At E3 2017 we learned that Tetsuya Nomura had helped with the character design on Xenoblade Chronicles 2, specifically creating characters that work for an organisation called Torna.
When asked how the collaboration had happened, Monolith Soft founder Tetsuya Takahashi has explained that he has wanted to work with Nomura for some considerable time – nearly 20 years, in fact.
“Good question. This story goes back 20 years. Back when I was about to start on a new game, and the name ‘Xenogears’ wasn’t set yet, for that new title I needed a designer,” Takahashi shared with TIME.”
“And at the time there was someone who was directing the Final Fantasy series, Mr. [Yoshinori] Kitase. And then Mr. Nomura and I were in the team together doing character design. At the time, Mr. Kitase was handling Final Fantasy and I was doing this new title, and I wanted to work with Mr. Nomura.
“So I was waiting for the final call to be made, whether he was going to be working on the Final Fantasy series or on this new title of mine. And then Mr. [Hironobu] Sakaguchi [the creator of the Final Fantasy series] came and said ‘Tetsu is going to do Final Fantasy.’ So I thought ‘Okay, I’ve got to find myself a new designer.’
“But I’ve always wanted to work with him. And this idea of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 came up, and I thought I’d love to work with him again. After our discussion with Nintendo went through and this project was a go, I went directly to Square Enix, thinking that I’d be denied, asking if I could work with Tetsu. To my surprise, it was approved, and that’s how it happened.”
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will release exclusively for Nintendo Switch worldwide in Holiday 2017.