Reports of Tri-Ace’s death have been greatly exaggerated

It’s not a mobile game factory just yet

Back when word broke regarding Tri-Ace’s acquisition at the hands of mobile group Nepro Japan, the early speculation was the studio’s days making games for consoles were over.

Then, just a couple months later, Square Enix announced a new entry in the Star Ocean franchise was in development at Tri-Ace, indicating fears may have been overblown. Perhaps the developer wouldn’t be relegated to churning out smartphone games for the rest of its days after all.

While catching up with Star Ocean 5 producer Shuichi Kobayashi at E3 last week, I inquired about the acquisition and what, if any, impact Tri-Ace’s new parent has on the title’s development.

“We are not expecting any impact,” Kobayashi told me through a translator. “When you say Tri-Ace has been bought by another company, you think they must be troubled. But that’s not the case.

“They just wanted to reinforce their capital base. When they were negotiating the contract, they made sure that the new company were not going to poke their nose in their creative direction or development policy. On the creative side, they have 100 percent control.”

So, that’s encouraging. If Tri-Ace wants to start making apps, it will be of its own volition, at least.

Kyle MacGregor Burleson