Japanese publication denfaminicogamer interviewed the developers of Soul Hackers 2 and Tales of Arise. There were a lot of intriguing topics that were touched upon. Producer Yusuke Tomizaka and director Hirokazu Kagawa from Bandai Namco were also present.
In the early stages of development, Tales of Arise was not supposed to be a Tales of game at all. Instead, the game was simply named Arise, with the intention of creating a brand new IP. It was such an innovative project that they weren’t sure if they should make it part of the Tales of series.
Tales of Arise is noticeably different from its predecessors due to its changed approach to combat, presentation, and other trifles. It’s easy to imagine it as a standalone product outside of the entire series. Obviously, they eventually decided to go off the rails, but it’s potentially worth thinking about how dramatically things might have changed if it wasn’t a Tales of.