Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is creeping ever closer to its full release, and at E3 this year we got to talk with developer Koji Igarashi about how the development is going, and specifically how he handles the weight of fan expectation and balancing this with his own creative vision.
"It's great," he told us. "We always update the fans, like new screenshots, new gameplay videos, and they always have feedback on the game itself, so we've been adjusting the game while listening to the feedback, so it's great to hear their feedback and their support."
"In terms of separating that creative aspect of it versus the fans' expectation of it, there's a clear separation I have. I keep them very separate. The reason for this is because, let's say if a fan asks or demands a change in this specific feature and we decide to go along with that and do as the fan expected, and let's say it turns out very bad [...] who's going to be responsible for that? And when we think about that, it's going to be my responsibility if the game turns out bad listening to every single feedback, so in terms of hearing the fans' feedback and expectations, there's also my creative opinion on it, and we tend to separate that."
"Let's say the fan has an opinion and I totally agree with it - I would definitely put that in there, it's something that I would do - that's where I would take the responsibility. If I agree with them, I would definitely put that in the game."
Do you think this balance is important for game developers?