Star Ocean 4 was nearly the end of the franchise

SO5 producer on how new game came to be

During an interview with Destructoid today, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness producer Shuichi Kobayashi intimated the series was in a state of upheaval after the launch of Star Ocean 4.

Kobayashi told me “nobody would dare to get involved” with the franchise out of respect for former series producer Yoshinori Yamagishi, who departed the company following Star Ocean 4‘s release.

“I thought somebody had to do it,” Kobayashi said through an interpreter. “I had to force myself.”

“I hope this isn’t going to sound arrogant — I thought if I couldn’t produce it, nobody else could.”

Kobayashi remained committed to keeping the franchise alive, though. He worked on a pitch for Star Ocean 5 in secret with his close friend and series creator Yoshiharu Gotanda until they were ready to take a shot at making Kobayashi’s dream a reality.

“If my CEO doesn’t like my proposal, if he rejected it, that would be the end of the entire franchise,” Kobayashi feared. Moreover, “if this hadn’t come about, I wouldn’t be working for Square Enix now.”

Obviously, things worked out. Earlier today at Square Enix’s E3 media showcase, the publisher confirmed Star Ocean 5 for a western release. The upcoming role-playing game is slated to debut in Japan this winter before coming to North America and Europe in 2016.

Kobayashi also mentioned he and Gotanda have plans for the franchise moving forward, but wouldn’t go into any specifics. For now, he intends to focus on the one already in the pipeline.

Kyle MacGregor Burleson