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JPGAMES.DE – Our Interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi

A few days ago, the game ‚Party Wave‘ by ‚Mistwalker‘ was released in the App Store. Mistwalker, the video development studio founded and led by Hironobu Sakaguchi, was also responsible for creating ‚Last Odyssey‘ and ‚The Last Story‘. Read our review if you want to know why we think ‚Party Wave‘ is definitely worth a try. We also had to pleasure of talking to Mr. Sakaguchi himself about the game. So if you’re interested in why developing ‚Party Wave‘ was so much fun for Mr. Sakaguchi or what project Mistwalker might be working on next, then our interview might provide reading pleasure for you.

Hironobu Sakaguchi

JPGAMES.DE: Surfing is a hobby of yours and „Party Wave“ is a game about surfing. Is this game a matter of the heart to you and does money not matter at all?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: I’ve been living in Hawaii for 15 years. I started surfing shortly after I moved here. Riding a wave is such a great feeling. Also, I like the time while I’m waiting for a wave to ride. I get into a semi-meditative state and many ideas come up. Creating „Party Wave“ is my way of showing my gratitude to surfing, which has given me such a valuable experience.

JPGAMES.DE: Not all of our readers may have heard of „Party Wave“ so far. Can you describe what the game is about?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: „Party Wave“ has two separate segments: paddling and surfing. Gamers paddle and surf while avoiding marine creatures and obstacles. Each stage has a different appearance.

Party Wave!

JPGAMES.DE: How did you come to the surprising decision to publish „Party Wave“ worldwide? Even though smartphones are popular in Europe, people are not playing with them as much as the Japanese. Why have you decided to develop „Party Wave“ for smartphones?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: The good thing about iOS games is, that game creators can easily and instantly deliver their games to game players worldwide. I think €1.59/$1.99 is an exceptional value. Especially because of its reasonable price, many people have the opportunity to afford and enjoy the game. It’s such a pleasure to see many people playing the game I created.

JPGAMES.DE: Is there a chance that we will see the game on 3DS or PS Vita? Both have touchscreens!

Hironobu Sakaguchi: We don’t have any plans for this at the moment.

JPGAMES.DE: Do you think that smartphones will replace classical mobile gaming devices like the 3DS or the PS Vita in the near future? Or is this just an additional market?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: I don’t think that smartphones could replace the classic gaming platforms. In my opinion it’s an additional market.

JPGAMES.DE: How much will the game cost? [The script was written before this announcement.]

Hironobu Sakaguchi: In Europe the game will be available for €1.59 in the Apple App Store.

JPGAMES.DE: What are your next projects? We heard that you are working on other smartphone titles!

Hironobu Sakaguchi: We are working on two iOS games. A Tower-Defense game with science fiction setting and another one.

Any chances for The Last Story 2?

JPGAMES.DE: Is there maybe a chance that the „The Last Story“ isn’t the last one, pretty much like it was with „Final Fantasy“? Or to put it another way: How are the chances for „The Last Story 2“? Do you have any ideas for another big RPG?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: Currently we don’t have any big RPG projects. At this time I would like to create games with a small production team and build up a good and solid team. I don’t know what will happen down the road. But that unknown is the life’s enjoyment, I think.

Header: Photo by Sakaguchi while he visited Hamburg in January.