Disgaea D2, the latest entry in the strategy-heavy Disgaea series, hits stores in North America tomorrow. I felt D2 was a bit too safe for the franchise, but apparently I have little to worry about, because changes are coming.
In an interview with Siliconera, Nippon Ichi Software president Souhei Niikawa confirmed that Disgaea 5 is already in the works. Niikawa also explained that the series' next entry will aim for a broader audience than past Disgaea titles.
"We have started working on it," said Niikawa when asked about Disgaea 5. "What I can say now is we want Disgaea to appeal to a broader audience so we can expand our fanbase beyond the niche audience we have now. We are working on a story that can be enjoyed by a wider user base as well as different characters that will be enjoyed by them."
Niikawa doesn't go into what changes will be made and NIS has to tread carefully, lest it get caught in the same situation Capcom did with DmC: Devil May Cry. I think exposing more people to the awesomeness of Disgaea is a good thing, if changes are implemented correctly. If they go too far, NIS risks messing up its primary cash-cow.
Niikawa also said that fans should not expect simultaneous launches on home consoles and portables. Instead, we can expect the staggered release schedule that has become the norm for the series. In fact, Niikawa admitted that if the company was focused only on Japan, it would probably only release its games on portables.
"As of right now, we don't have any plans of doing a simultaneous release on console," he said. "If we do a simultaneous release on console and handhelds, some of the things that are unique to the handheld version, for example the traveling feature in Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, the game would only sell on handhelds which would be bad for us."
"From our standpoint, since portable devices aren't really doing well outside of Japan. It's better for us to release the game on console first because consoles do well in and outside of Japan and then go from there," he added. "If we were just thinking about Japan we could probably just release all of our games on handheld devices, but we we want our fans outside of Japan to enjoy the games as well, which is why we want to release the games on consoles."
Disgaea D2 will be out in North America tomorrow, so US Disgaea fans' wait is almost over!