Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-08-21 19:58 (JST)
Translated by. Jacob Ritter
Yusuke Tomizawa, the producer for the Tales of series, discussed the series’ recent circumstances on Twitter as well as his thoughts on the newest upcoming title Tales of Arise.
After his work in launching the God Eater series, Tomizawa has been appointed as the producer for the Tales of series, beginning with the title Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. Currently, he is in charge of directing the Tales of brand as a whole and creating strategies to promote the IP–it’s fair to say the future of the series rests on his shoulders.
In a tweet on August 20, Tomizawa commented, “…our new entrants over the past few new titles have been in the single digits.” He elaborated in another tweet to explain that “new entrants in the single digits” refers to the data that “the ratio of new players to the series is less than 10%.” This data was said to be obtained from a quantitative survey conducted separately from the buyer questionnaire in order to avoid biased results.
This tweet evokes both a sense of peril for the Tales of series, as well an unshakeable will and hope to brighten the series’ future.
Data exists that suggests the series may have struggled to acquire new players in the Asian market–including Japan. The official YouTube channel for the Tales of series released the video below in March of this year, revealing the best-selling games from the series.
According to the video, the most recent title to reach the top 10 is Tales of Xillia, released in 2011 in Japan. The remaining top-ranked titles are from the earlier stages of the series, such as Tales of Destiny. The latest title, Tales of Berseria, and other newer titles did not reach the top 10.
This ranking suggests it is quite possible that the Tales of series has struggled to acquire new players in Asia in recent years. In the video, Tomizawa discerns that “we have a solid fan base (in Japan/Asia) buying games throughout the series’ history,” recognizing how faithful players have significantly contributed to the sales.
In contrast, for the worldwide sales ranking (which includes the United States and Europe), the above-mentioned Tales of Berseria placed high. Additionally, the worldwide ranking has more relatively recent titles in the top 10, which would suggest that there’s a slight difference in new player acquisition between Asia and Japan compared to other regions. In terms of overall worldwide sales, Tales of Symphonia (released in 2003 in Japan) has taken the top spot.
Tomizawa also spoke of the goals for Tales of Arise in an interview for Bandai Namco’s digital magazine Asobimotto. He set goals such as “increasing the overseas audience” and “acquiring the younger generation of players.” Furthermore, he also mentions how survey results signified that “it is difficult for new players to get into the series because of its longevity.”
In an interview with Famitsu, Tomizawa commented on another goal for Arise–for it to work as an evolution of the series that would appeal to new players, while also pointing out the title’s significant graphical upgrade. Based on his various interviews, Tomizawa’s intent for Arise to mark a new era for the series is clear as day.
Arise seems to mark not only an evolution in the games themselves, but also in the marketing for the series. Currently, it appears that a download code for the demo version of the game is being sent out to many Amazon users as a “free sample.” At the time of writing (August 21, 2021), there are a number of people reporting on Twitter that they received the “Amazon demo version” of the game.
And among them, there are also users who say they have never played the series before. This may be a strategy to help develop a new player base. The demo version is also distributed for PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S on each system’s respective store.
Tales of Arise will release on September 9 in Japan (September 10 worldwide) for PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S/PC(Steam). Only time will tell whether Tomizawa’s ambitions will come to fruition and that the title will be welcomed with open arms as the dawn of a new era.