Former Suikoden Team Announces Eiyuden Chronicle, a Suikoden Spiritual Successor
You can't really talk about JRPGs without mentioning the Suikoden series. While not the most well-known series of games, it is one of the most well-regarded. Suikoden 2 in particular stands out with tremendous praise from critics and fans alike, going on to be considered one of the best RPGs of all time. With all this in mind, you can imagine how passionate the fanbase is. We haven't seen a new Suikoden game in many, many years. The property was practically dropped by developer Konami, as many of the original team have since left. Fear not, though, because something big is happening. That something goes by the name Eiyuden Chronicle, a spiritual successor to the original Suikoden games.
Announced through a Verge article and later confirmed by way of Kickstarter, Eiyuden Chronicle is being developed by Rabbit & Bear Studios. If you've never heard of them before, that's because they just recently formed together. The team consists of many former members of the Suikoden dev team, including legendary writer Yoshitaka Murayama, who served as the director/producer/writer of the first two games. The team also has artists Junko Kawano and Junichi Murakami. With Eiyuden Chronicle, the studio wants to bring another game into being with the classic style and spirit of the Suikoden series. They started crowdfunding for the game on Kickstarter just yesterday, setting a goal of $500,000. Naturally, they've since smashed past that goal and are currently sitting at around $1 million raised.
This marks yet another instance of Japanese game industry veterans flocking to Kickstarter to begin a spiritual successor of a past property. This has been more and more common in recent years, first with Mega Man spiritual successor Mighty No. 9 in 2016, and again with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night in 2019. While project revivals through Kickstarter don't always end in successes, hopes are looking good for Eiyuden Chronicle. Murayama implied that the campaign may be the team's only chance to really see the project through to completion, so it's heartening to see how much has been raised merely a day into the campaign period. The Kickstarter page describes Eiyuden Chronicle as "an epic experience from the creators of classic JRPGs". The battle system features 6 characters beautifully rendered in 2D spritework with 3D backgrounds. In true Suikoden fashion, there are around 100 characters throughout the story.
The minimum funding goal for Eiyuden guaranteed release on PC, though if the stretch goals are reached, the game might see its way to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Rabbit & Bear already have some beautiful artwork and gameplay footage ready to go, all of which can be seen here. Crowdfunded projects like this have always been nice for seeing games that just aren't possible otherwise, usually due to teams no longer being together at the same companies. It also means a potential revival in interest for the Suikoden series, all of which are available on the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2. This does make them hard to get a hold of nowadays, however. Eiyuden Chronicle appears to have a very bright future ahead of it!