Shadow Hearts and Wild Arms receiving spiritual sequels via shared Kickstarter campaign
The creators of the Wild Arms and Shadow Hearts franchises are teaming up on a joint Kickstarter campaign to create spiritual successors to both series. First spotted by RPG Site, this campaign will begin on August 29, and the money donated will be used to fund both games.
“Through this campaign, both teams will support each other’s projects, help establish new opportunities, and attempt to reach the largest number of fans possible,” reads a press release for Armed Fantasia and Penny Blood.
Armed Fantasia will serve as the successor to Wild Arms, a JRPG series that began in 1996 by developer Media.Vision. Series creator Akifumi Kaneko is leading development via Wild Bunch Productions. Its staff includes Wild Arms’ character designer Tomomi Sasaki and composers Michiko Naruke and Noriyasu Agematsu.
Meanwhile, Penny Blood is intended as a follow-up to 1999’s Shadow Hearts franchise from developer Sacnoth. Developing the title will be Yukikaze, led by Shadow Hearts creator Matsuzo Machida. Like with Kaneko and Wild Bunch, the Yukikaze staff is made up Shadow Hearts veterans, including character designer Miyako Kato and composer Yoshitaka Hirota.
Speaking to Gematsu, a publicist for Wild Bunch and Yukikaze explained that both Kaneko and Machida were unable to secure funding to make respective sequels for Wild Arms and Shadow Hearts, neither of which had existed since the 2000s (or in Wild Arms’ case, since a 2018 mobile game).
It was the success of this year’s Eiyuden Chronicle as a Kickstarter game that inspired Kaneko and Machida to use crowdfunding as a way to prove there was a demand for their JRPG series. Developed by Natsume Atari and Suidoken creator Yoshitaka Murayama, Eiyuden raised nearly $4.6 million on Kickstarter, becoming the third highest-funding game in Kickstarter history behind Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Shenmue III.
Backers can choose to donate money towards one title, or both. Both games will also feature a “combo meter” to unlock content for both games, though it’s unclear if this simply means character skins or something more substantial.
Whenever a Kickstarter campaign for a video game announced, it only applies to one game, and not two simultaneously. With how up and down Kickstarter funding can be, especially for video games, it’s certainly a risky venture for both studios.
That being said, the success of the aforementioned Eiyuden Chronicle and Bloodstained proves that there’s a niche for Japanese games that will fund any spiritual sequels to classic games that make themselves known.