So you’re saying there’s a chance
While From Software is mostly known for Souls and Bloodborne these days, the studio has a wide-ranging catalog of games dating back to King’s Field and Armored Core on the original PlayStation. Elden Ring might be the hot new IP going forward – and I’m dying to crack into it when the time comes – but in the midst of E3, Otogi of all things sprung to the top of my mind. Someone has to carry that torch.
What’ll it take to see these and other aging titles in the spotlight again, and is that even something the company wants to prioritize? Chatting with From Software producer Masanori Takeuchi at E3 2019, I gained insight into how the team approaches re-releases and remasters. The good news: there’s hope.
When I broached the subject of tapping into the studio’s old gems, Takeuchi, speaking through a translator, pointed to the still-upcoming-but-nearly-here Metal Wolf Chaos XD, a remaster of an Xbox game in which you, President Michael Wilson, wrestle back control of the United States in a mech.
Long story short: Devolver Digital made the push for a Metal Wolf Chaos revival, and From Software was into it. Based on our discussion, other potential remasters will probably need to take a similar path.
“Originally Devolver first brought the idea to us – ‘Why don’t we remaster this game? We don’t have any plans to do that’ – but they brought the idea to us. We didn’t know a lot about them as a company, what sort of games they were doing. But as discussions continued, we began to see that a lot of our ideals and the directions we wanted to take things in really fit, and it became very easy to talk to [Devolver] throughout the development planning stages. It’s become a really good partnership, we feel.”
We’re still waiting to see how Metal Wolf Chaos will fare in 2019, but it could blaze a trail.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to tell from a marketing perspective what games people are seeking,” according to Takeuchi. “Of course, if there is some sort of desire, we’d like to think about them in terms of re-releasing and remastering. It was the same with Metal Wolf Chaos XD. Devolver brought that discussion to us and we saw the reaction [from fans] and we started talking to Devolver about it.”
“In the same vein, if we hear those kinds of voices, that’s definitely when we sit up and take note,” he said. “In that case, we may partner with someone like Devolver or one of these different publishers to make something work. It depends on what looks interesting, and whether both companies fit each other’s culture.”
Asked if From Software’s approach to re-releasing games is more reactive than proactive, Takeuchi responded: “Yes, I think it’s safe to say that.” With that in mind, consider this your call to action.