Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada recently sat down with Gamespot to discuss Tekken 7. The interview covered many topics ranging from cross play and rage quit penalties to guest characters and how they improved the game.
Tekken 7 has actually been playable for some time through arcades and improvements are being made. Harada states that improvements are made from individual opinions, but most of it is based on game data.
“But even more than individual player opinions, we look at the data to kind of decide what changes need to be made to the game. That occurs constantly throughout the process in the Arcade. For Tekken 7, specifically, the income was quite good. The income is kind of a barometer of what people think about the game, but it was one of the best in the series right out of the date. But the arcade, it’s not so prevalent in the west in Europe or the US, but those players are watching on the internet; matches and stuff.”
One of the more unique changes is the number of costumes and the visual look of the game. According to Harad, western fans found the game to look too similar to past installments. Namely the character costumes were said to be the sticking point for many.
“They were saying the characters costumes were the same as past installments, which was done intentionally to establish the characters, but they said it didn’t feel as fresh because of that. The same costume designs. And also the look of the game; it doesn’t look so drastically different than past installments. So for Fated Retribution, which was an update to the arcade edition, we made a lot of additions to the costumes for the existing characters. And also changed the filter to make the dark areas more dark, the light areas more light to give it more contrast to have more visual appeal.”
Since the game will have online multiplayer there will be new problems that need to be address such as rage quitters. While Harada didn’t go into details, he stated that there will be penalties for people who quit online matches.
“You can’t keep someone from physically pulling out the LAN cable, so the only thing you can do is make them not want to do that by having some kind of penalties. Although we can’t really go into that at the moment, we do have penalties planned for that. We don’t want to go into a lot of detail right now because the hackers and such will already start about thinking of ways to circumvent that. But we do have plans to implement some penalties.”
Cross play between consoles and PC has long been a topic for Harada. He has been in talks with both Sony and Microsoft for “quite some time” and has “champion the cause” for cross play between PS4 and Xbox One. Despite his efforts, it seems that there won’t be cross play due to the two companies’ security and general policies.
“Until there is some kind of progress between the first-parties adapting their security policies and just policy in general regarding online, to allow that, it’s not going to be viable at this time. It’s not to say that’s the case forever. But until they change their policies, there’s not a whole lot we can do.”
Harad recently asked fans on Twitter for guest character suggests. By far the most requested character was Kiryu Kazama from the Yakuza series. Harada stated that this came as a surprise because he wasn’t even aware that the west was especially interested in the Yakuza series or the character.
Regardless of fan feedback Harada said that all guest characters will have to overcome obstacles. In Kazama’s case it would require Bandai Namco to work out a deal with Sega. Then ideally the release would line up with the interest of both companies such as the release date for a Yakuza related product.
Other post launch DLC is planned however no exact details are given on what exactly they will consist of. Paid DLC and a season pass will be available. This will in turn allow the developers to support the game for longer, at least a year according to Harada.
“As far as post-release plans, we can’t really talk in a whole lot of detail now because that’s something that our marketing teams around the world are still trying to come to consensus on. The game itself, we finally just got the master as well so. One thing we can say is in the past, Tekken after release, we had the system where we had some characters that would be unlocked gradually for two or three months after launch, but that was as much as we could do at that time. But this time, Tekken 7 is the first that is going to have DLC, paid DLC, and a Season Pass. This allows us to keep the team available for making changes and updates to the game for a longer span–over a year or so. We plan to support the game for a longer period this time.”
Finally with the release of the Nintendo Switch some are wondering if Tekken 7 might be released for the system. Unfortunately it seems that a Switch release is not very likely although it has not been officially ruled out.
“But personally, we’ve been so busy with trying to master up Tekken for the current platforms that we haven’t really had enough time to study the hardware. We couldn’t even buy it–it was sold out every time we went to look for it.”
In other news a trailer highlighting the various features and game modes of Tekken 7 was released. It is currently only available in Japanese however a translated trailer is expected to release next week.