CyberConnect2 - Fuga: Melodies of Steel 3 and resuming the Trilogy of Vengeance with Taichiro Miyazaki

Much like last year, we had the chance to sit down with CyberConnect2 Executive Vice President Taichiro Miyazaki to get some updates on the company's latest developments, and to learn more about what's to come in the months and years ahead. This time around we got a major update on the status of the Trilogy of Vengeance, the scope of Fuga: Melodies of Steel 3, and more.

RPG Site: This time last year, CyberConnect2 had just finished publishing Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2, and now you just recently fully revealed Fuga: Melodies of Steel 3 at AnthroCon a few days ago. Since we haven’t received any press releases yet, and I wasn’t personally at the announcement, I guess to start off - can you tell us what players should know, from what you’re ready to share about the game’s core concept and where the series is going with the 3rd entry?

Miyazaki: Fuga 3 will be the finale of the Fuga trilogy, and the game systems will mostly be familiar for players who have played 1 and 2, but we have designed some new and very attractive boss characters. One thing we can reveal is that in Fuga 3 the Taranis can now fly. It can turn into a flying tank, and there are some gimmicks associated with that. The story has also gotten quite large, the scenario is probably double the length of the previous games. The same can be said for illustrations - over double the number of illustrations of previous entries. We want to make Fuga 3 a game befitting the ending of the trilogy, and we hope players look forward to it.

RPG Site: To follow-up on that; while I very much did enjoy Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2, one of my concerns heading into 3’s announcement was that - with 2 being such an iterative sequel to the first game, I worried that 3 would feel overly derivative of the previous entries. The Taranis can fly now, but are there any core changes to the gameplay structure - maybe how you progress through each chapter - or is it too early to share?

Miyazaki: Unfortunately we can’t talk too much about the story, or anything related to that, but we can say the battle system will have some new elements; there will be an increase in battle variations, and it will be a very fun and playable battle system. It will force players to be a little more strategic when advancing through the story, so we can hope players can look forward to that.

RPG Site: So you showed off Fuga 3 earlier this week, yet since information coming out of the AnthroCon panel was a bit scattershot please forgive me if it’s already been announced and I just wasn’t aware - is there already a release window set aside for Fuga: Melodies of Steel 3? Or is that still under consideration at this time.

Miyazaki: No release date; we haven’t mentioned anything about that at AnthroCon or during Anime Expo. We’re not really sure when we’ll be able to give a release date to fans, but we can say that new information on Fuga 3  is scheduled for the Fall.

RPG Site: On that note, is Fuga 3 targeting all the same platforms as Fuga 1 and 2? I know that those releases targeted essentially all major platforms - PlayStation, Switch, Xbox and PC. Is that the same for Fuga 3, or is it also too early to say?

Miyazaki: It will be the same target platforms; so everything you mentioned. PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox.

RPG Site: This might be getting ahead of myself a bit, but I remember when I asked last year about the other games that were originally announced alongside Fuga: Melodies of Steel back in 2018 as the Trilogy of Vengeance. When I asked about the state of those other two projects last year, you said that the plan was to finish up the Fuga series before tackling those other titles in earnest. Is that still the plan - or is there anything new you have to share about those titles, if possible?

Miyazaki: We can’t reveal anything concrete about those other two projects, but we can say that most likely the next project we’re tackling will be Cecile. We hope to be able to share more information on that game sometime next year.

RPG Site: For a fun question; Fuga is the first time that CyberConnect2 has fully owned an IP, and has fully owned the development of a franchise. How does it feel to be nearing the end of that christening journey for CyberConnect2 as not only a developer, but now their own independent publisher?

Miyazaki: Making games is very familiar territory for us, we’ve been doing it for many years - but selling our own games has been a challenge. That’s not something that we did before the self-published titles. So, we had some setbacks, we made some mistakes along the way; but, one thing that’s unique with being able to self-publish our own games is that we were really able to pick up on our customer’s feedback and reflect that into our games. Everyone on the team was collecting feedback together, we made the necessary patches, we updated the UI - we even updated the UI for Fuga 1 at the same time as Fuga 2 - so, being able to listen to our customers and adapt our games to really satisfy them is something we feel we did really well on. Perhaps thanks to our efforts we’ve had some good reviews, our Metascore has been to our satisfaction, and we just want to make sure that everyone is satisfied with our games - and we hope that Fuga 3 can meet player expectations. We look forward to seeing the response from players.

RPG Site: 5 years ago at Anime Expo, I asked about the possibility of Fuga: Melodies of Steel getting a physical release down the line. At the time you mentioned that CyberConnect2 would want to tackle that challenge on its own; now that Fuga: Melodies of Steel 3 is coming out, is there any possibility that we might get a physical copy for the trilogy as a whole, or the individual titles?

Miyazaki: We haven’t made a final decision on whether or not we’ll be making a physical version of the trilogy. It really depends on the sales of Fuga 3, as well as the other games’ digital releases, as well as customer feedback and whether there’s demand. We’d really like to make a physical edition if possible, but it hasn’t quite been greenlit yet.

RPG Site: I believe that CyberConnect2 is the only company in the games’ industry that has made a major announcement at a Furry convention, at AnthroCon. Now, I know that Matsuyama-san is very transparent in how he feels about that, and CyberConnect2 has a storied history when it comes to the “Kemono” fandom in Japan. How does that intersect with how you guys develop games?

Miyazaki: We consider the use of Furry characters, Kemono characters, as one way of expressing our desire and our creativity for the games we make. So it’s like we’re expressing ourselves through Kemono, these cute characters. Although Fuga has a very heavy and serious storyline, there’s something to be enjoyed with that gap between the serious story and the cute characters that show up in the game. So, rather than anything really intersecting with game development it’s more about how to make these characters really fun and appealing for players to experience.

RPG Site: Is there anything else you want to say to close things out? For both new and old fans of the Fuga series, CyberConnect2, and beyond?

Miyazaki: First, on Fuga; Fuga 3 will be the finale that concludes the series, and we want to thank everyone for their support with Fuga 1 and 2 as that’s what has made this possible. We really think that this game will meet fan expectations, both old and new. We really are looking to spread the Fuga love across the world, so we highly encourage people to stream and share and just help spread the love of the game - so the series can continue to see success, frankly. For CyberConnect2, we’re now in our 29th year, heading into the big 30. From the 31st year onward we’re planning some new experiences and challenges for the company to face. We can’t make any big announcements right now, or go into concrete details, but now that we have our new studio in Osaka we are looking to hire more people and grow into a bigger company. We’re always trying to head into new directions and try new things. So we want to thank everyone for their support in getting us this far, and we hope you’ll look forward to CyberConnect2’s future!

RPG Site: Thanks as always!