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Guilty Gear creator aims to make games that 'can't be duplicated' by Western devs

As part of a new Gamasutra feature interview, Arc System Works' Daisuke Ishiwatari talks frankly about the challenges his studio faces, but knows that to stay releva

January 23, 2012

2 Min Read

Author: by Staff

The Guilty Gear and BlazBlue 2D fighting game series have been fan favorites across the world for years -- last year, BlazBlue was one of the games chosen to be in the EVO fighting game tournament, held in Las Vegas. The series stands out for its lavish, anime-inflected 2D visuals and hard rock soundtrack, composed by Guilty Gear creator Daisuke Ishiwatari. The games are developed by the Yokohama, Japan-based Arc System Works. Ishiwatari is well aware that mobile and social games are rising in popularity, and Western studios have eclipsed Japan in technical knowhow. That's why the studio he works at has a simple goal: "Our aim is to become the number-one maker of fighting games, though, so that's what we're devoting our resources to," says Ishiwatari in a new Gamasutra feature interview. "If we don't try new things and evolve, we'll be left behind. Arc can't make FPSes or RTSes, but I want it such that the fighters we make can't be duplicated by overseas developers." The core of the appeal of the games -- besides their engaging, deep gameplay, of course -- is their style. "Still, the way we use Japanese culture is one of our primary weapons, and that's not something we want to just do away with. Games developed overseas have progressed massively in terms of technical skill, and I don't think there's any way that Japan can win in that battle, so I think it'd be nice if we can approach the world market in a Japanese kind of way," says Ishiwatari. The studio is currently working on two fighting games: a new version of BlazBlue for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita, and Persona: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, which is being developed for arcades, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Ishiwatari himself is currently working on an unannounced title. The full interview, in which the fighting game developer discusses the games he loves, dislikes, and the changing face of the global game marketplace -- as well as the pros and cons of having a signature style as a studio -- is live now on Gamasutra.

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