Yukio Futatsugi may be best known as the creator of Panzer Dragoon and the developer behind the upcoming Xbox One spiritual successor Crimson Dragon, but he was also responsible for another cult hit, the Xbox-exclusive 3D action-strategy game Phantom Dust. A mix of one-on-one arena battles with card collecting and deck-building, Phantom Dust found an audience with Xbox gamers who loved Japanese games. Unfortunately, that proved to be a narrow cross-section of the audience.
I interviewed Futatsugi earlier today at his E3 hotel, and while most of that conversation will have to wait for another day to see publication here, there was one tidbit I wanted to share right away. Specifically, Futatsugi said he wants to make a new Phantom Dust, and he wants to crowdfund it.
"I've been really interested in how the Kickstarter movement has been going, and I think it would be great if it actually stays part of the industry," Futatsugi said. "The reason why I looked into Kickstarter is because I wanted to Kickstart a Phantom Dust game."
Unfortunately, Kickstarter's requirements that projects be based in the UK or US is a huge hurdle, Futatsugi said, and would require him to either create an international company or partner with someone else. On top of that, Japanese gamers would have difficulty sending their pledges through the system without local credit cards or Amazon accounts. So for now, Futatsugi said he can't really go for the idea, but he's hoping Kickstarter changes its policies or more viable alternatives can spring up.
Futatsugi also shared a bit of his vision for the game. With Microsoft owning the Phantom Dust IP, a Sony console version is out, but Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and even smartphones are all potential targets. And with Microsoft pushing SmartGlass for second-screen functionality, Futatsugi said it would be a natural solution to have an app that let players create their skill decks while on the go, and try them out on the console or PC when they got home.
So there you go, Phantom Dust fans: a ray of hope. Cruel, cruel hope. Then again, the Panzer Dragoon crowd probably wasn't too optimistic about Futatsugi providing them with a spiritual successor a few years ago, either.
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