Tokyo Jungle director Yohei Kataoka has revealed that Sony bigwigs weren’t initially impressed when SCE Japan Studio first pitched the idea of the animal-based actioner to them.
Speaking to the EU PlayStation Blog, Kataoka-san revealed that many people were a bit sceptical as to whether or not the game’s concept would equate to solid sales.
“It was bad. Initially. It wasn’t received so well at the very beginning,” he said.“I think there weren’t so many people that thought this game would sell just based on the concept, but as the game started to take form there was good user reaction and feedback.”
He went on to add that Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida saw promise in the concept itself, though remained concerned that the gameplay wouldn’t be up to scratch.
“Initially when Yoshida-san said that he didn’t necessarily have a positive view of the project, he explained there was a catchiness to the concept but the gameplay itself wasn’t at the same level,” said Kataoka.
“So we had to take some time to bring that up to the same level. That’s why it took some time from Tokyo Game Show 2010 for these adjustments to take place.”
However, response to the game in Europe “actually in some respects pushed forward the development of the game,” which at that point had every chance of ending up on the cutting room floor.
“But we had an opportunity to show the videos to Europe and US audiences and the European audience thought it was hilarious. So maybe there is something more similar in the sensibilities of Europeans and the Japanese,” he continued.
“We thought we’d be able to release in Japan and Europe but we weren’t so sure about the US. But we got help and we’re now able to release there as well.”
Tokyo Jungle is available on the U.S. and European PlayStation Store this week. Check out our review here to see if it’s worth picking up.