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Bearing ARMS with Nintendo's Kosuke Yabuki

We talked to the game's producer after its successful launch on Switch earlier this summer.


We recently had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with Nintendo's Kosuke Yabuki, producer on the recently released Arms for Switch, and this is what the man from Nintendo had to say about the innovative new fighting game.

Can you tell us about how the game came to be?

Nintendo always makes game prototypes, we are always conceiving new ideas. Among these prototypes, there was one that I particularly liked. And so I thought that we would use this concept to develop it into a complete game. The reason why we chose this one and not another, it is obviously its unique aspect, the fact that one does not fight from the side, therefore in 2D, but behind the character. The problem with this kind of view is that we don't get to feel the notion of distance as well, and that is why we introduced the concept of the extendable arm with the fist that deploys and then comes back. So it was from that point on that we decided to go through with this game.

What were your inspirations for the game?

We do not have a single game that inspired us. For example, you couldn't say that the extendable arms come from Dhalsim or One Piece. But there's bound to be some inspiration. I was also raised with Dragon Ball, One Piece, Street Fighter, and I inevitably drew something from these works.


Was the original idea to make it a franchise or to adapt the concept to an already established franchise?

No, our intent was to develop a new IP when we conceived this game. But we have, indeed, a lot of well-known Nintendo series, so if someone from our teams wants to re-use this concept with another Nintendo-stamped series, they will be able to do it one day. In this case, as it is difficult to integrate into existing games, we have chosen to develop a whole bunch of additional characters to make it a series on its own.

Might we one day get a crossover with characters from other Nintendo IPs?

No, for now, we don't have that in mind. The most important thing for us is to make Arms known, that people appreciate it and that it spreads around the world as a strong franchise.

But when you see that Mario and the Rabbids are going to be in a game together, doesn't it make you want to integrate other universes?

Maybe, but that's not the point. The collaboration between Mario and the Rabbids was possible because they are already two strong franchises. In this case, Arms is not yet as well known as other franchises like Mario or Zelda. So Arms would certainly be 'eaten' by the presence of better-known characters.


Are you considering DLC, or even a sequel, after the successful launch of the game?

We already have ideas for the upcoming updates, like new characters for example, but we have not planned to make a follow-up for now. What we want is to avoid that the game falls into oblivion after one or two weeks. We want to continue to feed it so that people stay on it, and that has to come through the DLC.

Can you confirm in the next DLC that the background of the characters will be expanded?

Yes and no. We thought about enriching the universe and the characters, but we will not necessarily do it through the game, rather through social networks, or even manga or animé. Everything is on the table.

Why is it that the characters wear masks? Is it to make them look like superheroes or rather a reference to Mexican wrestlers?

It gives it a superhero style indeed, I can't deny it, and it was also the goal. It's not meant to resemble wrestlers either [laughs]. It's also because the technology and the secrets that allow the characters to extend their arms is hidden inside these masks.