He answered that the game’s Chinese version is the same as the Japanese version.
Rather than making more DLC for Peach Ball Senran Kagura, Takaki would rather wait and see if the game is popular enough, and if it is, make a sequel with more characters and content.
The reporter also asked Takaki about the incident where a Peach Ball stream was stopped by Youtube, but kept going on Niconico Douga:
We actually kept in mind what to do and what not to do, to avoid the stream getting banned from YouTube, but it did get banned in the end. I was a bit happy about it actually (laughs). It gave us free advertising as everyone talked about it on Twitter, and then the views for the stream on Niconico skyrocketed (laughs).
When asked if Honey∞Parade is planning to make a new series of Senran Kagura games on Switch, Takaki answered that he can’t share anything as of now, but it might happen at some point. He’d also like to make proper, real Senran Kagura games on Switch too.
Moving on to Senran Kagura 7EVEN. The reporter asked Takaki to comment on his previous claims, that regulations of sexual content are getting stricter on PlayStation 4:
This isn’t something limited to PlayStation platforms, but more like something affecting all media in general, on a worldwide scale. I always thought this would happen. But it happened a bit faster than what I expected, so I’m worried about how things will go from now on.
Because of this, Takaki added that the final version of Senran Kagura 7EVEN will be different from what they originally planned:
There’s a high chance we won’t be able to release the game if we keep going with our initial plans. I’m pondering on what we should change and think over.
The reporter proposed multiple solutions to Takaki, like making two versions of Senran Kagura 7EVEN, with different age ratings. And if they could move the series to PC:
I didn’t think about doing two versions but…(pauses to think), it’ll probably be very complicated to put in place. As for moving the series to PC and Steam, I’m not ruling out the possibility, but I don’t think it’ll change much. In the first place, Senran Kagura is a part of a niche genre, wherever it is. You’ve got a lot of realistic violent games like FPSes on PC doing fine though. So if we think moving the series to PC is the right choice, we’ll do it.
On whether Senran Kagura 7EVEN will get a worldwide release or not:
Well, we’re already trying to do that for years now, at the very least we aim to do simultanous releases in all of Asia. For 7EVEN itself though I don’t know how things will go, but I’d at least want to release the Chinese version at the same time as the Japanese one.
The reporter asked if Senran Kagura 7EVEN‘s development is complicated because of its sexual content, and if the Senran Kagura series will be unable to express the ideas and elements it did until now without it:
Now, I’m pretty much asking myself “is it fine to do a Senran Kagura game without clothes getting ripped and boucing breasts?”. I don’t know how far it will go, how stricter things will become, and what we won’t be able to do anymore, but there’s definitly things that will become forbidden. I’m extremely anxious about it. Needless to say, Seran Kagura’s appeal isn’t solely its sexiness, but cutting it would remove a lot from the series’ essence. And of course, you can make interesting games without that much sexualization… but right now, I don’t know how we could do that with Senran Kagura.
Lastly, Takaki said that he regularly discusses these issues with Team Ninja’s boss Yosuke Hayashi and Dead or Alive Director Yohei Shimbori. Takaki would also love to do another collaboration event with the Dead or Alive series.
Personally, I think Takaki is way too pessimistic there about the state of things. I don’t think you should be taking everything he said in this interview at face value and instead relativize, by taking into account more information and more opinions. I also think Takaki is making a mistake by only be considering Steam for PC releases.
You should also take into account other comments by Takaki himself. For example, during another recent interview where he talked about Senran Kagura 7EVEN, we reported that he blamed Sony’s new regulations for the game’s hectic development. Others in the game industry believe only Sony is at fault as well. But in fact, Takaki mentioned in that same interview how the biggest change isn’t Sony but Japan as a whole striving to become cleaner for the 2020 Olympics. This includes changes like removing adult magazines from visible shelves at 24H open minimarkets like 7-Eleven.
Takaki was also optimistic then. He said that there will always be people like him making console games with a lot of sexualization, and that there will always be people who buy these games, so, whatever happens, they’ll find ways to keep going. Sure, that interview was one month ago, but I don’t think his view on the matter changed this much in such a short amount of time, and he’s probably dramatizing too much in Inside’s interview.
Ironically, I think it’s a good thing that Takaki is thoroughly thinking what to do with Senran Kagura 7EVEN because I don’t think Honey∞Parade has been picking the right choices recently. The company released Shinobi Refle: Senran Kagura, for 10$, while it’s pretty much a demo for the Joy-Cons instead of an actual game, with overpriced DLC to get to use other characters. And then they released Peach Ball, a pinball game no one really asked for, who don’t even have half of the characters in the franchise, instead of a real Senran Kagura game, and again with overpriced DLC. At this rate, I think the series will just do itself in rather than being affected by Sony’s regulations or the Olympics or whatever.
Senran Kagura 7EVEN has no release date planned, and it’ll be exclusively on PS4. We already got a peek at Asuka’s new look in the game.