One of the bigger surprises that was uncovered during Nintendo’s Direct presentation last month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo was the official confirmation of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which is coming out for the Switch later this year. Some people were wondering, though, how a game with such epic scope could be made so quickly, especially considering how long the first game took to develop.
Well, it turns out there was a method to this madness. Speaking with Time Magazine, Tetsuya Takahasi, the founder of MonolithSoft (the game’s developer), explained that the existence of the original game made it far easier to put together a sequel than the team expected.
“The ease or speed of developing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 stems a lot from our having already created this architecture with Xenoblade Chronicles X. The game portion of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is kind of overlaid on top of that fundamental architecture. I think that made the biggest contribution to why development went so fast. And in terms of Switch versus Wii U, another point is that we’ve only had to deal with one screen, so that also has made development a little bit easier,” he explained.
“And so to add to that, both at Nintendo and at Monolith, we wanted to have a major large-scale roleplaying game early in the Switch’s lifecycle. We thought about how we might accomplish that, and we wanted to do the same thing with the Wii U. But the development for Xenoblade Chronicles X was a little bit difficult, and that’s why it ended up being released a little bit later in the Wii U’s cycle. So we had a postmortem and tried to think ‘How can we deliver this at an earlier stage in the console’s lifecycle?’”
The Wii U version of the game was originally supposed to arrive in 2014, but ended up being delayed about a year so MonolithSoft could finish up development in a timely manner – but it appears that won’t be the case with the sequel, and fans should be thrilled by what they’ll be getting when Xenoblade Chronicles 2 arrives this holiday season for the Nintendo Switch.