Virtua Tennis 3 - the 360 interview

GR: What sort of input does Sumo have into a game like this when working on the arcade conversion?

DM: We generally don't work on straight conversions; normally if we choose a conversion title to work on, we pick the titles that allow us some creative freedom. In this case (as with the OutRun titles) the original design was done in Japan and we were asked for our input from an early stage.

Ultimately there are, of course, restrictions - especially when versions for two different platforms are being developed on opposite sides of the world simultaneously, but everyone at Sega Europe and Japan have always been very accommodating with our ideas and suggestions.

GR: Sumo gets a lot of work on Sega games (OutRun, Virtua Tennis series.) Any idea why that might be? Any insight into the relationship you'd like to share?

DM: We were initially approached by Sega about OutRun 2 during our earliest months as a company, and since then, we've developed a really strong working relationship with them; there is a mutual understanding between us.

With Sega particularly, we feel like we're a real part of the team. Their accommodating attitude has allowed us to develop games alongside them rather than just for them.

GR: Console games moved away from simple arcade titles, but it seems like we're moving back to finding them acceptable again. Any thoughts on why?

DM: I think at the moment there are a lot of choices on the market for in-depth gameplay experiences, which are great in their place. It's fine to lose yourself for a few hours in a game but more and more these days, people just don't have 2 or 3 hours in an evening to spend in front of the TV.

People want to have their game experience when they can fit it in and if that's only for five or fifteen minutes then simple games with immediate reward are more appropriate... the arcade classics fit into this style perfectly.