First announced in Japan on February 2013, Ghost in the Shell Online went back into development for almost 21 months before revealing itself again at G-Star 2014. Developed by Neople, a studio under Nexon which made games such as Dungeon Fighter Online and third-person MOBA Cyphers, the Chinese media got a brief interview with its CEO to talk about Ghost in the Shell Online.
Q: What made the decision to turn Ghost in the Shell into an online shooter? Why not make it into a MMORPG or other genres which will be able to showcase the world?
A: I think that developing an online shooter tests the development skills of a studio. The genre also expresses the content in Ghost in the Shell better, hence we decided to develop an online shooter to challenge ourselves.
Q: Philosophical ideas and intricate plots exist in Ghost in the Shell, and some fans thought that an online shooter will be hard to express these elements. They also feel that Ghost in the Shell Online only has characters and physical elements from the series. What are your thoughts on this?
A: While the debut trailer is short, I am sure viewers can see that the settings all stayed true to the Ghost in the Shell series. Other than characters, skills also mimicked the originals, and overall I feel these will express the series well to the players.
Q: How will characters such as Motoko and Batou be presented in the game? What fun features will the Tachikoma provide?
A: These iconic characters will be playable as part of the class characters. They will have skills which will match those found in the series. The Tachikoma is an AI helper which will provide aid during PvE and PvP. They will appear during battles once the criteria is met, and might be siding with enemies.
Q: What unique features will Ghost in the Shell Online have compared with other online shooters, such as Sudden Attack and CrossFire?
A: The core gameplay systems are basically the same, which uses room-based game settings for both PvE and PvP. Unique features will include our class skills, skill sharing function, and also changing of character prosthetic parts. Compared to Sudden Attack and CrossFire, which are more on the casual side, Ghost in the Shell Online is closer to the Call of Duty games, more western and sci-fi based.
Q: Please explain more about the skill system and skill share sharing function.
A: Skills can only be used when certain points are met, and when the energy gauge is full. Players can help each other to recharge the energy gauge. For skill share, a player can send a message to his team mates during battle, asking them to download a new skill. Using this feature strategically, this will affect the outcome of each battle.
Q: What PvE and PvP modes will there be in Ghost in the Shell Online?
A: The game will have all the basic modes found in all online shooters. We will have our own unique modes as well, but it is not the time to reveal them now. What I can say is, the PvE modes will express the Ghost in Shell world very well. So please stay tuned to updates.
Q: Ghost in the Shell Online is the first time Neople is developing an online shooter. To the development team, was it a start from zero, or was heavy referencing made from other popular titles?
A: Although our 3D MOBA title, Cyphers, is a little different from Ghost in the Shell Online, but we are experienced in making the action and sound effects. Hence, we used these skills during development. However, the team behind Ghost in the Shell Online is a totally different one, and not from the other game projects.