A surprising get for the recently acquisition-happy Zenimax Media (long-time home of Bethesda Softworks) was the home studio of one of Japan’s biggest auteur developers, Shinji Mikami. In a lengthy interview with Famitsu (via 1up), Mikami has given his thoughts on the buyout and its effect on his future projects.
“I had been looking for a new business partner before all this, so I contacted ten or so companies during E3, both Japanese and elsewhere,” he said. “Bethesda was the best match among them because they gave us the most independent development environment to work with as we pursue our goal of producing Japanese games that work worldwide — that, and their track record when it comes to overseas sales.”
In reference to Tango Gameworks being bought outright, rather than a more lenient partnership, Mikami was quoted as saying, “We didn’t want to have to live hand-to-mouth as a studio. If we did that, we’d have to take on work we weren’t interested in just to pay the bills. That would then force us to expand our staff, and before you know it, we’d be thinking ‘This isn’t how we meant it to go.’ I gathered the people around me now in order to create the best worldwide-market-driven development studio possible — the independence of that studio is secondary to that goal. I decided that we’d all be happier if we could take this shortcut to creating the great games we want to create.”
“Playing their (Bethesda’s] stuff, you can really tell that they’re willing to take whatever time is needed to make great games,” Mikami continued, “It shows that their management and financial strength is such that they’re able to let that process happen. That was my first impression, and it was a positive one. Development costs are important, of course, but there’s always a risk you have to accept when you’re trying to make something good and also sellable. Hedging your risks and concentrating strictly on the known factors is one thing, but seeing a company continually try to push the envelope really fits what we’re trying to do.”