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Harada Interview on Korean Site Inven

Inven is a Korean gaming site that also managed to score an interview with Harada while he was taking the time to visit Korea recently. The interview goes over quite a number of topics that includes Harada's current projects at Namco like Tekken 7, Tekken X Street Fighter and Pokken. I went and translated/compiled all the interesting bits of information from the interview here excluding the Summer Lesson bits which I don't think there's much people interested in. You can look up the source of the interview on the Inven website.

▌Inven Interview with Harada
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Question: In the Street Fighter series, Jury was a newly added character from Korea. Was there any kind of discussion of adding a new character from South Korea into Tekken 7?

Harada: Yeah there was actually. During the development of TEKKEN 7, I was interested and talking about it with the team to include a female Korean fighter that uses the Taekkyeon martial art.

Harada: I went to gather some opinions from Korean gamers on that character design but it seems like it wasn't a popular idea. There were a lot more opinions asking for a handsome, strong male Korean fighter instead.

Harada: Although my age group/generation in Japan also prefers new male fighters, the newer young audience in Japan that grew up on Anime prefer 'cute' styled new female characters. There's various tastes in character designs that vary from country to country.

Harada: If you look at America for instance, players over there prefer really manly and strong looking male fighters. In European regions with no Japanese related media and influence, Yoshimitsu is the most popular character.

Question: So you decided now to add Lucky Chloe into Tekken?

Harada: We've taken into consideration the taste of the younger generation of Japanese players that grew up on Anime culture. There's also a growing audience overseas that frequently watch and enjoy Anime made in Japan. We've made Lucky Chloe in mind for these audience/players. We have a feeling that this kind of character will appeal to those that like characters like Hatsune Miku.

Question: What was the reason for adopting the Unreal Engine 4 for Tekken7?

Harada: We wanted to take advantage of the Unreal Engine 4's graphical capabilities and output. Additionally it was much cheaper to pay the royalties for using such an engine then paying in house development staff for a long period of time to make our own new engine from scratch. With the UE4, character interactions with the enviroment creating debris are formed more realistically in the stages. We're also utilising it's ability to render realistic lighting within the stages and on characters.

Question: How long has Tekken 7 been in development?

Harada: The time it took to do research on the Unreal Engine 4 as well as what to implement into the game took about a year. After that, the actual development of the game took 10 months and is still on going. The arcade release of Tekken 7 is within 2 months from now.

Question: What can you tell of the story of Tekken 7?

Harada: Well it's been about 20 years now and we're still on about the Mishima family. It's a little disappointing to me personally to put an end to it with Tekken 7 but we figured that now was the time to conclude this saga for the sake of progressing the story and for all the manga/game-like players that enjoy the story aspect of the games.

Question: Tekken as a series is quite popular in Korea compared to other countries. What do you think is the reason for this?

Harada: For the 20 years that I've been with the series, out of all the time I've been to Korea I usually hear feedback that they enjoy how the game plays. How it got popular there, I think I don't really know fully myself.

Question: What's the release date/timing for Tekken 7 now?

Harada: We're working on the Arcade Edition of the game which we're planning to launch around March next year. For the console versions, generally they take about a year after the release of the arcade version. We're going to plan on the console version release date after the release of the arcade versions.

Question: Since Tekken 7 Arcade is being released in March, do you plan on working on Tekken X Street Fighter after it?

Harada: The base system for Tekken X Street Fighter has already been developed. However we're currently working on Tekken 7 then planning on adding updates to that game later down the line which we have to finish first.

Next fiscal year, Street Fighter 5 is planning on coming out so I also have to plan for a strategy on when to reveal and release Tekken X Street Fighter that doesn't conflict with other games.

Interviewer: There's rumors floating around about a PC version of Tekken 7

Harada: Yeah, rumors. We have not yet decided/confirmed platforms other then the arcade since it is not yet done yet. We are considering a PC version for certain countries that prefer/need to play a PC version. In addition to that though, we'd have to plan for optimizations for such a version so that the common PC user can run and play the game with the Unreal Engine 4. The PC version of Tekken 7 is not yet confirmed at this stage.

Question: Since the game will arrive in March, is it possible to see Tekken 7 at EVO 2015?

Harada: We haven't heard anything from EVO's side yet. We haven't decided anything yet on a planned appearance over at the event.

Question: What do you think about the currently in development Street Fighter 5?

Harada: Interesting since I got contacted prior to the event in Las Vegas which Ono-san was attending. When the game's announcement got leaked, I received a call early morning from Ono who was furiuos. That's what I remember most about SF5.

Harada: Regarding the game, it's only about 20% complete from development so I think that the game will eventually look a lot more better then it does from what is currently revealed to the public.

Question: You’re producing Pokkén. Are there many restraints on its development?

Harada: The Pokémon Company has really strict guidelines, more strict than any other game. There’s also a huge fanbase of children, so we have to be careful to obey a lot of rules with those matters. Surprisingly, they weren’t as strict as I expected them to be with Pokkén. We sent the Pokémon Company 20 ideas and they allowed all of them barring one: I suggested that we have different Pokémon Trainers fight, and they immediately denied it.

Question: If Pokkén turns out to be successful, will you continue to make new titles for the series?

Harada: I feel like we would always be able to improve Pokkén if there were later installments. Of course having over 700 different Pokémon gives us the opportunity to expand the game quite easily.


Translation contributions added from Ryoji.

Interview Source ≫

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Reader Comments (23)

"In European regions with no Japanese related media and influence, Yoshimitsu is the most popular character."

Where on earth is he getting these things from?

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterReality

LOL, I find that statement weird.

We, here in Europe, have enough Japanese related media.
And Yoshimitsu has like Japanese written all over him. From the Samurai outfit, to the Japanese demon mask, to the harakiri move and just looking at the character gives me a Japan/Anime feel lol.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBoob Saibot

At least he admits Chloe is merely otaku bait and hardly a good design

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered Commenteranonymous

For some reason I assumed a PC version was already confirmed.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpacy2

“Taka Kawasaki, head of Epic Studios Japan, confirmed to Korean site kdramastars that not only was a PC version happening, it would be the "leading one" thanks to the Unreal Engine 4.”

"Taka Kawasaki, studio head at Epic Games Japan, recently discussed excitement for "Tekken 7" in a press release on Monday. Kawasaki said that the partnership between Bandai Namco and Epic Games is perfect for the next game because it will lead to great results and then he confirmed that Tekken 7 PC version will happen."

This was from July 2014. Maybe he was referring to the Arcade version, which runs on PC hardware (not PS4) as confirmed by Harada himself.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpacy2

Is Harada high?? In Europe Yoshimitsu is the most famous character?? Give me the name of even ONE famous or even half-decent 'European Yoshi-user'.

Only person I know who have ever used Yoshi is that annoying JustFrameJames cunt! Man, I HATE people like him. His whole strategy is to just confuse the opponent with random bullshit we all know Yoshi can produce.

Fighting games should be about mindgames and spacing and movement (3D-games), NOT about needing alot of information about random properties of a million moves.

Harada is, as always, WAAAAY off on this too.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterCunty McCunt

Yeah Yoshi is really annoying. But when you reach JFJ's level of Yoshi play, you deserve to confuse your opponent lol.

Also, he's a really chill dude. So besides Yoshi-trolling, he's a really nice guy!

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterFizzightMeBro

I like how cunty mccunt stay classy with his posts. No mention of lucky chloe hate yet besides anonymous which obviously a troll. As for yoshimitsu, are most western tekken players came from europe? And many western players wants yoshimitsu in every iteration of the series back. So its logical yoshimitsu the most popular.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered Commentert3k4evo

So Tekken 7 will be the last Tekken? I guess it's a good way to end the series. As long as Anna and Kunimitsu is in the game I'll be happy.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterskpg

Cunty McCunt, he never meant famous or professional players, you dumb fucking retard.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 4:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterWatafag

skpg, i don't think this will be the last game with TEKKEN game play, but the last game with the TEKKEN storyline. I'm pretty confident that at least some of the characters from TEKKEN 7 will be re-used for the game after TEKKEN 7. They would never throw all that IP out the window just because the story is finished.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 6:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpacy2

Watafag, stop being a fag, you annoying cunt! So give me a name of ANY European Yoshi-player. Anyone who has ever played that shitty character in a tournament.

@ Fizzight

Yeah, JFJ would prolly be good with any character. That's my point. He should use a legit character and not rely on shennanigans to win. He has decent reflexes and good graps of the game, so why not use a serious character?

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterCunty McCunt

Just read the comment of aris on ATP live and...

"Jimmy should be sucking my dick for being one of the few people that support this shitty game. Instead of sucking, he makes me regret it. Fuck you jimmy. I'm going to put the podcast on hold until MKX. See you in 2015 nerds."

So the community is on at war right now? Like what the song says in a SFIV commercial?

Get ready to settle the score
And get ready to face the floor
'Cause it's time to remember it (war)

This is war
And it’s on tonight
So get up and fight
Get up and fight
You had all your life
To run and hide
Now step up, now step up
Let’s do this

Now the tekken community can relive the situation of the smash community, and this time it will be getting more ugly.

BTW harada didnt say in the interview that yoshimitsu the most used character. He says he is the most popular character. Yoshimitsu are one of those features in a video game that are useless and just annoying but in there anyway because of tradition, like the 10 hit combos. Harada already says the tekken team have a plan to remove 10 hit combos since T5. But because noobs still using it and its still popular to casual players Namco decided to not remove it. Even I like yoshimitsu but Im not planning to use him at all, unless its for occasion like a relative or visitors come over to my house.

Anyway, youshimitsu, capos, bob, alisa, lili, steve, bruce, laws, zafina and taekwondos are meant to be for brain dead players. There are many teens that bought T5 on PS2 just to mash with steve then few months or even few weeks later not playing the game anymore, stored somewhere in there cabinets never to touch at again. My nephews have that habit most of them. I even ask them why theyre not playing anymore, they says because its becoming boring and stale.

This is the common problem of tekken since the beginning, make casuals and noobs keep playing the game and brain dead characters isnt the solution. The community will have bigger problem with catalina than lucky chloe. Her character is meant for the players I mentioned above

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered Commentert3k4evo

Why isn't Aris posting ATP Live here? I always saw it here, never on Youtube.

Aris, come on, do some work on your site and start posting stuff so we can troll.. err. I mean comment on it.

Also, yeah, I went to Youtube and listen to the last ATP Live and maaaaan... did Jimmy hit the nail with the bitchcalling!!!

It was hilarious!! You even got mad!! Why so sensitive? You talk shit about everybody else and now Jimmy saif something truth and you just turned all three off... That was amazingly funny!

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 3:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterCunty McCunt

t3k4evo I'm sorry but statements like that aren't logical and anyone in Europe can confirm this. Is Yoshimitsu one of the most popular characters in tournaments? Hell no. Is Yoshimitsu one of the characters you face the most when playing online then on EU servers? Hell No. I really question a lot of how he thinks about the game and what things he takes to heart amongst a ton of noise and I wish, and hope, that there's a bunch of other executive teams in charge of descisions than Harada for the roster and what not. He's like the posterboy of cognitive dissonance. Hell, I doubt he even knows how to navigate the internet properly. Definatly not as a critical thinker.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 6:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterReality

@reality---->Funny, because you, cunty mccunty, j1n, starman, and the rest of tekkenzaibatsu and gamefaqs tekken board will start complaining and whining if the tekken team will remove yoshi in the roster. You should do your research first, Jun and Kunimitsu shouldnt be in the roster along with other T2 cast if not for the west. Namco have focus groups, surveys and stats on their company. Dismissing that statement about yoshimitsu means Namco's research is wrong which really isnt. Like I commented yoshi is the most popular. But he is one of the least used character in the roster. If ninjas move sets in tekken have more sense many people will start playing as him.

@Cunty Mccunt----> Dont jump to conclusions. Aris is just becoming lazy posting articles and videos recently. He also didnt post previous episodes of ATP live in this website. Why would aris wont post a video that can create many hits? Thats not logical. More fanboy wars the better. Thats what IGN and gamespot are doing since the beginning.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentert3k4evo

I just want to rant here, but... I played virtua fighter and DOA core fighters and all 3 main 3d fighting games have major flaws. Back walk is a long overdue feature in tekken. The feature is already implemented on virtua fighter and DoA even before revolution released. Back dash is useless unless you know any BDC. Unlike dead or alive and virtua fighter that back dashes can cover long distances and its fast. Sidewalk and sidesteps are also a good defense and spacing feature in DoA and VF.

Its not situational unlike tekken which basically lost there purpose because of competitive gaming the best, youre just a noob get good. I want to see any player that can sidestep, sidewalk and low parry all moves in tekken on a match, I dare the community. Because I can confirm its just too impossible even for a superhuman just like the TV show stan lee's superhumans to sidestep all the moves. In theory, any move can be sidestep, low parry or sidewalk. Its just too impossible for humans to react such a move.

While the major flaw of DoA and VF are the move sets, or for me the lack of it. Youre a bot if you can execute everything in the command lists in a match. I can do all moves of Xiaoyu, and I can do most of the moves of marshall law in tekken. I cant execute even 1/4 of the moves in DoA. The one button for punches and one button kicks is a retarded game design. Its suitable for button mashing games like devil may cry and god of war series, not for games that requires precise timing and reaction time like 3-d fighting games. Its even more retarded because 2-d fighting games gets it with 4 button and 6 button game design.

The controls are outdated and that control scheme is meant for 90s video games, which understandable because VF released in 1995. The game didnt evolved since then no wonder that game flop. Same thing to DoA. It becomes like a softcore porn game that only 12 year olds can enjoy than a serious 3-d fighting game. Quite too bad too because those games have great movement.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered Commentert3k4evo

You are wrong t3k4evo

I would LOVE if shitty character like Yoshi was removed. I don't like too many bullshit characters and Yoshi is the epitome of those confusing characters that just rely on bullshit gimmicks. I would like Namco to remove Hwoarang and Lei too. Also one of the capos. And the bears, and Anna and Raven and Miguel and Julia/JayCee and alot of others. I wouldn't cry if they removed any particular. I just don't care that much about any character but my two mains and I know both of them are in T7. So there you go.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterCunty McCunt

t3k4evo pls. Are you having a bad day or something? Put your emotions aside and if you don't step up your game I'm done. I don't want to bicker and attack people Ad Hominem and so on I'm to old.

" you, cunty mccunty, j1n, starman, and the rest of tekkenzaibatsu and gamefaqs tekken board will start complaining and whining if the tekken team will remove yoshi in the roster"

1. You don't know me or how I would react to it. Nore any of the other guys.
2. What has this got to do with the statement he said period? People would complain if absolutely any member of the cast was removed, including Lili and Bears. That doesn't in any way give a basis of support for his statement; that Yoshmitsu is the most popular character in Europe and Europe (unlike the states???) doesn't know Japanese culture,

Also; why are you grouping me with gamefaqs, cunty and the likes, will you call me a nazi soon also? Is that your way of discrediting someone's argument by attacking their character? I expect better.

Are you even from Europe? Cause I am. You have to have something seriously wrong to believe that some of the more iconic cast members like Dvj, Kazuya, Law, Paul, Bryan etc aren't more popular than Yoshi. There isn't some sort of major difference between characters being played in the US than in EU there are still Bobs and Lars players all over. Once again; there are no players in tournaments with Yoshi and he certainly isn't the most popular online character.

" You should do your research first, Jun and Kunimitsu shouldn't be in the roster along with other T2 cast if not for the west."

Why are you arguing this? Why do I need to do research first on something that isn't relevant to the statement?
1. Harada says the most popular character in Europe, where they don't care about anime and jap culture (lol) is yoshi.
2. As proof of this I say that the tekken community wanted to include Jun and Kunimitsu in Tekken tag 2!
3. ???
4. Profit

"Namco have focus groups, surveys and stats on their company. Dismissing that statement about yoshimitsu means Namco's research is wrong which really isnt."

Nice appeal to authority fallacy. By that trail of thought Namco doesn't do bad buisness desicions and always give the tekken community what they want cause they're very well informed right? Simply opening your eyes should prove that this isn't the case with everything from Snoop Dog and tt2 singleplayer to no training modes and lucky chloe. Why did he ask Aris and so on what he wanted for TT2 when he was over in T6 days (and Aris pleaded for a trainingmode?) - where the focusgroups of fighting mechas or godzilla? Pls.

Also, dismissing that statement about yoshimitsu doesn't mean Namco's research is wrong - it means HARADA makes dumb statements due to Ethnocentrism from his small island of Japan. He's from an older generation where it's more tangible imo, the stereotyping is rampant. Take away people like Markman and Filthy Rich from the equation and go back a few years and you'll see the difference when the boat is all run by Harada.

I -WISH- the Namco had focusgroups and what not for EU and US but you need to wake up and smell the coffee; EU has zero inhouse tekken support from Namco so your idea of some great focusgroups or research being conducted here is a joke dude. Hell the official Namco tournaments that have been held here have banned sticks due to "giving players an unfair advantage" and so on, you give way more credit than is due.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterReality

"The one button for punches and one button kicks is a retarded game design. Its suitable for button mashing games like devil may cry and god of war series, not for games that requires precise timing and reaction time like 3-d fighting games. Its even more retarded because 2-d fighting games gets it with 4 button and 6 button game design. "

VF doesn't need more buttons. They had one more in VF3 for evading but reverted. The amount of buttons has no bearing on things like "timing" or "reaction time". If anything reaction time would better with less buttons - the opposite. Your assumption seems to be that increasing the amount of buttons discourages mashing. Meanwhile VF is probably like the least mashable 3d fighter period fyi. More options (buttons) increase reaction time, not the opposite. Reactiontime tests in general are done with less choices of stimuli and selection rather than more in cognitive psychology. Timing will not be better with more options (i.e buttons) to choose from, if anything it's game design that is the key here with leniency and what not. If you make a game with just 1 frame links and no buffering it will be a hard game independent of buttons or if it's a 2d or 3d game dude. There are tons of 2d fightinggames that have harder timing than VF, DOA and Tekken.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterReality

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