With the recent announcement of Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate, Koei Tecmo is bringing more content to its latest Musou-style game.
In order to know more about what we can expect, Twinfinite interviewed Producer Tomohiko Sho in Tokyo.
Sho-san talked about the design of the new character Hades and Gaia, the upgrade pack that will allow fans to avoid purchasing the full game again, and more, including his view of how the next generation of consoles could affect the genre.
Giuseppe: Hades has an interesting design. He’s not exactly my typical image of the Greek god of death. How did you go about designing him?
Tomohiko Sho: Hades has shown up in a lot of different games so this design is one of the things we did in order to differentiate ourselves.
He’s supposed to be Zeus’ older brother, and Zeus looks a little bit old, so if we wanted to be completely accurate, Hades would have been quite old as well, but we decided to make him a bit differently.
Giuseppe: He looks like a character from an otome game (laughs).
[Editor’s note: otome games are usually visual novels targeted to a female audience featuring a female heroine romantically pursued by a harem of many handsome men.]
Tomohiko Sho: (Laughs) We also thought his design so that our female fans would appreciate it.
Giuseppe: Even Gaia is different from the typical image. I certainly did not think I’d ever see her drawn with pink hair. Did her design follow the same route as Hades?
Tomohiko Sho: First of all, we wanted to differentiate her from Athena. Technically she’s the grandmother of Zeus and Hades, but we did not wanted to design her as an old lady. We knew that we wanted to make her younger and we also wanted her design to appeal a little bit to the Japanese otaku. Incidentally, her hair decoration represents Earth.
Giuseppe: The original announcement teased three new characters and three returning ones. Since Achilles, Joan of Arc and Ryu Hayabusa are the three returning characters, this means that the one you’re still keeping a secret is a completely new one, correct?
Tomohiko Sho: Indeed. You’re right.
Giuseppe: Can we get a tease? Would they make the otaku or the otome crowd happy?
Tomohiko Sho: Both female and male fans should appreciate (laughs).
Giuseppe: How did you guys go about selecting the characters to include?
Tomohiko Sho: The first thing is definitely that the story is important, so we wanted to make sure that characters do play an relevant part in the story, and that certainly apply to both Gaia and Hades.
Incidentally, the secret remaining character they have an important part in the story as well, but we also wanted to create one that would be popular with fans.
About Achilles, Joan of Arc, and Ryu Hayabusa, we hard from many fans that they wanted to see certain characters return. There are so many but we only could choose a few, so we selected these three due to fan feedback.
Giuseppe: This time around you’re not just selling Ultimate as its own full package, but also as a DLC update for those who already played the game.
This adresses an issues I saw crop up a lot with Koei Tecmo games, with fans asked to basically buy the game twice and getting a bit wary of these “ultimate” versions.
Do you think we can expect Koei Tecmo to do this more going forward? This kind of expanded versions are very common, and not having to buy the game twice anymore would certainly please many.
Tomohiko Sho: I think our approach is that we do want to follow in this vein, being able to provide upgraded versions instead of only selling as a stand-alone game.
There may be some exceptions if there are big gaps between the base game and the upgraded version, and if the platforms change.
Giuseppe: Koei Tecmo said that there won’t be any additional DLC for Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate. Is that becase after its release it’ll be time to move on to the next game?
Tomohiko Sho: This may not be the case for all Koei Tecmo titles, but for this one in particular, since it’s the Ultimate version, we want to make sure that if you get this, it’s really Ultimate. That’s why we decided not to release DLC after this.
Also, when this is done, the team members will be distributed between different projects.
Mostly, since we’re calling it “Ultimate,” it doesn’t really make sense to release more content.
Giuseppe: But Koei Tecmo is the world champion of DLC…
Tomohiko Sho: (laughs) You have my word.
Giuseppe: As someone who works on Warriors-style games, since this generation is heading towards its sunset. What do you think the next-generation will bring to this genre?
Tomohiko Sho: The Warriors games, even if many just think of them as a bunch of characters fighting, are actually meant as battlefield simulation games.
We’re really hoping that with the next generation of consoles we can really have that huge battle simulations with various armies on the field, and bring a realistic feel to it.
We hope it’ll really show the true exhilarating feeling that you can get playing these games. This is what we hope to see.
Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate will release in the west in Feb. 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Japan will get the game earlier in December, but only for PS4 and Nintendo Switch.