Now that Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is on store shelves, developer Monolith Soft is back in the cultural spotlight. During an interview with Weekly Famistu, the company’s founder and president Sugiura Hirohide offered some insight into the company’s origins, and how several of their most prominent team members wound up leaving Squaresoft in the 90s.
Monolith Software was formed in 1999 by a number of former Square employees, many of whom had worked on the seminal classic Xenogears. According to Hirohide, plans for a Xenogears 2 were scrapped because Squaresoft was, at the time, investing heavily into the film industry (working on the infamous box office bomb Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within). In effect, Monolith Soft was formed in an effort to make the concept of Xenogears 2 happen in some shape or form, leading to the creation of Xenosaga: Episode 1. Unfortunately, expense issues and other difficulties meant the full scope of the Xenosaga project had to be substantially reduced.
On the subject of Xenoblade Chronicles, Hirohide called the game a “prototype” of the company’s ultimate goal, and a “small part” of the universe Tetsuya Takahashi created. This is an intriguing statement as far as its implications about the possible future of the Xeno franchise!