Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 

Dengeki Interviews Katsuhiro Harada on 5 Years of TEKKEN 7


Dengeki Online recently sat down with TEKKEN series producer Katushiro Harada for a lengthy but very interesting interview about TEKKEN 7's lifespan, development, and history. Believe it or not, TEKKEN 7's location tests began in late 2014, with the arcade version "pre-launch" in February 2015. A fighting game to last competitively for 5 years and still see increasing player numbers is a very rare occurrence, and TEKKEN 7's breakout success wasn't originally anticipated by Bandai Namco. In the full interview (below), Harada explains on TEKKEN 7's original 2-year development plan and talks about a variety of other topics, including: the next TEKKEN game, martial arts & animation, other fighting games, and more. Thanks to Wonkey from AvoidingThePuddle for the quick translation of the interview. That said, there could be some inaccuracies in the translation.

TEKKEN 7 was originally planned for 2 years

It has been five years since the arcade version "Tekken 7" was launched in February 2015. This is the first title in the series that has been developed so long, but did you expect to continue for a long time from the beginning of the release?

Harada: I've been involved in this series for a long time, so I have a lot of data about fighting games. The cycle of the consumer version of the fighting game was previously half a year, and beyond that, the repeat is considerably less. The arcade was a little longer.

Tekken is a title that has a market in Europe and the United States, and often sells for about two years. I was obsessed with data and common sense, so I watched how to make it and marketing plans for a long time in two years.

After two years of operation of the arcade version, which was released in 2015, we assumed that the consumer version would be operated for about a year.

After the third year, it was not originally assumed.

I didn't have a plan at the time, but from around 2016, the word "Game as a Service" was born. From the era of selling packages, the recognition of the era of operating as a service has spread.

If you look at trends, the number of packages you buy per year is certainly decreasing on the global average. However, the game market is growing without shrinking. In other words, the unit price of the user has gone up, and the tendency to play software for a long time has come out, so other fighting games, including Tekken, are riding the trend, and the number of cases that last for a long time is increasing.

In this interview, I looked back on the five years since the arcade version came out and three years after the release of the consumer version, and I felt that it has been developing for a long time.

From the point of view of development, is it good that the operation becomes long? Or is it hard?

There are two sides to being longer.

Development costs come in the year of release, but titles like Tekken can be collected in the vicinity of the month that was released because they sell all over the world. There is no development cost from the next year. In the old way, it is "if you put it on the shelf, you can sell it".

For titles that sell very well but only sell in the year they are released, you need to make a new work every year. But nowadays, titles are expensive and time-consuming to develop.

If you have titles that continue to sell for two or three years, you can build up revenue every year. As a result, you can take on a great challenge, and you can release several of them in order. A long-suffering game is like basic physical fitness from a manufacturer's point of view, and how many titles you have is an important point for the manufacturer.

Because you are able to recover the development cost, it will be a delicious title that will be profitable just to sell.

Another aspect, but... From the development team, such as producer and director in charge of development, it is very difficult. There is no such pain. You need to maintain your team in order to run.

In the past, development members had liquidity. In our company, "Tekken is over, so let's do 'SoulCalibur' for half of the members." However, when it comes to the management type, the flow of human resources cannot be done.

In addition, as all the elements pile up, there is more to do. In the early days, it was 20 characters, but now it is 50 characters. Just changing one specification can make it a huge deal.

When it comes to considerable work man-hours just by checking.

Originally, "brush-up" means that it is cut and rounded. It's supposed to get better, but it's increasing the volume, so it won't be cut down.

The elements pile up. Then, the period becomes difficult when the development cost is put in together there because the company sees the performance of the period every year though it is sure to be profitable because it does not take the principal when seeing the whole in the place where the developer can be increased here in the place where it is difficult.

Therefore, even though the manual cannot be greatly increased, the specifications are swelling. This is not only Tekken, but also all the management teams and manufacturers.

It can be painful, but being loved as a title for a long time is also a joy for developers. This is difficult, isn't it?

There are advantages and disadvantages.

What is certain is that it is easier to release and move on comfortably, like the title of the era when there is no update!

It's like every time you finish, you'll be told that you're going to run to the goal point where you've been set up, but it's a five-kilometer extension and you'll get another five kilograms. When I noticed it, I ran about three full marathons, but it didn't mean that there would be more supply cars.

From people who feel that it's hard to be fixed on the team for a long time, or who think it's better to put out a new work and become a topic, you need to come up with an idea in a fixed frame called Tekken 7. I understand that it is mentally severe to be asked for it all the time.

It's persistent, but I think this applies not only to the Tekken series, but also to every title and every developer.

The other day, there was the Kashiwa Japan Amusement Expo 2020, but I felt that each company that has been titled for business is operating.

Since the investment per title is a big game for both manufacturers and stores, the number of times you can challenge with arcade titles is decreasing.

The consumer version was naturally the same, and at the time of the BANDAI NAMCO Future Research Institute at Shinagawa Seaside, it sold about 140 titles a year. From a PR and marketing perspective, we were eating in-house every week (laughs). Because the cycle was able to be put out early, there were a lot of times that I could challenge, but it became impossible.

It doesn't seem like there's anything new coming out, but each title is biggest and you can enjoy it for a long time. The bigger the publisher, the less challenging you are.

Arcades adopting online matching
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Currently, arcade, "Tekken 7" with users in both consumer, where do you think it is evaluated?

It's difficult, isn't it? It's a bit long, but the arcade has been at a turning point for quite some time, and of course there was a wave of the Tekken 7 when it came out.

In the past, we have talked about arcades in Europe and the United States since the beginning of the 21st century. Japan is not that far, but it is still much less than it was in its heyday.

The form of the store is also changing, and it is not a medium-sized store in the town, but a large store that targets it.

Certainly, there are more places where video game corners are in large facilities.

In the arcade industry, there is a concept of coexistence and co-prosperity. Not only the relationship between stores and manufacturers, but also competitors have a place like coexistence and co-prosperity. "The game has always been about how much space a video game enclosure can be left in."

What it means is not just whether the title sells or doesn't sell it.

Since the location of the store is limited, if it does not sell, a new large housing, crane games and print seal machine sit in the space will be installed. Since the housing is removed, it is unlikely to purchase and place a general-purpose enclosure again in the space.

Depending on how much video game space you can leave, it also affects the number of boards that sell, so unlike the consumer version, you can see the scale even before the title comes out.

Since there is no housing but you do not buy a board, the number of housings is directly linked to the size of the market, isn't it?

The Tekken series had been going on for a long time, so the store left space for us. If you put out "Tekken 7" as a new product for general-purpose housing, stores in the city center will buy without any problems.

However, i don't know if you can play that much in the morning on weekdays if you have a store in the suburbs. If there are no people, it is judged that it is better to remove the general-purpose housing and put a crane game or print seal machine.

You can also find your opponents at times when your opponents are hard to find, or even in stores in the suburbs. The only way to get people to invite people to the store and leave room for video games was online competition.

In the past, it was introduced in a large enclosure, but we decided to put in the "Tekken 7" that we had been avoiding for a long time.

Certainly, it is the impression that it is slow that online matches were introduced to the fighting game.

It's interesting that Tekken 7 is the world's first online game to be used in arcades, even though online competition was introduced in the consumer version a long time ago (laughs).

Technically, we knew it would be possible in 2010 or so. However, no manufacturer did not touch it.

Why didn't you want to do it?

There are several reasons.

First of all, it is a technical problem. The quality assurance of an online line is often thought of as a program, but the root is dependent on the state of the line. Ntt-mra-----us-ones also came in and worked very hard. I felt that we were on the lookout, but if a major update, such as a system update for a mobile device, is made in the world, there will be an impact on the network line of the entire Japan. To avoid this, we needed to minimize the amount of bandwidth used by the game.

The other is a technical issue. It is a network environment of your home, but it is a good environment because the number of people who use it is small. However, there are some stores where 100 units are connected to a single line. If there are 100 faucets in a single water supply, the water will only come out of Chorochoro, right?

To solve the problem, there may be a new store that pulls the line. Also, what to do with the credit guarantee when the packet cannot be secured. I had to think about it. It was necessary to consider various things that the burden of the store increased.

And the end is a community issue. It is a unique culture for the members who have come together to compete in competitions to compete in competitions and go to other stores to compete in competitions. We didn't put in online matches because we focused on that community.

However, as I mentioned earlier, there were more than a certain number of stores that said, "If you don't play online, you'll lose your video game space."

It's a serious responsibility, isn't it?

Then, the number of general-purpose housing that the title of the new work and other companies of [Tekken] has secured, will also affect the business of the next [Mobile Suit Gundam vs.] series!

This is co-existence and co-prosperity. I did my best because I was involved in all the titles.

I'm coming back to answer the question, but what I'm receiving is that the store accepted me by putting in an online match. I felt the convenience there, and the user went to the store, and it was excited from the beginning.

It is interesting that i received it not because I was evaluated by the user, but because there was an exchange with the store before I delivered it to the user.

The first thing we manufacturers deal with is distribution or stores. BtoBtoC (Business to Business to Consumer) reaches users further away from it.

Therefore, if it is rejected by the store, it will not reach the user in the first place. Considering the number of boards sold, you can see whether the development costs can be recovered or not. As a result, if development is discontinued, the title will not appear in the arcade, and there will be one less business battlefield.

There is actually such a battle. It should be taking care of the user, but it seems to be destroying the community, so you may feel a gap from the user's point of view, but the store wanted it, so I installed it.

It was a bitter decision, wasn't it?

We want to avoid leaving the environment as much as possible.

Some people say, "We can manage to reduce the number of stores..."

There is a need for a good title to be put out any hard, and it is natural to take the convenience of playing at home.

We can't help but think about the extent to which we can do it and how much it can affect the environment.

It is an impression that there was quite a response to the online match that was hard work.

In particular, there was a great response from local stores and users.

However, what was out of the calculation was that even if there were online matches, about 60% of people thought they would play local matches. That's why the local match mode remains.

How long was it actually?

Immediately after the operation, online matches were played at a rate of 7:3 or 8:2. It's a reversal of the balance we thought, and now it's 9:1.

In fact, about online matches, users also asked, "Isn't the community culture obsolete by playing a communication match?" I'm going to ask you a question. But there are local matches, so we can do it. Therefore, "You can play locally, but you no longer play local matches?" When I ask him, he says, "Because online matches are more convenient."

Human beings cannot win the convenience. I found it interesting and learned it.

Outside of development, we are focused on the power to deliver!

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Is there anything you are aware of for your users?

As a rule, there is a principle that "if it is a good game, it can sell" as I said earlier.

However, when you release, what you are conscious of is "how to deliver the title". This is not only an arcade title, but also a consumer title. If "delivery" is not done well, it will not spread well, and as a result, it will not be able to maintain the scale in the next title.

Whether a game above a certain level sells or not will change greatly depending on the ability to deliver.

Whether you can maintain the size of the title is ultimately in your interests. The reason is that it returns that it is able to play a good game which cost development costs, and can enjoy the title which is well managed for a long time.

That's true.

I think that the interesting thing about the Tekken project is that we are thinking about the power to deliver in total. I've been interviewed with Tekken, so it looks like i'm the only idea, but the whole team tends to do that, and I'm thinking about what I'm going to do to sell games outside of the creative.

In extreme terms, even designers have just talked about the idea. I'm always thinking about how to make a kite hook or how to deliver a good picture, rather than a kite that can be transmitted if i make a good picture.

In addition, as one of the previous stages of delivering to users, we are thinking about what we should do to motivate overseas marketing staff.

I've never heard of that kind of story from other companies.

"Let's give discretion to the overseas members to do their jobs willingly" or "You can make a title logo" or something like that. We don't make posters for overseas packages. We have prepared model data, but overseas members are playing with the data and making materials that they think they will receive over there.

If it's something we think about and make, we're motivated differently. It is indirectly related to the development of titles that sell such a accumulation and long-term management.

I think the series has continued so far because developers are not only trying to create good things, but also the people who are in the role of delivering them are trying to demonstrate their abilities and communicate them to their users.

The members I was running with were gone. How did you collaborate!?

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When making a title, I think that it is a feature of the Tekken series to move including consumers, but is it basically considered as a set?

Let's see. We have developed the previous series in a total package. Since we don't know if the consumer version will be released, we can increase the size of the budget by thinking together without making it to narrow down development costs. On the other hand, because there is an arcade version, it is possible to balance the development cost and revenue of the consumer version.

By having arcades and consumers, I think there are disadvantages as well as advantages, how about?

In the old days, the promotion of the title ended by the time the consumer version came out. There were arcades all over the world, so you can finally play a new Tekken game at home!
  Even if you don't have a big commercial, there is a name recognition, and the appeal is spreading.

In recent years, the arcade market has been concentrated in Asia, so Fans in Europe and the United States have not been able to play, and the arcade leading to dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, the arcade version is polished by the update, so it also leads to the advantage that it is completed by the time the consumer version is released.

From the point of view of making it, the benefits are great, and if you get a solid reputation in the underlying arcade version, the core mechanism is guaranteed to be correct. It is possible to narrow down to how to flesh it there. In addition, by the time the consumer version is released, the volume can be secured.

Don't miss the business elements. If you've already recovered development costs, you'll have to make money from it, so you can do more with the consumer version.

The consumer version of the [Tekken] series has a strong impression that there are many additional elements and gorgeous.

The Tekken series has long been a combination of adding expensive pre-render movies and preparing new modes for consumer versions. It is not "making from 0" that can do such a thing, but the boon that there is an arcade version that is the base. If you don't have enough time, you can't do extra mode (laughs).

So far, there were many costume collaborations of creators in the series titles. This work [7] has participated in a number of collaboration characters. We have our own system, and I feel that it is quite expensive, but please tell us about the process here.

Costume collaboration is not a marketing way of thinking, but it is a simple thing that i collaborated because there were many illustrators who said that they played Tekken and liked it.

On the other hand, i started with a completely different way of thinking about the 7 collaboration. How much the title is alive in the game scene depends on whether it's talked about or surprised.

I'm also saying that Tekken, for better or worse, has been chasing the titles "Street Fighter" and "Virtua Fighter". That's the only way I was conscious.

He was in a position to chase after his predecessors.

The development members wanted to make a good fighting game, but until about "Tekken 5", it was positioned as a fighting game with high entertainment rather than a fighting game with a competitive nature.

People playing in the game center did not aim for heights in the tournament, but rather those who said they should win locally, and people who only played "Tekken" in the game. In a sense, the customer base was wide.

Street Fighter is the founder of fighting games and is supported by every part of the world. It is a major title where the tournament is held and many people participate.

Virtua Fighter is a very stoic title in a 3D fighting game, and people with high competitive thinking gather. And, a good population pyramid was able to be done that the longing for a strong player permeated the general public.

I was longing for such titles, but I was in a situation where other series did not appear. As a result, the Tekken series, which had been working hard, became a catalyst for attention, and I was conscious that I was finally able to join the fighting game with "Tekken 6".

I was running while chasing the group, but before I knew it, I was at the top.

We wanted to slipstream behind the top group and run!
  That's why there used to be a number of running groups, but the number of groups has decreased.

Especially when it comes to Virtua Fighter, I think it's my biggest rival, and I'm thinking, "Oh! It becomes "Sassy" or "Animal!!!s" It was or it was. In a sense, marketing was happening as our rivals were doing great things, and Tekken took action to overcome it.

However, as the number of titles decreased and we couldn't get it, we began to think that we had to set it up.

I see.

As for collaboration, I'm pretty conscious of the excitement of the whole fighting game.

I've always been on good terms with Sega, but in the 1990s, every manufacturer was a spark bee. Capcom and SNK, and there was also a relationship with people (laughs).

"Never go to a drinking party with me!" I was given the order to say, "Tekken 6" from the time the series passed its 20th anniversary, I was able to talk to various people and talk to them.

The reason is that the people who were beests have become great over the years. Now that I've become a great person and think about the whole industry, I've been able to afford to look around. There is also a reason that it is thanks to the times.

There is little big news these days that the older generation who like fighting games will be pleased. There are many important things, including the development for new layers, but we decided to set up something that was likely to be a topic according to the concept, so we did a lot of reckless things.

There are circumstances that various guest characters came out in the world which was closed only by "Tekken". In a sense there, it is a feeling of co-existence and co-prosperity.

The story flies a little, but the [SoulCalibur] series is a title with a strong impression of the guest character.

"SoulCalibur" was a game that had to be attacked early, and the guest character was rather a point. Because there was a hurdle to have it gripped in the hand before getting the good of the fighting game. I made a topic by surprising users and the media by putting out guest characters, and I was doing marketing to lead.

In order to instill the brand, the first title that actively collaborated on the company was "SoulCalibur."

In addition, although it is a multi-platform that has been taken for granted recently, I feel that "SoulCalibur" is a pioneer among them.

What does that mean?

The consumer version of SoulCalibur II was released on PS2, GameCube and Xbox. In addition to going out across three platforms, the PS2 version is Heihachi Mishima of Tekken, the GC version is Link from the "Legend of Zelda" series, and the Xbox version is Spawn that is the hero of American comics, The guest character was different in each hardware.

I was surprised at that.

In recent years, exclusive is common, but I think it is a pioneer.

Closer to the back of the balance adjustment

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Return to the story of Tekken 7. The collaboration character is the impression that there are many strong characters, but did it come to reproduce the image of the original?

If "strength" refers to the game balance, circumstances will be different depending on the character, so I will explain little by little.

3D fighting games are made by performing motion capture. Of course, the Tekken series is also motion capture, but there are so many animation parts that are being reworked.

However, characters with a large percentage of motion capture try to reproduce the speed and rhythm of their original movement, so it is difficult to balance them.

For example, if you're a boxer, a real boxer's jab is faster than a game jab. It may sound like a lie when you just hear it here, but it's really fast.

Tekken's character is 10 frames (one frame points to 1/60 seconds, 10/60 seconds if 10 frames) or punches in 8 frames, so the game seems faster, but the punch of a lightweight boxer is faster, and the body does not move at all.

That's why we ask people to "slow down" or "make them more exaggerated," but if you change the tempo significantly, they won't look like a boxer, so those with quick or rhythmic things tend to be stronger in the first place. This makes Steve better with the performance of his base.

On the other hand, the technique that thought about the motion by oneself as if jack or Miguel is able to adjust.

It is certainly an image that seems to be easy to adjust.

However, if everything is so, there are cases where this is not the case. Hwoarang, which uses Taekwondo, also has motion capture.

In the previous example, there was strength and characteristics that could not be controlled by development.

What does that mean?

Taekwondo is a cool martial art with flexibility, but it looks good as a look because it kicks high places. However, kicking a high position shortens the reach.

Because it is very footy, the high kick of Taekwondo and karate becomes weak when it makes it to the game as it is. Sober middle kicks and low kicks are stronger.

Hwoarang is jumping and kicking, but that action is lower than when he was motion-captured.

If you use the motion as it is in the game, you won't be able to hit the opponent. Actually the person standing on the chair is kicking what he has...... The moment of kicking such a height is not a 3D fighting game!

If it is a 2D fighting game, it is still likely (laughs).

After recording, "What do you want to do?" I consulted with the motion group, and lowered the height, or slowed down, but since it was originally high, it was difficult to hit when I left it likeness, and the judgment was weak, so adjustment was difficult.

As I explain in the flow, the character of 2D fighting has a different system in the first place. It takes stop motion and the way motion is made is completely different.

In addition, since there is an original to be the base, if you try to reproduce the feel as it is when you press the button, "posture is low! Or "This foot payment, really long reach! It becomes.

If you lower the number, it will be different from the original. From a standpoint, I'm not in a position to look at fine adjustments, but the animators and the coordinators were having a hard time.

Then, we will adjust the damage and the number of combos. However, if you put a special specification only to the character, there is a possibility that the whole will start to go crazy. It was difficult for the characters in the 2D fighting game to decide whether to suppress the influence and how much individuality to put out without destroying the whole system.

There is also a reason that all adjustments could not be verified. The Akuma settled down through the stages.

What's interesting is how to pull out the strength. From early spring to summer 2019, Pakistani players said, "The Akumas are too strong!" It became a big fuss. However, when I looked at the development history, the Akuma was gradually lowered, and everyone was admitted to calm down. Nevertheless, sudden strength became a hot topic.

The strength that had been hidden from before became embossed.

Akuma was strong in the theoretical value, but no one was able to use it. The fun part of a fighting game is that no matter how strong the theoretical value is, there's no noise in a state you've never seen before.

I heard that Japanese Nobi said that it would be quite bad if all the theoretical values of the Akuma were drawn out from around 2018 before the Pakistani team appeared.

I understood the coordination team of development, but I've never seen a player like that, and the big Akumas won't come to the top in the tournament. In addition, if you look at the match data of Akuma, some strong people are winning, but there are many people who are not able to use it when you look at the whole.

There is no noise in the world, and it is not in the data, but when the character is weakened, "Why?" So, I left it as it is.

However, the moment Awais Honey players who could use Akuma at theoretical values showed up and manipulated difficult combos and unability combos perfectly, the public made a big fuss. I was able to make adjustments at last because I was able to make a trend to weaken public opinion.

As I said earlier, it varies greatly depending on where you look at the uncontrollable parts and balance.

That's why it's so hard to adjust.

At the time of Tekken 6, Steve was said to be the strongest character, but there were only five players in the world who were able to bring out that ability. Most people don't meet such a strong person in a match.

Rather, what was happening in the world was king's ferocity. King's winning percentage is very high, and most people are being beaten by King.

But because many people use King, they sometimes meet weak people and can defeat them. I couldn't make a noise because I didn't have a particularly strong impression.

Steve was told that it was "abnormal" because it became ridiculous at the moment of mastery, and it seemed to be strong.

The balance is completely different depending on where you look, and it depends on the level of your community. In the community of junior high school students, "Bears are obscene because they have long hands!" It is said.

Could you tell us about the situation in which Leroy Smith is strong?

To some extent, by the technique and manipulation of the person who can move the character of [Tekken], Leroy has become a character that can play tremendous. I also asked the tuning staff why this happened, and that was related to the motion capture I mentioned earlier.

Before we do that, I would like to talk about the reason why Leroy has not adopted the Wing Chun used by Leroy.

Please do.

It is related to the presence of Ip Man. I don't know if it's true because there is a theory, but because Ip Man had experienced the Empire of Japan, there is a theory that he left a will that "don't teach Wing Chun to the Japanese" For more than 10 years, It was a request from a motion kite and a user, but it was also stopped.

However, when I made a new character with Tekken 7, I suggested that it was interesting to be a black man and a Chinese Kenpo user. In response, in the Chinese Kenpo, Wing Chun was a candidate. There were requests in the past, and I wanted to make an animator, so I tried to get motion capture, and I was told by a disciple of Ip Man's nephew, "recently, I've been teaching Japanese people, You can use it for games."

Now there is a dojo in Japan, and I had that person do motion capture, but we did a lot of research and made it with enthusiasm.

I felt that it was a very cool motion.

We're faithful in the real movement, but as I mentioned earlier, the more motion capture we've had, the harder it is for us to control.

In our original assumption, it is very strong at a short distance, but it is not so far in the middle and the long distance. I was going to get close and become a defensive character by being attacked by the other party. However, it came to be able to go at any distance in the movement.

I wanted to change the animation or reduce the number of combos, but there is a situation where the number of defects is reduced because the combo mechanism is common to all characters. If you put in a special patch for only a specific character, you may be in trouble if you update later, so you don't want to do as much as possible.

And changing the animation takes time.

It became much stronger than I expected, and I didn't have time to adjust it.

With that in mind, there was an update on February 12 the other day, and only Leroy was adjusted. This time it is the adjustment of the damage center. In March, there will be an update for Tekken World Tour (TWT) 2020 starting in April, and the entire adjustment will be made, including Leroy. Now adjust the Leroy animation.

The important thing is to divide it into two times. If you fix the damage and animation at once, you may not be able to hang on chopsticks or sticks.

The user asked me, "What were you doing?" I was scolded. Of course, I know that's the way you feel directly.

However, it is bad that I was not able to take time firmly even though I chose a difficult subject called Wing Chun. I think we should have made time for our schedule. I'm sorry.

What are the measures to boost the community?

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In the 2019 season, The Pakistani players became a big topic. What was your impression about this?

Tekken collects marketing and data, so we know where it's going to be in what area. Even if the data doesn't come out, there are times when you get opinions from a small number of groups.

For example, I understand that there are groups in Syria that like Tekken. However, I am worried because I lost contact at the moment of the civil war.

I knew that the Middle East and Southeast Asia were not official, and that there was an illegal cabinets running, and that players were gathering and playing like in the old game centers.

However, they don't come out and they don't go from here. I didn't know their strength because they didn't come up as data. What was interesting was that they didn't realize that they were strong up there.

Last year, there were many other things, and the point of TWT came in, so Korean powerhouse qudans went to Peru. Qudans was the first TWT champion and was runner-up in the second year. He, the strongest in the world, went and lost 0-10 in a 10-ahead showdown.

I heard he lost, but it was 0 wins.

I thought it was a lie and confirmed it, but it was true. I checked with various communities, but it seems that the famous qudans came to Peru, so it seems to have been a system to welcome the stars. When such a longing player comes to us, I want to put it together. That's why we realized that our level was high until we played the game.

Other than that, there are some people who are pretty strong in Ivory Coast now, and South African players are getting hot!

Physical ability seems to be high in the first place.

That's the interesting part of fighting games, isn't it? It was also "Virtua Fighter". There are very strong people in Kabukicho in Shinjuku, but it's only in the morning. He seems to have been a host, he sleeps by day, works at night, and doesn't even appear in competitions, so he doesn't know his strength. But it's unusually strong.

If you look only at the point of view of a match, you've been doing it in various places for over 20 years. However, what had existed as a point until then becomes an opportunity to know each other's level when connected by a line. Recently, i have come to realize that people who did not know to fight in the same ring with the keyword eSports will have an interesting reaction.

Tekken 7 will soon hit 5 million units (as of the interview in February), and in the series, it will reach 49 million, so I think there are still strong people. Other fighting games are not that far, but Tekken is popular in Europe and has a community in each country, so I'm looking forward to it in the future.

Do you have any idea of supporting the player community?

The number of game centers in the world is decreasing, but as a measure to boost the user community, we have put in the Dojo system since last year. TWT only scored points at the first tournament we approved of the year. It's like F1. Since last year, we have registered the competition collected by users on a site called "Smash.gg" and approved it here, so that points can be entered.

At that moment, there was a ridiculous number of registrations. Even people from countries that did not have a big official tournament can hold a tournament where points can be placed if participants gather. It was not a joke, but it was ridiculous that the tournament was held somewhere every day 365 days a year.

To be honest, the team that confirms the registration has applied to the point where "I didn't think it would be like this", and it's exciting (laughs).

The same system has been used in ARKREVO WORLD TOUR, a world tour of ARK SYSTEM WORKS, to evaluate this measure. I think we'll be doing this in our other titles in the near future.

I believe that the form of such support will increase.

To support the community outside the game.

We're also looking for what we can do in the game. For example, the update included my MY REPLAY & TIPS.

For the recording of the match, a combo of the recommended definite counterattack and sample is displayed, and it becomes a function that can be reviewed about the game. You can also skip to important places, so you can get your practice done.

I should have put this in from the beginning, but it took a little time to develop it. Now that it's been three years since the consumer release, I've been taking the trouble to join the community because of people who are interested in eSports and want to join the community.

"Does it bother me when a bad person comes in?" When the person who is holding it wants to practice at home, it is also a hand to watch the video, but I wonder if there is something to be seen. In addition, it is of course to use the environment outside the game, but I wanted to include what I can follow in the game, so I developed it.

I felt that this was a revolutionary feature.

To be honest, I don't think this is going to make money. But I thought I could support people who wanted to play games or join the community. I want to continue this kind of thing.

Memories from the TEKKEN series

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Various titles have been released in 25 years. What is the title of the memorable Tekken?

"Tekken 3" has a good impression because the title has spread throughout the world. It is a title that goes up as a gold tower well because it did a rare thing as a fighting game, such as putting emphasis on graphics as a 3D game of the consumer version, and putting in the bonus mode.

When I look at the series, I get various awards, but the good impression gradually fades away. On the other hand, only the bad things will remain in my memory.

Both as a team and as an individual, I was impressed by Tekken 4 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

Could you tell us the reason for each title?

As a premise, "Tekken 4" is a great success when viewed as a business. However, it is a title with too much reflection. "Tekken 3" and "Tekken Tag Tournament" were evaluated, and the team was on the upswing.

When there is momentum, there are people who get on the tone and those who are humble. We wanted to get on with it, but as I said, we were on the chase side, so we got ready.

What do you mean, be prepared?

"Are users really happy?" I became suspicious. So I researched it like an idiot and picked up the user's opinion. It's not bad to investigate, but I've made a mistake in both picking it up and interpreting it.

We did a survey that said, "I want you to tell me what's wrong with 'Tekken', what's wrong with you," and that's what we don't like.

It's a pretty self-indulgent question, isn't it?

That's right. Therefore, only a bitter opinion gathers. For example, if you think that the effect is flashy and the point is "too flashy and hard to see", or "there is no reality, it seems to be bad head" about the exhilarating motion, etc. There are a lot of opinions like this. In response, I used to suppress the effects and add undulation to create reality.

Originally, we need to look at the points that we believe in, the points that users are satisfied with, and the points that they are dissatisfied with from various perspectives. Nevertheless, I think it was really stupid that I believed that I could do something that only had to be corrected.

"I'm going to be a good person, so tell me the bad things", and i'm going to give you a bad place, and then you're depressed, and you're going to be attractive to fix only that bad place? There's no way it's going to be!!

That's right (laughs).

It's amazing that no one thought that as a result of fixing only the bad points, they would disappear to their best points. After the release, I noticed it and rocked it with Tekken 5.

There is a person who evaluates "Tekken 4" now, but it was a reproach when I put it out. The consumer version was sold, but the arcade version of the income fell considerably, and the store told me a lot.

I thought I would never make the mistake of Tekken 4 again, but I did it in a different way, "Tekken Tag Tournament 2".

I have the impression that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is highly evaluated.

It's evaluated. However, this "Tekken Tag Tournament 2" is a work that only people who evaluate it remained.

Tekken 6 was a title that has been played by a wide range of people, including people who enjoy a lot, people who complain and do, and light people who play without worrying about evaluation.

The next "Tekken Tag Team Tournament 2" had a high hurdle, such as the need to use two characters or use tag combos. However, it was a really fun title for those who could play through the Tekken series.

The top player is "A lot of characters and fun!!"
  Deep!   It's a good game! Comment. It is influential because of the comments issued by the top players, and the impression that "Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a good game" remains.

On the other hand, if a player who is not as good as the top player but can operate it plays, he can move it the way he wants, but can't win, and for some reason it doesn't work. However, from the impression that the top players mentioned earlier, I think that the reason why I can't win a title that is said to be a good game is because I don't have enough skills.

As a result of the survey, people who are playing unlike Tekken 4 are highly evaluated. But there is no one to complain, it has become a title that is too maniac!
  This was a dangerous trend, wasn't it?

It is "Tekken 7" that I made by shaking it up reflecting. That's why Tekken 7 was evaluated immediately after its release and the store's reputation was good, and the consumer version quickly exceeded 2 million. After all, the evaluation of the user appears obediently in number.

I've done it twice, so I might do it somewhere in the future. It is scary because it is thought that the development becomes careful if this "failure story" piles up too much, and it becomes strange.

Certainly the fighting game becomes too much for maniac players, you may tend to repeat going to aim at a wide audience.

Tekken is careful there, and I'm keeping in mind of what could ruin it.

However, I also feel that making a game that aims at a wide layer and creating a game that entertains top players is contradictory.

This is a great contradiction! Some games may be targeting a lot of people, but that may be a layer that isn't met.

Especially, fighting games are difficult.

When I tell people who are making RPGs, "I'm jealous from my point of view," they say, "What do you mean?" It is said. The reason why fighting games are difficult is that the experience of the game cannot be controlled in the game.

What is the experience of the game that can not be controlled in the game?

For example, if you use the same character, basically a good person wins because it is the same condition. This is an inability to change, and that's what the user experiences.

I've experienced it many times, but "I love Tekken!" Two months after the title came out, the person who said, "It was the worst experience. I really can't forgive you for making a game like this." When I look into it, the person is very defeated.

I can't forgive from that experience.

Mathematically speaking, it's a win or a half, but because it's a competitive world, 20 percent of the winners will beat a lot of people, and 80 percent of them will lose. That's what happens because you can't control the experience.

On the other hand, story narrative games like RPG and Adventure basically don't change their reputation suddenly with out-of-game events about characters and stories that come out. Because you have control of emotions in the game, it is easy for development to be the evaluation you intended.

Because the experience outside the game cannot be controlled, the evaluation may change in the later experience though it is a good game. Therefore, I sometimes wonder what to do.

What you need to do to spread TEKKEN...!?

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What do you think is necessary to develop the IP called Tekken, which is a little bit covered with the content so far?

It's difficult, isn't it? As always, we will pick up and analyze the user's opinion in any way. However, I think that it will be useless if there is no surprise that the user did not imagine somewhere, and did not expect in a sense.

As I said earlier, what we can do outside the game is closely related to the IP called Tekken. It is not good to close only by the framework of fighting games and esports competition. Of course, eSports is eSports and you need to think more about the spread.

In order to develop IP, everyone says, "You have to put in a lot of new layers." It would be ideal if you could do that, but it's hard to get new users to play just because of the game' mechanics.

It is also said that "if you put a tutorial, they will come", but there is no such thing!

That's right.

I'm not denying the tutorial. I even think that I need to include a better tutorial if I can.

For example, if there is a very good machine that is complicated to handle, even if there is a great instruction manual, the instruction manual does not buy by the motive. It is necessary to win the interest that you want to operate even if it exceeds the difficulty of complexity.

Personally, I think overseas FPS titles (first-person shooters, shooting games from my own point of view) are good. It looks like you're working on a story, but it's actually a tutorial.

However, it becomes a story after it is bought. It is difficult to get new users to buy it first.

There is a hurdle until you get it in hand.

Then, in order to expand the IP, you need to be interested in the video and characters, as well as to continue the announcement of the game itself and the events you are doing now. That's something I haven't done much before.

President Miyagawa (MRS Akio Miyagawa, President and CEO of BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment) asked, "Are IP and characters walking alone?" I often talk about it. It is natural because I have been dealing with IP and characters at Sunrise and BANDAI NAMCO Pictures for a long time.

When you think about it, "Idol Master" is going the opposite of Tekken. The number of consumer titles sold is about 100,000, but goods development and events are bloated, so that they can't be chased. It is a state in which the character is walking alone exactly.

Now is a bit of an extreme example, and I'm not thinking about a live event with the characters of Tekken (laughs).

I'd like to see it, but I understand (laughs).

However, I want to get to know Tekken in various ways and use it in the game.

I'm not talking about IP, but the title of the EVO (Evolution Championship Series) event in the United States was announced. I was surprised that there was no title of an overseas manufacturer only in Japanese titles, even though there was a market for fighting games overseas.

Let's see. Data-specifically, Mortal Kombat 11 is the best-selling one-on-one fighting game in the world and is highly evaluated.

However, the point of the evaluation is a little different.

"Mortal Kombat" has characters and guests throughout the title, and it has been evaluated including that world view. However, even if it is excellent as entertainment, there is a possibility that it is not suitable for the title for the competition because of expression and game nature.

In that sense, I want Virtua Fighter to be revived! If possible, I'd like to reboot Virtua Fighter (laughs). What if I do it? I've done quite a bit of a simulation of "What if I do it?"

If you have a request from Sega, is it possible?

No, no, I don't think there's any point if Sega doesn't make it, soI shouldn't make it. However, I talked seriously with my team members about how to start up business and what to do with development costs.

But it's really hard when I put the title to sleep. As generations open, people who are not doing Virtua Fighter will come out. There are a lot of challenges, such as how to restart it when that happens, and what to do with the system.

Each company, it is an image that has been struggling when reviving the series.

In that sense, we thought Capcom had completely lost the motivation to play fighting games. It was wonderful to be able to revive it with "Street Fighter IV" even though it was open for ten years.

Your company's SoulCalibur VI also had a numbering title of the series for a while, so it was hard?

That was hard, wasn't it? Some of the members of the development and Okubo (producer Motohiro Okubo) said they wanted to do it, but everyone else thought it was tough and gave up. Before I started, I said, "I'll help you do what you can, but it's hard to do it now on the thorny path."

It was revived by rowing to the release in such a situation. I'm glad I managed to get there.

It's about time you talked about the next work of Tekken, but how about it?

As I mentioned earlier, it's a lot different from the original schedule. The final update of Tekken 7 was scheduled to end about a year ago.

The title itself is a little longer, but in addition to being rated so far, we won't stop the business-friendly series here. Of course, I'm thinking a lot about the next one.

However, there are still many people who enjoy Tekken 7, so it is certain that the timing is delayed. Therefore, it should start to move at a good timing. You have to move!

Please give a message to the fans who have been fighting for the last 25 years.

First of all, thank you to everyone who played. I don't have a chance to tell you directly, but honestly, I have nothing but gratitude.

As I have talked about in many places, more than 95% of Tekken is now a market centered on Europe and the United States. We are doing various measures for fans all over the world, so sometimes we ask ourselves, "Why is this character like this?" Where are you going to take this measure? And so on may seem strange,

All of these things are done from the idea of expanding the IP called Tekken as much as possible so that it can continue to be delivered to everyone.

If you know the history of fighting games, you'll understand, but there are a lot of titles that won't show up next time with support. We will think about what was happening there and work hard to achieve results as a measure that will lead to the future.

I would like to do whatever is necessary for the series to continue, so I hope you will continue to work with me in the future.

Thank you for your time.

           Stay tuned on Fighters Generation for TEKKEN World Tour 2020 updates.

Sources:  Dengeki OnlineAvoidingthepuddle
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