In an interview with the Japanese site Game Jouhou, Square Enix President Yosuka Matsuda revealed that their mysterious new IP, Project Setsuna, would be themed around “sadness”. A translation of the original interview shows Matsuda explain how they named the project, after the Japanese word “setsunasa” meaning “sorrow”. Matsuda also talked about the overall development of the game. The development team, Tokyo RPG Factory, is comprised primarily of creators from outside of Square Enix, including many freelance workers.
Project Setsuna is an entirely new IP for Square Enix. President Matsuda commented, “It’s important to create new IPs, but creating big IPs is difficult.” For new IPs, he said, you have to tread carefully until the second game, and then by the third game, increase the scale. If all is successful, then everything can go smoothly from there. Matsuda said the development cycle for Project Setsuna should be short and is planned for released in 2016.
Few details have been released about Project Setsuna except for three pieces of concept art that were shown at the projects E3 reveal. The art depicts expansive landscapes, all covered in snow, which may hint at the “sadness” theme to be expected. Setsuna will be an RPG, though any details beyond that are scarce. Square Enix will likely reveal more about the project closer to the release date.
New IPs are hard to pull off, especially when Square Enix is a bogged down with incredibly well known franchises like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. They likely should start hyping it soon and revealing more details to get players interested. This seems like a fascinating concept, and the art that has been revealed displays a beautiful world that could make for a very interesting game. The theme is intriguing, and Square has always been good at pulling the heartstrings of gamers. Hopefully we’ll hear more from them soon.