SmackDown! confidential - part 2

The Yuke's team gets frank about their plans for bringing wrestling into the next generation of gaming

Inpart oneof our interview with two of the developers of WWE SmackDown! vs RAW 2007, we learned about wrestler rosters, new opportunities for dirty tricks and their sources of inspiration. In part two, Yuke's Senior Vice President Hiromi Furuta and Senior Director Taku Chihaya (along with translator and project manager Colin Mack) talk about making the leap to next-gen consoles, their thoughts on the Wii and why the PS2 version won't suck despite its current-gen tarnish.

When you first started work on next-gen SmackDown!, what were the main things that you wanted to achieve?

Hiromi Furuta: The biggest goal for this year is the first year on next-generation hardware, so we're getting the game ready for Xbox 360 and PS3, and making a new game worthy of next-generation platforms.

How difficult a transition was it from current-generation consoles to the Xbox 360 and PS3?

HF: From PS2 to next-generation - on PS2 to 360, which is what has progressed the most - has not been that difficult a transition. We're not actually finished yet, so it might be a little too early to speak [laughs], but so far it hasn't been too difficult.

So probably the most difficult part of the project this year will actually be not so much doing what we want to do on the next-generation hardware, but then how we filter that back to PS2 and especially PSP. That's one of the goals - to have the same main features on all platforms. But as you get farther down in power, it gets pretty difficult to do some of the stuff you want to do.

How big is the SmackDown! team now, and how big was it for the first game?

HF: The first SmackDown! was made with a 20-person team, and this year about 300 people total. [laughs]


After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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