The ability to customize your mobile suits on the go is certainly an interesting premise, but we don’t yet know all that much about the game.
In order to learn more, Twinfinite sat down with Bandai Namco Producer Producer Shinsuke Ninomiya, which finds himself in the rather unusual position of helming a project actually developed by a team at Capcom.
You can read what he shared below.
Giuseppe Nelva: The game is named “Gundam Breaker Mobile” in Japan, but the title has been changed to “Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare” in the west. What is the reason behind this decision? The Gundam Breaker series is rather popular among the fans in North America and Europe, so I’m curious as to why the reference to the franchise has been removed.
Shinsuke Ninomiya: We had initially intended to release the game overseas as “Gundam Breaker Mobile,” just like the Japanese version. However, during discussions with our North American marketing team, we were informed that the Gundam IP and related products are lesser known in the West.
So in order to appeal to this market who may be unfamiliar with the IP, we chose a name that contains the keywords “Gundam” and “Gunpla” to more effectively convey what the product is.
We chose a simpler and more orthodox name to elicit the Gundam IP and related products to as wide of an audience in North America as possible.
Giuseppe: The Gundam Breaker franchise has always been rooted on consoles. Could you explain the reasoning behind the move to mobile?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: One reason is simply because I myself am a fan of Gundam Breaker and I wanted to play it on my own mobile phone!
Not only that, I personally believe that one of the most appealing features of Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare is the customization. On consoles, you can only experience the fun of customizing Gunpla when you have the time to sit down and play.
However, with the move to mobile, players are less restricted by time and place, so they can enjoy the game’s customization features and more whenever they want. I believe this is one of the key draws of Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare and it’s the main reason we decided to bring the series to mobile devices.
Giuseppe: Do you think there’s a chance for the series to return to consoles or PC in the future, or maybe for Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare itself to be ported to consoles or PC down the line?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: The producers of the mobile and console/PC versions of the Gundam games are different, so I’m afraid I can’t give you an answer to this question.
Giuseppe: Could you tell me more about the development team behind the game?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: We were lucky enough to have Capcom handle the development side of this project. This came about when some of our staff had the opportunity to meet them in-person, and they really nerded out about Gundam/Gunpla.
As IP knowledge is critically important when developing Gundam games, we figured Capcom would be a great choice for us.
After we asked them to work with us, they formed a team for the game centered around staff who were especially well-versed in the inner workings of Gundam and Gunpla. The increasing depth of recent mobile game releases also helped convince us that working with Capcom would allow us to deliver a great quality game to the fans.
Giuseppe: The announcement press release boasted an “unprecedented level of customization.” Could you make a comparison with the customization available in New Gundam Breaker?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: I think we have implemented an unprecedented amount of freedom and customization for a mobile game.
When comparing this title with the Gundam Breaker series on consoles, including New Gundam Breaker, we had to adjust a few customization options (such as certain painting functions, builder’s parts, etc.) for the sake of performance on mobile devices.
We’re curious to see how fans of the console games will react to these changes, that has been something that some of our project members have been speculating about. Regardless, once the game has been released, we plan on receiving and putting player feedback into consideration as we continue to update it.
Giuseppe: Will the game have any augmented reality features?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: We are still considering the implementation of new features, but have no immediate plans yet to include any augmented reality features.
Giuseppe: Could you describe in more detail how monetization will work?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: The main monetization platform will be the purchase of Parts Capsules. Players will also be able to purchase Haro Chips, which can be used as in-game currency to purchase various items.
Giuseppe: What about the story? I heard it’s a completely original one. Can you tell me more about it?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: This story takes place in a world where Gunpla battles are part of the fabric of everyday life. The protagonist, an amateur Gunpla fighter, competes against schoolmates and a cast of rivals, growing stronger as he works towards winning the Gunpla Battle National Tournament.
The main Gunplas you encounter throughout the story mode have been newly designed by Sunrise, so we hope players look forward to seeing a whole range of new, original mechs!
Giuseppe: Was it challenging to optimize the gameplay so that it ran on a wide variety of mobile devices?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: We had many discussions with the developers over at Capcom about the game’s various features. One thing we discussed extensively was, as this is an action game, whether to have it play in portrait or landscape mode. Either of these options brought with it its own share of pros and cons.
However, Capcom wanted players to be able to play the game with one hand and thus favored having the game play vertically, which was our ultimate decision.
It was difficult to create an action game that wouldn’t be too stressful to play with one hand, but I believe we created a product that has the accessibility of a mobile game while also being exciting and enjoyable to play. It’s thanks to Capcom who have an amazing portfolio of action games under their belt that we were able to achieve this aim.
Giuseppe: What are your ambitions with Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare?
Shinsuke Ninomiya: As a big fan of Gundam Breaker, I originally began this project with the team over at Capcom, many of whom were also fans of Gundam and Gunpla, so we all have many things we’d like to achieve with this game.
We hope fans of the series will enjoy the game and give us feedback on what they’d like to see in the future. Receiving player feedback will help the direction of future development and help us determine what to implement in later updates. We hope all our fans will continue to support Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare!
Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare will launch this Summer for iOS and Android.