Koei Tecmo’s recent entry in the Mysterious franchise, Atelier Sophie 2, has captured the eye of several newcomers due to its distinct take on turn-based combat. The game’s focus on manual weather change and exploration allows players to invest heavily in the open world.
Additionally, Sophie even gets to make new friends on her adventure, which perfectly balances the classic slice-of-life aspect alongside the mystery of a new world.
Junzo Hosoi talks about positive feedback on Atelier Sophie 2 and difficulties in making new locations
In a conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’ Soumyadeep Banerjee, Junzo Hosoi opened up about the challenges behind making new Atelier games, designing locations, and why Sophie got a new title.
Q: For starters, tell us about the thought process that led to Sophie getting another story as opposed to other characters in the Mysterious series. Why Sophie, and not Firis or Lydie and Suelle?
Junzo Hosoi: Well, Sophie was just getting her start as an alchemist in Atelier Sophie, became a teacher of alchemy in Atelier Firis, and grew to be an extraordinary alchemist in Atelier Lydie & Suelle.
Since we have been able to show this growth of Sophie throughout the series, we thought it would be interesting to show her growth between the stages of just starting alchemy and becoming a teacher, rather than creating a story that continues after Atelier Lydie & Suelle.
This way, players could enjoy individual characteristics and the relationship between Sophie and Plachta as set in the Mysterious series.
Q: The Atelier series has been getting a lot of attention recently in the western market after Ryza. With a lot of core features varying between different Atelier games, is making new titles challenging by keeping an entirely new player base in mind?
Junzo Hosoi: We are really thankful that the series has been getting a lot of attention. When working on new series and spin-off games such as Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists, we are always keeping an eye on genres and the various trends and systems that are being asked for or expected globally.
And we look to see if these things will be positive for Atelier games since we are aware that adding new things will help keep the series fresh. So, I hope everyone will look forward to new announcements from us.
Q: The first adventure of Sophie and Plachta introduced us to a lot of characters that we grew to love with time. Since Atelier Sophie 2 can be considered as episode 0, when can we expect Monika, Oskar, and other characters to re-appear in another sequel?
Junzo Hosoi: I think that the games by Gust include series that are created together with all of our fans, so if there are such requests from everyone, there might be a chance it could happen!
For Atelier Sophie 2, this project occurred since the players' feedback corresponded to what we, as developers, wanted to create. We are always listening to player feedback.
Q: There is no progression to an Atelier protagonist without her allies. Will we be seeing any of our favourite side characters getting a game based on their own story?
Junzo Hosoi: It is possible! But we do not have any plans at the moment.
Q: The concept of a dreamland might have given you a lot of freedom and space to create a fantasy open world. Making the balance between sun, rain, and snow weather, which location was the hardest to work on and why?
Junzo Hosoi: The four ruins located past the dimension gateway was the hardest. Not only is it bigger than any other field, but it is an important location for the story, so we put in a lot more effort into its production compared to other gathering spots.
Q: Atelier Sophie 2 lets players go in and out of combat with seamless transitions while keeping the turn-based fans happy. Will there be any future Atelier games that might implement the Action Combat mechanics in their battle systems?
Junzo Hosoi: It was a lot of work for the development team, but we received a lot of positive feedback on this feature, so I'd definitely like to utilize it again if it fits in with the concept for the next title.
Q: After completing the story of Atelier Sophie 2, can fans hope for anything else at a later date that’ll provide a post-game experience?
Junzo Hosoi: In addition to paid additional content such as costumes, additional scenarios and areas, we have prepared free additional content and elements for everyone to enjoy, so please look forward to them!
Q: What can we expect from Junzo Hosoi this year? Another new Atelier title for the fans? Or perhaps something entirely new?
Junzo Hosoi: This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Atelier series. Atelier Sophie 2 was produced as the first title to commemorate the 25th anniversary, so please look forward to additional information!