Yoshifumi Hashimoto Reflects on Years of Growing Games in Celebration of STORY OF SEASONS Launch
XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today shared thoughts from Yoshifumi Hashimoto, the producer of the renowned farming simulation series known as Bokujo Monogatari in Japan, in celebration of the recent North American launch of STORY OF SEASONS, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS.
As he reflected on the accomplishments of the series’ past and his feelings of gratitude toward fans, Hashimoto-san had this to say:
To our fans:
Over eighteen years ago, we were inspired to create a game that was not about battling fantastic monsters but about the cycle of life. At the time, there was little corporate interest in a farming simulation about the natural cycle of life and death. But over the course of the many games in the Bokujo Monogatari series, millions of players grew crops, raised animals, and perhaps even learned about the life of a farmer, who takes care of a farm top to bottom with his own two hands.
In the games, the lives of the players’ crops and animals depend on his or her hard work. I feel this helps players understand how life and death are intertwined with one another. Though we have a new name, Story of Seasons is much the same—if we don’t keep tending to the game and trying to make it better, it could wither on the vine. In this case, I believe that Story of Seasons will not wither, but will in fact flourish. I believe we’ve created a new and evolved game that continues our legacy, and is healthy and ripe for enjoyment.
However, my high hopes for Story of Seasons are not based solely on the new features that we’ve implemented. Our fans have played a paramount role throughout our entire eighteen years with the series, including the time that has followed our initial reveal of Story of Seasons. Fans have nourished this new crop we’ve planted with the waters of dedication and the fertilizer of enthusiasm, and I could not be more humbled by and thankful for the support I have seen across the world from the wonderful players of the Bokujo Monogatari series.
I can confidently assure you that Story of Seasons could not have happened without our fans, which is why we’ve done our best to ensure that both seasoned players and newcomers alike will be pleased with this fresh experience. We’ve kept the interests of our fans in mind throughout every step of the game’s development, and I hope you will conclude that we were successful in this endeavor once you have had a chance to take in Story of Seasons.
One feature I would like to highlight is our newly introduced Seedling mode, which makes basic tasks less stamina-consuming, and thus less time-consuming. It’s designed for both novice farmers and those who play to focus on other aspects — developing romantic relationships, customizing their farm, sharing with friends, competing and showing off their animals and produce, and so on. We’ve also added a Safari Park so players can bring the wildlife of many different lands together for the town to enjoy. Ultimately, the game takes what we have learned about player enjoyment throughout the years and weaves it into a new experience that builds on past titles and fan favorites. There is even a guest appearance from the Super Mario Bros. franchise, which I am personally a fan of. You can plant and harvest Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Super Star!
I hope you will agree that this new chapter of the Bokujo Monogatari series is its most enjoyable yet, and that you will continue to lend us your support once Story of Seasons arrives in your hands. I can sincerely say I am excited and eager to have our fans experience a wonderful new world that provides all the familiar qualities we’ve built over the years.
With warmest regards,
Developed in Japan by Marvelous Inc.,STORY OF SEASONS is published in North America by XSEED Games, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS. The game is now available as of March 31, 2015, for physical and digital release at participating retailers and in the Nintendo eShop for $39.99.
This game has been rated "E10+" for Everyone ages 10 and up by the ESRB, with the descriptors Alcohol Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes and Violent References.
Source: XSEED Press release
I would love to play this game and I am glad these types of games exist. I was a big fan of the Harvest moon games a long time ago and got burnt out on the franchise because it never really improved the gameplay over the years. It's nice to see stories like this from developers that really care about making quality games, so many video games recently are all about micro transactions and making money instead of making compelling gameplay.