Enix Interview With Justin Lucas
by Eric Malenfant, Eve C., and Nicole Kirk
RPGFan: How did you react to the controversy over Dragon Warrior 7's localization?
Justin: That is something that has been rectified and fixed. We at Enix are ready to move on from it, learn and grow from it.
RPGFan: What were Heartbeat's real reasons for leaving the game industry?
Justin: They worked their tails off on DW7 and DW4. They decided to take a sabbatical for a while and rest up. No conspiracy, or magic bullet from the grassy knoll. .
RPGFan: Did Enix not try to support them, or was it a decision from them?
Justin: Totally their decision, they felt like they needed a break.
RPGFan: Did it have something to do with the disappointing sales of DQ7 in the US?
Justin: No, not at all; as I mentioned earlier, sales were not disappointing at all for us. The response has been great from the fans.
RPGFan: Was it so urgent to sack them than they had to lose the work on Dragon Quest IV?
Justin: Sack them?? No it wasn't like that at all (quit reading UseNet.) We had the localization translation, PR, Marketing, QA staff all in place, we were excited and ready to bring what some will argue as the best DW game from back in the day out in the US.
Then we got the word from Heartbeat that they were taking a sabbatical and getting out of the business for a while. We looked at possibly transferring it to another developer, but the engine for DW4 is so complex that to give it to another developer who is not familiar with how it was programmed or how the code is structured would have been an ordeal unto itself.
Trust me, we looked at every possible angle, but in the end we had to cancel it. Perhaps in the future we will revisit it. Canceling DW4 for the PlayStation was the hardest thing we have had to do, as all of us in the office are huge DW fans.
RPGFan: Will you be publishing all of Game Arts' titles from now on, including games in the Grandia and Lunar series?
Justin: That depends on any pre-existing contracts Game Arts may have.
RPGFan: Any plans to localize Lunar: Legend for GBA?
Justin: It's something we will definitely look into. A lot depends on the amount of time it would take to localize, and what the market would be like at the time of release.
RPGFan: Any possible Quintet ports?
Justin: The future is the future. Right now our focus is on Grandia Xtreme and RAD for 2002. Along with some other plans we are currently looking at for this year. 2003 will see the release of Star Ocean as well as some other very exciting games we have yet to announce.
RPGFan: What were the reasons for Star Ocean 3's delay in Japan?
Justin: Someone once said "Delays are temporary, mediocrity is forever," and that is very true in this case. The team at Tri-Ace is making the best game possible, and I am sure once they are done and the game comes out, they will be once again setting the bar for all RPG's to follow. It's going to be "THE RPG" for 2003 without a doubt.
Thanks very much to Justin Lucas and Enix for giving us their time and continued support of RPGFan.
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