Koji Igarashi is a legend for developing one of the most popular games for the previous gaming generation: "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night". Back in 2016, the organizers of ESGS were able to invite him to set up a booth and introduce his upcoming crowdfunded game "Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night."
Luckily, despite his busy booth, we were able to speak to him on the differences between developing a game for a huge studio like Konami, and building his own game via crowdfunding.
Q: Would you say it’s easier to have a game crowdfunded than going the traditional route of working for a company like Konami?
KI: Both are very difficult and I can’t say which one’s harder. When we were making this Kickstarter campaign, the difficult part about it is that we had to create all these materials way beforehand, before we even started the campaign. And this is something that we don’t usually do in the traditional way. But when the Kickstarter is funded we could see where the fans are, [and] what the fans want, but we always have to keep updating the fans and this is very difficult for us.
But when we’re in a bigger company we don’t know what’s going to sell and we have to kind of gather information from fans that we don’t even know if they would buy the game. So for Kickstarter you know that people are backing the game and these are the people that really want the game, and in that terms it’s very easy.
But to maintain the Kickstarter campaign, it’s very difficult and it’s not the same as the traditional way. So in that sense, both of them are very difficult.
Q: If you had the creative freedom, would you want to make a new game with your classic formula or would you want to venture into something else?
KI: Over the years, I’ve been thinking about for this decades and there’s this game that I really want to make, but I know it’s not going to sell and I know people aren’t going to like it. But I always keep imagining this game in my head and maybe if Bloodstained does very well and I receive a lot of money or funds from it. Maybe I might create it but I know it’s not going to sell.
Q: Why aren’t you confident that it’s not going to sell when you have a lot of fans following you and backing you up?
(Editor's note: Igarashi's translator answers for him here.) Answer: Because it’s completely different from Castlevania series. He wants to create a completely new game so it’s kind of a gamble for him.
Q: Is this game of yours a more modern one or an old-school type of game?
KI: Actually I’ve been thinking of this game for more than ten years so I don’t know if I would consider this very modern. But this is a game that might be loved by a certain group of people and also something that I would enjoy very much. So I don’t know if I would consider it modern, but well, it’s created in 3D in my mind.
Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will be released in 2018. You can check out his Kickstarter page, here. The game currently has 64,867 backers and has garnered $5,545,991. – Rappler.com