PlayStation 2’s Xenosaga trilogy of games from Monolith Soft comprises, in my book, easily some of the best science fiction games ever made, and they’re all outstanding JRPGs to boot. They have the complexity and outright bizarreness of storytelling present in Xenogears, but the narrative is broken down into (well, mostly) more digestible chunks. Between the existing fandom and renewed interest in the games thanks to the huge success of Xenoblade Chronicles, people have been wondering if a Xenosaga HD collection could ever come from publisher Bandai Namco. Now, we have an answer on that subject directly from Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, and the answer isn’t pretty.
The Xenosaga HD collection that could have been
This actually progressed to the remaster's plan, but failed in a profitable market analysis.
Sorry guys, This plan will be difficult to resurface… https://t.co/0CRJJDPl5Z
— Katsuhiro Harada (@Harada_TEKKEN) December 26, 2019
As Harada explains on Twitter, Bandai Namco did consider a Xenosaga HD collection, but it failed a “profitable market analysis” that was conducted on a global scale. In other words, they didn’t have faith the collection would make enough money to be worth the trouble. What makes this information sting a little more is the fact that Episodes I and III of the series never released in Europe. If an HD collection couldn’t be predicted to rake in a decent profit over there under these circumstances, it might be a little easier to understand why Europe never received the full series in the first place.
For people who love JRPGs, it could be difficult to imagine why a Xenosaga HD collection wouldn’t sell well enough, but the hard reality is that JRPGs aren’t sales powerhouses even in this day and age. (Though there are of course high-profile exceptions like Dragon Quest XI and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.) And each Xenosaga game (well, not as much with Episode II) is monstrously packed with content, so I can’t imagine the games would be a fast turnaround.
But if you’re still hungry for a collection re-release, make your desire apparent to Bandai Namco, and be sure to buy similar games from both them and Monolith Soft.