At this year’s GamesCom, Giuseppe Nelva from DualShockers managed to nab an interview with SoulCalibur VI producer Motohiro Okubo. During the interview, Nelva asked about the status of the franchise, and why it took so long to get a new game made.
According to Okubo, they had to really pressure Namco to make another entry in the series, saying…
“The first thing is that the IP itself of the SoulCalibur franchise had low expectations from the company. It was actually facing a crisis of maybe disappearing. It took time for me to convince the company.”
This was another one of those cases where the publisher didn’t think the brand had any value left, so it was up to the designers to convince them to fund a new entry in the series.
This led Nelva to ask a follow-up question of whether SoulCalibur would be benched if SoulCalibur VI didn’t sell well.
“Yeah, that’s right.” […]
“[…]We don’t want to blackmail the users by saying that it could be the last one, but as it is, yes.”
This is one of the reasons why the game has its full-on depiction of fan-service, because the Namco team is going all out with this if it is to be the last game in the SoulCalibur series.
Okubo explained that it wasn’t intended for them to make something super raunchy, but to simply retain the identity of fan-service that the series was known for, especially since they had “nothing to lose”…
“Since the SoulCalibur brand is facing a crisis, we have nothing to lose, so we just decided to do what we want to do.”
“[…] However, it’s not like we’re trying to make the characters sexy. When we decide on the costumes, we always think about how best they can represent the characters. Sometimes there may be less fabric and as a result, the character may be sexier, but we’re not trying to make the game focused on sexy characters.”
This is consistent with what Okubo has mentioned in the past about retaining the identity of SoulCalibur, which meant keeping the fan-service without overdoing it.
This is also in stark contrast to the way Team Ninja has been handling the development of Dead or Alive 6, which has been mired in confusion and poorly received depictions of what gamers expected from the female cast of characters.
(Thanks for the news tip Migi)