We think Octopath Traveler II is a fantastic RPG, and so we were delighted to be given the opportunity to interview two of the game's key developers. Director Keisuke Miyauchi and producer Masashi Takahashi were kind enough to answer our questions about the sequel's improvements, its development, and why the first game isn't available on PlayStation platforms.
Push Square: Firstly, can you give us a brief overview of what Octopath Traveler II is all about? What did you want to achieve with this RPG sequel?
Masashi Takahasi, producer: We were absolutely delighted that the first Octopath Traveler was a big hit and so many people played it! Although we were very grateful for that success, it honestly did put a lot of
pressure on us in terms of the second game.
When we released the original Octopath Traveler, I said that it was “a battle against people’s memories of pixel games they had played in the past”, but this time round it was very much a battle against the first game that we created. We aimed to evolve the formula rather than change it, keeping as much of what people liked from the first game as possible and trying to fully realise all the things that we were unable to do in it.
The first Octopath Traveler isn't available on PlayStation platforms, but its sequel is. Why did you decide to make Octopath Traveler II a multiplatform release?
Takahashi: Of course we have heard all the Octopath Traveler fans out there asking for a PlayStation release and the team also wanted to challenge ourselves to try to get the game on as many platforms as possible. Apart from that, we made the decision internally after observing the sales of other titles.
Have you thought about releasing the first game on PlayStation?
Takahashi: We did look into it. However, we wanted to focus all our efforts on developing Octopath Traveler II and this also links in to your next question about whether you need to have played the first game to enjoy Octopath Traveler II or not.
To reduce misunderstandings about this, we decided against trying to align a PlayStation release of Octopath Traveler with the release of Octopath Traveler II.
Do you think players can dive into Octopath Traveler II without playing the first game?
Takahashi: Yes, I very much do think they can dive into the series from Octopath Traveler II. Octopath Traveler II is set in a completely new world and is not linked to the story of the first game in any way, so players can be reassured that they can start from Octopath Traveler II without missing anything.
As implied in the title, this is a game about travelling and enjoying a journey. We felt that it was essential to set the game in a completely new world in order to give the player that feeling of excitement and anticipation when exploring it, wondering what lies down the next path or who could be living in the next town.
Time has passed very quickly, and it has now been five years since the first Octopath Traveler came out. I am sure there are still people who will not have played the first game, as well as those who did play it but have already forgotten the story, and this was why we deliberately did not have any links to the story of the first game. So, I can confidently say that fans of the series and new players will enjoy the content of Octopath Traveler II without needing to worry about events that had happened before.