GR: One of the most famous examples of a game series coming up with a new character nobody expected is Metal Gear Solid 2. Obviously that was a big controversy. You've been very up front about your new main character so it won't create the same sort of problem, but do you find it's a challenge to work against the expectations of fans of the series?
HI: To our pleasant surprise, we really haven't gotten any negative feedback as far as the new character is concerned. If anything it's really positive, so we're really happy about that.
GR: It must be really challenging to make a character that's similar enough to be familiar to players, but not so similar that people go "what was the point of having the new character?"
HI: Actually, it was a gamble for us to even introduce a new character, because Dante was such a great character in the last game. So we did our best to make Nero every bit as good as Dante, if not better, by giving him extra abilities - with the throttle type control for powering up his weapons, the Devil Bringer, and such. Yes, it was a gamble but we did our best to make it better than Dante. But we were willing to take that risk so as not to lose the fans that we have, and the new fans that will buy the new hardware, and grow with them. But we hope that, throiugh Nero, people will build up to being able to use Dante and have fun playing with Dante, so it's not a lost character.
GR: If you're looking at this game, what's your number one goal you're trying to accomplish with Devil May Cry 4?
HI: There are a lot of games out there these days, that you either know how to play it or don't, or if you spend enough time pounding away at it you're going to beat it eventually. But we like the idea that you can learn something from zero, and learn how to do it all the way. It's this feeling of satisfaction, of bringing your skill level from zero to a level that you can actually play well.
Next: Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi...