Bandai Namco, the Japanese game company responsible for developing and publishing titles like Tekken, Soul Calibur, Dark Souls, and Smash Bros., is in the early stages of development for a new project that could be the highest-budget game that the company has ever worked on.
What makes this mystery project all the more intriguing is that the head of development is fighting game and Bandai Namco legend, Katsuhiro Harada.
During the recent Piro Live! New Year’s Eve Special 2021 livestream, Harada, the current general manager, director, and producer for Bandai Namco, released the first tidbits of information regarding his new project.
In an interview originally translated by Gematsu, Harada expressed his genuine surprise that the company higher-ups actually approved a project of this scale.
“Well, honestly I think this might be the most costly development project in Bandai Namco history,” Harada said during the event. “I think it’s incredible that the higher-ups approved of this. Well, the approval has passed, it’s just that due to the coronavirus, we haven’t really been able to properly start the project.”
It’s just as surprising, however, that this upcoming project isn’t a fighting game. Harada is most well-known for his work on fighting games. He was a producer on the Pokémon fighting games Pokkén Tournament and Pokkén Tournament DX, released in 2015 and 2017. He also directed Tekken 7, released in arcades in 2015 and on consoles in 2017.
Harada commented on this new direction, saying “I’m developing things other than fighting games. I don’t think I’ll ever do any other fighting game other than Tekken. But I won’t say what this project is at this point.”
Nothing else is known about the project at this time. The game is likely many years away from seeing any kind of release date, too.