Square Enix president requested more use of HD-2D

Behind the Live A Live remake announcement.

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-02-21 13:27 JST)

Square Enix’s Tomoya Asano revealed during a recent Japanese livestream that Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda said they should make more use of HD-2D. HD-2D is a technology that fuses the classic look of pixel art with 3DCG, and it looks like Square Enix intends to use it in a variety of ways from new games to remakes of old classics.

HD-2D was first used in 2018’s Octopath Traveler and captured gamers’ attention for being a new evolution of pixel art graphics. Since then, it’s been used in a number of games, including the Live A Live remake which was announced during the Nintendo Direct on February 9.

Based on what was said during Asano’s livestream, it sounds like behind the Live A Live remake’s production was Square Enix’s president ordering more use of HD-2D. First, they made a list of past titles that seemed suitable for HD-2D. From those titles, it sounds like Live A Live was the first one deemed suitable for the HD-2D treatment.

According to a Famitsu interview with producer Takashi Tokita, planning for the Live A Live Remake started in 2019, the year following Octopath Traveler’s release. It also sounds like ActRaiser was another strong candidate for the HD-2D treatment. And while not HD-2D, that game did receive a remaster that released in September of 2021.

HD-2D’s modern arrangement of the classic pixel art look seems like a perfect fit for remakes of Super Nintendo titles. Considering that planning for Live A Live started in 2019 and Dragon Quest III’s HD-2D version has already been announced, perhaps there are other remakes being worked on behind the scenes. Thinking back to the days when Square and Enix were separate companies, there are countless classic gems between them. It’s exciting to think about what we’ll see get the HD-2D treatment next.

Furthermore, Asano’s team is currently working on Triangle Strategy which will release for the Nintendo Switch on March 4 and also makes use of HD-2D.