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Evolution of Guilty Gear: Navigating Risks and Rewards with Guilty Gear Strive

The Guilty Gear franchise has always been known for its willingness to push boundaries and reinvent itself, often at the risk of alienating its most dedicated players. Guilty Gear Strive, in particular, represents a significant departure from its predecessor, Guilty Gear Xrd, prompting some to label it as a “soft reboot” of the series. Despite this, the game’s story continues seamlessly from its predecessor, showcasing a blend of continuity and innovation.

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Guilty Gear

Series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari has described Guilty  Strive as “a complete reconstruction of the franchise,” emphasizing the team’s ambition to surpass the achievements of Guilty  Xrd. In an interview with Dextero, Ishiwatari expressed the team’s determination to make Strive stand out, even if it meant challenging the legacy of Xrd.

“The decisive difference between Strive and Xrd is that Strive was made to destroy Xrd,” Ishiwatari explained. “In that sense, we were trying to make Xrd as an example of failure.”

However, Ishiwatari clarified that this wasn’t an indictment of Guilty  Xrd as a failure but rather a strategic decision to propel Guilty  Strive into new territory.”Of course, it wasn’t a failure, but we had to change the direction completely,” Ishiwatari elaborated. “We had to be prepared for that.”

This bold approach wasn’t without its risks, as acknowledged by Arc System Works CEO Minoru Kidooka. The decision to overhaul the series could potentially alienate long-time fans, but it was also an opportunity to expand the franchise’s appeal globally, moving beyond its traditional Japanese fanbase.

“There was a lot of risk involved in making that giant leap with Guilty Gear Strive,” Kidooka admitted. “We really thought about, ‘What are our long-time fans going to think when we do this, when we go into this new direction?'”

Despite these concerns, the gamble paid off for Arc System Works. Kidooka highlighted the success of Guilty Gear Strive in broadening the game’s audience, signaling a positive response to the franchise’s evolution.

“Yes, there were a lot of risks, but I think it paid off, and we have an even bigger audience now that we took that leap,” Kidooka affirmed.

The evolution of Guilty Gear Strive reflects the delicate balance between honoring the series’ roots and embracing innovation. By challenging conventions and taking calculated risks, Arc System Works has not only revitalized the franchise but also expanded its reach to a global audience. Guilty Gear Strive stands as a testament to the studio’s commitment to pushing boundaries while staying true to the essence of the beloved series.

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