There are two questions asked in just about every interview with any prominent developer these days (and ones I did pass on while talking to Bayonetta producer Yusuku Hashimoto recently at Tokyo Game Show), questions asked because, well, people want to know.
1. What do you think of motion controls now that every platform is adopting them?
2. Does the Wii create an increased pressure to develop casual games or casual features?
The responses tend to vary. Some developers, almost instinctually, are quick to show rabid support for the new control interfaces and figuring out ways to embrace this expanded audience. Hashimoto, however, pretty much answered my questions with the same answer: "that's a weird question, Mr. G4tv.com interviewer, because why would I just randomly adapt a radical new concept for my games unless it made sense?" (He didn't actually say it like that). I, of course, smile and nod.
On if he's keen to develop games for this new audience…
"Approaching a game concept from that direction is kind of like putting the cart before the horse. The most important thing is figuring out 'this is what I want people to experience, this is what I want them to play.' And then if it naturally lends itself to being a more simplified type of control format, maybe more casually oriented, then so be it, that's what we would make. But the core of it is, 'this is the kind of game, this is my content, this if what I want to make and this is what I want people to enjoy.' That would naturally give you your range or give you your level of what the perfect difficulty is or what the appropriate level of complexity of the controls is."
On whether he can see motion controls in a future game he works on…
"Again, it really comes down to 'What kind of game do I want to make? What is the core of that?' If it's something that naturally lends itself to Natal or to a motion controller type of format, then by all means, we'd totally take that to its fullest extent to see what it could do. But if we try to do it in the opposite direction and say, 'we want to make this game -- oh, hey, we should also put in motion controls!' If it doesn't naturally fit into that or if it's not a naturally resonating type of scenario, then it kind of tends to be artificial, and then it's hard for the guys on the team to really get motivated and really get behind it and make the best use of it. Because then it's kind of 'well, we're just putting it in because it's the newest thing or whatever,' but if you already have an idea from the ground up of 'oh, that's what we want to build towards,' then it natural and it comes together. But even having said that, though, this newest technology coming out, we do have a lot of interest. We want to try it out and see what it'll do."
So, essentially, Hashimoto's answer to both is: yes…but only if it makes sense.