They ultimately went with a linear approach because “this was the best way for players to really enjoy what Tales of Arise is all about.”
With Tales of Arise, Bandai Namco’s RPG franchise is taking its biggest leap forward in a long time. From visual improvements to more ambitious storytelling to evolved gameplay mechanics and more, Arise is looking to reinvent the franchise and make it more appealing to broader audiences. Of course, adopting an open world approach often goes hand-in-hand with such expansions of established properties, and interestingly enough, Bandai Namco did initially consider doing the same for Tales of Arise as well.
Speaking in a recent interview with IGN, the game’s producer Yusuke Tomizawa said that the development team did initially consider using an open world setting for the game, but eventually decided against it, because they figured a more linear approach would be better suited to being able to focus on the game’s combat, storytelling, and other crucial aspects.
“We actually did debate whether to go with an open world concept or a linear concept,” Tomizawa said. “This was something in the early stages we really had a back and forth debate about. We actually ran tests simulating both situations and ultimately, we came to the decision that, as we mentioned, for reasons that we want the players to focus, we went with the linear option. We thought this was the best way for players to really enjoy what Tales of Arise is all about. Again, the story, character development, all that good stuff, we thought that was the best way to deliver that gameplay to the player.”