Episode One: The Truth Behind Omnia…
This is a translation of Sakari “P”’s (Phantom Breaker: Omnia’s producer) developer diary series where he’ll be telling us a little bit about the latest installment of Phantom Breaker, coming out in 2021.
Hello, everyone! It’s nice to meet you all. And for those of you who already know me, it certainly has been a while.
My name is Sakari “P,” and I am the Director/Producer on Phantom Breaker: Omnia.
It’s now been about one month since our first reveal, but the moment of relief that followed the anxiety leading up to our announcement was quite frankly short-lived.
So here we are again, with the “Sakari ‘P’ Blog” (though I’m not sure if you can really call this a blog) and for the first installment, I thought it would be interesting to take a dive into how and why exactly this series was revived after seven long years.
The “Phantom Breaker” series was first introduced in 2011 with a game sharing the same title, developed exclusively for the Xbox 360. At the time, we were in discussions with a certain overseas publisher that was going to distribute the game for us.
There were some crossed wires in communication with our partner, however, and the international version of Phantom Breaker was shelved. Personally, I was shocked by this tragedy and remained determined to somehow get this game out in front of the world using my own bare hands. That was the birth of “Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds,” which would eventually go on to be simultaneously released around the world and even make it to Steam, but we’ll save that story for later.
Meanwhile, the update to the original Phantom Breaker, titled “Phantom Breaker: Extra,” could not be supported in the long-run due to budgetary constraints. Again, I was heartbroken to walk away from this project, leaving it half-baked.
Luckily, “Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds” turned out to be an explosive hit, which led to ports on multiple other platforms as well as a massive update to the game. And, it still does quite well, even to this day. I cannot express how thankful I am for the support this game has received.
“Heck yes!” I thought to myself, “I’ll use this momentum to finally release the fighting game, too!” but Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds’ breakaway success did not go as far as I thought it would within the walls of MAGES. After this massive blow, I spent days crying myself to sleep. (Disclaimer: Some parts may be exaggerated for dramatic effect.)
After many moons had passed, a way forward came in the form of one of my good friends from the US of A who extended a helping hand–one of the founders of Rocket Panda Games. Before the world came to a screeching halt at the hands of this latest pandemic, we were sharing a drink at a little Izakaya during one of his business trips to Japan. That was, in fact, the inception of the “Omnia Project.” At that moment, I realized that one of the most sacred and traditional rituals of corporate Japan was still alive and well: business ‘on the rocks’.
In that early, whisky-scented beginning, we talked about creating a remastered version of Phantom Breaker: Extra, but after several meetings–in which I explained the world of Phantom Breaker to RPG’s CEO–one thing led to another, which ultimately resulted in some key thoughts for the game (abridged for the sake of time):
- We should include Phantom Breaker: Extra’s “Situation Battle Mode” AND the original Phantom Breaker’s story. Fully voiced in English!
- Having access to the original stories would then help fans understand the relationship between Phantom Breaker / Phantom Breaker: Extra and Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds.
- We would introduce a few new characters who were originally slated to make an appearance later in the game’s story.
- Let the fans see all the past illustrations that somehow survived in the archives over the years.
These initiatives were largely to aid the overseas fans, who never got the chance to play Phantom Breaker or Phantom Breaker: Extra–whose first introduction to the franchise was the spinoff, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. That is how this game went from “remaster” to “everything in Kurisu Makise’s bag of tricks” and then some. The project has grown massively since its inception. So massive, in fact, that I fear that failure is no longer an option (not that I was planning to fail from the beginning, but the pressure is definitely on)…
But when all is said and done, I am very thankful for this third chance to release the game, so I would very much love to make it a smashing success and keep the series alive.
And once everyone has become familiar with the series and story, I would love to bring you all the next chapter of this journey. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all the fans and people of the industry who have supported this game.
And that’s it for our first episode. Until next time!
In Producer Sakari’s Developer Diaries – “The Phantom Breaker: Omnia Chronicles,” we bring you regular behind-the-scenes and untold stories of Omnia’s development.
Stay tuned for the next episode!