Bandai Namco has released a new dev diary for Digimon Survive, an upcoming survival strategy RPG based on the franchise about digital monsters. The video acts as a lead-up to both the game’s release and the upcoming 20th anniversary for the international debut of the original Digimon Adventure anime, recounting the history of Digimon and how it has influenced the development of Digimon Survive. This video is linked below.
“At present, the Digimon Story series is acting as our core property since we believe that it’s our best property to further expand Digimon’s reach, but we also have another series known as Digimon World that while strongly supported by our core fans, is rather specialized in its game mechanics making it somewhat harder for more casual fans and customers to get into, leading us to spend some time thinking about how we can change this, how we can keep the unique gameplay style and feeling of a new game while also creating a Digimon game that’s a new approach, and this is what led us to develop Digimon Survive,” producer Kazumasa Habu said.
“We also looked at one of the key features of the Digimon Adventure anime, where Digimon grew stronger to reflect people’s hearts, and wondered what would happen if we incorporated that element into a game,” he continued. “We thought it would be fun to have the drama between the characters factor into how the Digimon evolve within the game.” Habu went on to describe how Digimon Adventure played a huge role in Digimon Survive’s development, citing the anime as inspiration for the game’s storytelling, art style, and character designs.
In this regard, the Bandai Namco team turned to the original source when it came to building Digimon Survive’s world–director Hiroyuki Kakudō. “One of the most interesting things I heard from [Kakudō] was that Digimon, as titled, were not born because humans created computers but instead became visible to human beings only because they created computers and digital technology,” Habu said. “He told me that he wrote the world of Digimon with this in mind, that Digimon have been living alongside humans throughout history and that Digimon in the past may have been manifested through magic or sorcery or in Japan, via the ancient art of onmyo, subjugating them as shikigami, or as yokai, or even as demons… One of the concepts we have for this game is whether or not we can bring to life and expand on this challenging fictional world [Kakudō] has envisioned.”
Bandai Namco’s contribution to Digimon’s lore seems to be the end of the Digital World or at least some sort of implication that it undergoes a cycle of destruction and rebirth. Habu describes Digimon Survive’s world as a place of “severe ruin, the sort of tragic place so broken that it might vanish at any given moment.”
Even though we still don’t know much about Digimon Survive, it’s my most anticipated game of 2019. The game is expected to launch on Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.