4Gamer interviews Japanese creators on 2019 ambitions

Shocking news: Unannounced titles in production.


4Gamer.net has gone up with its end-of-year creator interviews. The website interviewed 195 creators, many of which shared teases for their ambitions in 2019.

Get the roundup of newsworthy bits below.

■ Artdink

Youichi Yamaguchi, Executive Director
Known for: Neo Atlas 1469, other Neo Atlas titles

“I’m thinking about various new approaches for the Neo Atlas series. Please look forward to it.”

■ Idea Factory / Compile Heart

Makoto Kitano, Director and Producer
Known for: Genaki Tokki series, Trillion: God of Destruction, Dragon Star Varnir

“This year, we released the Dragon Star Varnir, an RPG where you devour dragons to survive, and received all sorts of feedback, but in 2019 we’re preparing to announce more surprises for everyone. We have an abundant lineup coming together, such as a title that I’m not involved with myself, but uses the keyword ‘shinobu,’ so please look forward to it.”

Norihisa Kochiwa, Compile Heart President
Known for: Neptunia series, Mary Skelter series, Death end re;Quest, Dragon Star Varnir, etc.

“I’m feeling the excitement of everyone looking forward to our various titles like Arc of Alchemist, Azur Lane: Crosswave, Eshigami no Kizuna, Mega Miracle Force, and Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle Game (tentative). We are also working on unannounced Compile Heart-esque RPG(s). I think everyone will be surprised since we’re moving forward on projects with unexpected creators once again. We’ll work hard to deliver titles that make everyone happy again next year, so please look forward to them!”

■ Acquire

Keisuke Miyauchi, Director
Known for: Octopath Traveler, Road to Dragons

“Since it seems that 2019 will be a year of preparation, I don’t have anything to say yet… We’ll emerge again after a while, so I hope that everybody can look forward to it when the time comes.”

■ Atlus

Daisuke Kaneda, Director and Producer
Known for: Trauma Team, Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth

“In 2018, we devoted our daily routine to the creation of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth. And with the staff’s endurance and everyone’s support, we were able to safely release the game on November 29. However, the busy days continue in 2019. I would like to deliver a new game that won’t be defeated by the ‘impactful work’ I previously answered (this is referring to an earlier question from 4Gamer.net about what titles Kaneda thought made an impact in 2018, to which he answered Detroit: Become Human). Please continue to give Atlus and the Persona team your support.”

Katsura Hashino, Studio Zero Creative Producer and Game Director
Known for: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (game design and general production), Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5 (scenario draft, game design, and general production), Catherine (scenario draft, game design, and general production), etc.

“With the goal of an official announcement, I’m making an entirely new RPG at our new studio that isn’t Shin Megami Tensei or Persona. I think it will be a game that hasn’t been done before. What is the future of the traditional fantasy anyhow? Confidence among the team is increasing each day as we move forward. Our minds are open and calm. We are progressing forward as not to get lost and are having fun while doing it, so I would like to continue that in 2019. Also, before our fantasy RPG, Studio Zero will release Catherine: Full Body on February 14. It depicts an extreme drama with lots of additional scenario. From beginners to experience players, I think a wide range of players will enjoy it. Please pick it up!”

Kazuyuki Yamai, Shin Megami Tensei Series Producer
Known for: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha series, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

Shin Megami Tensei V is currently in development. I’m extremely sorry that the lack of news since we announced the title has worried everyone. However, development itself is steadily progressing, so please rest assured. With V, it will be 14 years since the release of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Maniax that the series is released on a home console, and getting to use the industry’s leading Unreal Engine 4 has motivated us. The high level of freedom and work efficiency Unreal Engine 4 grants creators, coupled with Atlus’ creative spirit in that we obsess over every little detail, means we will have to ask for some time until we get to the finishing touches, but everyone on the development staff is doing their absolute best. Thanks to that, we’ve gone through the stage of checking the performance of game scenes that have surprised our developers many times over, so we’re feeling the excitement and developer advantage everyday. Finally, 2019 will be a year where we ask everyone ‘various things.’ Honestly, I’m full of expectation and anxiety, but I hope that the staff’s efforts so far will show in a big way. It will be a little longer, but please wait for the next update.”

Kazuhisa Wada, Creative Producer and Chief Director
Known for: Persona series design chief, director, and producer (from Persona 3 onwards)

“For Persona, we’re making various preparations for 2019, including the already announced concert at Ryougoku Kokugikan in April. Everyone on the team is working their hardest, so please continue to give us your support!”

■ Arika

Akira Nishitani, President
Known for: Street Fighter EX series, Ever Blue series

“We’re currently working hard towards a new project, so please give us your support so that we’re able to announce it!”

■ Experience

Hajime Chikami, President and Producer
Known for: Demon Gaze series, The Stranger of Sword City, Death Mark, NG

“On February 21, we will release the PlayStation 4 version of horror adventure game NG. At the same time, we will start the novelization and comic for our previous title Death Mark. I’m happy that everyone will be able to enjoy the world of Death Mark even more. Also, we’re planning to release two dungeon RPG titles, which is our specialty, within the fiscal year. There may also be other things.”

■ Kadokawa Games

Juntarou Kouno, Operating Officer and Producer
Known for: Demon Gaze 2, Metal Max Xeno

“In 2018, we released Metal Max Xeno, the first new entry in the series in a long time. While there is still some time to go, the series will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2021. Director ‘King Miya’ (Hiroshi Miyaoka) is working hard and planning for the future of the series. Please look forward to it.”

■ Capcom

Hideaki Itsuno, Director
Known for: Devil May Cry series, Rival Schools series, Dragon’s Dogma, etc.

“Soon we will complete Devil May Cry 5, the first numbered title in the series in 11 years. I’m putting everything I have into it and am looking forward to everyone’s feedback. Unlike previous entries, the hurdles of sharing videos and the like have lowered, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s superplay videos on social media. After its release on March 8, and after checking the free update coming in April, I’m going to refresh and prepare for my next title. I hope to work hard so that my next title meets everyone’s expectations, and so that I can announce it as soon as possible.”

Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, Producer
Known for: Mega Man 11

“In 2018, we were able to safely release Mega Man 11. This is also a thank-you to all of the game fans. In 2019, I would like to make steady preparations for what’s next, so there may not be any major action, but I hope you can all watch over me with warm eyes…!”


Shouta Shimoda, Wright Flyer Studios Head
Known for: Shoumetsu Toshi series

“I want to devote my work to the completely new 3D title Shin Shoumetsu Toshi Project, as well as other titles and the currently in service Shoumetsu Toshi 0. in order to widen the scope of Shoumetsu Toshi. Please continue to give us your support.”

■ Granzella

Kazuma Kujo, Chief Producer and Game Designer
Known for: Disaster Report series, Manga Kakeru, City Shrouded in Shadow, Steambot Chronicles

“While continuing to enhance the 2018-released Manga Kakeru and Disaster Report 4 Plus: Summer Memories, I’m working on preparations to be able to share information about a new title around the spring. Since I inconvenienced fans with things like delayed release dates in 2018, I would like to raise the level of accuracy in our work to release a game that can excite everyone and leave an impression on the world. Thank you for your support.”

■ Crim

Sawaki Takeyasu, President
Known for: Okami, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, God Wars, The Lost Child

“I hope to be able to announce a new game. We are also planning to expand the Gallery El Shaddai that is currently in operation.”

■ Koei Tecmo

Kenichi Ogasawara, Omega Force Brand Head
Known for: Toukiden series, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence series

“First, please enjoy Dragon Quest Builders 2, which was developed by Omega Force! In 2019, I think it will be a year with new hardware and platform-related announcements as we head towards a 2020 that hopefully excites the world, so I’ll be keeping an eye on things!”

Hisashi Koinuma, President
Known for: Warriors series, Nioh, Attack on Titan (game)

“Since 2019 is a year of the same zodiac sign as my own, I would like to make it a year of great strides. I’m currently working not only as the president, but as a producer, and I think that I will be able to announce a new title in 2019 as well, so please give us your support.”

Akihiro Suzuki, Producer
Known for: Dynasty Warriors series

“In 2018, we released Dynasty Warriors 8, which changed up the game’s systems in a big way, and received various feedback from users. I want to take that feedback to heart and utilize it for future works. Currently, we’re considering new experiments for the Dynasty Warriors series, so I’m working hard to be able to tell everyone more in 2019. Please continue to support the Dynasty Warriors series in the future.”

Junzo Hosoi, Producer
Known for: Blue Reflection, Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings

“Thank you for always supporting the Gust brand. In 2019, we will release two titles starting with Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World, followed by Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland, but we also plan to announce various titles outside of those. Please look forward to them!”

Fumihiko Yasuda, Producer and Director
Known for: Nioh, Ninja Gaiden series

“The June-announced Nioh 2 is deep in development. We will be able to share more news in 2019, so please look forward to it.”

■ JP Games

Hajime Tabata, CEO
Known for: Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy Type-0, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

“I would like to utilize the technology and experience I’ve cultivated in game development on a wider level and create a more enjoyable future for games. 2019 will be a year of preparation for that. I’ll be developing games, of course.”

■ Genius Sonority

Manabu Yamana, President
Known for: The Denpa Men series, Pokemon Shuffle

“I’m sorry we didn’t release any titles in 2018, but in 2019 we will definitely release something!”

■ Square Enix

Tomoya Asano, 11th Business Division Executive
Known for: Octopath Traveler, Bravely series

“This year, I have a bit of a different challenge from what I’ve done previously (Octopath Traveler and the Bravely series). I’ll do my best! The 11th Business Division is developing multiple games. Each one should make everyone happy! It will take some time before we’re able to share news, but please look forward to it!”

Takeshi Uchikawa, Director
Known for: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

“This year saw pleasant happenings such as the release of the localized version of Dragon Quest XI, and winning the PlayStation Awards User’s Choice prize for the second year in a row. Thank you so much to everyone that has supported us. Currently, the development team is putting its all into Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age S in order to deliver a new impression to even more people. There is still some way to go, but we’re preparing surprising announcements, so please look forward to more information!”

Yosuke Saito, Executive Producer
Known for: Dragon Quest X Online, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, NieR: Automata, Astronoka, etc.

“I’m hoping to share more news about Babylon’s Fall, which we’re developing in cooperation with PlatinumGames, within the year. Also please support the idol group Gems Company! We will soon do a concert! For sure! I promise! We also have several other unannounced titles, so I will continue to do my best while making all sorts of sacrifices (welp)! Why am I always so busy? It must be a sickness…”

Atsushi Hashimoto, Tokyo RPG Factory Director
Known for: Lost Sphear, I Am Setsuna, Final Fantasy Explorers

“Since releasing the western version of Lost Sphear and the latest version update in January 2018, we haven’t done anything public, but we’ve been devoting ourselves every day to making a game that will surprise many, so please look forward to our next title.”

■ Spike Chunsoft

Kazuhiro Watanabe, Producer
Known for: Kenka Banchoseries, Attack on Titan: Chains of Humanity

“In March, we will release Kenka Bancho Otome 2nd Rumble!!, so thank you so much to everyone for the continued support after the anime and fan disc that allowed us to release a numbered sequel. Please look forward to the new activities of otome gaming’s strongest heroine. Also, I have an unannounced new title planned for 2019, so please look forward to that as well.”

■ Sega Games

Yokoyama Masayoshi, Yakuza Series Chief Producer / Script and Production
Known for: Yakuza series

“Service for Yakuza Online began as the first step of the New Yakuza project we announced last year. Please be sure to play the life of the man known as Ichiban Kasuga, the new protagonist of the series. And we are currently deep in development of the latest Yakuza game for console that stars the same Ichiban Kasuga. Please look forward to that as well!”

■ Sony Interactive Entertainment

Keiichiro Toyama, Creative Director
Known for: Siren series, Gravity Rush series

“2018 was a troubling year where things I never expected occurred and one thing after the next didn’t go as planned, but I had the opportunity to speak with Siren fans of 15 years at the ‘Siren Exhibition,’ where I was able to get motivation for making games in the future, as well as big hints. While I’m still figuring things out behind the scenes, I want to turn over a new leaf in 2019 and go full power from the very beginning!”

Teruyuki Toriyama, Japan Studio Producer
Known for: Deracine, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, Bloodborne, Bloodborne: The Old Hunters, No Heroes Allowed! VR, Soul Sacrifice series

“In 2019, we are preparing for the debut of unannounced title(s) currently in production, as well as for the start-up of new project(s), so please continue to support Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio.”

Shuhei Yoshida, Worldwide Studios President
Known for: Ape Escape, Crash Bandicoot, Legend of Dragoon

“2018 was a wonderful year blessed with many hit titles such as Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Detroit: Become Human, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Astro Bot: Rescue Mission. We want to continue delivering titles that make everyone happy next year. Please look forward to it.”

■ Taito

Yuichi Toyama, Development HQ
Known for: Herzog, Spriggan Mark 2: Re Terraform Project, Terra Diver

“We will release Darius Cozmic Collection for Switch on February 28, 2019! We’ve teamed up with M2 to revive the arcade and console Darius series on Switch. This is Taito’s first console game release in a while, and the company is excited. In addition to this, we’re planning many new titles and ports for various platforms, so please look forward to them!”

■ Toybox

Yasuhiro Wada, President and Creative Producer
Known for: Birthdays the Beginning, Happy Birthdays, Little Dragon’s Cafe

“While I can’t say anything specific about the game we are currently developing, unlike the Birthdays series and Little Dragon’s Cafe, this title is unlike me in a good way. I think we’ll be able to announce it in 2019, so please look forward to it!”

■ Brownies

Shinichi Kameoka, President, Producer, Director, Character Designer, etc.
Known for: Seiken Densetsu series (character design), Magical Vacation series (character design, producer), Mother 3 (producer), Fantasy Life (producer), Seventh Rebirth (producer), Egglia (director, character design, scenario)

“2019 feels like the start of a new chapter as Brownies will return to console titles, which have become the new world, and make ‘game-esque titles’ like we used to. Please look forward to the start of a new chapter of Brownies in 2019.”

■ PlatinumGames

Atsushi Inaba, Development General Manager and Executive Producer
Known for: Bayonetta 2, The Wonderful 101, Anarchy Reigns

“Next year will be an intense year as usual. It seems like it will be a year where PlatinumGames aims to step up a few steps, so I’ll do the best that I can…. If I end it with something safe like that, then my statement won’t be interesting, right? So next year we will make various announcements!”

■ Marvelous

Kenichiro Takaki, Senior Executive and Honey∞Parade Games President
Known for: Senran Kagura series, Half-Minute Hero series, Uppers, Valkyrie Drive, etc.

“In 2019, although the nature of my works is facing strong winds, I will assertively announce new titles and seek out further entertainment to make it a year of great activity.”

■ Mikage

Ryoei Mikage
Known for: Clan Senki, Sword Trigger

“Preparations are underway on a new title from Mikage that utilizes IP created during the Imageepoch era. We’re making preparations to announce it in early 2019. Look forward to it.”

■ Mistwalker

Hironobu Sakaguchi, Game Designer
Known for: Terra Battle, Terra Wars, Last Story

“I have started on a new project. I want to do my best to turn over a new leaf.”

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