As we approach the 6th anniversary of the original NieR, at long last, the “NieR Music Concert & Talk Live” will be held this weekend on Saturday, April 16. Although music from the first NieR will be the main focus of the concert, we will get the first chance to hear the new theme song as well as additional information about the game and its story. New information will be discussed during the “Talk Corner”.
Information regarding the new information with Producer Yosuke Saito, Director Yoko Taro, Composer Okabe Keiichi, Character Designer Yoshida Akihiko, Game Designer Taura Takahisa will be reported on Famitsu.com at a later date. This is the portion of the interview that relates strictly to the concert.
Please look forward to the May 5th, 2016 issue of Famitsu, on sale April 21, for an 8-page spread on NieR: Automata detailing the additional information not included here.
◼︎ There’s at most 200 NieR fans!?
ーーIt seems like it was a fierce battle getting tickets for this event.
Saito: Yes, it was. It makes you wonder where these fans have been hiding since they went to such lengths to attend the concert. (haha)
Yoko: Until now, we’ve only had one other NieR event for 200 people. That seemed to be a reasonable number, so we thought, “There’s at most 200 NieR fans out there, so why don’t we try to keep the venue relatively small?” This time, when we decided on a hall that could hold up to 900 some people, I thought, “That’s over 4 times as many people than before!” …I’m really sorry. It’s my fault.
Yoshida: You’re not intentionally lowering the supply in order to increase the demand, right? (haha)
Yoko: No. (haha) I think it’s because up until now, we’ve hardly done anything for fans. We essentially starved them into wanting more. Therefore, if we allow ourselves to be carried along with this trend, we might really shake things up if—let’s say perhaps 6 months from now—we put on similar event for another 900 people…
ーーWhat is the biggest difference musically between this concert and the previous?
Okabe: We have more string instruments this time, so I think the overall impression will have a much more rich, fleshed-out feeling to it. Also, the videos that will play on the backdrop during each piece are not merely clips from the game, but rather we made newly rendered scenes that were created just for the concert, so I think a lot of people will enjoy that. I also think that NieR is a game that places great emphasis on atmosphere, so you can look forward to the stage lighting and effects as well.
ーーYoko-san, did you have any song requests for the concert?
Yoko: I didn’t really request anything specific, but due to the price of tickets, I wanted them to perform as many songs as possible. I didn’t really care what songs they chose. Besides that, I wanted the merchandise to be well-made, so that’s the reasoning behind the higher prices. Because of that, we wanted you to get “the most bang for your buck”, so we increased the amount of info included in the pamphlet so much that the font is pretty small as a result.
Okabe: I’m not a very good writer, but I thought he’d be like, “I’m gonna make you write a TON!” so… (haha)
ーーWill we also get to see an actual demonstration of the gameplay?
Taura: Yes. The action very typical to what you’d expect in a NieR game. We also want convey the particular atmosphere that’s in a Yoko Taro game, like the use of light, or how you’re blinded by it and have difficulty seeing. We hope to show you something new that you’ve never experienced in a game before.
Yoko: Regarding the new footage, we’re going to show a couple event scenes that I think will leave quite an impression.
Saito: Even though the video clip is relatively short, you will get a deeper understanding of what sort of character this is.
ーーIs there anything else to take notice?
Yoko: The theme song that Okabe-san wrote for NieR:Automata will be revealed at the concert.
ーーThere’s already a theme song?!
Yoko: I didn’t think people would mind if we showed a song that no one’s ever heard before, so to prepare a little bit in advance, I asked a huge favor to have it uploaded to the official site. I thought it would be a nice treat for those who can come or maybe watch on NicoNico.
ーーWho is the vocalist?
Okabe: J’Nique Nicole, a foreign vocalist who lives here in Japan. She goes by the name “Nikki”.
ーーSpeaking of which, Okabe-san, will you be performing live?
Okabe: No! I politely decline. (haha) I will certainly take part in the talk portion of the show, but I will enjoy the performances along with everyone else. With that in mind, I wanted to prepare everything as diligently as possible, then I could sit back and enjoy the show. We’re really busy right now, though, but I hope everyone can look forward to a great show.
ーーAnd it seems like you’ve made a lot of merchandise, too!
Saito: Yes, that’s right. There really hasn’t been anything in terms of merchandise before now, so it was my vision to sell official merchandise at the concert. We discussed ideas with Iwasaki-san, the concert producer, about what items people might want, and he said, “Well, things like this sold well at other idol concerts like Dempa-gumi.inc.”
Yoko: Looking at the business model for Dempa-gumi.inc, I think it’s a little excessive… (haha)
Saito: We can’t necessarily do everything we want, but I’m very please with how much we were able to accomplish.
Yoko: If I saw things like stickers and pins, I’d think, “I don’t need that.” But then Iwasaki-san looked at me with a sour face and said, “No, these things sell like crazy.” So, thinking we might as well make something nice out of it, I played hooky from working on game data, and worked forever on retouching stuff for merchandise instead.
Yoshida: Huh? You worked on the merchandise? (haha)
Yoko: Well, if there wasn’t enough color around the edge of the pins, you can see the white of the boarder, so I touched it up in Photoshop.
ーーWere you able to make enough of each item?
Saito: We really had no idea how well things would sell at the concert. Even those who don’t have a ticket can purchase items, plus we’ll have mail order sales later. If there’s any surplus of items, Yoko-san and I will ride around on a bike with a cart to sell the rest. (haha) At any rate, I hope this will be a good starting point from which we can do more in the future.
ーーI’m really looking forward to it! In closing, Producer Saito, would you like to say something?
Saito: It’s taken us a long time to connect with NieR fans in Japan*, but I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s reaction as we unveil new material in the structure of a concert. Of course, it is true for those who knew of the previous NieR title, but I think we can give you a nice “surprise” talk even for those who have recently become interested in the series since NieR:Automata. For those who cannot attend, I would be very grateful if you tune into the live stream on NicoNico.
* The previous announcements were held at E3 and Paris Games Week, both outside of Japan.