Famitsu: Bethesda's 2013 will be defined by Mikami's Zwei (in Japan, at least)?

Nov 10, 2007
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#1
UPDATE #1: Clarification regarding development roles:

It took me a while, the Game Director is Ikumi Nakamura, she's worked on a few awesome games, Bayonetta and Okami amongst them. Lead Game Designer is Shigenori Nishikawa, director of MadWorld, and he worked on a few Mikami games. Mikami seems to be either credited as 'Executive' or 'Project' Director depending on where you look.
The staff is really filled out. About 50 developers maybe? 3 Western staff members and several female designers as well. Looking at all the staff names, I wonder how many came from Platinum, Clover, and Capcom.
A lot, as I was looking for the game director, I looked up a few random designers. It looks to be a pretty incredible team.

ORIGINAL POST:

This tidbit actually broke last month, but I did a search and didn't find anything on it. I figured it might merit some attention, but my apologies if it doesn't.

In a Famitsu report, different companies were surveyed, each asked the same three questions:

1) Keywords for 2013
2) What you will do in 2013
3) Other

And for Bethesda Softworks (part of ZeniMax), which is publishing Tango Gameworks' "Zwei" (codename) from director Shinji Mikami, the answer for #1 and #2 was just that -- "Zwei." (They didn't answer #3)

Maybe Bethesda thinks their own properties are irrelevant in Japan, but that's all they said when asked these questions.

Of course, the big question remains: Will Zwei be on current-gen HD consoles (PS3, 360, WiiU) or next-gen HD consoles (Orbis and Durango)? Or maybe even both?

By way of background: We know very little of Zwei so far. It's a "pure survival horror" title. It is the first game by Tango Gameworks, established in 2010. Zwei itself was announced in April 2012. Shinji Mikami is directing, and he claims it will be his last game. The lead CGI artist from REmake is handling the environments. And GAF member Dusk Golem did some digging for Tango's old staff directory, taken down before Zwei's announcement, and found Bayonetta concept designer Ikumi Nakamura is involved, as well. (Dusk, you previously made mention of the rest of the staff comprising "all-star talent" -- care to elaborate?)

The staff apparently includes many horror fans and gunplay enthusiasts, who have been visiting "cursed" sites all over Japan. As Dusk and others have noted, the concept art seems to suggest themes like slavery and reclamation by nature, with slave ships, possible plantations (note the guard tower) and more, overgrown and waterlogged.



(High resolution -- drag and drop in your address bar)

In addition, early concept art seems to indicate it will be a third-person shooter, with what looks like a soldier as the protagonist.





And then there are the creatures, many of which resemble bizarre human/animal hybrids, or homunculus-like creations trying to act human:

Bethesda's response to the Famitsu survey seems to indicate their output, at least from Japan's POV, will be largely defined by Zwei.

But will it be for PS3, 360 and WiiU? Will it be for Orbis and Durango, maybe even PC? Will one of the Big Three try to strike some sort of exclusive deal with ZeniMax? And how will this game play? Is a return to survival horror a return to slow-paced RE1-style gameplay, or is the presence of a trained military professional, and recent output like RE4 and Vanquish, more indicative of RE4-style play? Or perhaps something else altogether, a radical departure from the TPS?
 
Dec 6, 2012
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#3
I knew nothing about this other than the name so thanks for putting all this info in one place. The concept art seems interesting, but it's hard to say much more than that with what little info there is at the moment. Hopefully it's good.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#4
I knew nothing about this other than the name so thanks for putting all this info in one place. The concept art seems interesting, but it's hard to say much more than that with what little info there is at the moment. Hopefully it's good.
No problem. I figured some people hadn't seen all the bits and pieces scattered across various postings in other threads, so I tried to consolidate them all to bring people up to speed. :)
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
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#5
Given the almost certain 9-figure budget of Elder Scrolls Online and the intended 2013 launch date, the end part of your thread title is clearly the most important part
 
Oct 12, 2010
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#9
Bethesda have been generally good with their PC support so Zwei not appearing on PC would be kinda disappointing. They haven't really worked with Japanese developers before though...

Given the almost certain 9-figure budget of Elder Scrolls Online and the intended 2013 launch date, the end part of your thread title is clearly the most important part
This is a trainwreck in the making.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#10
Given the almost certain 9-figure budget of Elder Scrolls Online and the intended 2013 launch date, the end part of your thread title is clearly the most important part
I think the larger implication is if Bethesda sees 2013 as "Zwei Year" in Japan, it may also be ready for release in other territories, meaning we will see it and play it this year. And for a good chunk of GAF, at least (which I know doesn't represent the mainstream), I think Zwei would define 2013, as well. Especially if it is indeed Mikami's last game -- although he wouldn't be the first to say he'll retire and then make more games anyway, lol.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#12
I wish I could find the source on this, but for what it's worth, I recall an interview where Mikami was asked whether his next game would be on a "next-gen" system, and he said that if it led to a better game, he would consider it.

Also, the environmenal concept art in the OP (which I suggest everyone views at full resolution) reminds me of REmake detail, combined with the glowing colors in Shadows of the Damned. So atmospheric. The scenery, in particular the city overgrown with foliage, reminds me of The Last of Us, although I trust the final product will have a much different tone.
 
#15
I just got done reading about this! Hahaha nice to see a thread suddenly appear. Those beasts look very creepy and the concept art has me pretty excited. In recent years horror has kind of fallen by the side. Dead Space has been great and silent hill(sort of) is getting back on track.

But this new horror ip has me excited for a game like I haven't been in YEARS. Hopefully some more news comes out about this. E3 maybe? This and phantom pain have me really looking forward to the year.
 
Oct 25, 2007
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Fairbanks, AK
#18
Well, they aren't going to mention anything that is unnanounced in a random Famitsu survey so I don't think this tells us anything about how their year will be defined until we know what their year will fully contain.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#21
I don't think it really is, just moving to a more advisory role, he's not actually directing this either, I can't remember who the director is, it's a woman who worked on his other titles I believe.
I don't doubt you, but if you can find confirmation of this, I will amend the OP to include mention of the actual director. Mikami is definitely involved in a key role, though.

Well, they aren't going to mention anything that is unnanounced in a random Famitsu survey so I don't think this tells us anything about how their year will be defined until we know what their year will fully contain.
A number of other companies in the Famitsu survey mentioned "new IPs" or "top-secret projects." Bethesda didn't -- they simply said "Zwei," for both answers.

On a side note, I wonder if Zwei, as a codename, refers to the hybrid two-in-one nature of the creatures (I.E. human/cockroach, etc). "Zwei" is German for "two," after all.
 
Sep 18, 2011
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#26
Can't wait to see how it looks and plays.

Please be a real horror game.. don't dash my hopes like with Shadows of the Damned.
This. Now that reveal was a major letdown. Announcing this like 2 years early as a horror game and before that Killer7 being the last MikamiXSuda game, SotD was just disappointing. Didn't even play it then.
 
Jan 9, 2008
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#31
I don't doubt you, but if you can find confirmation of this, I will amend the OP to include mention of the actual director. Mikami is definitely involved in a key role, though.
It took me a while, the Game Director is Ikumi Nakamura, she's worked on a few awesome games, Bayonetta and Okami amongst them. Lead Game Designer is Shigenori Nishikawa, director of MadWorld, and he worked on a few Mikami games. Mikami seems to be either credited as 'Executive' or 'Project' Director depending on where you look, but apparently he said exec director to Famitsu, so it's probably that.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#32
It took me a while, the Game Director is Ikumi Nakamura, she's worked on a few awesome games, Bayonetta and Okami amongst them. Lead Game Designer is Shigenori Nishikawa, director of MadWorld, and he worked on a few Mikami games. Mikami seems to be either credited as 'Executive' or 'Project' Director depending on where you look.
Excellent, I will add a note to the OP regarding this. Thanks StuBurns. :)
 
Sep 30, 2006
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#34
The staff is really filled out. About 50 developers maybe? 3 Western staff members and several female designers as well. Looking at all the staff names, I wonder how many came from Platinum, Clover, and Capcom.
 
Jan 9, 2008
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#35
The staff is really filled out. About 50 developers maybe? 3 Western staff members and several female designers as well. Looking at all the staff names, I wonder how many came from Platinum, Clover, and Capcom.
A lot, as I was looking for the game director, I looked up a few random designers. It looks to be a pretty incredible team.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#36
I might as well compile some of the images Xpliskin collected before he was banned for whatever reason:



A model insect on a character designer's desk. Also, a muscle model arm?



Coder using an old version of XNA, using Visual Studio 2008. Current-gen game, then?



You can see an environment being modeled on the computer screen.

In addition, some more pics of Zwei staff at Tango Gameworks:









Also note: The Japanese recruit page mentioned they were looking for people with:

- Experience in character control programming in 3D action games and FPS/TPS
- Knowledge of the 360/PS3 hardware and SDK
- A Windows application developer (?)

And, uh, this is just weird -- Mikami and Pseudo-Mikami:

(And by "weird" I mean "awesome")
 
Jul 26, 2005
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Europa
#37
Thanks to Neiteio for this thread, the game needs more attention (even though we know little about it)...it's a game that Mikami-san is involved after all plus the rest of the team has worked on some amazing games.

Now that I think about it 2013 looks like the "Japan strikes back" year, there are a lot of awesome looking games coming from Japan this year and that's amazing news IMO. ^_^
 
Jul 12, 2008
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#38
In addition, early concept art seems to indicate it will be a third-person shooter, with what looks like a soldier as the protagonist.





And then there are the creatures, many of which resemble bizarre human/animal hybrids, or homunculus-like creations trying to act human:
Hoping for the Richard Matheson ending as opposed to Will Smith's.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#40
the fuck is this thread about? I'm completely lost at it..

Bethesda + Mikami + weird artwork? my mind is full of fuck!
LOL, the OP should explain, but the short form is:

- Mikami is executive director on a new game, which may be his last

- Game is being made at Mikami's dev studio, Tango Gameworks

- The game is being published by Bethesda, part of ZeniMax

- And yep, that's concept art!

I'd like to also note the many guns they have at the office. And do I spot PS3s in there?

Thanks to Neiteio for this thread, the game needs more attention (even though we know little about it)...it's a game that Mikami-san is involved after all plus the rest of the team has worked on some amazing games.

Now that I think about it 2013 looks like the "Japan strikes back" year, there are a lot of awesome looking games coming from Japan this year and that's amazing news IMO. ^_^
No prob! And personally, I'm hoping 2013 is the year "Horror strikes back," with Zwei and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, and possibly even The Last of Us all being great horror titles!
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#42
The hype level warranted by these early infos, is dangerously poisonous.
This will either be another Resident Evil 4, or a soul crushing disappointment.
Indeed. I'm inclined to believe the game will deliver, though. If it doesn't, it will be not only a black mark on Mikami's (mostly) impeccable record, but also a black mark on Capcom/Clover/Platinum developers who worked on titles including Bayonetta, Okami, and nearly every old-school Resident Evil. The pedigree here is simply incredible. The game may have been cooking in some form as early as 2010, and with Bethesda/ZeniMax now backing it, they should have all the resources they need to get the job done.
 

vic2020

Neo Member
Aug 27, 2009
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#43
"-Knowledge of the 360/PS3 hardware and SDK"
"only 50 developers"-wouldnt a next gen game require many more staff?
-game started development in 2010 or early 2011

I doubt bethesda wants to launch this game on next gen because install base on PS3/360 is too great to pass

It must be PS3/360 with WiiU being unlikely due to general nintendo console 3rd party support
 
Jun 25, 2009
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#44
Indeed. I'm inclined to believe the game will deliver, though. If it doesn't, it will be not only a black mark on Mikami's (mostly) impeccable record, but also a black mark on Capcom/Clover/Platinum developers who worked on titles including Bayonetta, Okami, and nearly every old-school Resident Evil. The pedigree here is simply incredible. The game may have been cooking in some form as early as 2010, and with Bethesda/ZeniMax now backing it, they should have all the resources they need to get the job done.
Well it may sound weird, but for something like this, 3 years seem too little.
Last of Us took 3 and a half.. hopefully they (Tango) started in early 2010 and will ship in 2013's fall, so you could count 4 years of development.

Don't rush it even one day, Mikami!
 
Jan 9, 2008
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#45
Vanquish was like eighteen months of development, and was incredible, if not limited. I don't think they'll ship until it's exactly what it should be. TLoU is trying crazy AI stuff, it's an engineering project as much as anything. Zwei won't be breaking any boundaries I'd imagine, just delivering lots of awesome.
 

Mugy

Member
Sep 9, 2012
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#48
It is already confirmed that the main character is a soldier? genre or TPS perspective?

I was hoping for a more haunting, idk. Haunting Ground/Metro 2033 combination?
 
Jun 25, 2009
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#49
Vanquish was like eighteen months of development, and was incredible, if not limited. I don't think they'll ship until it's exactly what it should be. TLoU is trying crazy AI stuff, it's an engineering project as much as anything. Zwei won't be breaking any boundaries I'd imagine, just delivering lots of awesome.
You don't think this could be another Resident Evil 4, kind of a game changer?
 
Nov 10, 2007
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#50
It is already confirmed that the main character is a soldier? genre or TPS perspective?

I was hoping for a more haunting, idk. Haunting Ground/Metro 2033 combination?
We're inferring the main protagonist is a trained military professional, based on the soldier in some of the concept art, and the fact many of Mikami's other games (RE1, RE4, Vanquish) had such characters in the lead role. Also, we've seen pics of staffers playing with real and toy guns, working on gun animations, etc.

Now whether it's a third- or first-person shooter, we don't know. Their recruitment page was looking for people with experience in either.