NieR: Automata Director Talks About “Open-World Fatigue”

The creative explained how it generated the sensation of freedom in NieR: Automata.

NieR: Automata

There is no doubt that NieR: Automata is a game that will be marked in the history of the industry and after completing its first year we continue talking about things related to the work of Yoko Taro and PlatinumGames. Today, during a panel at the Game Developers Conference 2018, the creative talked about the definition of “open-world fatigue” and the way in which he generated the sense of freedom in NieR and NieR: Automata.

The director of NieR: automata began his participation by addressing what in the West is considered the phenomenon of fatigue of the open worlds, which has already caught the attention of the industry in Japan. According to Yoko Taro, the characteristics of open-world games, such as their large maps, their missions, and progression systems, are encountering the problem that players feel that for more hours they are not playing enough.

At the same time, the creative considered that although the genre was a fresh proposal at the time, it is now receiving complaints from users, who see in their game sessions a routine work experience. This, under the perception of Yoko Taro, happens because a high level of freedom does not equate to the feeling of freedom and some creatives place many missions that make the player feel that he has to comply with all of them, making it an obligation and not a fun.

Now, with regard to the impact that these ideas had on the development of NieR and NieR: Automata, Yoko Taro mentioned that he sought to generate the feeling of freedom by making the player discover that there was something beyond what he had previously assumed to be the limit of the world. That is, he chose to expand that world through history and its chapters and not from a quantitative perspective. Even the creative expressed a phrase that explains his idea: “freedom is in the future that you did not have in the past.”

Finally, Yoko Taro revealed that the goal of NieR: Automata was to provoke the players, motivate them to finish the game over and over and make them feel free in a scenario that was reused, for budget reasons, but seen from different perspectives.