During Tokyo Game Show 2015 I got a chance to go hands-on with Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, a new Musuo styled game based on the anime The Heroic Legend of Arslan. I also was able to speak to the game’s producer, Shigeto Nakadai, about working on the game, as well as the success of Musou and anime games internationally.
Jayden: To kick things off, why Arslan? What made the Heroic Legend of Arslan something you wanted to adapt into a game?
Shigeto Nakadai: So Koei Tecmo and Kodansha – Kodansha being the biggest publication company in Japan – had talks about what could be done in the future jointly to create something new, and during one of these talks we found out about the anime production on Heroic Legend of Arslan was about to begin. It fit our schedule well and we thought it was a good idea, but on a personal level I’ve been a fan of Arslan for a long time – I’ve been reading the manga since I was a student. In my mind I thought it could really add something to the conventional Musou – that’s sort of how it came to be!Jayden: So the game follows the basic model of a Musou or Warriors game – could you speak a little the choice to adapt a story driven anime to this style of game?
Shigeto Nakadai: I can’t speak for other producers, I’m only one of many, but in my view with this game especially we wanted to bring in the not just one person but also army and group action to the game. If we can blend those two and create a synergy that allows you to get twice the entertainment and really enjoy your time with the game.
Jayden: The game has had a confirmed western release for quite some time, do you think the rise and spread of anime internationally is leading to a higher level of desire and success for this sort of game overseas?
Shigeto Nakadai: What you said is very true – because anime is being spread so rapidly overseas these games will inevitably follow the same path. Particularly for this title, the anime and game started development simultaneously and so it’s not so much the game riding on the success of the anime, or about a grand strategy – the anime has already been broadcast locally and even overseas in some places – so I’m looking forward to people worldwide enjoying this IP, especially for the existing anime fans.Jayden: Lastly, what was the experience like working on the game with the anime being produced at the same time?
Shigeto Nakadai: So this has been the first time for us working hand in hand with the anime production companies at the same time not afterwards. They obviously work one episode at a time and don’t always plan absolutely everything out at the start, something we have to do when we create a game. We need all the settings, all the design and art confirmed beforehand, so that created quite a challenge since we have to start something ahead. There’s an anime production committee that we would propose our thoughts, designs and plans to and sometimes that’d get approved right away or rejected a few times making us resubmit. We went through that process a lot just so that we could be faithful to the anime.
Jayden: Thanks for speaking with us!
Interview conducted via the aid of a translator. Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is set for an English release in 2016. You can check out our preview from Tokyo Game Show 2015 right here.