DEVIL’S THIRD

De­vel­oper Val­halla Game Stu­dios For­mat Wii U Re­lease 2014

EDGE - - WII SPEAK -

Zelda and Splatoon may have stolen the head­lines, but Devil’s Third was per­haps the most sur­pris­ing of all Nin­tendo’s E3 an­nounce­ments. A shooter/brawler hy­brid from Tomonobu Ita­gaki, de­signer of Ninja Gaiden and cre­ator of Dead Or Alive, it was first green­lit by now-de­funct pub­lisher THQ.

Nin­tendo seems an un­likely part­ner for this type of game. What con­vinced you it was the best com­pany to work with? I just wanted to work with peo­ple who loved Devil’s Third with all they had. And Nin­tendo said to me, “Let’s shape Devil’s Third into a great game to­gether!” And there’s one more thing I want to say. To you all, I might ap­pear as a guy that just kind of fits with wear­ing sun­glasses or gam­bling while having some drinks, while some peo­ple view Nin­tendo as a com­pany only in­ter­ested in mak­ing fam­ily-friendly videogames fea­tur­ing Nin­tendo char­ac­ters. But it’s dan­ger­ous to mea­sure the value of things [or] try to pre­dict the future with such a stereo­typed mindset. All you’ll get are weak an­swers.

So, then, how can we find out the real per­son­al­ity of a man or a com­pany? Let me tell you the an­swer: heart. A com­pany is just a col­lec­tion of peo­ple. There­fore, a com­pany must also have a heart. I’m work­ing on Devil’s Third with a Nin­tendo pro­ducer, Mr [Hi­toshi] Ya­m­agami. And along­side Mr Ya­m­agami there are many other fan­tas­tic artists and ar­ti­sans at Nin­tendo. Ev­ery day we are go­ing back and forth, ar­gu­ing and laugh­ing. What else could be more ex­cit­ing? Only this pas­sion can cre­ate a new future and great games, you see?

You’ve been known for your work on Xbox, and to a lesser ex­tent PlayS­ta­tion, dur­ing the past decade or so. What’s it like mak­ing a game on Wii U? When I first an­nounced I would make a game for Xbox, I was asked hun­dreds of times, ‘Why would you make a game for a con­sole like Xbox? Are you out of your mind?’ Now we have this nice con­ve­nient tool called the In­ter­net and all those ques­tions from in­ter­view­ers and my an­swers are archived. I en­cour­age you to go take a look at them.

Now, I have a ques­tion for you. Do you know any­one who would ask me right now, ‘Why did you make games for Xbox?’ No one, right? Be­cause you guys liv­ing in 2014 un­der­stand that I made the right choice. What­ever, let me put it a dif­fer­ent way. All I do is make games, for videogame fans, on the hard­ware I want to work with.

You worked on SNES games at the start of your ca­reer. How does Nin­tendo to­day dif­fer from then? Nin­tendo is now much more open than in those days. The hard­ware team, soft­ware team, ev­ery­thing – even man­age­ment.

Think about it. Two decades have passed. It’d be strange if things didn’t change, don’t you think? Now, to­gether with Val­halla Game Stu­dios, Nin­tendo is work­ing on the devel­op­ment, launch and op­er­a­tion of a to­tally new game. No­body can stop those who have pas­sion. Now’s the time to show our stuff!

Your games are no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult. How do you in­tend to bal­ance that with Nin­tendo’s more fam­ily-ori­ented au­di­ence? There are two dif­fer­ent cases: some­times Nin­tendo will say, “We’ll leave ev­ery­thing to you, Ita­gaki,” and then some­times they’ll say, “Whoah, this is too dif­fi­cult! Enough is enough!” [Laughs] See? Devel­op­ment is fun, isn’t it? Work­ing on dif­fer­ent things ev­ery day; think­ing dif­fer­ently ev­ery day. But it’s eas­ier said than done. There is one thing that never changes, though. It is [the de­sire] to make a game of a new genre for peo­ple to en­joy – that pas­sion. For that pas­sion and for that goal, it will of­ten lead us to ar­gue, and it will of­ten lead us to em­brace. And then we’ll go for a drink!

Ita­gaki is known for his trade­mark brand of melee com­bat, but shoot­ers are a new av­enue for him

Devil’s Third has used three dif­fer­ent en­gines dur­ing pro­duc­tion; the fin­ished game will be pow­ered by Un­real En­gine 3

TOMONOBU ITA­GAKI CHIEF TECH­NI­CAL OF­FI­CER, VAL­HALLA GAME STU­DIOS

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