[Kayane @ EVO 2019] Interview with Motohiro Okubo and Yoshinori Takahashi, Producer and Director of Soul Calibur VI
Kayane : Thank you Okubo-san and Takahashi-san for your time ! As usual, I have some tricky questions to ask you ! I’m sure you didn’t miss them ! 🙂
Can you tell me more about the Season Pass 2 and what it will include ?
Motohiro Okubo : Season Pass n°2 includes four characters and four character creation parts, so it’s going to be a total of 8 DLCs.
Kayane : I understand better ! Four characters and one is Haohmaru from Samurai Shodown !
M.O. : Haohmaru, yes.
K. : And three legacy characters.
M.O. : Maybe ?
K. : Or maybe a new one ?
M.O. : *long pause, hesitant* You’ll see ! Please wait !
K. : So when does Season Pass 2 start ?
M.O. : We’re releasing Cassandra for the August 5th and we’re currently developping Season 2, so it’ll take some time. We’ll do various updates with Season 2, including the new system and new moves. But we’re gonna have new stages and improvements to the battle system, so it’ll take some time. So please relax and wait.
K. : « We’re giving you Cassandra, please wait ! » *laughs*
M.O. : *laughs* Yes, it will take some time. I also want to say that until Season 2 hits, we won’t change drastically the battle system.
K. : So there will be a new patch ?
M.O. : Yes, yes. Just a few changes.
K. : Changing the balance and such ?
M.O. : It’s more about fixing hitbox bugs, minor changes for now.
K. : So that’s coming out Monday with Cassandra ?
M.O. : Yes. And so after that, we want players to play with Season 1 while waiting for Season 2 to come. But we also want to tell players that the characters improved on Season 1 will still be strong with Season 2. We will add some features in battle, but that doesn’t mean it’s a reset.
K. : I’ve seen some new moves, will every character have some in Season 2 ?
M.O. : Well I can’t say right now that every character will have some, but most of them will have a new move.
K. : One new or a few ?
M.O. : More than one.
K. : And Reversal Edge will get some changes ?
M.O. : We’ve had a lot of discussions on Reversal Edge after announcing Reversal Edge itself. We won’t remove it, as it’s a core part of the battle mechanics, but we do know that the game has a speed and a tempo that we need to change a bit. We need to rework it while not toning down the game’s flow.
K. : And will the Soul Charge change ?
M.O. : We need you to wait. Right now, we have two options with the gauge : the Soul Charge and Critical Edge. And we’ll add another use to the gauge !
K. : Like the Brave Edge in Soul Calibur V ?
M.O. : It’s a new system. We received a lot of feedback from players wanting to use half gauges for other things and we’ve done just that, though you’ll need to wait for more specifics.
K. : Has Guard Impact changed as well ?
Yoshinori Takahashi : Guard Impact itself won’t change that much, but within the trailer you’ll see a new and special Guard Impact.
K. : So there are two types of G.I. ?
M.O. : It can repel through unblockables and break attacks.
K. : Oh yes, I’ve seen Sophitia doing a fire attack and Tira G.I.’d it. So that’s the new G.I. system, then.
M.O. : Please guess ! *laughs*
K. : Guess… So there’s a G.I. meter ?
M.O. : So the current G.I. system G.I.’s most moves, right ? But not 100% of the moves. We wanted to change that a little, because in some rare circumtances… It’s very difficult to say in English, the current G.I. system is broken in parts, and we wanted to fix that. So the new GI would have a new condition to have a more complete battle system.
K. : I remember Soul Calibur V had a meter you needed to use to use G.I. Will it be close to that ?
Y.T. : Let’s just say that it’s close, but different .
K. : You’re not afraid it’ll be too strong afterwards ?
Y.T. : We’re aware of that risk, but we’re currently making the adjustments to make it balanced, so I’m sure you’ll be okay !
K. : It will meet some requirements to make this Guard Impact ?
Y.T. : *smile*
M.O. : Being interviewed by a pro player is so hard ! *laughs*
K. : I know, it may be hard, but the next interviews you’ll have will feel nice in comparison ! *laughs*
Are there any new Soul Charge moves for the characters ?
Y.T. : We’re thinking about it, though it’s still under consideration.
K. : And any new Critical Edge ?
Y.T. : We’re also thinking about it, but we think it’ll be difficult to do, so we’ll see…
K. : How many stages will there be coming?
M.O. : If you look closely in the newest trailer, we’re already using the new stages, though most will be variants of the already existing stages. There will be new stages, but they’ll mostly use existing stage assets. They’ll be included in a free update during Season 2, and we want to make totally new stages, but we can’t say how many right now. We of course want to add as much as possible, but you’ll have to wait.
K. : So they’ll be new stages based on the old ones but with different aspect ?
Y.T. : So we’ll add a wall in some stages, and change the shapes and sizes.
K. : And also a new country ?
Y.T. : No new countries. It’s only concerning the existing stages right now.
M.O. : Though the one we’re making, the new one, might be a new country, we can’t really say.
K. : Would it be China or Japan ?
M.O. : *long sigh*
K. : Okay, thank you *laughs*
M.O. : Please wait. We’re making it right now !
K. : So can you tell me more about Haohmaru ? How did you work with SNK about him and since when ?
M.O. : We’ve had a lot of discussions internally, and because we had Geralt and 2B, I think having these two characters was really great. I’m pretty sure that you loved 2B ?
K. : Yes of course I LOVE HER!
M.O. : And so this time we wanted to go with a character from the fighting game genre ! And so because I was Producer on Tekken 7, not only we knew what would match, but we also had a point of view from the marketing. Geralt did appeal to the Witcher fans, and 2B had appeal to the NieR fans, which we normally can’t reach with regular fighting game promotion. But because we wanted to do it at EVO and we felt it was a good timing, with a closer audience, we talked to SNK and I can’t say from when exactly, but it was quite close.
K. : And is the character finished already ?
M.O. : Not at all !
K. : So he’ll appear some day within the Season Pass.
M.O. : If you look, some of the message is hidden here. *shows the trailer while talking* Season Pass 2 will have 8 DLCs as I said, but it will be released in four batches. So the first character will come with the first customisation kit.
K. : So you’ll release one new character with one customization set every time ? Meaning 4 releases including 2DLC ?
M.O. : Yes ! And so the second batch will come with Haohmaru. So… Nothing is done yet, so please wait *laughs* But the message is that we want to have Haohmaru out as soon as possible ! It’s impossible to do it for the first set, but we want to have it done by the second time.
K. : Aside from all the announcements, what did you think about this year’s EVO for Soul Calibur VI ?
M.O. : Of course you know it was awesome ! As a publisher, because I had been watching a lot of Tekken eSports, but we’re always thinking who will win, which character win, would make the most noise. Which would be most cheered and make it more hype.
M.O. : It’s very difficult to be in the same level of hype, like we’re also at a different point of view from the main audience because we’re thinking about many things and how to make a better game and what changes need to be done. But yesterday…
Usually I don’t cry from seeing those tournaments, because I always think « what’s the better scenario ? », or what will happen after those tournaments, what will affect the community, but the first time I cried was when you won and entered top 8 yesterday ! Because I thought you were very busy after Soul Calibur VI, I know you were very invested in the game, but afterwards, you have to play different fighting games like Dead or Alive and Samurai Shodown, and I thought you were just busy with your job in France, and yet you prepared yourself playing 2B, and going into Top 8 isn’t easy. I think you’ve prepared and practiced a lot, so that made me very very happy !
K. : Aaaaawwwww !!!!
M.O. : And you made history as a female player !
K. : I believe it’s the first time a female player made Top 8 in a EVO main game line up.
M.O. : So that was the first time I cried yesterday !
K. : Aaaaaawwwwww !!!!! Really ?
M.O. : Really !
K. : Thank you so much ! I didn’t expect you would cry for me !
M.O. : No no no, I really appreciated the fact you practised a lot with 2B !
M.O. : I appreciate also all the French players and the other competitiors who participated ! But after top 8, that Winners Final between Skyll and Yuttoto… I cried again ! At that moment, I was with everyone in the room, cheering ! I was just hyped ! no need to think about anything else ! That was an awesome fight !
K. : Yeah, the matches were all amazing ! Skyll VS Yuttoto was something incredible, like two prodigies, one from France and one from Japan fighting each other and I was like « It’s awesome to see these two prodigies fighting each other, they seem like completely understanding each other and fighting back all the time, finding new strategy to overcome their opponent ». So interesting!
M.O. : That was awesome ! Really ! They were at it all day !
M.O. : It was really a tremendous time ! Every player understood what we wanted to implement, like Bluegod and the Soul Charge, how he used it and how other players used the Critical Edge., how they moved within the stages, the strategies and how they used the battle systems… Every single move at the top 8. We were speechless ! Every player understood what we wanted to do and they all went above and beyond our expectations ! We were all crying !
K. : I remember at EVO Japan, Osaka-san also cried a lot too. You’re such a passionnate development team.
M.O. : I think it was very good for the community overall ! Everyone enjoyed it and I’m happy we showed some kind of presence within EVO !
K. : Well, now it’s time for me to leave, as usual it’s so nice talking to you. Thank you so much for the interview !
M.O. : Thank you so much !