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Shadow Tactics Developer on the Challenge of Console Ports, Supporting the Switch & More

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Aug 1
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It’s been over ten years since the last Commandos game. In all this time, it’s been hard to find another great game in that niche genre. Luckily, German studio Mimimi Productions surprised everyone with Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, which Chris rated 8.5/10 in his PC review.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is a fantastic return to form for the real-time tactics genre, with a particular emphasis on stealth based gameplay. Reminiscent of Commandos, it offers a fantastic tactical approach in a brilliantly designed world that will do more than enough to grab anybody’s attention. Not without its difficulty, it’s never too hard that it’s unfair.

The game is launching today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, where a free demo will be available for download. We took the opportunity to speak with Dennis Huszak, Communications Director at Mimimi Productions, on what’s next for the studio and the Shadow Tactics IP.

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Were you surprised by the success enjoyed with Shadow Tactics? The game received strong critical
acclaim.

To be honest, we didn’t expect critics to like it as much as they did. Sure, we were confident in the
game, and we polished the hell out of it to reach our quality standard. But when you’re reviving a
dead genre, you always run the risk that people just don’t get it, or that your gameplay isn’t modern
enough. We’re really, REALLY happy with all the love we got for the game, from gamers as well as
critics.

Your previous game was a platformer. What prompted you to move to the real-time strategy
genre with Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun?

Our Creative Director Dominik Abé is a huge fan of the old Commandos games. It was kind of a
dream back in university to revive this genre. When the time came to pitch our next big project to
publishers, we threw what we called “Commandos with ninjas” into the mix, and Daedalic loved it
instantly. And that was the beginning of a dream coming true.

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Why did you decide to set the game in the Edo period?

When you’re making a Commandos-type game, it’s important to have a certain degree of realism.
So, if we wanted ninjas in a realistic setting, we had to stick to a certain time frame. We chose the
Edo period over the Warring States period because we wanted missions to take place not just in
military camps and castle sieges, but also in more civil settings like quiet villages and bustling cities.
Another important thing was that we wanted to have blades and guns in the game. And after some
or maybe a lot of research we found out that the Edo period was simply perfect.

You have stated that there is no time to produce more content for the game and that you are working on a new game. Is there any chance you might get back to the IP and make a sequel in the future, though?

There’s always a chance, yes. Currently, we’re working on our next project, but that doesn’t mean
that we couldn’t return to the world of ninja and samurai in a future title. When we created the IP,
we also thought about games taking place in different settings, something that fans also suggested
many times in our Steam Forums: Shadow Tactics: China, Shadow Tactics: Wild West, and so on. The formula works very well with that, so we’ll see where the future takes us. Right now we are working on something that we are pretty sure fans of Shadow Tactics gonna like a lot.

Similarly, you have said that there is no time to port the game on the Switch. However, will your new game be developed for the Switch, too?

We just received our Switch Developer kit and we´d love to see our games on this great piece of
hardware. But in terms of performance, it´s very hard to make a game that works well on any
hardware. For us, it´s very important that the players can choose where they want to play our games. And we want to guarantee that the experience is the same. So yeah, we’re looking into it, but we can’t make any promises at this point about bringing our next game to the Switch.

How complex was porting the game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? Is there anything major you
had to sacrifice?

It’s fair to say that it was a very big challenge. We didn’t have the time to fully optimize the game
when we first released it on Steam. After launch, we planned to spend the next three months on the console versions. It took us twice as long to get the game running smoothly. That said, we’re very proud of the results, and we hope to also bring the improvements to PC in a future patch. I’m happy to say that the console versions suffer no downgrade in quality whatsoever and can´t wait to see how console players will receive our game.

Will the game have PlayStation 4 Pro support at launch and if so, which enhancements can PS4 Pro
owners expect over the base PS4 version?

The PS4 Pro is powerful enough to run the game at stable 60 FPS, so we give you the option to lock
the framerate to 60 FPS instead of the default 30 FPS. You can also play with an unlocked framerate, but your mileage may vary. The standard PS4 reaches about 35-45FPS and is locked to 30 FPS by default.

Do you plan to release an update for the Xbox One X when it launches in November? If so, what
kind of performance and/or visual enhancements over the PS4 Pro version will we find?

Right now, the team is working full time on the next project, so there will be no separate update for
Xbox One X compared to the PS4 Pro. Both versions are the same in regards to quality and
functionality.

Thank you for your time.

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