Publisher Square Enix released an interview with producer Takamasa Shiba for the incoming release of Drakengard 3 on Playstation 3. It’s due for release on May 20, 2014.
In the clip, the producer discusses the return of aerial segments and dragon riding, known from its past iterations. This is also linked with the dark fantasy theme from its past cycle and in particular the progenitor for the series.
Back when the first title released, it didn’t seem like there were many darker games. Since then, the market changed and that’s what urged Shiba to use this knowledge to shape a unique character for the game.
In Drakengard 3, the protagonist is named Zero. Getting doused in blood can trigger an Intoner mode that is equal to going berserk.
This new feature is implemented due to concerns of previous “slow action” traits in past releases. Shiba admits that the first Drakengard was slow, which it definitely was, so this third iteration will focus on high-action segments for gameplay.
Along with Drakengard 3, there will be a novella published online. This can be read beforehand, which the producer hopes will create a better understanding for the characters of Drakengard 3, as they only have a limited time in-game.
Beyond Drakengard 3
Then, the interview takes a more personal turn and reflects on Takamasa Shiba’s legacy over the course of 14 years in game development. Here, he notes the initial struggles with starting on Drakengard fresh out of college and enduring bitter memories and more bitter memories.
Quite aptly, the producer equates the hardships with gaining experience, like in Drakengard. After beating hurdles, you gain more producing skills. That’s a nice analogy for a melancholic thought.
There are also insights towards the 8 year gap between sequels and why the sudden announcement of Drakengard 3 occurred. This is perhaps the best part of the interview and deserves to be studied closely.
Shiba notes that the industry is not enlarging, but rather getting smaller and smaller, as people’s focus shifts to smartphones. Weirdly enough, none other than Square Enix is noted as being a platform where there’s still a specific audience for console games like Drakengard 3 to be made.
Recently, Square Enix diverted to smartphones themselves and a lot of the Asian market is feeling the push from those platforms gaining momentum. For instance, Square’s release of Deadman’s Cross catapulted over 1 million downloads in a month.