Today the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences released an extremely interesting video podcast featuring Sony Interactive Entertainment head of indies initiative Shuhei Yoshida interviewing NieR series creator Yoko Taro, producer Yosuke Saito, and composer Keiichi Okabe.
The whole interview is fascinating, as it encompasses behind-the-scene information and insight about the creation of the series, from the original NieR Replicant and Gestalt to Replicant's remake passing by NieR: Automata. You can watch it in its entirety at the bottom of the post.
Among other things, we hear a bit of a tease about the future of the franchise. Saito-san mentions that Yoko-san and Okabe-san will do anything for money, so people on social media often tell him to fork over some money for them. So he will do just that and he's pretty confident that another NieR game will come at some point in the future.
"And I will. I will fork over some money. All that's left is for Yoko-san to decide whether he wants to do it or not. But knowing how these two will do anything for money, I'm pretty confident that they will do another NieR. So personally, I'm very happy to have our fans lookig forward to more from the series."
Yoko-san confirmed that he will indeed do anything for money, but can't make any promises in terms of timing. It could be tomorrow or in 35 years. He's busy with various other work, being involved with projects in a slightly less hands-on fashion as a creative director.
Another interesting tidbit is that unlike what was done with the original NieR, with NieR: Automata Saito-san decided not to worry at all about marketing for the west.
"I decided not to worry at all about overseas marketing. Japanese developers are good at making what they make, and if that isn't received well, then that doesn't mean the answer is forcing them to make something different. When we launched the Automata project, it was to make a game that could be popular worldwide, and I think we put together a team that was capable of doing that. So that point, we didn't want to be overly concerned about the overseas market."
Yoko-san added that with the original game, they ended up making Gestalt because western gamers apparently wanted an older, more macho character. That was a request from the marketing team. While a lot of effort went into making that happen, it didn't sell all that well. While western gamers, in general, may like macho characters, the team learned from that experience that western Square Enix fans in particular don't want that. What that experience taught the developers about culturally localizing for western markets is that there isn't much to gain from trying to focus too strongly on that user base.
You can find the whole interview below. It's a real gem, and definitely worth an hour of your time if you're interested in the franchise.