GungHo Talks Grandia Online, Console Gaming
01.18.07 - 5:15 PM

In a recent interview with GameWatch, GungHo Online Entertainment president Kazuki Morishita not only talked about his company's plans for the new year, but also about Grandia Online. This PC-based MMORPG title was originally announced at Tokyo Game Show 2005 before disappearing from public view. In his interview, Morishita offered an explanation for this lack of follow-up information. While Grandia Online was originally developed by the makers of the four offline Grandia installments, GameArts, development responsibilities for the title have since been transferred to GameArts' parent company, GungHo. While the basic game design and systems have not undergone a change, the character designs and visuals have been altered following this transfer. Explaining that this was his personal decision, the president explained the move was necessary to make Grandia Online a new gaming experience, more online-oriented, thus capable of successfully competing in the market place.

While GungHo had already set its sight on console gaming, Morishita would not commit on a console release of Grandia Online. He did, however, stress his company's ability to develop games for consoles. On the topic of next-generation hardware, Morishita apparently liked both the Wii and the PlayStation 3. Talking about the former, he liked the strong sales performance and the easy development process. As for online gaming, the PlayStation 3 with its hard disc drive and high specs seems to be very appealing to GungHo. The PlayStation 3's free-of-charge software, Mainichi Issho, was in fact developed by GungHo. According to Morishita, developing an MMORPG for the WiFi-enabled DS would be difficult, but he was optimistic his company could create online content for that platform as well.

Chris Winkler

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