Gematsu: Falcom interview with president Toshihiro Kondo – Trails series, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox coming west, and more

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—Falcom games are notorious for their delayed releases in the west. Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki, for example, never made it out in English. With the PlayStation 4 versions on the way, are there any plans to release those titles in the west? How about Ys IX: Monstrum Nox?

Kondo:
“I very much regret that we were unable to release Zero and Ao [in the west]. I think that releasing on PlayStation 4 will lead to an opportunity to release these games in North America and Europe. As for Ys IX, preparations are currently underway for release [in the west].”
—With the release of Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki for PlayStation 4, the Trails in the Sky series will be the only games in the mainline Trails series not playable on PlayStation 4. Given that they were re-released for PlayStation 3, do you plan on making these titles available for PlayStation 4 as well? Is there any hope of playing the PSP-only Nayuta no Kiseki on a modern console?

Kondo:
“Both users who own modern consoles and platform holders often request Trails in the Sky, so I have some homework to do. Personally, I’d like to recreate everything in 3D. Nayuta‘s gameplay is also extremely well received, so I think it would be a waste to bury it as a PSP-only title.”
—During the shareholder meeting in December, you brought up working on an in-house game engine. What was behind the decision to make a new engine entirely instead of using something like Unreal Engine 4?

Kondo:
“We considered Unreal Engine as an option at first. For the Trails of Cold Steel series, we used an external engine, and it was good enough when we just started working on the series, but as development and the series advanced, there were some incompatibilities with our game plan. For example, in the Trails of Cold Steel series, a large number of unique models are displayed during events, but the engine isn’t suitable for that sort of thing. The staff proposed that, if we move forward on that condition in the future, we would be better off with our own engine. Each [engine route] comes with its own benefits and inconveniences, I don’t think it’s a discussion of which one is superior.”
 
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