The Harvest Moon series has found itself in a strange predicament in the last few years, with it functionally being split up between XSEED and Natsume. XSEED continues the “original” series under the name Story of Seasons, while Natsume retained the rights to the name and continue to produce their own games. XSEED has been doing pretty well with Story of Seasons, but the last few Harvest moon games haven’t gone over too well with fans, but Natsume is hoping to change that with the upcoming Harvest Moon: Light of Hope.
Light of Hope launched today on PC, so PC Gamer caught up with a few upper staff members of Natsume to talk about the series. The interview opened with the developers reminiscing of the early days of the series, saying that it was a hard-fought battle at first. Here’s what Graem Markay—VP of Operations—had to say:
It's hard to believe 20 years has gone by. I can look back and remember putting our blood, sweat, and tears into each one. In the earlier days it was really an uphill battle. Not many people were interested in farming simulations for the SNES. Looking back now and seeing how the genre has grown, there's more competitors, which is fantastic, and there's a lot more fans too. It's something to be proud of.
Hiro Taekawa—President of Natsume—agreed, adding that others actively discouraged him from localizing it:
Harvest Moon is something like my child. In 1996, the first time I came across [Harvest Moon], I had a chance to localize and publish it in America. At that time, I was a newcomer to the videogame industry. I decided to check with my business friends in the videogame industry to see what kind of comments they had about the game. To my surprise, everyone said to me, don't [publish] such a boring game. That will be a bad mistake. I was really surprised by those comments.
For the full interview, check it out here. There’s lots of interesting discussion about where the series has been and where it’s going.
What do you think? What’s your favorite Harvest Moon game? Will you be getting Light of Hope? Share your thoughts in the comments below.