Mobile Suit Gundam is a major franchise in Japan, so huge that it has also spawned new video games every year. Last year saw the releases of Gundam Breaker 3 and SD Gundam G Generation Genesis, and in this year we have Gundam Versus which has been released worldwide on PS4.
In a recent issue of Dengeki PlayStation magazine, Dengeki has published a series of interviews with numerous Japanese game creators; one of them being Kotaro Usui, a producer from Bandai Namco who handled Gundam Breaker 3 and SD Gundam G Generation Genesis. This interview covers what he had done in 2017 and what to expect from him in 2018 and beyond. We have translated the interview, and if you’re a big fan of Gundam, you will definitely want to read this.
Dengeki: Please tell us how you’re looking back at your own work and activity in 2017.
Usui: In the early half of 2017 we had released DLC for Gundam Breaker 3 and SD Gundam G Generation Genesis. Both of them are titles that were released in 2016, but as requests from customers that they “want to play the games more” overlapped with our own feelings of “wanting to have the games enjoyable for a long time”, we are able to publish post-release contents in a long term. Thank you for sticking together with us.
We started working on them after the game’s release, so the DLC for Gundam Breaker 3, in particular, took quite some time to release. But we were able to add a new character we had been hoping to include so I’m glad about that.
Dengeki: Please tell us a title announced/released in 2017 that interests you in regards to your occupation, along with the reason why.
Usui: Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 on the PS4. Just like the lookback on 2017, in correlation to evolving games in long-term while communicating with our customers, I’d like you to look forward to Gundam Battle Operation 2 which has been announced in September this year. (Sorry that I’m putting a title from my own company.)
We’re working hard to make Battle Operation continue to be loved by our customers as it moves its battlefield to the PS4. First of all, please wait for the next information batch.
Dengeki: You have been involved in G Generation and Gundam Breaker games until now, so please tell us the most important thing for you when getting involved with gigantic IPs like Gundam.
Usui: Actually it’s the same thing as any other IPs, which I think is to know the IP and its customers well, and to do better than their expectations. It’s easier said than done though; it’s rather difficult to actually implement them, so I’d like to aim towards continuing communications with our customers in the future.
Dengeki: Next year Gundam Breaker will have its 5th anniversary, but have you started any projects to commemorate that?
Usui: 5 years already…? That’s so quick. However, we’re still considering things for the next project, including its directions. So at this point, nothing has been decided yet.
Dengeki: If you get to work on a new Mobile Suit Gundam title, what kind of game would you like to create?
Usui: There are lots of things I want to do, such as a Gundam game that completely links with the anime show, a massively multiplayer Gundam game with large-scale battles, or a VR Gundam game where you can enjoy getting immersed into the battlefield.
But for the time being, I would like to focus on properly finishing up Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2, an online-only title which is planned to be released in 2018.
The last segment, in particular, piqued our interest as well. Even Bandai Namco’s staffs are keen on having more new game ideas for the massively popular IP owned by Sotsu & Sunrise. Although they have been making Gundam-related VR attractions, including a VR prototype of the arcade game Bonds of the Battlefield, those are currently only available in Japan.
As this interview was conducted by Dengeki PlayStation magazine, we are assuming that Usui-san wants to make these upcoming Gundam games on the PS platform. We definitely would like to see Bandai Namco make a Gundam game on PlayStation VR so that people around the world can get to experience piloting a mobile suit inside the cockpit, without having to go on a trip to Japan.