Speaking of which, the countdown site was also updated with a piece of the concept art above, and a floating line of dialogue saying this:
"What we need is a 'choice.' Either her life, or the whole world - It's entirely my own 'choice' to risk!"
Famitsu Interview With Tales Producer Hideo Baba:
??? To begin, please give us a recap of the development of the Tales of Series last 2011.
HB (Hideo Baba): It's been a year already. We started off with the series' 15th anniversary title, Tales of Xillia. This was followed up by Tales of Innocence R for the new PlayStation Vita hardware. We've also worked on new things for mobiles and Smart phones. The staff has been pretty much running around for these.
??? And as a result, Xillia came out to be really popular. With the 15th anniversary over, I'd like to ask about the 16th anniversary, but first, please tell us about Bandai Namco Studio that was established April 2nd.
HB: Bandai Namco Studios is basically a company that branched out from Bandai Namco Games development team. Hence, its main goal is concentrated on contents development for the games.
??? And you transferred to them as well, didn't you, Mr. Baba?
HB: Yes. I, as well as the entirety of the Tales of team all transferred there, so it's a really fresh feeling for us.
??? Will this transfer have any sort of impact on the games?
HB: Our job of making the games hasn't changed. I think it would actually positively affect how we want to do things and we'll be able to expand the breadth of the game contents. This would be easier for us since we're within the same place now, especially for the Tales of team, which has been working in separate locations up until now.
??? Someday, do you think you might have exchanges of talented people from other teams?
HB: Yes, it's greatly possible. If that happens, most likely some of the Tales of team might move to the Tekken team and the IdolMaster team, or some of the SoulCalibur team might move to the Tales team. It would be a big plus to have new staff added.
??? We're looking forward to that. So again, we'd like to hear about your prospects for the series' 16th anniversary. With the previous year's big uprush, do you feel any pressure for this year?
HB: It really is. Up until now I still tell the staff, "Just because the 15th anniversary was great, I don't want it to be the highest we can attain." The next game will surely be compared to our 15th anniversary title Xillia, so we always keep that in mind during development.
??? About the next title, there will be an announcement for it this upcoming Tales of Festival on June 2 and 3. This year's festival will be quite a grand scale, won't it?
HB: With the Festival having its 5th anniversary, for the first time it'll be in Yokohama Arena. There will be around 4 hours of public performances. It'll surely be crowded with fans, and we'll be having voice actors acting out familiar skits as well as various goods on sale. We've put a lot of energy into planning the whole thing. We also planned out the new title announcement for all the fans' enjoyment.
??? The theme of the game is "Are you determined to destroy the world for the sake of one girl?"
??? We got to see some concept art of the game prior to the announcement. It seems to have a different feel compared to the previous games, doesn't it?
HB: That's what we were aiming for. We wanted people to be surprised and react like "Huh? What's this?" and "So Tales can also have this kind of atmosphere?" It was sort of a challenge to everyone when we presented this new world.
??? This is a mothership title, correct?
HB: Of course it is. Tales has always been a stage for "swords and magic" type of high fantasy, but this time we have the human civilization outlook on the world quite pronounced. It's like the present-day, and a bit inorganic.
??? We're interested. Just what type of story will be coming from this world?
HB: Though I can't give specifics yet, the game's catch copy is "Are you determined to destroy the world for the sake of one girl?" The catch copy will also affect the game's story and the battle system.
??? To "destroy the world" is quite an unexpectedly heavy theme for the story, I imagine.
HB: Yes. Since this is what comes after the 15th anniversary, we intended to challenge it with this new world and new story. Of course, it will still have the feel of a Tales game, but we intend this to be the next stage in the growth of the series.
??? I understand. By the way, I hear there's another title in development aside from this...
HB: Of course there are. Either for a home console or for mobile phones, or Smart phones, we have a lot of titles we're planning and considering. Once the time is right, we'll all announce them in time.
??? We're all looking forward to them. Well then, lastly, how about a message to all our readers?
HB: The upcoming Tales of Festival will be at its 5th anniversary. Every year, we have tons of people attending the event and we're truly grateful for that. From here on out, the Festival will be getting better and better. One of the greatest things in the Festival is surely contents development. We'll be announcing the new title on June 2nd, so please look out for it."