The Fate of Project Soul

“Thank you all for the encouragement! We’re moving ahead with our plan. Wish the SC team never had to break up. A lot of time lost.

@nomusher: The team was dissmissed. It was good we were able to regroup but this time we’re planning ahead so we never have to break up.”

A long lasting vague speculation confirmed: Project Soul, the team directly behind Soulcaliburs 3 – Broken Destiny was dissolved by Namco. Their last confirmed project, Broken Destiny, was released in late August and early December, 2009, and Daishi claims that they’d intended on a console port, but were stopped due to “business reasons.”

These “business reasons”?

If so, there were 10 months during which no Soulcalibur game was intended or possible. A scary thought when Project Soul’s former director, Hiroaki Yotoriyama, flat-out said that they had planned for Soulcalibur 4 after finishing Soulcalibur 3, and it still took 3 years. Granted, there was the release of Soulcalibur 3: Arcade Edition a year later, but Soulcalibur 4 got Broken Destiny a year later, and then another year of inaction. Are we heading for a 3 year development cycle? Improbable, with the next Soulcalibur game coming out in the same generation; they don’t have to start building for brand-new hardware, but don’t expect a new Soulcalibur game in 2011.

In the end, breaking up Project Soul has less to do with the team and more to do with Hiroaki Yotoriyama himself. He was the one who produced every game (except for Soul Edge, where he gets a Basic Plan Support credit, whatever that means). He was the head of Project Soul.

Project Soul still has a website, Daishi’s new team will likely continue to take on former members, and while there may not be the same splash screen when the trailer for the next Soulcalibur finally drops, it will still be a Soulcalibur game.

That leaves us with Daishi himself. By his own admission he’s a former player who was hired by Namco. He’s got credits as a Level Designer in Soulcalibur 3, and Game Design Director for Soulcalibur 4 and Broken Destiny. Compared to Yotoriyama, we don’t know much about him. However, he has one thing that gives him a leg up: Yotoriyama has an Executive Producer credit for Soulcalibur Legends, Daishi had nothing at all to do with that game.

Fun fact: Soulcalibur 4 has a Quality Assurance Tester credit for a Ricky Ortiz. (Who did you think I meant?)

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