The latest issue of Famitsu includes an interview with Fate/Grand Order Arcade director Ikami “Game Center Ikami” Kimihiro to commemorate the official commencing of use of the arcade cabinets.
— ファミ通.com (@famitsu) July 24, 2018
Ikami says that the main concept of FGO Arcade is the restructuring of the world of FGO as an arcade game, in which FGO players can put their knowledge and skills to use, with 3D models and action that make the Servants look better than ever.
Ikami says that due to the long history of the Fate series, different games have different ways of depicting Servants. They initially started off unsure which to use as a reference point, but after trial and error ultimately went with using FGO as a base for everything, and development went smoothly after that point.
Ikami says that he remained constantly in contact with Delight Works FGO Project creative producer Shiokawa Yousuke, meeting him in person almost every week and contacting him online when physically apart, and that it felt like they were both working on development together. The project actually began in 2016, and he says that their being able to launch the game in just two years was due to the help from Shiokawa and other Delight Works FGO development staff.
When asked about what stood out the most in development, Ikami says that it was deciding how to portray things. In the early stages of development they gathered materials such as Fate anime series to reference, and discussed what they would like to put in the game. Through this process they discovered many cases where a character who did something in Fate did not do the same thing in FGO, and he changed his way of thinking about what would be Fate-like and FGO-like. Ultimately they went with basing things on FGO, turning the 2D battle animations in to 3D.
The interviewer mentions that the speed of the game is noticeably slow, and Ikami says that this was done on purpose so that players who are not good at action games can still enjoy it, and that while having a speedy game would look more impressive, players, especially those used to smartphone games who are not used to action games, would not be able to keep up, and so they slowed the game down to a speed that they thought would be slow enough for players to understand.
The next question is why the game uses a 3-on-3 team battle format, and Ikami says that it is because it is a versus game: That the hurdle for one-on-one versus battles would be too high, and that the amount of responsibility a player has in a 2-on-2 is still too high, and that it becomes too low in 4-on-4.
The Servant lineup is addressed, and Ikami says that they chose the 20 characters to balance rarity with the seven base classes. He also says that they intend to add servants of all, and not just high rarities, as there are many FGO players who use characters that they like regardless of rarity.
While Servants with higher rarities do have higher base stats than those of lower rarities, there is not as large a difference as in FGO, and an advantaged class of lower rarity can easily defeat a disadvantaged class of higher rarity. Additionally, low rarity servants use up less cost and build up less of the defeat gauge meaning they have tactical advantages as well.
When a Servant is upgraded, the player gets a card with a new illustration, but can still use the old card; Loading multiple cards of the same Servant when assembling a team reduces said Servant’s Noble Phantasm charge time, and the old card can be used for this.
There is a large difference between players with complete decks and incomplete ones, and as such they implemented a matching system that does not use rankings, but instead matches players to opponents with similar skill levels to them based on past battle results. The lack of a ranking system is also done to reduce stress inflicted on players from losing, but they might consider implementing one later if there is demand.
Ikami concludes the interview saying that while the game is centered around team battles, there is also a single player mode, and that he hopes that many people, including new players, will try out the game.