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Japanator Exclusive: Granblue Fantasy Producer Yuito Kimura Talks Season 2, Versus & Mobile Game


Granblue Fantasy, Versus, Season 2 and More!

After conquering Japan and a sizeable portion of import-friendly otaku, Cygames and its crown jewel Granblue Fantasy are ready to push deeper into mainstream gaming with Granblue Fantasy Versus, a fighter developed by top-line studio Arc System Works. Of course, with Versus poised to be many non-Japanese players' first-ever exposure to Granblue Fantasy as a whole, we were left with a few questions about how the company planned to put its best foot forward, as well as a few posed by hardcore GBF players.

To that end, we caught up with Cygames executive Yuito Kimura (Granblue Fantasy's lead Producer), and Creative Director Tetsuya Fukuhara at Anime Expo 2019 to get the goods! Read on for our exchange, plus a bit of helpful advice from Kimura himself about the best way to get started with GBF!

Christian Chiok (CC): As an online RPG, the GBF main game is quite different from [GBV], so there are probably a number of GBF players who aren't normally interested in fighting games. In what ways will GBV attract them to play the game?

Yuito Kimura (KMR): We strongly recognize that the RPG genre is different than fighting games. What we do consider when developing the game is catering to fans who haven’t had the chance to play fighting games but also keeping the game challenging for hardcore fighting games fans. In August 3rd we will have an event in Japan that will reveal a feature that will attract RPG fans.

CC: GBV is probably the first-time many players (especially overseas) will even encounter Granblue Fantasy characters or setting. How do you plan to attract these kinds of new players to play GBF or engage more deeply with Granblue Fantasy as a franchise?

Tetsuya Fukuhara (TF): We acknowledge that it will be their first encounter with the franchise’s universe and lore. The game offers high quality content such as the character design, music and story. We focus on bringing the highest quality which should be enough to attract people to Granblue Fantasy.

CC: Will GBV's story have a connection to the main game? Are there plans to add characters that will be exclusive to GBV (like how Sho Minazuki is an original character for Persona Arena)?

YK: We will not have an exclusive character in the game. All characters that are present in the main game are in the Versus. However, there’s one surprise we can’t reveal details yet but people will be surprised that the character is playable.

CC: What inspired you to make a Granblue Fantasy fighting game?

YK: We have a lot of attractive characters in the game and the development team always hope of seeing the characters in full motion and fighting games is a genre that can best show the cast of characters in action.

CC: GBF is getting a lot of attention internationally thanks to projects like the recent Granblue Fantasy anime series and GBV. What would be your advice/message to global players that are curious about the main game and want to get to know the characters?

YK: Granblue has a history of five years and if you’re not familiar with the game, I suggest watching the anime and play the first quest for the best introduction of the game’s lore. With the second season releasing soon as well the Versus fighting game, people that are already familiar with the lore, there’s much more to come.

CC: Granblue Fantasy The Animation will get its second season in October. Will it continue to follow the main story, or can we expect changes? Also, will there be more episodes where Djeeta is the main character instead of Gran?

YK: We are aware of what our fans expect from the second season and we are confident that all those aspects will be implemented into the season. We will announce more details about the anime on August 3rd during the event.

CC: The main GBF game is available almost entirely in English, and there are a large number of international players already in the game, but it's still a little difficult to just get started since signing up is limited to Japanese. Do you plan to make GBF more widely accessible soon? How about things like the events, merchandise, or other media currently enjoyed by Japanese players or fans living in Japan?

YK: What you propose is a good idea. Plans are ongoing at this point. We are having a tour to sell CyGames merchandise in different cities in the US. Depending on the reaction, we will expand into more states in the US or other western countries. About not being able to sign up, we considering improving and making it more accessible to western audiences.

CC: Will future character rebalances and releases be based around crest mechanics?

TF: In the newest rebalance in June, we did implement the crest mechanics into the game. We implemented crest mechanics to some of the newest characters but in the other hand we don’t want to abuse the feature with all characters because else it will make the game overly complicated.

CC: Are there any plans for Guild Wars?

YK:  For the Guild vs Guild content. The current unite and fight event will be the only guild vs guild content.

CC: Are there any plans to bring back Defense Order?

YK: There are no current plans for the original Defense Order to be reimplemented. However, it is possible to bring it back with a different concept and a different system.

CC: How come the newest raid Lucilius HL doesn't drop gold bars or Damascus crystals?

YK:  If we have high level content, only a limited amount of players will have the chance to clear it and if a high rare item only drops from those quest, then only the high level players will have the chance to obtain those items. If we have too many of those quests then it would make the gap between higher players and even players even bigger, which is something we don’t want to happen. We want to limit the numbers of quest that drops the gold bars as it can become too overwhelming.

CC: Thank you for your time.

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Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures



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