NieR: Automata is a unique game, and while its combination of katana combat, philosophical musings on the nature of existence, and scantily-clad androids might not be to every taste, it certainly stands out amidst a sea of service games and multiplayer shooters.
Getting the project greenlit couldn't have been easy, especially so many years after the release of the original NieR, which, while a cult classic in its own right, didn't exactly set the world on fire in terms of sales. In a new interview with GameSpot, writer and director Yoko Taro, producer Yosuke Saito and Keiiche Okabe, Automata's composer, discussed the process.
When asked if it was challenging to get Square Enix to give the project the go-ahead, Saito stated: "I threatened to leave the company if I couldn’t develop Nier: Automata and pushed through internal approvals that way, honestly. They thought it would only sell 300,000 units globally…"
Released in 2017, Automata vastly exceeded sales expectations and has shipped more than 6.5 million copies worldwide across all platforms.
Yoko Taro, famous for his eccentricities, biting wit, and taste in designer headwear, had a suitably laconic response on the subject of fans who felt "depressed" after playing Automata, noting that "Nier does not depict 'justice as intended by the creator,' but instead is structured so that it poses the question to the player. Light and dark, life and death — these dualities may have served as a catalyst to push the boundaries of freedom of thought. I tried my best to incorporate intelligent-sounding words here. Do you think I succeeded in presenting myself as a smart creator?"
We think so. And we are glad that Automata got made, which in turn led to the enhanced rerelease (or "version upgrade”, according to its creators) of NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139.
Are you a fan of the NieR franchise? Are you glad Yosuke Saito went to such a length to make Automata? Become as gods in the comments section below.