Bringing Under Night 2 to the Arena: A Chat with Arc System Works CEO Minoru Kidooka

Arc System Works: An Ever-Growing Presence in the World of Anime Fighting Games

Founded in 1988, Arc System Works, known as ArcSys for short, has become a major game developer and publisher in the world of anime fighting games. They are the minds behind iconic titles such as BlazBlue, Dragonball FighterZ, and Guilty Gear, with the latest installment of Guilty Gear surpassing an impressive 2.5 million players. Minoru Kidooka, the founder, president, and CEO of ArcSys, has been leading the company since its inception.

During an interview at EVO 2023, where ArcSys celebrated its 35th anniversary and discussed its latest announcements, Kidooka took the time to talk about the company’s achievements and plans for the future. He expressed his gratitude for the support received from players worldwide and the excitement to be back in the post-COVID era, engaging with the community.

When asked about the future of Guilty Gear -Strive-, which has gained a significant player base, Kidooka confirmed that ArcSys intends to prioritize its growth and expand the player base even further. The company is committed to long-term support for the game, ensuring that players have the opportunity to enjoy it for as long as possible.

In addition to Guilty Gear -Strive-, Kidooka mentioned their plans to prioritize growth for the new UNI game, Under Night In-Birth II [Sys:Celes]. While there was initially a hiatus in supporting the game, ArcSys is enthusiastic about bringing it back and expanding its reach.

When asked about what inspired Arc System Works to return to UNI, Kidooka explained that they had always planned to create a sequel following the success of the first Under Night. It took some time to execute the plan due to various circumstances, but collaborating with French Bread, the original developers, they are finally able to make it happen.

The interview also touched on the demo for the new UNI game showcased at EVO. Kidooka expressed gratitude for the support from the large U.S. fan base and mentioned their goal of having Under Night 2 as a competing title for EVO next year. To achieve this, the game needs to be released next year and make a successful comeback.

As 2023 is an anniversary year for Arc System Works, with a new UNI game and Guilty Gear season 3 in the works, Kidooka was asked about the future of the company. He stated that while there are no specific titles to reveal at the moment, they will continue to support Guilty Gear and Under Night in the long term. The plan is to foster longevity with fans while also creating new games and delivering new experiences. Kidooka mentioned that the company would love to explore outside the fighting game genre and develop new IPs, such as Double Dragon and River City Ransom.

In closing, Kidooka expressed his excitement for EVO and the energy brought by the community. He acknowledged the immense participation in the Guilty Gear tournament and highlighted the importance of collaboration with external companies like French Bread and Cygames, who have been instrumental in developing Granblue. Ultimately, Arc System Works aims to ignite excitement in the fighting game community and bring energy and hype to the crowd.

With a rich history and a promising future, Arc System Works continues to solidify its presence as a leading force in the realm of anime fighting games. Through dedication, support, and the creation of new IPs, they are determined to captivate fans and push the genre to new heights.