TEKKEN 8 was first announced on September 13 2022 on PlayStation State of Play, but previously it was teased informally at EVO 2022. The previous game, TEKKEN 7, doesn’t feel like it’s 8 years old. First released in 2015, this game is still in demand by its fanbase and is still being played.
So, at the beginning of March, KotakGame received an invitation from Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia to come to their office in Singapore, to try the TEKKEN 8 game in person as well as chat and interview with TEKKEN Project Executive Producer/Director, Katsuhiro Harada and also TEKKEN Project Producer, Michael Murray. For loyal TEKKEN series fans, you must be familiar with these two names. Therefore we would like to thank Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia for the invitation.
Before going deeper, we want to give a disclaimer first that the TEKKEN 8 game that we are trying is still exclusive for media preview and the game itself is still in the development stage.
In addition, for reasons of confidentiality and to avoid leaks, we are not allowed to take video footage, photos or sound recordings during the event. So all the screenshots and images that we use are those provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia.
When we first arrived at the Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia office, we were immediately met by Harada-san and Michael Murray, where we were immediately given a presentation by Michael Murray about Gameplay Mechanics from TEKKEN 8. For those of you who don’t know, you can watch the gameplay presentation video – here:
Interview with Harada-san and Michael Murray
The KotakGame crew and other media partners were also given the opportunity to directly interview Harada-san and Michael Murray.
Unfortunately, due to limited time, not all questions we ask can be answered. From KotakGame itself, we have two questions answered.
Q: After Bandai Namco released a video introducing TEKKEN 8’s gameplay mechanics, many players were concerned about features that seemed more focused on offensive and very minimal from a defensive perspective so they felt it was not fair to defensive players in the TEKKEN series. How did the development team respond to this?
Harada-san: In fact, we feel that so far fighting games have had many defensive options when compared to other types of games such as FPS and MOBA, which have minimal options when receiving attacks such as only being able to dodge or even being able to only receive attacks.
Meanwhile, fighting games, especially TEKKEN, have many defensive options such as blocking, parry, dodge, counter, and even in TEKKEN which is a 3D fighting game, players can move sideways to avoid attacks and not just move backwards. Precisely these new features are an attempt to make TEKKEN 8 more balanced and more interesting to play and watch.
Q: What sets TEKKEN apart from other fighting games in the esports scene and how does this affect the development of TEKKEN 8?
Harada-san: First of all TEKKEN is a little different from other fighting games, especially 2D games because most 2D fighting game players play various fighting game titles while TEKKEN players usually only play TEKKEN and don’t play any other fighting games. Then, TEKKEN is not only popular in Japan and has quite a fanbase spread. Even the TEKKEN esports scene is dominated by other countries such as Korea and Pakistan.
The influence of the esports scene on development is that they see the interest of TEKKEN players and spectators in esports tournaments as an impetus for them to make games that are not only fun to play, but also to watch. This is also the reason we introduce characters from different country backgrounds to represent their dispersed fanbase.
Michael Murray: After we came to EVO, we could see how this game was enjoyed by players and considered making a game that could be enjoyed even more. Apart from that, no development team from other fighting games came to the esports tournament from the games they developed other than the TEKKEN team.