Harada and Michael Murray say putting crossover characters in Tekken 7 was harder than imagined
Expanding Tekken 7 is rewarding in the end, but not without a price.
In a recent interview with GameSpot, Tekken 7 game developers Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray go very much in depth about the process of bringing crossover characters like Akuma, Geese Howard, and Noctis into Tekken 7. They also discuss the possibility of returning characters, the future of the franchise and the challenges faced when incorporating characters from other IPs.
“It’s not like the possibility is zero that we’ll see a returning character.”
When asked about the possibility of legacy characters joining the Tekken 7 cast, the state “Up until now with Tekken, we haven’t really done much DLC. It’s always been a new, developed game, a particular installment, and then it’s released, and that’s it. You move on to the next one. But since we’re doing DLC and the lifecycle is a bit longer, this opens up doors to do other things with the franchise for a particular installment. It’s not like the possibility is zero that we’ll see a returning character like the ones you mentioned.”
They go on to say, “We obviously have to have new content or people will say the game feels stale or what’s new about this particular installment. So, a lot big games do bring back certain characters from past installments, etc., and that’s a really good thing to do. But at the same time, if you are creating this new content that’s expected of your game, especially for a fighting game, there’s some older elements that you have to decide not to include often times, especially with characters.”
Because of the work involved with introducing new characters from other gaming titles, yes, there is a lot of work on the production side, but the real work begins behind the scenes with establishing collaborations.
On that issue they state, “The point is not to try to take the fans from the respective IP and bring them into Tekken. It’s more, by adding that IP if fighting games as a whole kind of become more exciting, and you attract a newer audience that wouldn’t have bought either game in the first place because it’s so exciting, and that’s really what we’re trying to achieve from a marketing goal, especially. So when you look at these kind of collaborations, there might be some that the fighting game community just go crazy about, so some of the marketing people in charge might be in the mind that “Okay, that might be really cool for the hardcore fans, but it wouldn’t bring a new audience.” Collaboration is really, we’ve found, quite difficult. It’s just that in certain cases, we think, “Yeah, this is awesome.” The IP owner then thinks, “Yeah, this is cool. Let’s do it.” And the marketing guys as well say, “Yeah, that’s a good opportunity.” And then it’s finally able to come together. It is a lot more difficult than we originally imagined.”
When it comes to including a lot of the fans personal favorites, they basically prove that having all of those characters in the game would cause more problems because it just not ideal. “or example, if you had game with a hundred characters, and it would be pretty hard to make into a balanced game. Your typical fighting game has 20-30 characters, so if you’re trying to balance like 70 or 80, that’s quite difficult in itself. It might be good for players selecting a character, but as far as creating the game, it’s a lot not only for the assets but the balance itself, since your opponent also can pick from 80-70 characters. Just trying to learn the matchups and the balancing is a nightmare. And if we were to do that at the same time as including new things, we can’t have both. It’s kind of a trade-off. And if you were to have 80 characters in your fighting game, people would start giving questions about the game balance as well. So, it’s really a difficult problem for us in trying to fulfill all these different needs because they often contradict each other.”
You can read the full interview over at GameSpot.