The remaster-remake-relaunch of the first Nier game is due out tomorrow, and creative director Yoko Taro has some words to share about it.
Ahead of the launch, Square Enix has shared some messages from both Yoko Taro and producer Yosuke Saito, originally sent to reviewers who were covering the game. And, much like you’d hope from Yoko Taro, the message is not your bog-standard marketing release.
Yoko Taro calls Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… a “version upgrade,” rather than a remake or remaster. Drawing comparisons to Square Enix’s own work on Final Fantasy VII Remake, the creator says it would be “terribly inconvenient” to be compared to such a massive game, and so he went with “version upgrade.” (Consequently, Yoko Taro says the big string of numbers is something he just “stuck on randomly,” so don’t worry too much about it.)
You can read the letter in full below:
Hello there everyone, YOKO TARO, Creative Director of NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… here.
This game is a “version upgrade” of a title released 10 years ago under the name of “NIER”. That’s right, it’s not a remake or a remaster, it’s a “version upgrade”.
In the beginning I only intended for it to be a remaster you know. With some improved resolutions and that… But once I started saying that I would like to tweak the models a bit, or that I wanted to fix up the backgrounds etc., we were soon looking at a lot of fixes and improvements.
I mean, Square Enix recently did that remake of FINAL FANTASY VII right? I saw that and I thought it would be terribly inconvenient to be compared to such a massive blockbuster, so that was when I decided to call Replicant ver.1.22… a “version upgrade”.
Incidentally, the big string of numbers on the end of the title was just something I stuck on randomly, so I wouldn’t think too hard about it if I was you.
And another thing. In recent years, when I have been around Square Enix, they always give off this palpable aura of enthusiasm as if to say “Look! NieR:Automata (the previous thing I made) did well, so NieR Replicant will also sell now”. I would like to take this opportunity to tell Square Enix to take a good hard look at reality. Only the names are similar and the content of the two games is completely different, so it’s not really going to sell all that well now, is it lads?
I mean, come on, I made it! Automata selling was a fluke, and all my other stuff has hardly sold anything worthy of note. If you really do go ahead and manufacture all these discs and then store them in a big pile in a warehouse somewhere, the only thing we can do with that will be to have a good game of frisbee. Although, I mean… that does sound like fun and all…
Right now, at this very moment, some guy from the Square Enix marketing team is looming behind me and his glare is saying “YOKO you bastard, just promote the game properly for a change!”, but meh, not much that can be done about that now is there? Let’s all just give up and call it a day. I mean, you really don’t understand anything in this game until you play it through multiple times right? And the reviewers will find it pretty hard to do that in the limited time they have…
So, more importantly than that, let’s all just go home early and be nice to our parents, Mm, yes, that would have a much more positive impact on the world I think.
Producer Yosuke Saito also commented on calling it a “version upgrade,” though he says regardless of what Yoko says, he personally doesn’t believe it does “justice to the level of quality that the team has achived.” Here’s his full message:
Hello everyone. It’s “long time no see” for some of you, and I guess “nice to meet you” for others. My name is Yosuke Saito, and I am the producer of NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…
Thanks to all you fans out there, NieR:Automata became a massive hit, and this game was developed under great pressure from that past success.
We are calling it a “version upgrade”, but regardless of what Mr. YOKO says, I personally believe that moniker doesn’t do justice to the level of quality that the team has achieved!
Having said that, NieR:Automata’s big success was honestly somewhat of a miracle, so I don’t think we will be selling quite that much… However, if we don’t shift a certain amount then Mr. YOKO and myself will be forced to travel the world, selling the game out the back of a van. Ah, and Mr. Okabe will have to come along too!
So now you know this, please keep on supporting the NieR series.
Please, anything but the van…
Nier Replicant is out tomorrow for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. You can check out our review of the “version upgrade,” which went live this morning, here. As Chris notes, there aren’t too many games like those in the Nier series. I’m personally still happy to keep supporting whatever this creative team gets up to, and keep on keeping them out of the van.