According to an interview by Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s game director, Tetsuya Takahashi to Japanese games site Defifaminicogamer, the latest addition to the popular Xeno series was developed by a staff of just 40 people, of which only three were programmers.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the sequel to the popular action JRPG Wii exclusive, Xenoblade Chronicles that first released in Japan back in 2010. The Nintendo Switch exclusive sequel has proven to be pretty popular and reportedly managed to sell almost over 400,000 units within its first week and shipping over a million copies a month after its release.
In the interview, Tetsuya Takahashi said that Monolith Soft’s developers were split between pre-production for their upcoming new IP and developing Breath of the Wild at the time and therefore, he was left with fewer people to work with on Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
While talking with Katsura Hashino, the director of the famed ‘Persona’ JRPG series in the interview, Takahashi said:
Monolith Tokyo has a little less than 100 developers. Of that group, between 50 to 60 percent was helping Nintendo with Breath of the Wild. Of the remaining 40 to 50 people, several were part of research and development, and the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 staff was made of the remaining 40-plus members.
Despite some technical issues, it’s mind-blowing to think that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was made with such a small team. Especially when you take into account that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a similar open-world action game created for the Nintendo Switch had a full-time team of over 100 working on it, almost thrice as many as the team who worked on Xenoblade Chronicles 2.