Following the release of the outstanding YS Origin on Xbox One, we sat down with DotEmu and fired them over a few questions. Huge thanks to Arnaud De Sousa – Head of Marketing at Dotemu and The Arcade Crew.
Xt: We’ve learned that you have some more remakes and plans for bringing cult hits over to modern platforms this year. Do you anticipate bringing any more titles from the Ys series to Xbox One?
ADS: We don’t have plans to bring other Ys titles to the Xbox One at the moment, but we are eager to see how the Xbox fans will react! JRPGs are rare on Xbox and we can’t wait to see what everybody thinks of this one. We’re really happy to bring such a wonderful game to this platform.
For now, we are still focused on this release of Ys Origin and we hope the new features we added for this one will please the fans.
Xt: What drove the decision to finally bring Ys Origin to Xbox One?
ADS: We’ve been working on Ys games for quite some time now, and it’s always a pleasure to work on such titles. We previously did Ys Chronicles 1 & 2 (remakes of the first two episodes of the series) on iOS and Android, and we wanted to bring even more Ys to the world. After those two titles, working with Ys Origin, which tells the origin of the saga, made total sense.
The Ys series is an underrated cult classic and has been around for 30 years. This series is really loved in Japan, but is a bit under the radar in Europe and the US. Our goal at Dotemu is and has always been to reintroduce classic gems to new platforms and players, and Ys Origin is one of those games that deserves to be passed along and rediscovered.
Following that idea, we also wanted to finally bring this beautiful series to new horizons, and so we did. Ys Origin marks the first time ever that the Ys series has appeared on an Xbox console.
Finally, Ys Origin is a JRPG, and this type of game is a bit uncommon nowadays on the Xbox One. As gamers ourselves, we felt that this would be a great opportunity to offer Xbox fans an amazing, classic JRPG to enjoy.
Xt: How has the reception been regarding Ys finally hitting the Xbox platform?
ADS: Great! It’s still a bit early of course since the game just released, but players seam excited to finally discover the Ys series on Xbox One. Falcom did a terrific job on Ys Origin and all the Ys games, so we know the game is great and we think players are realizing it as well.
Xt: Will your other cult hits also be arriving on Xbox One?
ADS: The people at Microsoft and ID@Xbox are incredibly passionate; it’s always a pleasure to work with them. Ys Origin is our third game on Xbox One (after Pang Adventure and Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap), so seeing additional future titles of ours reach the Xbox One is a possibility. We never know in advance.
Xt: For our followers, can you describe your recent company expansion and plans regarding your publishing strategies, moving forward?
ADS: 2017 was a fantastic year for us with the release of three amazing games praised by both fans and the press. We want to continue that momentum and bring to the fans even more cult retro classics, so we will continue to seek out additional licenses and the best way to bring them back, whether that’s through ports like Ys Origin, remakes like Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, or sequels like Pang Adventures!
2018 marks a new step for us: we just launched The Arcade Crew, our indie publishing label. We have been making games for a decade now, and we think we are finally ready to share our experience and help creators develop their own games. Since we are developers ourselves, we know how hard it is to make a game. With The Arcade Crew, we don’t want to be a publisher which just haphazardly signs games and runs minimal marketing to grab a check. We really want to help the studios we work with the best we can.
With The Arcade Crew, we’re looking to publish games with a retro feeling (you know us, we love retro gaming), and only a small number of games each year. Because we have our own projects with Dotemu already, we don’t want or need to take all the games we can possibly sign. The other thing is that to help the studios the best way we can and take care of their games as if they were our own, we choose to limit ourselves with only a handful of awesome projects.
We think that focus on quality over quantity shows in the two new games The Arcade Crew announced at GDC and PAX East: Blazing Chrome from Brazilian studio JoyMasher, a super retro run & gun with explosions a crazy stuff everywhere, and Dark Devotion, a dark action-RPG with a great ambiance and profound lore.
Xt: In regards to deciding which titles to bring back for “round two” so to speak, on modern platforms, how tough is it to select the titles that you select, from what we can only imagine being a pretty deep and wide pool of choice?
ADS: It’s both easy and hard. There are tons of amazing games we’d like to bring back and that fans would like to see again, so we have a ton of potential options to choose from. On the other hand, it is rather complicated to reintroduce the right game to the modern space at the right time.
It’s also quite hard to get your hands on the licenses you want. I mean, everybody at Dotemu would love to work on a Zelda remake for example, but those kind of licenses are just unreachable.
So we always ask ourselves the following questions: is this old game awesome? Do we want to bring it back? Do people want to see it back? Can we get the license? Is it technically feasible?
If all the answers are “yes”, then it’s a go!
Xt: Finally, do you have words for our readers? Should they be excited about what you have in store?