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IR Top Page > Developer Interview 2014 > vol.01 Kaname Fujioka
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Developer Interview 2014

01. Director, Consumer Games Development Division 3 Department 3 Project Planning Section
  Kaname Fujioka/ With the Support of Its Fans, Monster Hunter Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary: Continuing Progression and Growth

"Monster Hunter" Has Evolved in Response to User Feedback and Through the Efforts of Creators to Exceed User Expectations

-   Mr. Fujioka, when did you first become involved with the "Monster Hunter" series?
I worked on the first "Monster Hunter" (for PlayStation 2) project as a director, and have been a member of the team since then.
-   Could you tell us about how the first "Monster Hunter" game's development started?
Well it was released in 2004, and online games were just starting to become popular then. The project began as one of Capcom's online projects during that time. This was Capcom's first game featuring mainly online content, and I remember being impressed by the enthusiasm of the project members.
-   Surely many people were intimidated by the concept of "online" gaming at that time.
It's true that there were complicated procedures to get through, such as account registration, login, and matching. But we were confident that once players got past these steps, they would enjoy playing the game itself. At that time, there were not many online games offering an action-packed experience like "Monster Hunter", so we thought we could succeed by leveraging our expertise in action gaming.
-   Later, the handheld game system version was released, making it easier to play cooperatively, and it was a big hit.
I think the reason for our success is that we had continuously pursued the goal of a fun and exciting multiplayer action game. Another reason may be that the portability of this version made sharing the fun of the game with friends easier. For console games, players need to invite their friends to their home, but with handheld systems players can share the fun with their friends wherever they are. Since the release of the handheld version, the concept of "Monster Hunter" as a game played together in a group has become deeply rooted.
-   Did the game's success change your attitudes toward development?
Now we need to pay more attention to details with the expansion of the user base, but what is important to us remains almost the same. Just like consumers of current social games, our users are always making requests and giving us feedback. With our updates, we always try to keep a balance of satisfying user requirements and defying expectations, by going beyond them. The project continues to grow and develop, even after the release.
-   So what do you think users expect from "Monster Hunter"?
While we have introduced many elements such as collection and cooperation in "Monster Hunter", we think that being an exciting action game to play and functioning as a communication tool are the fundamental requirements of the game's users.
-   It must be very hard to satisfy so many demands.
Indeed. We want players to experience improvement of their skills and share that feeling with their friends, while preserving the fundamentals of action gaming. For this reason, we are paying a lot of attention to game elements and difficulty levels within the game design process.
-   These days, you receive feedback directly from users over the internet and other media.
Experienced gamers who've played through all of the series say the games are too easy, while more casual players say they are too hard (laughs). So we need to examine which group's opinion should take precedence for each game or element, and then build our ideas based on that. When we introduce new elements, we receive feedback on them, too, and this gives us considerations for the next game. User feedback is a very important factor in this process.
-   In your experience so far, what game development project was the most impressive to you as a director?
"Monster Hunter 2 (Dos)". When we developed this game, we were eager to introduce all the elements we personally wanted in the previous version, "Monster Hunter". As a result, it incorporated too many elements. It is an impressive game in the series for many users as well. But as we tried to introduce so many elements, development took up almost all of the time available for the project, and we did not have enough time left for testing and making adjustments. Users pointed out this problem after the release, and I realized that enthusiasm alone was not enough to develop games. I think the lessons we learned from this are reflected in the subsequent games in the series.

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Back to Developer Interview 2014 Top Page
  1. 05.Corporate Officer Head of Consumer Games
Development Division 2 /  Yoshinori Ono¬
  2. 04. Kazunori Sugiura, General Manager of Consumer Games Development Division 2 Department 2 /  Kazunori Sugiura
  3. 03 .Senior Manager of Consumer Games Development Division 2 Department 2, Producers Section /  Teruki Miyashita
  4. 02. General Manager of Arcade Operations Department /  Junya  Aoki
  5. 01. General Manager of Arcade Operations Department / Kaname Fujioka

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