TEPPEN Interview with Ryozo Tsujimoto and Kazuki Morishita
TEPPEN, the new real-time mobile card game featuring Capcom characters was both announced and released on July 4, 2019 during Anime Expo.
During the expo, we had the chance to sit down with Capcom's Mobile Head of Online Development Ryozo Tsujimoto and GungHo Online CEO and Executive Producer Kazuki Morishita to talk about how this recently announced (and now released) game came to be and what there hopes are for the future.
GS: How did the idea of doing a Capcom crossover game that's a card game rather than a fighting game come about?
Ryozo Tsujimoto: So as you may know, Capcom is very strong with action and fighting games. I wanted to game with all the Capcom IPs and have its own story but didn't want to make a new world since all the characters have their own worlds and that would be weird. In order to have the worlds merged together we thought the card game would be the best way to do that.
GS: So there are currently eight characters and we're expecting more in the future, but these characters are all called "Heroes." Albert Wesker is much more of a villain, so why choose him rather than Leon Kennedy or Chirs Redfield or Claire Redfield? Was it due to popularity?
RT: One reason is because of popularity as you said, but another thing was balance because we were choosing character specialties and features and Albert Wesker fit the features for TEPPEN. In the next phase there might be other new characters put in for different reasons but currently the heroes that were chosen were because of popularity and also balancing. We've been told a lot of people really like Wesker, so that's why he was put in first.
Kazuki Morishita: So for example here you saw Wesker's black deck and we also have the purple deck, green deck, and the red deck, and they have themes between their colors. When we were working with the black deck we were thinking of which character would work best with it and that's why Wesker was chosen for that deck. From Resident Evil we won't only have Wesker, but we don't know yet which other characters will appear.
GS: So for the card game mechanics side of things, and this is usually a big concern for card game players, how to you make sure everything is balanced correctly? How do you make sure that everything works well together and see how the different colored decks stack up against each other?
KM: As you can see, this isn't just another normal turn based card game because it has real time strategy as well, so we needed to do some balancing and adjustments for both real time strategy and the card game. So it's both balance and fit that we were actually focusing on. So another way we balance the game is we have staff that plays in a lot of tournaments or play other card games and TCGs and have them test it out and adjust the balancing.
GS: So Morrigan from Darkstalkers is another one of the launch characters and that's interesting because we haven't seen a Darkstalkers game in quite some time, but she still remains a popular character. Would you hope that people who play Teppen become more interested in learning about Morrigan and Darkstalkers?
RT: We're actually amazed because we've discovered that a lot of people like Morrigan and that she's very popular and it's the first time we've seen that. The previous Darkstalkers games might be why there's some popularity, but we were still more amazed by how popular Morrigan herself was. If you compare Street Fighter and Darkstalkers. Street Fighter is much more popular but I want players to see through playing TEPPEN the different types of Darkstalkers characters. It would be great if they went on to try the older games since there aren't any newer games at the moment.
GS: So who is the target audience for this game exactly?
KM: So for this game it's not just for fans of the card game genre but we have real time strategy and also some action stuff. It's a game where a lot of people can actually try it and enjoy it. We made it so it could appeal to a bigger audience rather than just card game specialists.
GS: It's interesting to see TEPPEN announced and released on the same day and it hasn't been released in Japan yet, since with a lot of other games it's either Japan first or worldwide. How was this decision made?
KM: So when we did our first planning of this game, we were looking at the global market first and also looking at the marketing for card games and on the North American and European side card games are bigger so that's why we wanted to release it in western regions first. With the characters, there are a lot favored by America, so we wanted to focus on North America and Europe first because of the popularity of the card game genre and start building up from there. We are preparing to release the game in other regions as well so stay tuned.
GS: What are your hopes for the future of TEPPEN?
RT: There are a lot of Capcom characters in this game so I'd like to have people who love Capcom to try it out as well as people who like card games, action games, and all genres basically because we made the game so anyone could adapt to it and play it and it's on mobile so it's easy to get on many devices. I'd also like to see many tournaments from many regions and communities making their own tournaments as well. So in the long run I want to see everyone enjoy this game.
KM: We released the game yesterday, (July 4) but from now on we'll be maintaining the game we'd like to have people enjoy it and then we're going to have more updates like new characters, new heroes, and new packs, so I hope that players will have high hopes and be excited for this new stuff and also for tournaments in the near future. We're thinking of having a world tournament, so I hope players are excited for that as well.