Miwa Shoda joined Squaresoft, now Square Enix, in 1995 and went on to write Japanese Legend of Mana and Final Fantasy XII. Those are big games with big stories — something that they apparently do not need.
“I’ve worked all over the place and gained a great deal of valuable experience from all sorts of people,” Shoda said via her Twitter account, “and learned approaches to writing games I would not have been able to do on my own, but the one approach I could never understand is the notion that ‘games don’t need storylines.'”
Shoda concedes that not all games need storylines. “But when I was told that RPGs don’t need storylines, I was really shocked. They said players weren’t after a storyline, so the bare minimum of events would suffice.”
She does not explicitly say who told her that role-playing games don’t need stories. Besides Square Enix, she has also recently worked as a freelance scenario writer for Marvelous Entertainment (2005’s PSP title Valhalla Knights 2) and for Jaleco (2009’s Wii title Kizuna).
“I’ve enjoyed RPG stories ever since I was a child,” she added. “A thrilling adventure in a new world, with interesting companions. Events are how you enjoy that, together with a storyline, or so I thought. So I can’t believe it when people say a storyline is unnecessary in an RPG.”
FF12 Writer: “They Said RPGs Don’t Need a Storyline” [Sankaku Complex][Pic]