Monster Rancher Series Executive Producer on the 25th Anniversary and the Future

In case you somehow missed it, Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX recently released for the Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile devices, marking the return of the Monster Rancher franchise on consoles in the West for the first time in many years. As part of the release, had the opportunity to interview via email Koei Tecmo's Monster Rancher Series Executive Producer Kazumi Fujita about all things Monster Rancher -- including what the future might hold.

You can check out the full interview with Kazumi Fujita for yourself below. In it, the nature of Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is discussed as is the 25th anniversary of the franchise and more.

(Photo: Koei Tecmo) What is it about the Monster Rancher series that appeals to people, do you think?

Kazumi Fujita: I think what appeals to people the most is the wide variety of unique monsters you can obtain from a large number of different songs, as well as being able to raise those monsters and battle with them.

Songs that take you way back, songs you hear all the time, and songs you've been interested in lately can all be used to obtain different monsters. Half the fun of it is the excitement and anticipation over what monster you will get. Please try this out for yourself as well!

There is also nothing like taking a monster you are incredibly fond of, raising it up and taking it into battle or entering a tournament!

To reverse the question a bit, what is it about the Monster Rancher series that appeals to you specifically?

The concept of Monster Rancher itself, as well as the empathy you build from raising each charming monster, has created a bond between breeders all over the world that transcends cultural and age barriers.

I think the fact that the passion the player pours into the game changes the way things evolve and play out, as well the way that the emotional attachment you have to your monster eventually influences their characteristics are both some of the most appealing aspects of the series.

(Photo: Koei Tecmo)

The Monster Rancher series has been dormant for some time. Why do you feel now is the right time for it to return?

We felt this would be the right timing as the Monster Rancher series will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2022, and additionally we received a lot of feedback from fans asking for us to bring back the series.

We received a lot of comments such as: "I want to play Monster Rancher again, even just one more time!"

Additionally, why such a long break for the franchise? It's the first console release in the West for some time.

In the 90s we developed the system of using CDs to obtain monsters which you could raise and battle, and this really exceeded our expectations. As a result, we put in a lot of time coming up with a way to bring a new fresh take on this to the series, but we couldn't quite come up with what we were looking for.

However, we wanted to give players who wanted to return to the series a chance to play the game the way they remembered it back when it launched. Also, from all of the enthusiasm we received from our fans, I feel like I'm starting to see what direction we could take the series in.

(Photo: Koei Tecmo)

With the release of Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX this year, do you think it could be possible to see a truly new Monster Rancher game in the near future?

We learned a lot about the series from this revival title, and made some discoveries along the way as well.

With 2022 marking the 25th anniversary for the Monster Rancher series, the team and I are putting in a lot of effort to meet the expectations of all of our fans.

There is a workaround for the old method of summoning monsters via CD, but do you think something has been lost in that transition? Obviously there was a reason it was included originally.

While the physical act of using a CD isn't present in this version, we developed a new system to meet the needs of the current generation of players so that they can still enjoy the game and experience all the fun it has to offer without having to use physical CDs.

An original database including roughly 600,000 songs is included, allowing anyone to choose whichever song they like, which I feel has only increased how much fun you can have obtaining monsters this time around.

(Photo: Koei Tecmo)

Do you have a personal favorite monster from Monster Rancher, and if so, which one is it?

I'm definitely very fond of Suezo and Mocchi! However, when I use Golem during battles I always win! Honestly, I secretly enjoy just how fun it is to use that monster and win.

What, for you, would a successful release of Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX look like -- just that it sells well, or something more?

I'm basing the success of this title off of a few different points. For example, how will a game created in the 90s come across to players during the height of the social media age? Whether or not the game is as fun and interesting as it was when it first released, and how many users try out the game for the first time are few other points. In addition, I want to see if this becomes the next big thing after it releases.

After releasing the ports of Monster Farm and Monster Farm 2 in Japan, a lot of younger players played both titles. I'm hoping we see something similar happen globally by the game making a splash with a wider range of players.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers beyond the answers above given the series' 25th anniversary?

In 2022 we will hold a tournament that players from all around the world can participate in. I hope everyone can enter the tournament using their favorite monster that they worked hard to raise.

I think the Monster Rancher series will start to really heat up thanks to the upcoming 25th anniversary. Please look forward to it!