Prior to Ghost of Tsushima‘s release, there was a lot of talk about Sucker Punch Productions tackling the game’s setting, and whether a Western team would be able to do the story justice. Sucker Punch itself recognized the challenges involved in doing so, and allayed concerns by reassuring fans that it had sought help from Japanese developers alongside studying relevant historical material.
Speaking during a PAX Online panel (via Twinfinite) producer Brian Fleming revealed that the team was so nervous about the idea that only 6-7 developers within the studio knew about the pitch, and they first approached Shuhei Yoshida to discuss the issue. Yoshida was all on board, and thanks in part to his support and encouragement, Sucker Punch decided to pursue the project.
“It was on the strength of Shu’s encouragement that we would embark on this journey,” Fleming revealed. “He sort of pre-vetted our concerns and I think Shu encouraged us and I think his advice was very sage. As you know Shu can be really really helpful. He’s a very wise guy.”
Yoshida told the team at Sucker Punch that while it can’t “fool anyone about this game having been made by a western team,” it can utilize the resources available within and outside Sony to make sure that the job is done well.
All of this paid off. Ghost of Tsushima was praised by Japanese critics, players, and other developers alike. The game went on to become one of Sony’s most successful first-party original IPs.