According to Koei Tecmo producer Akihiro Suzuki, collaborations on the Warriors series — including last year's sensationally popular Hyrule Warriors — have reinvigorated the franchise. Suzuki expresses an understanding that, prior to the use of collaborations, many people had grown a little too familiar with the formula. After all, the first iteration debuted way back in 1997 and follow-up entries have been mostly content to play things safe.
The franchise has been going on for quite a while now. People are getting used to the whole package - the gameplay, the plotline and the atmospheric setting of the game. But we need to make sure we're keeping the series as fresh as it can be for future instalments.
Suzuki says titles that blend the hack-and-slash template with popular worlds and characters from other franchises have helped expand the series' appeal to new players. Naturally, this includes Hyrule Warriors, which made fan-favourite characters like Ganondorf and Tingle playable for the first time.
The Dynasty Warriors series is targeted towards the core fans. But we've had a few collaborations recently that have given the franchise a second wind because they've brought in new fans that hadn't given Dynasty Warriors a chance. So Hyrule Warriors gave the series some freshness. Now our task is to keep the new players happy now that they've had a chance to play.
There's no doubt that Hyrule Warriors exposed more people to Koei-Tecmo's storied franchise; whether or not those players will be interested in moving on to an entry without crossover IP is an interesting question. If you weren't familiar with the Warriors series prior to the Wii U entry, let us know whether or not you'd play one of the franchise's non-collaborative games on a Nintendo system.
Thanks to Ryan Millar for the heads up.