Seminar Talk at Creek and River by CyberConnect2’s Matsuyama Hiroshi

The CEO of CyberConnect 2, Matsuyama Hiroshi, held a really interesting seminar for game creators and those interested in the topic. Although, I am hardly part of the industry, the interest and passion has always been there. I was able to attend this event, although I arrived a little after it had begun.

There was also time for a book signing and a brief discussion gathering after the event where we were treated to some small drinks and snacks.

Matsuyama was completely in the game tonight and it was clear he was enjoying giving the seminar. I had a blast just listening to him tell the handful of anecdotes throughout the evening.

We were told that we were free to take photos, but to just be mindful of when it was appropriate to take photos. 🙂

▲ Quick company stats with photos from the Fukuoka, Tokyo, and maybe Montreal offices?

Company Size

  • Fukuoka Studeo: 180
  • Tokyo Studeo: 33
  • Montreal: 14


▲ Slide for 『.hack//G.U. Last Recode』!!


▲ Naruto is one of the main titles that CC2 releases. This is Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 “Road to Boruto”.


▲ Another one of their series would have to be Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. This is the PS3 release of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle and the PS3/PS4 release of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven.

▲ Here’s one of the few smartphone applications that they produced, Full Bokko Heroes X for both iOS and Android.

▲ The offices are literally littered with more than 60 different magazines every month for employees to browse!

▲ There are also all kinds of movie and anime DVD/Blu-rays, individual manga books, and various video game titles freely available to employees.

▲ The company also provides many opportunities for employees to “skill up” their abilities in various areas such as C++, UnrealEngine4, Python scripts, and more.

▲ With the basic introduction out of the way, this was the “meat” of the seminar:
“The Game Creator Seminar”!!!

▲ First, we were asked to think of the average number of games sold in a single year. Numbers ranged from 200 to 1000.

▲ This chart breaks down the number of game titles released every year.

  • 2004: 802
  • 2005: 828
  • 2006: 900
  • 2007: 983
  • 2008: 972
  • 2009: 811
  • 2010: 745
  • 2011: 679
  • 2012: 644
  • 2013: 565
  • 2014: 539
  • 2015: —– ↓
  • 2016: —– ↓
  • 2017: —– ↑

My photography was bad in the moment, so I don’t have the exact numbers for 2015-2017, but the main point was that 2017 signaled in a slight rebound from the downward trend of releases since 2007.

▲ Next, we were asked to think how many games a person buys in the course of a year.

▲ Generally speaking, the average number of games a “game fan” purchases in a year is 8.8. A soft-core gamer buys about 4 games a year.

▲ Next, we were asked to think of what titles sold over 1,000,000 copies in 2017. I was stupid with the numbers (Japanese “man” is a bit difficult to calculate in your brain) and suggested did…even though I knew it only sold a bit over 300,000 copies. lol

▲ And this was our answer, a list of top selling titles in 2017!

  1. 3DS: Dragon Quest 11 – 1,728,000
  2. 3DS: Monster Hunter Double Cross – 1,668,000
  3. PS4: Dragon Quest 11 – 1,321,000
  4. Switch: Splatoon2 – 1,309,000
  5. Switch: Mario Cart 8 Deluxe – 717,000
  6. 3DS: Pokemon Sun/Moon – 560,000
  7. Switch: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the World – 551,000
  8. Switch: Super Mario Odessy – 511,000
  9. 3DS: Super Mario Maker – 397,000
  10. PS4: – 343,000

▲ Basically, if titles don’t sell over 100,000 copies, they’re losing money…

▲ If we imagine the sales of the top 40 games are positive, then anything 41 to 424 is losing money. 1/10 is in positive figures, whereas 9/10 is in the red.

▲ Among the gaming industry, 1/5 of titles is in positive numbers whereas 4/5s are in the red; which means, 20% have to be MASSIVE HITS!

▲ So it’s very important to know what sort of interesting things will sell. It’s best to avoid talking with people who cannot answer this question.

▲ It’s also vitally important for copies to connect with fans to hear their opinions on a multitude of topics. How/what do people play, read, watch, experience.

▲ This shows the trends of various platforms. The top represents smartphone and PC online games, the middle represents home gaming games, and the last represents home gaming hardware.

December 27, 2015

  • Online Platform (smartphone & PC) = 998,900,000,000yen
  • Home Software & Hardware = 360,200,000,000yen
  • →2016 Home Software & Hardware = 299,400,000,000yen

▲ Global Market Size: 5,400,000,000,000yen; Japan is just 1/14 of this figure.

▲ Global sales for the PS4 is around 60,000,000 units, where as within Japan alone, it’s around 5,000,000.

▲ Titles that sold well overseas:

  • Pokemon Sun/Moon
  • Super Mario Maker
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Bloodborne
  • Dark Souls 3
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Yokkai Watch 3
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
  • Monster Hunter Double Cross
  • Pokken Tournament
  • The Last Guardian
  • Street Fighter V

▲ The market for home gaming is WORLDWIDE, with a focus on gamers all over the world.

▲ The very last bit of Matsuyama’s talk touched briefly on his non-fiction novel, detailing the true events that occurred with “Hiroshi-kun” just prior to the release of 『.hack//G.U. Vol.3』in 2009.

▶︎ Famitsu was also present for the seminar, so here is their recap of the talk!

“Musical YoRHa Ver1.2” Teaser 1.2

This new teaser uses clips from both the Ver.1.0 and Ver.1.1 version of the stage plays as well as clips from the music concert. This is interesting to me since the Ver.1.1 state play was never released on DVD, so those are some scenes that I haven’t seen in over two years. <3

“YoRHa Boys” Stage Play Teaser1.0

And here’s the teaser for the YoRHa Boys stage play that will be held from January 31st to February 4th.

It starts with a line we are all very accustomed to by now…

Everything is designed to be destroyed.

Throughout the video, various words stream across the screen, many of which are terms and locations vital to the story. Here is a quick list of the words that I spotted:

  • 生存 – Survival
  • 作戦 – Mission
  • 武器 – Weapon
  • 人類 – Humanity
  • 沈黙 – Silence
  • 疑念 – Doubt / Suspicion
  • 学園 – School Academy
  • 訓練 – Training drill
  • 進化 – Evolution
  • 命令 – Commands
  • 夜の国 – Kingdom of Night
    This is what North & South America are called during this time due to the Earth’s locked orbit. That particular side of the planet is perpetually trapped in darkness.
  • 人類軍 – Forces of Humanity
    5013 – The formation of the Forces of Humanity began. New “battle type” androids were constructed.
  • アトランティス – Atlantis
    11502 – The sunken city is discovered by the Bio-machines; the Forces of Humanity dub it “Atlantis”.
  • 機械生命体 – Bio-machines
  • 二期生 – Second Generation
  • 九号 – No9
  • カグヤ – Kaguya
    11810 – This is the 6th satellite in Earth’s orbit where they were experimenting on Bio-machine cores; however, an explosion occurred during an experiment and entirely destroyed the satellite, which eventually plummeted into the ocean.
  • ラボ – Lab*
    11815 – This is the satellite that was put in use after the destruction of the Kaguya. The Lab was to be used for experimental research.
    11937, July 7 – The lab is heavily damaged by fire.
  • ブラックボックス – Black Box
    11928 – The black boxes were first constructed.
  • ヨルハ – YoRHa
    11932, April – The new weapons, YoRHa, were constructed to fight the Bio-machines.
  • 実戦部隊 – Active Combate Squadron
  • 奪還作戦 – Rescue Mission
  • 融合体 – Fusion body
  • ヨルハ部隊 – YoRHa Squadron
  • アンドロイド – Androids
  • 実験部隊 – Experimental Squadron
    11942, March 1 – The new experimental male squad rolls out and is dubbed “M002”.
  • M部隊 – M Squad
  • M002 – The experimental M Squad.
  • クーデター – coup d’etat
    11942, May 5 – A coup breaks out among the ranks of the M Squad but is brought under control two days later.

YoRHa Musical: Called to Audition

The newly updated version of the YoRHa stage play, YoRHa Ver.1.2 Musical, opened applications to join the cast in mid-October with the deadline falling on October 20 at 6pm. They originally had a 15-25 age limit on applicants, but later updated the details to allow anyone, of any age, of any experience (pro or amateur) to audition.

As part of my application, in which I detailed my vocal experience in various choirs as well as my knowledge of Yoko Taro’s works, I also sent along these images of silly me:


I guess they liked something in my application…or they were just being nice (which very well could be)…but on October 24, I received an email message that I was accepted to come in for an interview at the SQEX HQ.

O_O

I read and re-read the audition e-mail multiple times, thinking maybe I misunderstood something. But it was short and simple, and I knew there was no misunderstanding there. They set the audition in TWO DAYS. Yes, the tentative audition time was listed on the pic above, but I never expected to be called in, and now that I was officially called in to audition, I had to quickly get out of work that day.

And this came after I had already asked my company for two Saturdays off in November, so all my favors and more had already been called in. Add the immensely short-notice aspect into the mix…I was thoroughly expecting to be denied.

But my boss and other co-workers supported me in this crazy endeavor, so I was able to go to the audition on Thursday.

I was beyond a nervous wreck. Since we were told that we’d be doing a bit of dancing, they told us to come in lose or flexible attire, I wore the Alpha pink YoRha T-shirt that I bought at the YoRHa Ver.1.1 stage play. <3

I as told to meet at the SQEX HQ at 12:40pm. At that time, there were only a few people there waiting, so it was really confusing. It didn’t occur to me at the time that there would be multiple audition sessions. When I arrived to the meeting place, I asked a girl waiting there if I was in the right place, and she said yes. <3 Thank you. I’m just a crazy foreigner trying out for a play that I love but have little expectation that I would actually be chosen. haha And so about 8 of us waited there in relative silence. I tried to talk to the two girls next to me, one time I mentioned that I brought Emil with me, referring to my shoulder bag…but the girl didn’t seem to know who or what “Emil” was. (゚д゚;)

A little after 12:40, a staff worker met us and showed us the way past the SQEX HQ threshold. That alone was a cool experience that I could only share with myself. We were escorted into a conference/waiting room adorned with a DQ theme… I think. lol I’m totally blanking on this point in time, but I seem to recall there being DQ themed wallpaper as well as various DQ stuffed animals decorating the space around the TV at the front of the room. xD This is where we waited for another 10-15 minutes, many people changing into more comfortable clothes and stretching. I felt really stupid just sitting there, looking at my phone, so I figured stretching wouldn’t be a bad idea. xD There was one other girl who started stretching before me, then I stood up to stretch, then others followed. lol The whole progression of things was really interesting. This was all done in relative silence. lol

Eventually, the same staff member came into our room to give us further directions, but instead directed us to yet another waiting room; this time it was a TAITO / Space Invaders themed room? I wasn’t aware that SQEX had anything to do with Space Invaders…but whatever. xD

We waited there for another 10 or so minutes before the same dude as before showed us the way to the audition room, which was just down the hall. He gave us a role call and made sure that we were in the right order. I was about #5 of 8.

As we entered a relatively large room, we could see there were about three tables at the front of the long but narrow room with chairs at the opposite side (right side: “judges”, left side: “audition candidates”).

Of the judges, I recognized director Matsuda Ichidai-san as well as the president of the ILCA company, Iwasaki Takuya-san. I knew that Iwasaki-san had a part in the original run of the previous plays, but I wasn’t expecting him to essentially run the whole audition. I was especially flustered since this all happened after I had sent in an application to work at his company for a simple photo editing and tech sort of job. haha ^^;;;

The first thing we did was line up give a brief self-introduction. I remember saying that “I’m just a simple English teacher” but a “huge fan of Yoko Taro’s works.” That’s about when Matsuda-san mentioned my YoRHa shirt. <3 I was happy that he recognized it, so I just giggled and gave him a thumbs up. lol

The next thing we all did was learn a couple dance moves to the opening sequence along to the theme “Normandy”. The dance instructor taught us the moves in just a few minutes, me struggling the entire way, but the second they turned on the music, I knew what this was… and grimaced in both excitement and anticipation. I’m not a dancer, so among the other young and more able girls… I knew this was likely my end. haha Nevertheless, I tried to “strut my stuff” for as long as I could. That one high kick was pretty rough, but I loved the 1-2-3-grab your head in agony bit. xD My balance there was rather shaky, though. lol A really funny thing I noticed was that… I couldn’t remember the moves. I found myself glancing in the corner of my eye when we no longer had the dance instructor in front of us… and I suddenly remembered doing this when I was a silly 5 year-old in ballet. xD I was always looking at the person next to me. lol The last portion of the dance segment, we were told to improvize with whatever… That was probably a bad idea. lol I have no idea what silliness I did here.

Anyway, the dancing was my major downfall. It was fun, of course, to just try, but I knew I was pretty-well done at that point.

The next bit was sword fighting! When I saw them bring out the swords, I felt a little wave of relief! I honestly don’t know what I’m doing, but… I love swords. Just having one in my hand makes me feel calm. Don’t ask me why. xD

Two girls went up against the sword choreographer first, the panel of judges comically providing sound effects to each of the sword swings. xD It seemed as though those girls were the least experienced or shy or whatever, so they given the most encouragement. I was part of the third group, me and one other girl, but I was the 2nd in line, which meant the other girl attacked and was killed first… then I was supposed to attack. The first run… I guess I was a little too enthusiastic for them to suggest that I be careful… “Getting hit will hurt,” they said. xD I didn’t quite know what they were referring to; I felt very much in control, but… xD I think at the end of this first sequence is where they took the photo of me smiling (#4).

I don’t remember too much else of the fighting sequence, just that one time through I made a really wussy scream. lol The other takes were maybe okay, but I couldn’t “die” as well as the others. I didn’t really know what they wanted me to do (fall down dead or what), so I ad-libbed. xD

The last bit was an open PR moment where we could do anything to give a final go at the audition. I was caught completely off guard with this. They said that we could do anything, dance, sing, whatever… but I was at a complete loss of what to do. The first girl that went was a fan of amazarashi, so she sang a verse from the theme that they did. It was good, but I felt that I could totally sing it better than her, if I had the lyrics. xD The others did short gymnastic routines, another sang the Japanese version of “Memory” from Cats, I think. I couldn’t think of anything else to do but sing something… but I needed lyrics. I wasn’t prepared to do any free performance on the fly like that, so I asked if using lyrics would be okay…and Iwasaki-san looked a little inconvenienced but didn’t say no. I sang the refrain from the English version of “Weight of the World”. When I was finished, Matsuda-san said that he’d be sure to let Okabe-san hear it. xD I didn’t know which I felt more, embarrassed or elated. lol

After that, we gave our final thanks and goodbyes to the panel and were lead back to our waiting room to change. As soon as we were finished, we excused ourselves one-by-one and that was it. We let ourselves out of the SQEX HQ and went about our day. The whole audition lasted about an hour, I think.

I was numb on the way home. I knew I was no match for the other young girls–one openly said that she was 15… more than half my age. xD All the more to those young folk with a bright future ahead of them. I’m just a nobody trying to find a place to thrive if just for a moment. lol Alas, I jest… to some degree.

The next day I got an email saying that there were no parts available for me. I was upset but not surprised. I pretty much knew anyway. Then the following day, I got a really nice email from Iwasaki-san saying that he was impressed with my enthusiasm and courage to try out. He also included the following five images as a sort of “memento” to the whole thing… and I couldn’t have been happier. I look like crap in the majority of them, but… at least I’m smiling in one, and that thoroughly encompasses my feeling for this entire endeavour.

Although you won’t see me on stage as an official YoRHa unit, this was, by far, one of the most nervewracking yet exciting things that I’ve done in a long time. And for that chance alone, I am very grateful. Thanks so much to everyone who made that decision to even call me in, probably knowing full-well that I wouldn’t get far anyway. xD This was an experience that I would not trade for anything.

I wish the girls who are selected for the play well and I’ll be cheering for them when I go to see the show. I’m just very hesitant since the entire cast appears to be new… I can only imagine Endo Ruka as No2… but I know Ishikawa-san will do well. <3

『.hack//G.U. Last Recode』+ KaraTetsu in Ikebukuro

Went out with some other cool .hack fans to enjoy the karaoke collab in Ikebukuro. Personally, I don’t mind going to karaoke alone, but it is more fun to go with a specific purpose in mind!

Here’s a couple photos I took there!

And thanks to one of my new friends, I was able to get SIGNED copies of LieN’s new piano scorebook and CD from M3.

I usually go to the M3 event every year, but couldn’t go this time because of work… I was so upset. There were many people I wanted to say hello to this year, especially after GameTakt. Hopefully some day I will have a job that works in tandem with my life rather than obstructing or limiting it… but that’s everybody’s fantasy, right? Hey, I can dream, right???

YoRHa Ver.1.2 Teaser

Here’s a short teaser that was just uploaded today (well, it’s past midnight now, so technically it was yesterday lol) for the new musical updated version of the YoRHa stage play. The clips used in the video, I believe, are from the original Ver.1.0 run, but there may be a few shots from the Ver.1.1 opening sequence as well. I’d have to break down the video frame by frame to really tell. xD

A Quick Look at the NieR:Automata Novel “A Short Story”

※ Spoiler Warning ※

Today, October 24, saw the release of the second novel from the series. Here’s the quick look at the book!

 

◾️ A Short Story

▶︎ Table of Contents:

The Fire of Prometheus, by Yoko Taro – p.3-30
YoRHa Ver.1.05, by Eishima Jun – p.31-158
The Memory Cage, by Eishima Jun – p.159-188
Bunker, by Eishima Jun – p.189-206
Little Flowers, by Yoko Taro – p.207-220
The Great Sea of Tranquility, by Eishima Jun – p.221-248
The Memory Thorn, by Eishima Jun – p.249-276
Emil’s Memory, by Eishima Jun – p.277-318

YoRHa Ver.1.05: A Few Notes
● The novelization of the YoRHa stage play looks pretty accurate from the original script. Many of the lines of dialogue are exactly the same; it just has additional narration in between. It is split into sections that are all designated by a precise timestamp like this:
1208/8:05】

● It appears like they entirely cut out No2’s line where she mentions her “false memories” of living on a peaceful farm with her grandmother… Hmm…

● There’s a new narration from No2’s perspective after the No4 detonates in the server room. It is…beyond emotional. Maybe it’s because it’s the first bit of new material from the play’s script that’s got me wrapped up again, but… As No2 crawls out of the rubble, saved by a miracle, she hears the voices of her fallen comrades: No4, No16, and No21. They all give her a little encouragement to keep living. The last portion of the chapter shows Pod saying “Good morning” to A2 in the desert…

Emil’s Memories: A Few Notes
This is pretty much Ending Y… It ends with Emil screaming the same lines he says during his last fight… but it ends with him being reunited with three of his most beloved people… <3 …prepare the tissues…

 Cover Long After Androids Dream of the Glory of Mankind, Magical Experimental Weapons Continue Rolling


The Fire of Prometheus


YoRHa Ver.1.05


(Left) The Memory Cage, (Right) YoRHa Ver.1.05


▲ Orbital Base Station “Bunker” – Observation Diary

Little Flowers

The Great Sea of Tranquility

The Memory Thorn

Emil’s Memory

Emil’s Memories  “Welcome home, Emil. You’ve done well.”

 

 

『.hack//G.U. Last Recode』& Karaoke no Tetsujin

The new collaboration drink menu at “Kara-Tetsu” just started today! Here are the drinks and random coasters I got!


▲ Haseo’s drink & Piroshi3 & Natsume coaster.


▲ Ovan’s drink & Kuhn coaster.


▲ Atoli’s drink & Endrance coaster.


▲ Endrance’s drink & Haseo’s Xth Form coaster. ♡


▲ Close-up of the flower petals in Endrance’s drink.


▲ Sakubo’s drink & …yet another Kuhn. I actually drew him three other times, but the workers were nice and let me try again… lol