Nier and SINoALICE director and writer Yoko Taro (whom we’ve met up with last year) talked about his written work and process with Siliconera regarding the latter mobile game recently. His answers are about as blunt as they can get for someone who has to go through Japan’s game industry work culture.
Which character did you enjoy writing the most?
“It’s my job, so none were enjoyable for me. I felt like a lowly labourer covered in mud, and as I typed my keyboard I was thinking ‘I want to get this over with and have a drink. Wouldn’t that be great?'”
You’re known for drinking while doing some of your writing work, especially for the more emotional parts. Have you had much to drink for SINoALICE? If so, what’s your drink of choice?
“I drink beer, white wine, and whiskey soda. People don’t believe me when I say so, but I buy the cheapest one available at the supermarket. It’s because I can’t tell what anything tastes like when I get drunk…”
That’s all well and good, but when it comes to creating female characters in mobile games, he basically answers what every other writer and designer are afraid to admit.
“Mobile game devs tell me that swimsuit outfits make more money, so I should make one, so I made Dorothy’s aquatic outfit for her Cleric class (below), but the sales weren’t very good. The devs said, ‘not a diving suit like this!
A swimsuit that shows more skin!!’ so I released Dorothy’s lazy bear minstrel class (also below), but sales went down yet again. Who can trust these devs?”
Even when he trolls, he does it with a pound of truth and stark reality: swimsuit characters in gacha games make a ton of money. I should know: I used up my free Dragalia Lost wyrmite for the obligatory swimsuit event.