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Deadly Premonition shaped by international advice, female lead dropped

Deadly Premonition is frequently written off as a weird Japanese game by non-aficionados, but it was developed with major input from international advisors, creator Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro has revealed.

Swery made the revelation as part of an interview series hosted by Toy Box, former colleague Yasuhiro Wada's new studio.

"At first we were considering a female FBI agent as the main role, but after receiving some input from overseas we changed it to the male character that’s in the game now," he said.

"We listened to a lot of advice from overseas and since I play a lot of non-Japanese games I wasn’t so opposed to much of the comments. However, what I am picky about is the story and the gameplay so when we heard that we should add some gun shooting aspects to the game (probably marketing advice), I wasn’t so sure.

"With hindsight, I guess the game was seen as a kind of twist on the survival horror theme so perhaps they weren’t completely wrong to suggest it."

Deadly Premonition was originally published internationally by Ignition, likely the source of the advice. That said, Swery and Wada to suggest that the advice which had the strongest impact on the game came from Japan - perhaps from former employer and local publisher Marvellous Entertainment.

"If I think about it now, the biggest surprise was being asked to take out the more grotesque scenes. I never want to hold back to get the absolute most out of my games so this was a bit of a shock," Swery added a little later.

"Japan is quite lenient when it comes to nudity but is tough on grotesque images," Wada explained.

Deadly Premonition is a highly divisive game, with some people deriding its clunky controls and batshit insane story, with others declaring these very aspects its strongest points. It's generally agreed to be a bit of a hodge-podge regardless of its debatable intent and success, and elsewhere in the interview Wada and Swery make comments that suggest development was a bit of a headache, but refuse to elaborate.

Previously an Xbox 360 exclusive, Deadly Premonition is now headed to PlayStation 3 in March as new Director's Cut edition with overhauled controls and new story elements, Move support, DLC and improved visuals - news which has met with mixed reactions from fans.

Thanks, Siliconera.

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Brenna Hillier


Based in Australia and having come from a lengthy career in the Aussie games media, Brenna worked as VG247's remote Deputy Editor for several years, covering news and events from the other side of the planet to the rest of the team. After leaving VG247, Brenna retired from games media and crossed over to development, working as a writer on several video games.