The struggle is real for Square Enix.
Square Enix producer Yosuke Saito and game director Yoko Taro spoke to Polygon at E3 about the direction they're taking with the follow-up to Nier, which was announced for PS4 during Square Enix's E3 conference.
In spite of Nier's subpar sales figures, the Drakengard spin-off's quirks still resonated with its small audience strongly enough to spur a sequel. "It's like your mom's home cooking. It may not be great, but it's OK. You're comfortable with it," Taro said.
Handing the reins to Platinum Games has brought a lot of talent on board, and the team hopes that in smoothing out the rough edges they won't erode the things that made the first game special. "We have all these great chefs working together. Is it going to be missing that thing that made it so endearing to our fans? We think we're just going to try it and see how it goes."
Rather than a direct sequel, the game - whose official title is yet to be announced - is a standalone story set in the same universe, and any character crossovers are purely fan service. We've already seen two of the three playable characters in the teaser trailer, and unlike the first game, the characters will be consistent across the Japanese and Western releases. The action-RPG gameplay will feel familiar to fans, but with more of Platinum's signature polish.
Given that the game is only six months into production, it's unlikely that there'll be anything more substantial to see until after the Tokyo Game Show.