Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth may have already released in its native region of Japan, but come early 2016, Bandai Namco will be bringing the RPG to PS4 and PS Vitas in the West, and PlayStation LifeStyle spoke to Series Producer Kazumasa Habu about the journey to an international launch.
Like all of our interviews that will be rolling out from Jump Festa, our all-too-brief discussion with Habu-san was held in conjunction with the folks over at Geek Culture.
We seen the ability to raise, train and feed Digimon on the farm. Will there be a trading system available in the game, particularly between PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita?
Habu: Concerning the two different versions, we are [supporting] the Cross-Save system, so you can save data and carry it across both platforms. Unfortunately, we don’t have a trading system in the game.
As regards the battle system, we believe we have made settings in the game so that the matching system is based on PlayStation network, so we believe it’s possible for people with different versions to battle together. But it depends on Sony’s final decision.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth isn’t the only Digimon game releasing in 2016, there’s also the launch of Next Order on PlayStation Vita. Do you believe the chance of localizing Next Order is contingent on the success of Cyber Sleuth?
Habu: I’m not part of the developing team on Next Order. However, the one thing I can say is that if we can hear the voice of fans outside of Japan, then we’ll have no problem in localizing Next Order for western audiences.
For the localized version, is it the full voice work for the localization? Or is it just subtitles with Japanese voice?
Habu: At this time, we only have the scripts in English, while we still have the voice work in Japanese. Why we did that is because since we discovered [fan demand] outside of Japan, we want to bring this game [to the West] as fast as we can, and this allows for some time saving in this process. Next time, if we really hear a demand for English voices, we can actually do that.
Once again, I think localizing to the western audience will reach existing Digimon fans as well as newcomers. For somebody who is new to the franchise, what key features would you want to promote?
Habu: It’s exactly what you said, we’re trying to attract a new audience [with Cyber Sleuth]. inside this game, we made a lot of effort to create a story and also improve the gameplay systems, so we want new audiences to get used to these systems without any difficulty. Also, we believe that a lot of these new players won’t necessarily have a lot of spare time, but Cyber Sleuth has elements that are designed to be welcoming to newcomers. So, for example, the setting of modern Tokyo and cyberspace, which is very common today, will be very easy for players to understand.
You mentioned that you want players to pick up Cyber Sleuth relatively quickly, does that mean the game is easy?
Habu: Yes, we believe that this game is very easy for everyone to play — especially for those who really don’t have time. And that is exactly why we took gameplay systems such as the turn-based system — a staple of the JRPG genre — as we believe this kind of basic system will save players time, meaning they won’t have to think about practising controlling the player as much during battle.
A special thanks to Bandai Namco and in particular Kazumasa Habu for answering some of our questions. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth already launched in Japan earlier this year, and is expected to make the jump to PS4 and PS Vitas in the West in early 2016.