Tetsuya Takahashi, President at Monolith Soft and Director of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was joined by Persona Producer and Director Katsura Hashino for a interview with Den-fami Nico Gamer to share their development stories about their games.
Thanks to Siliconera who translated an interesting excerpt from the Interview, we learn that Takahashi had quite the handful whilst developing XC2. With about half of his team working on The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and another 3 that departed during development (bear in mind that Monolith Soft only has a team of 100 people so 50 of them working on Zelda, that doesn’t leave many to tackle the scale of XC2). Takahashi had to outsource in order to help stay on track which included some of the character models being created out of house, whilst the main characters like Rex & Pyra were created in-house.
Here is the excerpt from Siliconera:
Katsura Hashino: It was impressive to see how lively the characters of Xenoblade Chronicles were. I certainly felt the love that went into the character CG models. It made me think how they must have been made with such confidence.
Tetsuya Takahashi: Thank you very much. But rather than love, I believe it was more the passion of the workplace. Up until now our characters always took a beating, so we said “this time we won’t let you guys complain.” That was promising to see.
However, on the other hand, things didn’t go well with the UI. We lost three programmers in the middle of development.
Hashino: Oh, is that so?
Takahashi: We had no choice but to do it with our remaining members, and we endured to the very end. The team worked hard, but that part was frustrating.
Hashino: How much of it was handled in-house at Monolith Soft? Was the character modeling done internally?
Takahashi: Monolith Tokyo has a little less than 100 developers. Of that group, between 50% to 60% was helping Nintendo with Zelda (Breath of the Wild). Of the remaining 40 to 50 people, several were part of R&D (Research & Development), and the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 staff was made of the remaining 40-plus members.
However, we couldn’t make it with just these members, so we outsourced then revised what we got, and that was the flow of things.