During an interview with Famitsu, Square Enix Producer Tomoya Asano apologized for “parts” of Bravely Second: End Layer.
Releasing a snippet of their interview, Famitsu shared some of their discussion about the upcoming Bravely Default II, Octopath Traveler, and other games in the Bravely Default series. Square Enix Producer Masashi Takahashi was also present.
When asked why the game was called Bravely Default II (as opposed to “Bravely Third”), Asano interjected with an apology over the quality of Bravely Second: End Layer.
“Before I go into more detail about the title, let me apologize for Bravely Second . In ‘Braveley Second’, even though we received a lot of expectations, we feel that there were parts that did not meet the expectations of our fans. The reflections on Bravely Second are deeply rooted in the production of all the titles our team is working on.”
Translation: Google Translate
While the Metacritic rating for Bravely Second: End Layer is quite positive (both critic and user ratings being 81 and 8.2 out of 10 respectively), criticisms include the story and characters being uninteresting, the game becoming repetitive, and reusing assets from Bravely Default,
Other criticisms include the game’s localization, including censorship of many assets and even the collector’s edition [1, 2, 3], and poor English script. However, it is more like Asano is talking about the game’s reception in Japan.
One side quest was changed to have “only good endings”. Nintendo claim this was due to feedback from Japanese players. Even so many doubted Nintendo’s claims, due to how heavily the game had been censored, and Nintendo’s reputation for censorship at the time. If true, this may be one of the areas Asano was referring to in his apology.
Returning to the interview, Asano is asked if Octopath Traveler was one of the games inspired by the team’s efforts after Bravely Second: End Layer’s feedback.
“Yes,” Asano explains. “With that reflection in mind, we proceeded with the development of the Octopus Traveler.”
“At that time, we honestly thought that the future development of the ‘Bravely’ series would be severe. Despite that, the smartphone team said, ‘I’d like you to make a new product from the Bravely series’.”
This refers to the Japan exclusive smartphone game Bravely Default Fairy’s Effect. Asano explains how the game’s strong launch helped push the team into making another Bravely Default game.
When asked about how Bravely Default II got its title, Takahashi explains:
“This time, we decided to renew the characters and the world view so that even those who are new to the Bravely series for the first time can enjoy it 100%. Thinking about what kind of title it should be in order to tell without misunderstanding that it is a story of new characters and it is a completely new work of ‘Bravely’… [Omitted].”
In short, Takahashi means that the title was used to convey it was an all new story, rather than a continuation of Bravely Default (the world of Luxendarc). The omitted sections of the interview are reserved for Famitsu’s publication.
The interview continues- though heavily redacted- discussing designing look of the various Job classes, the music, Various DayLife, and Octopath Traveler.
Bravely Second: End Layer is available on Nintendo 3DS.
Bravely Default II launches 2020 on Nintendo Switch.