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Nier: Automata Was Almost Canceled Because Yoko Taro Hates Waking Up Early


This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Yoko Taro, director behind games like the Drakengard series and most recently Nier: Automata, is a man of man eccentricities and habits. He often proclaims that money is all he needs to start working on a video game. But that kind of laissez-faire attitude has its own pitfalls as Yoko Taro revealed that his dislike for waking up early nearly got Nier: Automata canceled.

"[PlatinumGames'] start of the work day is at 9:30am, and as a freelancer I can't wake up that early. So we actually had one month where we were constantly arguing about it, and Nier: Automata actually was about to be canceled because their start time was so early for me. And that's actually not a joke," said Taro during our GDC Interview with him and PlatinumGames' Takahisa Taura.

Nier: Automata director Yoko Taro in his trademark mask.

That problem is luckily no longer an issue according to Taro. "[At] PlatinumGames now we actually have what is called free time, like a rolling schedule [where] you could come in whenever you like, so we don't have that issue anymore." So hopefully there's no threat of losing a potential Yoko Taro project due to the early morning work schedule.

Other tidbits from the interview includes details such as how Taro originally envisioned a co-op mode for the game, and how Taro was influenced by, of all things, a Coca-Cola marketing stunt for some of the themes in the game.

Nier: Automata's surprise success can't be overlooked. Taro himself admitted that he has no idea why Nier: Automata became a success the way that it did. However, it has done well enough that Square Enix now considers Nier a main franchise, with potential Nier projects under consideration.

We also loved Nier: Automata here at USgamer, awarding the game a perfect score in our Nier: Automata review as well as the runner-up spot in our Best Games of 2017 list. If you haven't already, now is probably a good time to check out one of the best games of 2017, especially if you love the idea of playing through a existentialist work on the meaning of android life.

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About the Author
Matt Kim avatar

Matt Kim

News Editor, USgamer

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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