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