The 7 November 2019 issue of Famitsu includes an interview with Artplay CEO and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night creator Igarashi Koji to commemorate the Japanese release of the game.
The interview begins with Igarashi being asked how he feels now that the game has been released in Japan. He says that he did not originally expect development to take this long: While he did anticipate that the development period would grow longer when they added stretch goals to the Kickstarter campaign when they gathered far more funds than the original goal, the Japanese release (end October 2019) being delayed so far after the overseas releases (June 2019) was entirely unforeseen. He says that the delay was caused by problems in distribution, apologises to Japanese players, and says that he currently feels very relieved that the game has been finally released in Japan.
505 Games holds the worldwide publishing rights for the game and also supported development financially. Igarashi says that it would not have been surprising for 505 to have given up on Artplay due to the development taking as long as four years, and that he is truly grateful to them.
The highest priority in development was to create of game of high enough quality to satisfy players; Igarashi says that his stance towards video game development is that it is basically a service job, as opposed to a manufacturing one: A manufacturing job would prioritise what the creator thinks would make a better product, while a service job thinks of how to satisfy the customer. He says that a product is only a product once bought by a customer, and that they had to think of this more than usual this time due to how customers had already paid for the product.
The interviewer asks what they focused on the most in development, and Igarashi says that they especially put effort into the controls, which are the core of any action game.
Ideally, a player should be able to move a character precisely how they want to, but this is impossible, which leads to player stress. They did their best to reduce stress, while also giving it to the player in ways that they want. For example, button mashing does not allow the player to attack continuously: They purposely did not implement this so as to give the player stress, but also included ways to relieve that stress, such as “landing cancels”, which allow the player to perform continuous attacks by landing midway through an air attack.
Igarashi says that putting in this sort of roundabout way of relieving stress lets players feel that they are getting better at the game, or can do things that other players cannot. It was difficult for them to balance this right, but he feels that the appeal of action games lies in here. When asked about how they balanced the game, Igarashi says they relied entirely on intuition gained from experience, calling it a culmination of everything up to now.
Igarashi is next asked if the gothic horror genre is also part of this culmination of experience, and he does questions this, saying that he was originally a programmer and that he does not feel that he is experienced enough as a writer. He says that if anything, Bloodstained is an attempt at something new in that regard.
The interviewer says it is interesting how Bloodstained is both a culmination of years of experience and also an attempt at something new at the same time. Igarashi says that they purposely did not add anything too revolutionary into the gameplay, wanting to make it a game where the player can experience what games were like back in a time where there was more excitement for games. He says that he hopes both people who did and did not experience that period of time play the game, and speak their opinions on it.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was released worldwide in June 2019 and in Japan on 24 October 2019. Japanese backers, however, have not yet been shipped the game.