Earlier this month, LEVEL-5 released their first game for iOS: Liberation Maiden. Originally an eShop title for the Nintendo 3DS, Liberation Maiden is a sci-fi shooter directed by critically acclaimed developer Goichi Suda (SUDA51) from Grasshopper Manufacture. LEVEL-5 and SUDA51 are attached to games such as the Professor Layton series, Lollipop Chainsaw, No More Heroes, and other high end titles for consoles and handhelds, which makes their iOS debut all the more exciting for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch gamers.
We recently reviewed Liberation Maiden, and wanted to know more about their jump to iOS. So, we fired off some questions to LEVEL-5, and received answers from CEO Akihiro Hino, and the producer on the project, Takeshi Ogura.
AppleTell: At what point during the development of Liberation Maiden did you decide to produce an iOS version?
LEVEL-5: It was during the development of the 3DS version that we realized the game had a very high level of control for the player. We felt that bringing the game to iOS devices would give more players the chance to experience this exhilaration and to see it realized in high-definition graphics.
AppleTell: What about the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch attracted you to the platform?
LEVEL-5: We typically don’t favor any particular platform, and we think every device has equally attractive features. In this case, we found that Liberation Maiden was a natural fit for iOS devices, considering that the gameplay uses a touchscreen to lock on to and attack enemies.
AppleTell: Many games for iOS are offered for free, with in-app purchases that unlock additional levels and / or capabilities. What made you decide to bypass this method with Liberation Maiden?
LEVEL-5: First and foremost, our goal is to create a fun game, and this particular title was conceptualized as being for the 3DS. It would be obvious and frustrating to players if we forced a freemium model into a game that wasn’t constructed that way to begin with, even if the freemium model happens to be the trend.
AppleTell: A lot of gamers and the gaming press still don’t see tablet devices as legitimate gaming platforms.
LEVEL-5: That’s probably because the device is not first-and-foremost intended to be a dedicated gaming device. As for us, it’s hard to say one way or the other. But we have a simple philosophy; we are a company that makes games, and if there’s an interesting concept that would work well on an interesting device, we have no reason to ignore an entire platform.
AppleTell: Are more Grasshopper Manufacture / LEVEL-5 games for iOS in the works?
LEVEL-5: We have no plans at the moment. That said, we share a similar philosophy when it comes to making games, so we sincerely hope we’ll have the opportunity to work together again in the future.
We’d like to thank Akihiro Hino and Takeshi Ogura for taking the time to answer our questions, and even more so for embracing Apple’s iDevices for such a fantastic game. For more information on Liberation Maiden, visit the LEVEL-5 website, and be sure to check out the AppleTell review.
Product [Liberation Maiden]