Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Guilty Gear Creator Says Next Installment Will Have Fewer Systems In Order to Be Less Complicated


Arc System Works producer Toshimishi Mori and Guilty Gear series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari recently sat down with Destructoid to talk fighting games. In the interview, Ishiwatari shares his thoughts on the pro fighting game scene, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and hints at what the future holds for the Guilty Gear series. Interestingly, he stated that after releasing Guilty Gear Xrd REV2, the team learned what they need to improve upon. One of those improvements will be to reduce the amount of gameplay systems in the next installment because it's "too complicated" for some players.

Daisuke Ishiwatari has worked at Arc System Works for over two decades, so he knows a thing or two about the evolution of fighting games. Regarding the current fighting game eSports scene, Daisuke had this to say:


"Arc System Works has worked on multiple fighting games, not just Guilty Gear but others as well. Our thinking behind this strategy is that fighting games are a communication tool, so if there's more out there there's more communication. But EVO is a larger user base, so Arc has been focusing on tapping into everyone, so our titles are appreciated on a larger stage."

Ishiwatari continued by making some comments about Arc System Works most recent fighting game release, Dragon Ball FighterZ.

"What we can say is that Dragon Ball FighterZ was developed based on the lessons learned through previous Guilty Gear and BlazBlue titles, but for Guilty Gear specifically it's important for us to maintain the people we've already won over. At the same time we do want to expand the userbase so more users are coming in. Daily, we're trying to figure out what our balance point is to satisfy our users that are already with us and new users."

On the topic of "new users," Ishiwatari was asked about a possible Nintendo Switch port of Guilty Gear Xrd.

"That's a really good question. One of the goals for Guilty Gear is achieving high quality graphics. Specifically on that point the Nintendo Switch might not be a good match, but that's not our final conclusion. We're still working on that."

When asked about Guilty Gear being a series mainly attracting a hardcore / niche audience, Ishiwatari had this to say:

"After releasing Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 it's clear what we need to improve on. The key is to win over more users because of the complex controls. But if we implement everything the game will no longer be Guilty Gear. It's hard to balance out all the improvements. One thing that we have to do in the next installment is to reduce the number of systems [mechanics]; it's too complicated for everyone. You can expect that in the next game."

The interviewer also asked Ishiwatari: "Most people think of fighting games when they hear the name 'Arc System Works.' Do you feel like that association puts you in a corner, or conversely, are you okay with it?" Daisuke responded:

That's generally accurate. Looking at our portfolio obviously there's a lot of fighters. But thanks to working on them we've been able to expand in scale as a company. With more people the expectation is to be able to work on other genres, so I think that people can expect to see more games in the future other than fighters."

Ishiwatari also talked about some of his artistic inspirations for character / game design...

"It's not really related to my life per se, but the core concept behind my character designs are using things that people are familiar with. Like Bedman [a fighter in Guilty Gear who sleeps on a bed while he fights, pictured above], everyone knows that household item, so I focus on things like that."

"What I do is in my every day life if I see something that could be interesting in a game I'll take note. Basically I have a huge list of notes that I might want to use as a weapon or the basis for a character. What generally happens though is that when production starts and I review that list, I can't really remember why I put that down. In the end I'll go through production trying to figure out what my purpose was and I'll come up with something brand new [laughs]."

Last but not least, when the interviewer asked Daisuke Ishiwatari how long he plans to continue making games, Ishiwatari responded:

"Until I die."

What a great answer. I think all of us can agree that we'll continue to play fighting games as long as creators like Daisuke Ishiwatari continue to make awesome games.

TFG Webmaster Comment:
I've always been an advocate for more "intricate" fighting games with deep gameplay systems... I've actually been against the idea of "dumbing down" fighting games since 2009-ish with SF4 (and even before that, really). However, Guilty Gear in particular has always been a difficult game for me to get into due to the vast amount of mechanics required to master. Roman Cancel? False Roman Cancel? Fortress Defense? Force Break? Slashback? It's certainly not intuitive or easy for newcomers or casual players to wrap their heads around, let alone master. The GGXrd series was a step in the right direction in streamlining a few things, but is still one of the most intimidating fighters to get into.

Upon hearing the next Guilty Gear game will have fewer systems in order to be "less complicated," I'm actually glad to hear that. If it was a fighting game other than Guilty Gear, I might have the opposite response. However, for Guilty Gear I think this will be a good thing. I think something slightly more intricate than Dragon Ball FighterZ, but significantly less complicated than GGXrd, would be a nice balance.

Stay tuned on  for full coverage of Arc System Works fighting games, including the upcoming BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle.

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