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Tecmo Koei's Yoshiki Sugiyama

The publisher's senior MD talks Quantum Theory, DOA and more...

Tecmo Koei has made its name in the West with two key franchises: Dead Or Alive and Ninja Gaiden.

This year, however, things have changed: The creative visionary behind those two titles, Tomonobu Itagaki, has gone.

Its big hope in the short-term rests on the shoulders of Quantum Theory - a Gears-esque, post-apocalyptic third-person shooter, screens of which can be seen dotted around this page.

Other titles in its locker 2010 include God Of War challenger Warriors: Legends Of Troy, and the poorly received Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce.

CVG caught up with the publisher's senior managing director Yoshiki Sugiyama to ask all about the firm's for the rest of the year...

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How would you characterise your line up for 2010?
Our line up for 2010 is two-pronged. We have those titles which fans keep demanding; for example new instalments in our Warriors and Dead Or Alive series - those titles will always be a part of our portfolio.

We are also very pleased to have new IPs in our slate as well and we hope these will introduce Tecmo Koei to new types of gamer and a wider audience. Quantum Theory will spearhead our new releases in the summer - with this title we hope to deliver something exciting and innovative to fans of the third-person shooting genre.

Many people have compared Quantum Theory to Gears of War. What differentiates the title from Epic's classic series?
While the style may share similar traits of a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by hardened warriors it's the co-operation between our two characters that makes Quantum Theory so unique.

The fact you have to physically manipulate this spectacularly acrobatic partner while launching your own assaults makes for an interesting new dynamic - and of course the battle ground is always changing and shifting.

There's a living tower at the heart of this story, a fantastical construction that is never as it seems. If gamers assume they know what awaits them, if they assume Quantum Theory is going to be just another shooter, they're going to be surprised.

Dynasty Warriors is a huge franchise in the East, but has struggled to make the same impact in the West? Why is this - and can Strikeforce change this trend at all?
Well, you say it has failed to make an impact, but the fan base in Europe for Dynasty Warriors is massive.

There are a hardcore bunch who adore the world of the Three Kingdoms and there is this fiercely loyal nucleus of fans who we are exceptionally grateful to.

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Strikeforce will help to extend awareness and interest in the DW series and I hope those yet to have engaged with DW will find it a perfect entry point.

How big/dedicated is the Dynasty Warriors audience in the West?
The fan base is diverse and growing. With a high percentage of under-18 and female fans we are fortunate that it presents us with this huge base of amazing fans.

We are well aware that some people perceive the series as this throw-away curiosity, something that is an easy target for reviewers eager to fill their pages on deadline, but a few hours seriously invested in Dynasty Warriors can change opinions quite rapidly.

What separates Strikeforce from previous Dynasty Warriors releases?
The main differentiator is the inclusion of team multiplayer. The missions are shorter, more intense than a normal Dynasty Warriors title and this enables players to engage in online missions without feeling as though they need to play for hours - its intense multiplayer action.

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