Between 2002 and 2012, Bandai Namco released a mainline Tales game almost every year, save for 2006 and 2010. After 2012, there was a two-year gap before Tales of Zestiria. The following year, Namco Bandai released Tales of Berseria. But since then, there hasn’t been another Tales game. The next one, Tales of Arise, won’t be out until 2020.
So why has there been such a long gap? During a studio visit last week, I asked producer Yusuke Tomizawa that question. “It’s been several years since Tales of Berseria,” he said.
“We’ve switched to Unreal Engine 4. We want to bring in new players. That’s where we are starting from and that’s why it’s taken so long.” Plus, the goal is to release the game simultaneously worldwide next year. That, the producer adds, has also taken time.
“In the past, there was a period in which we put out lots of Tales games,” Tomizawa admitted. “But I’m not saying we are only going to do a new Tales game every four or five years.”
Tales of Arise appears to be a transitional game from the consecutive run of games in the 2000s but also a rethink of what a contemporary Tales game can be. From what Namco Bandai has shown, that looks promising.