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Kazuki Morishita

Two years after its initial announcement, Ninjala is about to make its debut on Switch. The action battle game will be launching on June 24.

Ahead of the upcoming release, we were able to speak with game designer Kazuki Morishita, who also worked on the original story. Morishita shared some interesting origins about Ninjala, spoke about some of the game’s inspirations, wanting to focus on reduced network delay, what’s in store after launch, and more.

Our full interview can be read below.

Ninjala is a game that’s actually taken quite awhile to release. After it was announced at E3 2018, GungHo originally planned to have the title ready the following year. However, last May, Ninjala experienced a lengthy delay. It was ultimately pushed back an entire year.

In an interview with Nintendo Everything, GungHo spoke about the delay. Game designer Kazuki Morishita told us that the game now has “a completely new server design,” and the extra time was also used to improve the overall experience.

Morishita said:

When Ninjala lands on Switch this month, it will be mostly be released as a free-to-play game. There will be paid elements, but anyone will be able to download it at no extra cost from the eShop to see what it has to offer.

We recently asked game designer Kazuki Morishita about the approach behind making Ninjala free-to-play. Speaking with Nintendo Everything, Morishita explained:

The action game Ninjala was announced for Switch at E3 2018 with plans for release in Spring 2019. It was eventually delayed by a full year with GungHo now planning on releasing the title in Spring 2020.

In an interview with Noisy Pixel, GungHo Online Entertainment CEO Kazuki Morishita discussed why Ninjala was pushed back as well as recent improvements that have been implemented. Morishita explained:

At E3, GungHo revealed the stylish-looking Ninjala. This game is being created exclusively for Switch with a release planned for 2019.

There wasn’t too much information about Ninjala shared coming out of E3, but Japanese website 4Gamer managed to speak with a couple of people behind the game. Scenario creator / producer Kazuki Morishita and development director Takeshi Arakawa both chatted about how long it’s been in the works, the decision to release it on Switch, and details like the gameplay.

GungHo Online Entertainment is officially working on a new game for Switch. We don’t know what it is exactly, but the project was teased as an “action game for all ages with a lighter, comical tone.”

GungHo’s Switch title won’t just be for Japan. President and CEO Kazuki Morishita has confirmed plans for the west, and the company may have other titles for the console as well.

Morishita spoke about this and more in an interview with Nintendo Life. Aside from Switch, he touched on Puzzle & Dragons as well as working with Nintendo on Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.

You can read some comments from Morishita below. The full interview is located here.

Last month, Gamasutra spoke with GungHo Online Entertainment president and CEO Kazuki Morishita at E3 2015. We have a few excerpts below.

After the break, you can read up on what Morishita said about working with Nintendo on Puzzle & Dragons, the company making mobile titles (not much on this front), and the Japanese console market. The full interview is located here.

GungHo Online Entertainment had one goal in mind when making Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition: to reach a broader audience.

CEO Kazuki Morishita told GamesBeat:

Back in 2011, we were coming up with a new concept for Puzzle & Dragons. I came to the conclusion that our target audience for the 3DS version—I wanted it to be kids, kids who don’t have smartphones. I’ve always wanted to release the game for 3DS and reach more of that audience. The target audience for PZD Mario is definitely much younger than the smartphone crowd. Going back to your question, Gung Ho’s goal with that title is to reach out to a broader audience with the core gameplay of the series.

Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition launched for 3DS in May. It came packaged with GungHo’s first Puzzle & Dragons effort for the handheld, Puzzle & Dragons Z.


Very recently, Japanese website Dengeki Online interviewed a couple of folks from GungHo Online Entertainment. The website sat down with Daisuke Yamamoto and Kazuki Morishita for a chat about Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.

The origins of Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition go way back to the release of Puzzle & Dragons Z, GungHo’s first attempt at bringing the popular series to the 3DS. Morishita was asked by Dengeki about his thoughts about the game at the time of its release.

GungHo Online Entertainment made a surprising announcement this week: Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition for 3DS. Following the reveal, Japanese outlet 4Gamer caught up with a couple of the game’s developers for a brief interview.

First, Daisuke Yamamoto and Kazuki Morishita shared the following when asked when GungHo started planning a collaboration with Super Mario Bros.:

Morishita: We contacted Nintendo with New Year’s 2014 greetings as we reported that Puzzle & Dragons Z had sold one million copies. We said, “we’d like to do more Puzzle & Dragons spin-offs” to president Iwata and Mr. Miyamoto. From there on, we tried to create the Mario version in-house at GungHo as we thought, “wouldn’t it be better to show Nintendo?” Then discussions with Nintendo progressed again.

Yamamoto: We showed a prototype to Nintendo several months after contacting them for the first time.

Morishita: From there, we rebuilt the game anew by combining the action of Puzzle & Dragons and the world and stages of Super Mario Bros.