Highlights from PlayStation Partner Awards 2020 Japan Asia

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Highlights from PlayStation Partner Awards 2020 Japan Asia

Messages and interviews from awardees of the PlayStation Partner Awards 2020 Japan Asia event.

Note: The full version of this post ran originally at PlayStation.Blog Japan.

Today, we paid tribute to all of the hit PlayStation titles released in the past year on the PlayStation Partner Awards 2020 Japan Asia, streamed on the PlayStation Japan YouTube channel.

The PlayStation Awards have been held every year since the birth of the PlayStation platform in 1994, celebrating its 25th anniversary last year. This year, we’re giving the event a new name — the PlayStation Partner Awards — and adding some new awards to look forward to. 

Award Categories

Grand Award

Awarded to the top three titles developed in the Japan / Asian regions with the highest  worldwide sales between October 2019 and September 2020*.

Partner Award

Awarded to titles developed in the Japan / Asia region with top-ranked worldwide sales between October 2019 and September 2020*, with particularly noteworthy activity results**.

Special Award

Awarded to the following two titles:

  1. Titles developed by creators from outside the Japan / Asia region that have amassed the highest sales in the Japan / Asia region from October 2019 to September 2020*.
  2. Titles developed in the Japan / Asia region in conjunction with SIE Worldwide Studios that have amassed the highest worldwide sales* from October 2019 to September 2020.

* Hard copy and digital copy sales through PlayStation Store are counted in the calculation (including additional content and digital currency sales).
** SIE indices, which include player numbers, also factor into the determination of nominees.

This year, Jon Kabira and Hatsune Matsushima were our hosts who recognized the efforts of our creators by presenting these three awards to a total of twelve different titles.  

Check out the replay on the PlayStation Japan YouTube channel (English subtitles available).

Have a look at all the titles that received awards in this momentous event, as well as some words from the creators that brought these games to life.

Partner Award

Awarded to titles developed in the Japan / Asia region with top-ranked worldwide sales between October 2019 and September 2020*, with particularly noteworthy activity results.

TitlesPublishers in Japan
Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 Bandai Namco Entertainment 
Black DesertPearl Abyss
Nioh 2Koei Tecmo Games
Resident Evil 3Capcom
Final Fantasy XIVSquare Enix
Persona 5 RoyalAtlus
Yakuza: Like a DragonSega

Have a look at the video messages from representatives of seven of these titles (titles omitted).

Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2

Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.
Satohiko Fujiyama, Director

B.B. Studio Co., Ltd.
Akiyoshi Kanbe, Producer

My sincerest thanks for this wonderful award. We would like to thank all those at B.B. Studios who handled the tight schedule of adding new playable Mobile Suits week in and week out, as well as all of the companies involved in the making of this project. Above all, we express our gratitude to the players for all of their support. We’re looking forward to continuing to pile in our efforts as we work toward more Partner Awards to come. (Fujiyama)

From the moment we first started work on this title, we knew we were going to be rolling up our sleeves and digging in. I think our hard work paid off, though — our players loved the level of attention we paid to the details of the team dynamics in Mobile Suits. Starting today, we’ll be hosting the Battle Operations Winter Festival in-game. It’s free-to-play, so grab the chance to get in on the action if you haven’t done so yet! (Kanbe)

Black Desert 

Pearl Abyss JP
Dongkyo Lee, CEO

I am delighted to receive such a wonderful award today. Black Desert is Pearl Abyss’ first-ever offering to PlayStation gamers, so to win this award means a lot to us on a deep, deep level. I extend my gratitude to all 2.8 million of you who have played this game since its release in August 2019 — your patronage is more than we could have eve imagined. We’ll be sure to pay back your support by continuing to improve on our offerings to create the best possible gaming experience for Japan, Asia and the world over. Look forward to the latest on our upcoming developments like Crimson Desert, DokeV and Plan8.   

Nioh 2

Koei Tecmo Games Co., Ltd.
Fumihiko Yasuda, Producer and Director 

We cannot thank you all enough for this truly wonderful award. We owe it to the players for this amazing feat. We began development on Nioh 2 with the intention to create an evolved version of Nioh 1. The new features that we set out to implement, like the character creation mechanism, were no easy feats, but it was all worth it when we saw the positive responses from fans the world over upon release. 

Look out for our third set of downloadable contents, available starting from December 17. We’ll also being releasing Nioh 2: Remastered Complete Edition for the PlayStation 5 platform on February 4, 2021. If you haven’t had the chance to play Nioh 2 yet, this will be a great opportunity to get in on the action! 

Resident Evil 3

Peter Fabiano, Producer

It’s been more than twenty years since the original Resident Evil 3 was released, and I’m glad that we were still able to get the input of the members of the team who worked on the original version all those years ago, developing the latest release with all of the newest technologies of the day. This year’s been a tough year for sure, so my gratitude goes out double to all of the developers, partners and the marketing and PR teams the world over for coming together on this project. Of course, my heart goes out to all our users out there for your enduring enthusiasm for the game. It’s because of you that we are able to overcome all the obstacles and keep dishing out our best work for you. Enjoy the Resident Evil series, and look out for our newest release, Resident Evil Village. You’re going to be scared. 

Final Fantasy XIV

Square Enix
Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director

I’m so happy to be the recipient of the Partner Award this year. This is no doubt thanks to our Warriors of Light from all over the world who have supported us through and through. Of course, it also goes without saying that our development, operations and QA teams, who have worked together as a well-oiled unit, also played a significant role in making this title work. We’re also thankful to all at SIE who have been with us through the many, many years that we have been putting out this franchise. I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest gratitude to you all. More than seven years have passed since this game was relaunched as Final Fantasy XIV Online in 2013, and yet we are still expanding to this day. We’re still working hard to bring even more excitement to you in 2021, so stay tuned! 

Persona 5 Royal

Atlus Co., Ltd.
Kazuhisa Wada, Producer, Persona 5 Royal

Atlus Co., Ltd.
Shigenori Soejima, Character Designer

Atlus Co., Ltd.
Shoji Meguro, Composer 

It’s a great honor for us to win an award for Persona 5-related titles for the fifth year in a row. Thank you to all of the staff who have worked hard on the project, as well as our loyal users who have cheered us on to produce our best work. We’re going to carry this momentum and give it our all for our next titles to come. Next year is going to be the 25th anniversary of the Persona series, so we hope to be able to celebrate the milestone with you guys with a bang. (Wada)

I am delighted to be able to receive this spectacular award this year. We are going to take this award as fuel to propel us to keep bringing our users even more excitement in the next titles to come. Look out for more from the Persona series! (Soejima)

I am flattered to be receiving this prestigious award. As you may know, we’re unable to host a live Persona concert for you due to the circumstances we’re in at the moment, but rest assured — we’re itching for that day when we can perform the Persona 5 songs in front of you all. (Meguro)

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Toshihiro Nagoshi, COO

This title presented us with many new challenges during development, so it fills my heart to the brim to get such a wonderful reception from our users with this award. Thank you so much to our fans who have made all of this possible. We’re going to keep pushing ourselves through challenge after challenge to bring you the very best that the Yakuza franchise has to offer. We’re so happy to be receiving this award, and we’re going to keep it up for more to come. 

Special Award

Awarded to titles developed in the Japan / Asia region with top-ranked worldwide sales between October 2019 and September 2020, with particularly noteworthy activity results.

TitlePublishers in Japan
Apex LegendsElectronic Arts

Titles developed in the Japan / Asia region in conjunction with SIE Worldwide Studios that have amassed the highest worldwide sales from October 2019 to September 2020.

TitlePublishers in Japan
Death StrandingSony Interactive Entertainment

Have a look at the video messages from representatives of the winning titles (titles omitted).

Apex Legends

Respawn Entertainment
Chad Grenier, Game Director

On behalf of everyone on the Apex team, we are delighted to accept the Special Award. Looking back, I feel very proud of what the team has accomplished even amid the special circumstances we all found ourselves in this year. On that note, this award means a great deal to us. We extend our gratitude to our loyal fans who have cheered us on to create our best work. I can’t wait to deliver the latest exciting updates we have in store for you guys! I’ll see you in the Apex arena! Thank you!

Death Stranding

Kojima Productions
Hideo Kojima, Game Creator

Thank you so much for this Special Award. I’m so happy that our fans received Death Stranding so well, especially since this title is so important to us at Kojima Productions. My gratitude extends to all those who worked on this project, as well as to all of our fans who have cheered us on throughout. We’re going to push on and continue to dedicate ourselves to bringing you the best in gaming entertainment.

Grand Award

Awarded to the top three titles developed in the Japan / Asian regions with highest worldwide sales between October 2019 and September 2020.

TitlePublishers in Japan
eFootball PES 2020Konami Digital Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: KakarotBandai Namco Entertainment
Final Fantasy VII RemakeSquare Enix

Here are some snippets of the comments from the representatives of each title from the stage, as well as the interviews conducted with them after the awards ceremony (titles omitted). 

Konami Digital Entertainment
Seitaro Kimura, Producer

Thank you so much for this Grand Award. PES is on its 25th anniversary this year, so I’m really happy to mark the memorable moment with such recognition.

As you all know, this year was particularly tough on the soccer industry owing to the circumstances. Leagues and tournaments around the world have been suspended or postponed. Since we produce our games based on actual play, we were naturally impacted by the situation, and we had to redo and revise a whole host of different initiatives. It’s thanks to the production staff, however, that we were able to get it all done anyway. Of course, it’s also thanks to all the efforts by our sales and PR teams, as well as all the other individuals involved that I stand here before you to receive the Grand Award on everyone’s behalf. Above all, though, I’m thankful to all our fans who have stayed through to us through all the years. I’m looking forward to offering gamers and football fans the world over the most exciting soccer game we’ve developed yet — stay tuned for more from us! 

On another note, eFootball PES 2021 Season Update is now on sale at a discounted price to commemorate our 25th anniversary. Here’s to hoping that we’ll be back here to accept an award for that title come next year!

The PES Series — a step forward for eSports

— What was your focal point for this 25th anniversary release?

Kimura: This might not be the answer you’re expecting, but it’s not as if we thought to do anything in particular, just because it was our 25th anniversary release. We come out with new releases on a yearly basis, so we pull out all the stops on every version we work on. We gave it our all on this release, just as we do for every other one we do every year. 

— You added “eFootball” to the title. Are you planning to focus on eSports? 

Kimura: When ‘real’ soccer was interrupted/postponed about half a year ago, influencers and professional soccer players would play the game online and stream tournaments, providing a new avenue of entertainment for fans. The phenomenon showed us again the immense entertainment value of eSports, so we’re definitely moving forward in that area.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Bandai Namco Entertainment
Ryosuke Hara, Producer

Thank you so much for this wonderful award. I never even dreamed that I would be able to get involved in video games in this capacity, let alone in Dragon Ball! 

This award is, of course, impossible for a youngster like me to achieve all on his own. It was with the help of a whole host of people, including CyberConnect2, our developer, the copyright owners, overseas distributors, internal and external members that allowed for such an achievement to happen today. Of course, above all, it’s thanks to you, the fans from all over the world, who made this happen. I send you my sincerest of thanks.

On another note, we’re underway with development on a big DLC. I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting, but I think that fans of Dragon Ball Z will find that it was well worth the wait in the end. We look forward to your continued support! 

Making an RPG out of the Dragon Ball story 

— There have been many Dragon Ball games up until now. Tell us how the concept for this title came to be the “Super Goku experience?”

Hara: In order to showcase Dragon Ball Z in all its greatness, I thought it necessary to show not just the intense battles and famous scenes, but also everyday life and simple funny scenes unique to Akira Toriyama. The suitable genre for this ended up being an action RPG. We pulled out the stops to let users embody Goku and do absolutely anything and everything they want using him, so the resulting concept became the “Super Goku experience.” In the last few years, we’ve seen a number of Dragon Ball games that allow you to experience the Dragon Ball world from a third person perspective. But there wasn’t any that really allowed you to experience the Dragon Ball World as Goku himself, until now. 

— Do you have any memorable encounters with fans of Dragon Ball around the world as well as the media? 

Hara: We announced this title in the E3 2019 in Los Angeles, and I remember fielding some really hard-hitting questions from journalists from all over the world. Among those questions I remember one distinctly — “Do you understand what an incredible feat it is to create an RPG out of Dragon Ball?”. I was already feeling quite the pressure before hearing this question, but being told this at the event really had my wheels spinning and I felt like I really put some extra energy into making the end product come out right.  

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Square Enix
Yoshinori Kitase, Producer, Final Fantasy VII Remake

Thank you very much for this wonderful award. We’re glad to be able to make an addition to our cabinet, continuing on from our first award for the original Final Fantasy VII, released on the PlayStation some 23 years ago. It feels like the stars aligned somewhat to be receiving this award at the same time of the rebrand to the PlayStation Partner Awards!

Final Fantasy VII Remake has just started, and it’s yet to expand even further. The development team is hard at work on that expansion process, and this win is great fuel to propel us to keep going further. Look out for further developments in the future! 

With the quality and the volume, Final Fantasy VII remake exceeds fans’ expectations

— What was your thought process going into making this remake?

Kitase: I, along with executive producer Shinji Hashimoto and director Tetsuya Nomura, who all were part of the original Final Fantasy team, always had it in the back of our minds that we wanted to make a remake some day. We just never got the opportunity to do so. The first release was a blockbuster so we knew we had to be careful with it, but we wanted to bring even more realism to characters like Cloud and Aeris on the latest PlayStations of today. 

— This first remake was quite the hefty volume. What do you see from here on out? 

Kitase: I’m afraid I can’t give you any details just yet. But I think gamers must have gotten a good taste for the quality and depth of the production value of this latest release, even though they might have been worried about it being only up to the escape from Midgar. We pulled out all the stops to create the ideal world in Final Fantasy VII and I think our users appreciate this effort. We’re going to make sure that the worlds we develop from here on out meet the expectations of our fans.  

What is the “Sony Square” used when filming the PlayStation Partner Awards 2020 Japan Asia?

The PlayStation Partner Awards 2020 Japan Asia were recorded in Sony Square, a private showroom located in the Sony headquarters. The Sony Group is involved in a wide variety of businesses in the entertainment industry, including electronics, movies, music and games, and extends over even to financial services in Japan.

We’re looking to harness the synergies from this wide variety of businesses to create new value for our customers. We hope that guests can grab a feel for the creativity and technologies that we have to offer.

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