Kat­suhiro Harada Se­ries pro­ducer, Tekken


How did you choose the lo­ca­tions for the game, and why did you pick Chiba Marine Sta­dium?

It’s sim­ply be­cause, at that time, we were un­able to build walls [laughs]. We called it ‘Mu­gen En’ [In­fin­ity Cir­cle] – you could never hit a wall while play­ing. We had to use large are­nas, like the desert or the South Pole. The only way we could think of show­ing scenery was set­ting fights on the roof of a build­ing, or a base­ball sta­dium. As for lo­ca­tions, back then Street Fighter was like trav­el­ling the world, so it was almost a stereo­type for fight­ing games.

You could play a quick game of Galaga while Tekken was load­ing. Ridge Racer did some­thing sim­i­lar, too. Why was that?

Well, we were try­ing to get the patent for play­ing another game while the main game was load­ing. When they started putting games on CDs, ev­ery­thing ad­vanced ex­cept for load­ing times. Be­cause PlaySta­tion was so high-spec, we could load an older game in a few seconds. Ha­jime Nakatani is now CEO of Bandai Namco Stu­dio, but back then he was the Tekken project’s sec­tion man­ager. He was also in charge of Galaga. I liked it, be­cause it was one of the games I used to play when I was a stu­dent.

Why did Tekken sell so well in Europe?

The Sony brand is so strong. Sega strug­gled over­seas: Vir­tua Fighter was a good game, and popular too, but Sega was not a well-known home elec­tron­ics brand. When Sony launched a game con­sole with cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy, it took off quickly. I’m of­ten asked if it’s be­cause we de­signed the char­ac­ters or the game to Euro­pean tastes, but I don’t think that’s the case.

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