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IR Top Page > Developer Interview 2013 > vol01.Ryozo Tsujimoto
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Developer Interview 2013

01. Producer, General Manager of Division 3, Consumer Games Development/ Ryozo Tsujimoto/ Engaged in development of arcade games and also in charge of planning for various home video games. Producer of the "Monster Hunter" series since the release of "Monster Hunter Freedom 2" in 2007.

Latest installment "Monster Hunter 4" tackles new challenges Evolution of "Dimensional Action" and "Multiplayer Gaming"

-  Thanks for making the time to speak with us about "Monster Hunter 4". What can you tell us about the latest Monster Hunter installment?
As the fourth game in the series, our driving motivation in creating "Monster Hunter 4" (hereinafter called "MH4") was to make a huge leap forward from previous installments. We gave the main title logo a makeover to help make this intent clear.
-  What parts of the game have been reworked?
MH4 contains new features that allow players to enjoy a broadened game experience without sacrificing any of the action and excitement people associate with the "Monster Hunter" series. We've enhanced the perceived difference in height by allowing players to move vertically, thereby adding to the lateral movement that served as the predominant form of player movement in previous titles. This has greatly expanded the range of actions and options at the player's disposal, helping to create a more dynamic and realistic hunting experience. With MH4, the important thing for us was to further the evolution of the series while retaining that sense of familiarity fans expect.
-  You mentioned actions and movements that take advantage of height differences within the MH4 world. What kind of things can players do now?
Players can now use these differences in height to launch jump attacks, or jump off a rock or some other object to grab onto monsters and climb up them. Basically, MH4 has made it much easier to perform the same basic actions and movements carried over from its predecessors. Players automatically climb onto slightly elevated surfaces or terrain, while walls can be now scaled more fluidly. We have added underwater action to past titles, but ultimately decided it to scrap it for this game. MH4 was really the first time in which we focused on beefing up the basic actions to create a jam-packed experience on land.
-  Did you give the game stages a makeover as well?
We sure did. Everything's been changed. We've boosted the fun factor by creating a more expansive world and enhancing the gameplay.
-  What particular aspect of gameplay did you enhance?
MH4 is for the Nintendo 3DS, so we did everything possible to create a style of gameplay completely unique to handheld devices. To do this, we created a system that allows players to jump right into multiplayer mode when they run into other players. That being said, not everyone is blessed with an environment that supports local wireless mode. We worked around that by making it possible to enjoy co-op play remotely over the Internet.
-  You mean that players no longer to gather in one place to play co-op?
That's right. Still, the real fun of playing a game on a handheld device is meeting up with friends and playing together at the same spot. With the addition of remote co-op, we aim to provide players with greater flexibility and options for multiplayer gaming.
-   Are you planning to offer any additional content in the near future?
 We plan to distribute downloadable quest content and Otomo Airu (Felyne comrades).
-  Are there any other important features you would like to mention?
MH4 introduces a "Chance Encounter" system designed to further increase player communication. We've also kept the "fluctuation" feature that was employed in previous Monster Hunter installments. Here the idea of "chance" comes into play, with a single attack determining whether the tide swings in the player's favor. We feel these realistic analog features make the game all the more exciting, as well as serve as a nice conversation-starter for players.
-  I see. So basically you're saying that this sense of "fluctuation" creates opportunities for players to interact with each other?
 Yep. I feel this sense of "fluctuation" plays an important role in multiplayer gaming because it provides players an opportunity to brag about their achievements and talk to others. It's basically something we encounter in everyday life, so we decided to incorporate this within the game.
-   Moving on to single-player mode, what did you focus on most this time?
 We really want players to fully enjoy the world and story of MH4 when they have the time to pick up the game and play, so we added some special systems to MH4. We want them to get the most of their time playing the game.
-   The longevity of the Monster Hunter series and increased sales with each title have surely raised fan expectations. Did you feel a sense of pressure while making MH4?
 Not really. Like I said earlier, our driving motivation was to take the next leap forward with Monster Hunter. We just did what we believe needed to be done to make this game series exciting and fun for everyone. The fundamental approach pretty much remains the same, regardless of how many titles there are in the series.
-   Looking at game promotion, what kind of strategy do you have for countries outside Japan, in particular those in Asia?
 We've already set the release date for the localized version of MH4 in Korea, but no matter where the game is released, the most pressing issue is to get the Monster Hunter name out there and make sure people know what it's all about. That's the ultimate goal of the promotion strategies we develop.
-   What were some of the toughest challenges you faced while working on MH4?
 It was tough dealing with the concept of tweaking the action system. Likewise, this time around we had a lot more people working on the game, so I felt this increase in staff made it difficult to share information and communicate effectively within each team. This game wouldn't have been possible without all the hard work and sweat of everyone on the development floor. Then again, that's something I feel I say every time we finish making a game.
-   What was the hardest part for you as the producer?
 (Laughs) Everything! Being producer is always nerve-wracking. Sometimes it takes years to make a game, so I always think of myself being the caretaker of the staff members' lives during that time. When all is said and done, I hope they feel a sense of accomplishment after the game is released, as well as satisfaction when hearing all the positive feedback from fans. My mission is to make sure fans know about all the hard work everyone put in to making the game. I also want to share that joy of making a great game with everyone as well.
-   How many people do you have on your team right now?
 The number of people involved often varies with each project, but I’d say there was a few hundred people who worked on MH4 in total.
Back to Developer Interview 2013 Top Page
  1. 05. Corporate Officer and Deputy Head of Consumer Games Development / Yoshinori Ono
  2. 06. Director and Executive Corporate Officer in charge of Consumer Games Business / Katsuhiko Ichii
  3. 03. Senior Manager of Technology Management, Technology Development, Consumer Games Development / Masaru Ijuin
  4. 04. General Manager of Division 2, Consumer Games Development / Kazunori Sugiura
  5. 01. Producer, Development Strategy and Support, Consumer Games Development / Yoshiaki Hirabayashi
  6. 02.Senior Manager of Produce Section,P&S Software Development Department P&S Business Division /  Kentaro Ono

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