Fate/GO Team Interview @ Anime Expo 2017
Aniplex of America celebrated the English release of Fate/Grand Order (FGO) at this year’s Anime Expo. FGO is a popular mobile game based on the Fate series by Kinoko Nasu and TYPE-MOON that is currently the top grossing app in Japan on iTunes and Google Play. Right before the official panel, we had the opportunity for a very brief chat backstage with Creative Director Yosuke Shiokawa, Producer Atsuhiro Iwakami, and with Ayako Kawasumi who voices the iconic character, Saber.
The-O: We understand that you came to Anime Expo to promote the release of Fate/Grand Order (FGO), what are your impressions of the event so far?
Shiokawa: We have a Fate Grand Order booth this year and we saw many people visiting it. We are grateful to the fans. We wanted to release the game prior to this event and we are happy to be here today.
Iwakami: For the past ten days, I’ve been at Aniplex of America for the launch of FGO. I was able to watch the American Aniplex staff set up the Anime Expo banners and the decals for the hotel shuttle buses and was impressed. I also saw a few people playing FGO on their smartphones and that made me really happy.
Kawasumi: I arrived yesterday, but I have also seen the shuttle buses with the banners on them and I have been trying to chase them down to take pictures of them!
The-O: Is there anything particular you’d like to let English fans know?
Shiokawa: As one of the creators of the game, I can say that we have made English speaking fans wait for a very long time since the release of the Japanese version, so I hope they enjoy it a lot.
Iwakami: As Aniplex, we’ve worked on releasing several Fate anime before the game. We felt that there are more fans due to the game’s release.
Kawasumi: The last time I was here, was 2 years ago for the release of the Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works anime, but I was surprised because I didn’t expect to see so many American fans who liked the Fate series and I was really happy.
This time, FGO was released with subtitles and not dubbed, so everyone will hear my voice and I’m excited to see what people will think. For fans of the Fate series such as Fate/Zero, I want to know which Sabers they like or will want to use.
The-O: With the game’s release last week, can you tell us your thoughts on how that went?
Shiokawa: After the release, we were really surprised on how many fans had been waiting for the game and there was more fans than expected and we are very happy with the great start.
Iwakami: The release has had a very good start, but I hope to gather more fans for the game. In the meantime, we will be focused on working hard on the translation and interpretation for the game. We hope to make the game better in any way possible, in bigger ways.
The-O: Are there any plans on improvements on the interface in the English version of the game?
Shiokawa: The English version is an older version, and the Japanese version has additional updates, so the American version will be improved significantly in the future.
The-O: For Kawasumi-san, as this is your second time meeting your fans at Anime Expo. What are your thoughts regarding the American fanbase?
Kawasumi: There are many American fans for Fate and a lot of them are Saber fans. I am very excited to see if Altria or which Saber is the most popular, and if they don’t get confused with the different variation and spinoffs of Saber.
The-O: What message would you like to give the readers who couldn’t attend the panel or watch the stream?
Shiokawa: The Fate series has gained a lot of support not from just one country, but from many fans worldwide. This time the Fate series has been released as smartphone game that expands on the series’ universe. We would like to do all that we can to make this game more popular and hope to reach as many people as possible.
Iwakawa: While the current release of the English game contains just 2 chapters, we are working hard on the future chapters as well as event stories. If the schedule for the release of these chapters align, we’d like to plan for future event promotions as well.
Shiokawa: Chapter 1 had a big ending and the transition into Chapter 2 was a big hit in Japan. We hope that the fans here can experience and enjoy the same feelings that the Japanese players felt as well.
Kawasumi: The Fate series is about summoning the spirits of legendary heroes from different cultures, and I think that everyone can find their favorite servant and enjoy FGO. As a current player myself, you don’t have to be knowledgeable about the series to enjoy it. There are many different ways to enjoy this game. I hope that many people are able to try the game and become fans themselves.
The-O: Lastly as a tie in from our previous interview at Sakura-Con, we have a question that we previously asked Shiokawa-san would now like to pose it to Kawasumi-san. Would you be interested in seeing Saber Lion in the game?
Kawasumi: I have been praying for this to happen all this time! [chuckles] Although this might be a slight spoiler for newcomers to the game, I think Saber Lion would be best suited to the Beast Class!
The-O: We look forward to it if that ever happens!
We wish for the continued success for FGO.
Photos by Brian Lee