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Developer Interview 2012

02. Producer, Development Strategy and Support, Consumer Games Development/ Motohide Eshiro / After working as a programmer on “Street Fighter II” and other projects, involved in “Onimusha 2” 
and “Shadow of Rome” as a director. From 2006, a producer of hits such as “Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth” and “Okamiden”.

New “Devil May Cry” taps into the tastes and sensibilities of developers outside Japan

-  First off, let me ask you some questions about "DmCDevil May Cry" (hereinafter called "DmC"), the latest installment in the "Devil May Cry" series. What reasons did you have for not calling this new game "Devil May Cry 5"?
"Eshiro"
The first title in the "Devil May Cry" series hit the market in 2001, and since then we've added three more titles to the series. If we were going by order of release, it would only be natural to call the next title "Devil May Cry 5". However, we wanted to use this title as an opportunity to reinvent the series and establish "DmC" as a new intellectual property.
-  Interesting. So what you mean is that this game takes elements of the previous titles and packages them in an all new format?
"Eshiro"
That's right. We kept many of the trademarks from past titles, including the names of weapons and characters, but decided to switch up the setting for the story in "DmC". We moved the story out of its familiar setting in the fantasy world and placed it in a modern Europe-style city.
-  It seems you've given the series quite an overhaul. Do you feel there's a high amount of risk involved in making so many changes to the series?
"Eshiro"
Most definitely. The worst-case scenario would be that these drastic changes would cause us to alienate and potentially lose the original fans of the series. Taking that potential risk into account, we thought about we could do to attract more gamers and further improve the series. Ultimately, we felt the best thing to do was give the series an overhaul and create "DmC".
- Were there any particularly reasons or underlying goals for reinventing the "Devil May Cry" series at this point in time?
"Eshiro"
As I said earlier, there's already a total of four titles in the "Devil May Cry" series. When you have a series that's been running for a long time, there's a greater chance fans will grow tired of it. The longevity of the series also makes it more difficult to attract new fans because they never pick up the older titles or feel compelled to purchase the newest one. In that respect, our ultimate goal for this overhaul was to further expand the fan base of the series.
-  I heard that a game developer located outside was in charge of developing "DmC".
"Eshiro"
One thing we want this new title to do is broaden our base of fans in other countries. That's why we called on Ninja Theory Ltd. (hereinafter called "NT"), a video game developer based in UK, and asked them to handle the development of the game. We believe we'll be better able to promote the appeal of "DmC" to fans outside Japan by taking advantage of the technologies and sensibilities of developers based in those countries.
- I see the game's hero Dante has been given a new look.
"Eshiro"
In "Devil May Cry 4", we decided to shake things up a bit and give the series a fresh feel by focusing on the new hero Nero rather than keep the spotlight on Dante, the main protagonist for the first three titles. With "DmC", we designed Dante to be a completely different character altogether and set him apart from the Dante that appears in the previous titles. It took a lot of guts to go ahead and make this change.
- How did fans react to the new Dante?
"Eshiro"
We've studied the reactions of fans that have faithfully followed the series since its inception, so we had a fairly good idea of what to expect before we even started on the development of "DmC". We're now working together with our overseas sales-promotion team to discuss ways to get these fans to warm up to the new Dante, as well as how to earn their support and transform potentially negative feedback into a positive response. All our work to reinvent this series will be for naught if we fail to gain the fan's approval of the new Dante.
- Who came up with the ideas for the features of the new Dante?
"Eshiro"
NT came up with the original ideas, and then we took what NT gave us and worked with them to iron out the details. Our basic approach was to provide them with no specific instructions on how they should design the different features of the game, including those for Dante. Providing that level of strict direction would make us actively involved in the actual creation of the game, and ultimately defeat the purpose of trying to take advantage of the sensibilities of developers based in other countries.
- I see. Moving on, would you mind providing us with an overview of this game?
"Eshiro"
In "DmC" Dante is set to be "half-angel, half-demon", which allows players to switch between three different types of abilities. These include the abilities he possesses in his normal human form, "angel modes" which place an emphasis on speed, and "demon modes" which are more power-oriented. "DmC" is set up to give players a free-flowing style of gameplay that delivers a balanced combination of different action elements.
- Where does "DmC" take place?
"Eshiro"
The game is set in a modern world where demons disguised in human form lurk everywhere. When demons spot Dante, they drag him into "Limbo City", a parallel universe where the demonic world and human world coexist, and begin to wage battle. Within this dimension of "Limbo" where battles take place, human beings aren't even aware that demons exist. For example, if demons destroy a Ferris wheel during a battle with Dante at the amusement park in "Limbo City", the event is covered and reported by the media in the human world as a major accident brought about by the work of terrorists. In addition, the game's story also depicts demons to be the major cause of various problems plaguing modern society, such as poverty and unemployment.
- These kinds of elements are completely different from those in past installments of the "Devil May Cry" series.
"Eshiro"
 I think the religious background and perspective of the developers is one of the main reasons for that. People in other countries view demons quite differently than we do here in Japan. The depiction of demons in previous titles in the "Devil May Cry" series was based on the commonly held conception in Japan of cold-blooded beings that represent the "epitome of evil". The Western take on demons is of beings that share many of the qualities humans possess; beings that speak their mind and watch out for their families. These particular qualities are emphasized in "DmC".
-  Was NT also in charge of preparing the game scenarios?
"Eshiro"
Yes. The scenarios were drawn up by the director at NT and writers based outside Japan. These were reviewed and checked by Capcom.
Back to Developer Interview 2012 Top Page
  1. 06. Director and Executive Corporate Officer in charge of Consumer Games Business
 / Katsuhiko Ichii
  2. 05. Managing Corporate Officer, Head of P&S Business Division / Yoichi Egawa
  3. 04.CEO  Beeline Interactive, Inc./ Midori Yuasa
  4. 03.General Manager, Consumer Games Development Tokyo R&D Department/ Kazunori Sugiura
  5. 02. Producer, Development Strategy and Support, Consumer Games Development /  Motohide Eshiro
  6. 01. Producer, Development Strategy and Support, Consumer Games Development / Yoshiaki Hirabayashi

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