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CyberConnect2 Readying Original Title

The .hack and Naruto developer has something new on the way.

Art from the latest .hack game.

CyberConnect2 was all about Naruto in 2009. As explained by CEO Hiroshi Matsuyama in an interview featured in this week's Famitsu, this was due to 2009 being the 10th anniversary of the Naruto franchise.

So what will 2010 be for the developer? With the March 4 release of .hack//Link, it could be the year of .hack.

But the .hack push will actually extend beyond just 2010. According to Matsuyama, Link represents the start of the third and final season for the .hack project, and CyberConnect2 plans to push the franchise for more than a year through cross media developments that include not just games, but anime, comics, books and more. .hack fans can expect to see a proper ending for the franchise which began way back in 2002.

Asked about any unexpected media choices for the franchise, Matsuyama mentioned a new project from Sai, the team that made the HD .hack//G.U. Trilogy animated movie. The new project is filled with new challenges, said Matsuyama, but he would not elaborate.

Naruto will also continue to see developments in 2010 . Fall will see the release of Narutimate Storm 2. This game is being developed with overseas developments in mind, admitted Matsuyama, although he noted that CyberConnect2 always makes games with the world market in mind.

One major point for Narutimate Storm 2 is that it's multiplatform for PS3 and Xbox 360. This will be CyberConnect2's first multiplatform title. They've been working closely with Microsoft.

CyberConnect2 has additional projects on the way as well. Most notable is the start of an original project -- the third following .hack and Naruto. This will be the first completely new project from the company since the Naruto Narutimate series, said Matsuyama. He of course did not share specifics.

Matsuyama also mentioned that CyberConnect2 has been working on projects with members of the former Namco since the Namco Bandai merger. It's unclear if he's referring to a specific project or just a number of projects in general. He mentioned this in the response where he detailed how closely the studio has been working with Microsoft, so it could be just an example of how the studio works with other companies (I'll also note that Famitsu didn't highlight this in red, which they do for any major scoops -- the mention of the new original project and the project from Sai were highlighted in red, for instance).

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