Prior to the release of Theater Days, Famitsu interviewed GamiP about the game, and here’s a translation of it!
Please enjoy the stories happening in the Theater!
Millitheater was announced last March and without realising it, its now released. Please tell us about its creation.
We actually started planning quite early, around 1 year after The IDOLM@STER Million Live was released.
Oh really? So you went through all kinds of trial and errors until reaching this point?
We thought about making Millitheater a game with a stronger taste of producing. When we were thinking about ways to do it, specifications for smartphones were still quite low, so we went ahead and made it 2D based, but as the specifications get better, we ended up switching in order to make it properly in 3D. That’s how we got to the current Millitheater.
Did you plan to have a music game as the main pillar from the start?
Music is an irreplaceable aspect of The IDOLM@STER’s appeal. Then there’s also the fact that Million Live! already has more than 100 songs created for it, so we wanted to make another place to enjoy idols singing and dancing that isn’t limited to real live events. Because of that a music game is the most appropriate way to do it.
There are a lot of music games being released these days. Can you tell us about Millitheater’s strengths?
The aspects we want people to pay attention to is the ‘theater’, a word that is also included in the game title. The theater has 39 new idols being managed alongside 13 senior idols, the game will also progress in this theater.
Why did you use the theater as a setting?
Idol activities are done in a variety of places, but by setting a main stage its easier to imagine their daily activities. By doing this, I feel that getting players who play as the Producer immersed in it will become easier. We’ve done something similar with the training camp and what not, but this time around we wanted to do something more basic.
If you listen to all the lines in the in game events, some of them go for longer than 10 minutes, you guys really put a lot of effort into the story huh?
The Million Live! idols were originally designed to be characters that will be easy to make stories for. We wanted to make a content where the whole package is enjoyable, so a lot of characters were made by taking into account the users, not just limited to the songs or their character colours.
Creating a world view shared by creators and fans
The preregistration for this game went by really quick, and without realising it, the preregistrations passed 1 million people!
Even if you look at it from our side the momentum was really amazing,
What were the reactions of the producers during the 39 Niconama that resulted from this?
We were happy to see the Producers enjoying this game. And not just the ones who have been playing with Million Live, but people who enjoys the other parts of the IDOLM@STER franchise have said that they were happy Million Live got a new game. The new idols were also accepted positively, so that was a relief.
What was your reason for resetting the story with the 39 Project that included two new idols in Millitheater?
Its been the case with The IDOLM@STER series, but we end up resetting the story every time because we wanted to show the meeting with your idols for the first time. By doing this, people who are playing it for the first time, and people who have played it before can both enjoy it. Well, in terms of a game, by starting it from the beginning we can get people to understand the world view and setting easily (laugh).
People who are playing it for the first time will really meet these girls for the first time right?
Yes, because of that we wanted everyone to start from the same start line. That was also one of our aims when adding the new idols. I’m happy that people have been compiling and exchanging information about the idols that have appeared so far, so by having completely new idols, new producers can also participate and enjoy doing the same thing.
What was the reason for naming it 39 Project?
The name originated from Thank You!, the song that can be called the main theme for Million Live. In addition to the reason I said before, we increased the total number of idols from 37 to 39 so that each type can get the same number of idols.
Idol and cast members growing together
I would like to ask more about the new idols. Let’s start with Sakuramori Kaori.
As a character she’s a pleasant but sheltered girl. As a 23 years old idol, she’s similar to Azusa in terms of positioning. In Million Live there are a lot of younger girls, so we also wanted someone like her. She’s a great singer, and was a vocalist who performs with the Self Defence Force’s musical band.
So she’s a type of idol we don’t have in Million Live. What about Shiraishi Tsumugi?
Personality-wise she’s composed and smart. But she also has a careless side to her where she gets into misunderstandings. In terms of visual design, we gave her Japanese Beauty characteristics. We wanted to make someone whose character will be obvious from design alone. She can even wear a kimono on her own!
She does stand out that way. There’s also Aoba Misaki, the new Theater staff. In terms of staff, 765 Pro also has Otonashi Kotori, so how is Misaki positioned, and can you also tell us about her personality?
We wanted to do something new and create a new kind of staff. Misaki has it together, but compared to Kotori and Chihiro we made her feel more little sister like.
She does look a bit young.
In the setting she graduated from a garment and accessory junior college and wanted to make cute clothes, but she also likes idols who wear cute clothing, so she ended up becoming a staff for the theater.
What was the reason for using newer actresses for the new idols?
The first reason is because their voices match the idols. Additionally, in The IDOLM@STER, both idol and their cast’s charm can grow together. We wanted to make sure everyone can feel that way, so choosing newbies becomes important.
Not limited to how the casting is done, The IDOLM@STER series has been going forward as a unique content. Now that the series keeps on going forward, what do you think you did right?
I feel that being able to continuously release information from the start plays a big part. At the start we used typical methods like official sites before starting the radio show… At that point people asked “What effect is the radio show going to have on a game?”. In order to be able to show off an idol’s charms, appealing using voice is important. Radio provides a platform for these kind of talk.
Producers are now used to iM@S Radio shows, and you can feel the charm of the idol and their seiyuu through these shows.
The content started out that way, but the Producer’s passion plays a big part as well. Not only do they have a network to spread information, but they also affect live performances… For example, Hibiki’s Rebellion has a part where the cyalumes all change to red. That started appearing on its own around the 8th live in Nagoya. By doing that, the seiyuu also gets happy.
Creating something with everyone is another one of The IDOLM@STER’s charm! Lastly, please leave a message for the Producers!
Producers, please produce the idols in 765 Pro Live Theater. This year is going to be the 12th anniversary of The IDOLM@STER, and like every other year, its very important! We would like to keep on developing it properly, so please keep on supporting The IDOLM@STER!