NieR New Project producer Yosuke Saito says it’s unlikely that the game will have a happy ending.
In an interview with gematsu, producer Yosuke Saito and director Yoko Taro touched on the development of the new game, and what working with Platinum will bring to the series.
Talking about the story, Saito said “[Taro has] shown me the plot for this new game, and he said he wants to make it end with a happy ending. But we’ll see if that actually happens. No matter how you read it, there’s no way it can end happily, if you ask me.”
Recalling the ending to the first game, Saito commented “Yeah, [Taro] thinks that’s a happy ending, too.”
He went on to restate that the new game wouldn’t be a direct sequel to the original. “In terms of the story, they’re not actually all that connected. The world is shared, but we really went and made this a game you can enjoy without having previously played the original NieR.”
Despite bringing Platinum in on NieR New Project, they don’t want the game to revolve around combat too much. “One worry that we did have was that it’d become too battle-centric of a system and not be as open to new players,” said Taro. “But fortunately, because of their familiarity with the previous game, it’s become speedier, more action-oriented, and I think it’s becoming a great battle system.”
“[Saito told me] to make it more open to RPG fans. Because a lot of fans of NieR are RPG fans, and if you have a too action-oriented battle system, it just seems impossible for RPG fans to enjoy. So we’ve been really focusing on making it more open to more RPG-focused gamers out there so that they can also enjoy it. That’s our goal.”
Going back to the original game’s ending, Taro commented that while he’d like to do something “along those lines”, he doesn’t want it to “get stale and old”.
Saito added “The previous game was a very shocking design in terms of a game. There were a lot of features in the game that caught people off guard and it wasn’t something you’d expect from a game, really. Personally, I didn’t think that you can really surpass that, because it was so unique and original. But Yoko-san here I guess has some ideas and plans to surpass the original.”
“I don’t want too much anticipation. If you put too much pressure on me, then we won’t be able to meet those goals and everybody’s expectations,” said Taro. “So please keep your expectations understandably high. But not too high!”
Wrapping up the interview, Taro talked about the Japanese console market, and Square Enix’s commitment to investing money into popular titles, even though it’s a gamble. “…Square Enix and Saito-san who are willing to spend the money—because let’s face it, creating and developing games for home consoles costs a lot of money—it’s not just a challenge that they’re willing to take on, I think they’re borderline crazy for giving us the greenlight on this.”
NieR New Project is currently in development, with another update promised for this Fall.