In a recent interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu, Monolith Soft's President Takahashi Tetsuya has discussed developing new content for the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition without having an adverse effect on other projects currently in development.
The game, a high-def remaster of 2010's Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii, is releasing for Switch on 29th May and features a brand new epilogue entitled Future Connected. In the Q&A (which we have translated in full), Takahashi makes mention of a 'new title' that was in development alongside the remaster.
Firstly, Takahashi outlines how the studio divided time between projects when development of the remaster began:
A planning document was created while Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC was being produced, and was completed around May 2018. We officially started development in August 2018, after development of Torna – The Golden Country wrapped up. I think in that sense, it could be said that both projects had been progressing alongside each other, but staff was divided three ways – staff working on a new title, staff for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, and staff working on both.
Takahashi mentions this new game again later on:
Famitsu: Can you tell us about the sense of volume in “Future Connected?”
Takahashi: It took me about 10 to 12 hours to finish, so I think it will take players a bit longer to complete the first time. I’d say there’s about 20 hours worth of content in Future Connected, when you include side quests. When you develop DLC, you can increase the volume of the game even more, but with a remaster such as this, it’s just too expensive, and if we put too many resources into developing it, it would have had an impact on developing our new game. We tried to balance the development to be compatible with these limits in mind.
Monolith Soft has grown as a company over the last few years, more than doubling its employee numbers since 2014, and it is helping Nintendo with development of the upcoming sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (much as the company did on the original game). With that in mind, it's very likely Takahashi is referring to the tentatively titled Breath of the Wild 2 when he mentions this 'new game'.
However, there will be many fans hoping that perhaps it's an entirely new entry in the Xenoblade series, or even just a Switch port of Wii U's Xenoblade Chronicles X (although money is apparently the issue with that one). Regardless of the nature of the project, we're eager to sample more of Monolith Soft's fine work.
They helped out on Animal Crossing, too, you know. It seems Monolith is becoming an integral part of Nintendo's developmental inner circle. Do you think this new project is BOTW2, a Xenoblade game, or something else entirely? Let us know in the usual place.