Famitsu’s 8/22-29 2019 issue includes a special interview with Fate series creator and Fate/Grand Order main writer Nasu Kinoko to commemorate FGO’s fourth anniversary.
The interview begins with Nasu being how he feels, and he says that while both fatigue and a sense of fulfilment are greater than anticipated, the anniversary also makes him feel tense, making him feel like them coming this far means he has to work even harder over the next year. He also says that he has nothing but gratitude for the players who have stuck with them for four years: He thinks that something that has continued for as long as four years can be considered part of a person’s life, and while expectations may go up with each passing year, he intends to do his best to live up to expectations.
How younger fans and female fans have been increasing in number is pointed out to Nasu, and he expresses how he can still hardly believe it, as Fate started off as something for hardcore fans, and mentions hearing about how the young child of a friend was talking about Mecha Eli-chan, which he had thought of as something primarily for older male fans who like Mecha Godzilla.
The interviewer asks if they are doing anything to appeal to a larger demographic, and Nasu says that the story is not affected at all: Changing the story to widen its appeal would mean a loss of what defines Type-Moon and Fate. Type-Moon focuses primarily on what they can and want to do, and if that resounds with people that they had not thought of like his friend’s child, that makes them happy.
Nasu says that recently he hears that users these days are unwilling to read more than Twitter’s 140 characters, and that he personally interprets this as them being willing to read anything that is within 140 characters. As the amount of space one can use to display text on a smartphone is limited, this results in shorter lines of text being displayed at a time, and he would like to use this as a tool to get users who do not usually read books to read. The interviewer notes how there are now more quests in FGO that do not have battles, and Nasu says that he believes that players who have come as far as past the conclusion of part 1 of the game probably enjoy reading.
Nevertheless, Nasu thinks that having battles at the end of each chapter makes the game feel better as an RPG, and that players still want chances to use their characters, and as such he tells the writers to think of giving players chances to use their characters, but to make sure that they do not force battles in to the point that they cause problems with the story. He says that the story and characters rely on each other, with the story bringing out the appeal of the characters, and the characters’ appeal making the story interesting, and that they are thus both equally important.
The interviewer next asks Nasu what made him aim to become a writer. Nasu says that he originally wanted to be a novel writer, but what made him consider becoming a game writer was a Famitsu review for the Playstation port of ONE: Kagayaku Kisetsu e (which was created primarily by a team of people who later went on to form Key). The review for the game said that while it looked romance-themed on the surface it actually turns into a science fiction piece, and Nasu loved the game upon playing it. The game made him realise that one could make a story-centric game, and think that it might be interesting to write for games, which directly lead to him writing his first game, Tsukihime, which in turn lead to him to fully decide on becoming a scenario writer.
They next discuss how Fate/Grand Order came to be. Nasu says that he originally felt averse to smartphone games, thinking that the shift towards games that could be easily played would result in entertainment as a whole becoming more shallow, but that he also recognised that smartphones were becoming the mainstream platform for entertainment and that giving it a try would be necessary.
Still, as he was not fond of online games, feeling that games are best enjoyed alone, he was unable to take that necessary step forward. This changed when Type-Moon’s Tsukuri Monoji (scripter of Fate/stay night and Mahoutsukai no Yoru) recommended him Demon’s Souls, which changed his perception of online features in games with how it has weak links between players, but also gives the player a sense of how there are others in the same world. Demon’s Souls had Nasu learn how fun it is to connect with other players, and that lead to him becoming more open to FGO having online elements.
Part 2 of this interview is available here