Welcome to the interview with Yosuke Shiokawa, the director of Project Fate! I got the opportunity to catch up with him after the final panels at the event and ask a few questions!
If there are any things you'd like us to ask in the future, be sure to bring them up in our community discussion! Otherwise, enjoy!
Growth of Fate/Grand Order
It has been an honor for GamePress to cover your game over the years. Has FGO project grown to be everything you expected here in the NA region?
FGO has continuously grown. For every event, for everything happening, there's more improvements, more content added. So it's continuously operating, evolving. When you say if it's up to what you wanted, in my mind there's no end, no apex to what a great game is. So the best is right now. But tomorrow it's going to get better. That's my standard.
So inspiring! Over the years, what has been the most difficult task you and your team have faced for the FGO project? Are things getting easier? Or more challenging over time?
So the hardest part, or one of the most challenging things that we faced was the end of the first chapter. When all the users had to defeat the demon pillars in the raids. So the highlight of the game was probably the challenge for the users as well as us developers.
Coordinating with so many voice actors is a very critical and unique aspect to FGO's success. How much has this process been refined since FGO's launch? And what would you say is the biggest change that has been made?
There's two big things I can bring up. The first thing is before the game launched, the stance we had was one voice actor would play multiple servants. But now we have a nice list of servants so we are able to pick and choose which voice actor works best with the servant. That's probably what's changed the most. The second thing I can bring up is, in the very beginning, most of the servants had about 10 lines. As we progressed through the game and it became bigger, we had more voiced dialogue for each servant. So for the new servants we had more variations of the voices and dialogues. Like one for skills, now we have multiple for different skills, as well as more voices for my room, for instance. So what's changed most is the voice variations for the new servants as well.
(Unfortunately, we can't really talk about the future!)
Servant Development Time
Awesome! From our past interviews we heard a servant can take up to 6 months to create. Without dropping their names or anything like that, are there any that you are excited for? And will we see more Servants with an American (North or South) Origin?
Unfortunately, I can't discuss that here!
Okay, how about a servant that took an exceptionally long time?
The newer servants, the creators behind the servants have more attachment and more emotion towards them so it takes longer and longer. So the newer servants are ones that take the longest. And the others ones, some of the servants that Type-Moon has attachment, or has worked with, or is from them, they have an attachment to that, obviously, so there's multiple brushups, multiple feedback from Type-Moon. Those are the type of servants that take longer. So one that we can actually talk about is Musashi, who Type-Moon has a really, really great attachment to, and Musashi was actually a servant released for New Years. So in order to be a servant fitting for the opening of the New Year, we put a lot of time and effort into that.
It really shows. Musashi is such a good servant. Was there any servant in particular whose popularity ended up surprising you the most?
I know we brought this up during the panels, but Archer of Shinjuku. What's surprising is his character and design is an old man, which we don't see too much in the servant lineup, where it's an older gentleman. So during development we were concerned or worried he might not be popular, or might not be received well because of his age. He's an old man, a geezer, but we were really surprised that he proved to be popular amongst everyone, women, men, old, and young. So that was surprising!
Oh, I agree with that. That Raita design is so beautiful. He did a great job with that servant. You have been busy with the FGO project and traveled the Pacific Rim more than most people do in their entire lives. Is there anything you do to pass the time on all those flights? And what has been your favorite layover for airports during those trips?
So I actually used to live in Seattle, Washington for a little bit, and so whenever I get to the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport it brings back memories. So every time I go to Sakura-Con in Washington, that makes me feel so nostalgic. That's why it's my favorite airport.
Future of Fate/Grand Order
Nice! I was at Sakura-Con, too. Very good con. Since we're almost out of time, final question. FGO has grown into this amazing, massive, thing. For you, do you think this is going to be as big as FGO will get, or do you think the sky is the limit? Or do you want to keep on perfecting what you already have out?
It's actually twofold. The smartphone version of the game - there's still so much potential. For every update and upgrade, the potential increases. So we're going to strive to work on the game to make it reach its 100% potential. On the other hand, we want to have the FGO IP go beyond what the smartphone can offer, with such as VR, or Duel, or merchandise. So the exciting thing about this IP is that there's so many possibilities, and that's what we can hopefully expand on, and that's what we're looking for in the future.
Awesome, well we can't wait to see what FGO has for us in the future, and we will be right on your tails to see what happens. Thank you so much!