This week brings two pieces of news regarding Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana. The first concerns the game's official website, which has finally opened, replacing the teaser page which had previously been in place. Additionally, Seiken Densetsu series creator Kouichi Ishii has given an interview with Nintendo Dream in which he has divulged a few more details regarding Square Enix's upcoming Nintendo DS RPG, as well as the World of Mana project in general.
Contrary to earlier expectations, Square Enix is not developing Children of Mana internally, similar to Sword of Mana, the previous entry in the series. The game's development is being done by Next Entertainment, a new company formed by the same team that worked on Shining Soul, Shin Megami Tensei Nine, and Resident Evil: Code Veronica.
Ishii explains that he wanted this done, rather than having one team develop all of the World of Mana project games, because he felt it would allow different designers to give gamers their own perspective on a Mana game. Each would come to the table with their own ideas and thoughts on the series. Ishii, who also has a producer credit on Children of Mana, added that Next Entertainment wasn't just handed the project, but had to really work for it. He noted that the company put together an application which surprised Ishii over the quality of the gameplay details and the research Next had done into the Seiken Densetsu series.
Ishii did not reveal any new information on Seiken Densetsu 4 or any of the other upcoming World of Mana games, but given the producer's remarks, it seems likely that they will be externally developed by different stuidos as well. Children of Mana will be the first opportunity for gamers to see this new design philosophy in action when it ships in Japan this coming winter.