Author Topic: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development  (Read 2047 times)

ZeaLitY

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Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« on: February 01, 2007, 02:49:55 am »
Jeux-France recently interviewed Hiromichi Tanaka, the producer of Chrono Cross, concerning several projects at Square Enix. Here's the dirt:

Q: I know you've worked on Chrono Cross. There are a lot of fans of this game even here in France where it wasn't released, so could we expect to see a sequel, one day?

(Tanaka takes a huge breath when he hears the translation, then he laughes a little bit, as if he had been expecting the question or something...)

A: Well, the problem with Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger is that, the Chrono series is what it is because we always had a very particular team to develop it. Chrono Trigger is kind of the "game of the miracle" because it was a period when great creators like Akira Toriyama and others were available at that moment, and that's how the game could be made. And for Chrono Cross it's the same thing. The producer for Chrono Cross who is now the scenario writer for Secret of Mana 4[see note 1], the producer for Chrono Cross who was Mr Kitase[see note 2] who is now very busy on the Final Fantasy games since the VII or VIII... And so this means that it's very difficult to be able to reunite the original team, to be able to make a sequel to the Chrono series... Simply because if we don't try to reunite these people but take other people instead, we will find ourselves at that point with a game which will feel different, since there would be different persons in charge and we would possibly lose the Chrono spirit, if we make a sequel that way.

Q: So for the moment it's a no?

A: As of now, there is no sequel planned.

[Note 1] Unless Tanaka slipped and accidentally revealed the name of a new, still top-secret project or something, the interpreter is probably referring to Seiken Densetsu 4 alias Dawn of Mana, which has just been released in Japan. And of course, the scenario writer referred to is Masato Kato, who was not producer for Chrono Cross (that's Tanaka right here!) but director.
[Note 2] Yes, the interpreter says "producer for Chrono Cross" twice, he made a little mix-up. Kitase was co-producer for Chrono Trigger, not Cross. I think Tanaka also mentioned in Japanese the name of one of the other co-producers for Trigger, Tokita, but the translator just said Kitase. Don't criticize him, it's hard to translate Japanese to French orally with all those names and functions!

~

The Chrono Compendium is currently formulating a course of action for supporting the development of a new Chrono game without resorting to the "WTF SE SUX, WARE IS CRONO I MAEK PETITION" attitude. I know "formulating a course of action" sounds a little pretentious for a lil' ol fansite like us, but hell, we can make some slight difference. So expect more news in the future concerning the site, and stay on your toes.

Thanks to MasamuneCyrus for bringing this to attention and Chrono'99 for translating.

MasaMuneCyrus

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2007, 04:00:45 am »
I'm still in support of a community-drafted personal letter to Yuuji Horii, something along the lines of that the Chrono series is very loved throughout America, and while we'd love to see a sequel, a definitive answer as to whether or not there is a chance for him to ever go back to the Chrono series is good enough.

Kae

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2007, 06:16:22 am »
I've gotta say, this is pretty disappointing to hear. The older the Chrono games get, the more I want a new one to come out. Cross left us with at least a few unanswered questions, and I would love to see those addressed in a sequel. Or, perhaps an offshoot of the Zeal timeline (I'm sure something could be devised to give a branch away from the inevitable Ocean Palace incident), since everyone holds Zeal in such a high regard.

The thing is, is that they don't have to get every single person who worked on Chrono Trigger or Cross to come back together to make sure the game doesn't lose its 'Chrono feel.' First and foremost I'd say that Kato and Mitsuda would have to work on it, and with Mitsuda currently doing freelance, it wouldn't be hard to get him. Kato works at S-E now too, so it'd just be a matter of finding space in the future to begin the project too. Other names elude me at the moment, but my point is is that Cross didn't have all of the Dream Team, and it was still pulled off arguably flawlessly, so who's to say that couldn't be done again?

ZeaLitY

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2007, 10:50:59 am »
I keep a list of the key personnel on the quick reference page:

Altogether, these people were with Chrono series development throughout all three games:

    * Masato Kato (Scenario Writer, Director)
    * Yasunori Mitsuda (Music Composition & Arrangement)
    * Yasuyuki Honne (Art Direction)
    * Minoru Akao (Sound Programming)
    * Hiroki Chiba (Event Planning)
    * Kyoko Yamashita (Public Relations, Localization)

These people worked on Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, but not Radical Dreamers:

    * Katsuhisa Higuchi (Programming)
    * Kiyoshi Yoshii (Battle Programming)
    * Chiharu Minekawa (Sound Effects)

Genowing

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2007, 12:06:40 pm »
They need fans in the devolpment team to make sure they keep it on track, that way It won't really matter on the team  :)

Glennleo

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2007, 02:08:46 pm »
They need fans in the devolpment team to make sure they keep it on track, that way It won't really matter on the team  :)

I'd kill for that job  :lol:, even though I'm definitely not qualified for it.

Ninja Lou

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2007, 04:28:16 pm »
This makes me cry. On top of that I found while looking around I found these articles saying that there is only a 50/50 chance of seeing CT as a port,remake, or on the Wii vvirtual console.

http://www.cubed3.com/news/6729/1/No_FFIX_on_Wii,_FF_Anniversary_Projects_Nintendo_Systems,_Chrono_Update_&_Much_More!

http://www.n-sider.com/newsview.php?type=story&storyid=2617

I hope this isn't true, I can't play my CT anymore cause the battery is long dead and the loading time on the PS1 is brutal.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2007, 04:31:30 pm by Ninja Lou »

Chrono'99

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2007, 08:15:11 am »
Here's an interview from the same Parisian meeting period, it's all about FFXI (Sage Sundi is the "online development official" for Square Enix):

http://www.jeuxvideopc.com/articles/1095-interview-hiromichi-tanaka-sage-sundi-final-fantasy-xi/

The first thing I did when I saw this interview was Ctrl+F to see if the word Chrono is mentioned somewhere... It's not. This interview doesn't directly speak about the Chrono series, but some details are very intriguing. In a nutshell, here's the interesting info that Tanaka and Sundi say:

* Tanaka states that before FFXI, Square knew basically nothing about MMORPGs. The person who came up with the idea of making Square's first online game is Sakaguchi himself. Some years ago, Sakaguchi bought studios at Hawaii in order to make 3D movies there. There, he discovered what MMORPGs are and the passion that Americans have for this kind of game.

* When he came back to Square Japan, Sakaguchi said "We must definitely make MMORPGs, it's gonna be awesome!" His Square colleagues were a little skeptic, so he made them play EverQuest, and they all changed their mind. Their excitement for EverQuest and MMORPGs as a whole became as strong as their excitement for Wizardry and normal RPGs years ago when they decided to make the first Final Fantasy. Since there was no Japanese MMORPG on the market, everybody agreed to make one, and it became FFXI.

...So, what does this have to do with Chrono? The timing! The Hawaiian studios that Tanaka is referring to is Square Pictures and the movie is of course the ill-fated FF:The Spirits Within. This movie was released in 2001, and EverQuest in 1999. Chrono Cross was released in 1999 in Japan and 2000 in the US. We already knew that after having finished the CC English translation, Tanaka's team immediately began working on FFXI... Well, perhaps we know the reason why now: Sakaguchi made them play EverQuest and they excitingly agreed to develop an MMORPG! Even FFX (released in 2001) was going to have multiplayer features, but Kitase's team had to scrap this idea in 2000.

According to GameSpot, Tanaka's team did consider making a new Chrono game in 2001 (especially the former director Masato Kato) and at the same time the trademark "Chrono Break" was registered, but the project was somehow never greenlighted... Did Sakaguchi or some other official refuse to greenlight the project? or did Tanaka's team simply couldn't put together the project as they were busy with FFXI? FFXI was released one year later, in 2002, but the team continued to work on it since it's an online game.

I realize this post is full of guesses and suppositions, but all those events are so close to one another on the timeline that we can wonder if they influenced each other. To make a crude conclusion:

Did EverQuest kill Chrono??

Maybe not directly, but it certainly must have been an important variable in the equation. Square Enix even outright published EverQuest II in Japan in 2004...

Gee, to think that the demise of the Chrono series may be somehow indirectly connected to the whole Spirits Within fiasco... what a waste.

ZeaLitY

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007, 10:36:38 am »
Boy, our Chrono Break page will really have to be updated...

Okay, tonight, I'm going to get all gears running. It will be after Europe sleeps probably, so if you have anything you need me to do, let me know. I'm going to kick off a couple of the plans proposed and update Chrono Break at Wikipedia and the Compendium. Then we'll have the Chrono Break summit this next week, where we can field ideas for supporting development.

Lee

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2007, 02:40:07 pm »
I agree with Kae, I don't know if the people who worked on programming, localization etc are really important to preserve the Chrono Spirit in Chrono Break, but I had always in mind that as long as both Masato Kato and Yasunori Mitsuda (and - I hope - Nobuteru Yuuki) work on it, Chrono Break would be a true Chrono game. And that's precisely because these two are now freelance that I'm sad to read what Tanaka said...

saridon

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2007, 09:24:20 pm »
if you've work with those programmers before and they know what kind of things they want you to do and can understand that better then they usually turn out better code than someone of the same skill who hasnt worked with them before.

more a quality thing than  having the same writer/musician in order to keep the feel.

Rydis

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2007, 11:03:29 am »
Well, if I win a big enough lottery, I will personall fund it.  Think that would help?

Brohaz

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2007, 09:19:18 pm »
I seriously doubt it. I think all they want to work on anymore is Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. If they do announce another Chrono game, it's going to be a remake, not a sequel, since that's their fad these days. The day a new game is announced will be the day Hell freezes over.

serge_saozuki

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2007, 03:54:02 pm »
Yes, I am too disappointed to know that a sequel for Chrono Series is still unasured. I do believe that the story isn't yet completed since there really are many unanswered questions. TT-TT

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Re: Tanaka: No Chrono in Development
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2007, 05:38:37 pm »
Probley nothing but I was checking the FAQ page at sqare-enix and the "chrono sequel" question has been taken down