The latest (8/23-30 2018) issue of Famitsu includes an interview on Fate/Grand Order with writer FGO Project creative producer Shiokawa Yousuke and FGO part 2 development director Kanou Yoshiki, to comemmorate Fate/Grand Order’s third anniversary.
— ファミ通.com (@famitsu) August 7, 2018
Part 1 of this interview is available here.
Shiokawa says that as games are entertainment, players will not be satisfied when given only things that they expect. He also brings up the anime Fate/Grand Order -MOONLIGHT/LOSTROOM-, saying that he had heard from Fate series writer Nasu Kinoko that it would be something that players would not be able to understand without having cleared part 1, and how it went against player expectations, as the previous anime, First Order, had been made to be accessible to people who had not played the game.
They also made efforts within the game to make it so that players would be able to enjoy MOONLIGHT/LOSTROOM, and this sort of synchronicity between the game and other spinoffs of the project can also be seen in the link between the escape room and the Kogetsukan mystery event, which Shiokawa had planned when he was still director. Kanou adds that the realtime element of Kogetsukan having parts of the story released daily was a particularly large strength of that event, and that he hopes to have more similar efforts in the future.
The interviewer mentions how the Kogetsukan event was popular on social media, and Shiokawa acknowledges the relation between FGO and social media, and how while they may sometimes try to influence players, in most cases it is the users themselves who create atmospheres of excitement.
The shifting composition of the player base is brought up by Shiokawa as well. He says that aside from the increase in female players, at launch, the majority of players were people who were already fans of Type Moon to begin with, but that there has been a large influx of players for whom FGO is the first foray into the Fate series. As a result, some Type Moon-esque story aspects, such as having serious parts in comedy stories, garner hugely varying responses from new players and old fans. They try their best to make things easier to smoothen things out, but refrain from going too far so as to not diminish the flavour of Type Moon’s writing.
The release of version of FGO in other regions of the world is also brought up as part of how the player base has shifted drastically over the past three years, but Shiokawa says that the other versions are set to run completely based on the Japanese version. He says that change is in itself a fun thing, and that the changes in the player base are proof that FGO is advancing.
Kanou is asked about how the position of director is like, and he says that as Shiokawa said, there has been increasing diversity in the player base’s reactions, but also increasing expectations. In order to meet the expectations of both players and Type Moon, they have been making improvements to their development structure, and members of the development team, himself included, have grown and are now able to focus on finding the best ways to bring Type Moon’s stories to the players. He expects expectations to grow even more, however, and recognises that they have to improve even more to meet these expectations.
The interviewer asks the two what they think identifies FGO. Kanou says it is how Servants from the entire Fate series come together and interact with each other, in a new story. He says that players can see new faces to existing characters, and that he thinks more Servants will surely show up, and that it is because this is FGO that this seems natural. He thinks that FGO is something that makes players like Fate even more.
Shiokawa says that FGO is what it is because it is not a game for a home console that remains as it is once released, but one run as a game for smartphones. He says that Type Moon’s Takeuchi had previously said that Type Moon had up till then put all their effort into “tactics”, and that with FGO they are combining Type Moon’s “tactics” with Delight Works’ “strategy”. He believes that it is Delight Works’ job to focus on the mid and long-term “strategy” of thinking of how to effectively present Type Moon’s “tactics” to players.
The interviewer asks what Shiokawa thinks is necessary for further growth for FGO, and his answer is “change”. He says that FGO has continuously made efforts to do new things so that players do not get bored, and now with more players and players who have stuck with the game for a long time, this is becoming even more important.
Finally, the interviewer asks the two of what they hope for the fourth and fifth anniversaries of FGO. Shiokawa says that he hopes that a third director will be joining them in future interviews, and reiterates on the important of increasing developmental power, and Kanou concludes the interview saying that he hopes to learn how to exceed players’ expectations and have fun alongside the players as they work on and run the game.