NEWS

Stage Event Interview from Anime Expo 2019

Thank you for playing the global version of Love Live! School Idol Festival.
Please enjoy the transcript of the Q&A panel held with development producer Kota Kusunoki at the Anime Expo 2019 Love Live! School Idol Festival Stage on July 6, 2019. He responds to questions from players of the global version and includes some announcements about future plans for the app's worldwide server.

MC
The global version of Love Live! School Idol Festival was released worldwide (except for Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Korea) on May 12th, 2014.
On the 23rd of the same month, the Traditional Chinese version was released in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan on Android.
After that, the Traditional Chinese iOS version, Simplified Chinese iOS version, and Korean versions were successively released.

One year later, the number of worldwide users surpassed 15 million.
With 30 million worldwide players as of September 2016 and 45 million as of October of last year, more and more players around the globe have come to enjoy the game.
Isn’t that right, Mr. Kota?

Kusunoki
I’m so surprised it’s already been 5 years. We’re extremely grateful that now more than ever, even more players are enjoying the game.

MC
What’s the thing that left the biggest impression on you over the last 5 years?

Kusunoki
There were so many things that left a deep impression on me that it’s hard to choose just one, but I did bring this here with me today.

MC
What’s that?

Kusunoki
So, we invited users of the global version to the 2017 and 2018 Tokyo Game Show. They brought with them some things made by the players, and this is one of them.

MC
That’s a nice and thoughtful present indeed.

Kusunoki
Absolutely. We’ve gone through a lot of trials to have players worldwide enjoy Love Live! School Idol Festival, and it was super encouraging to actually experience their happy voices and feelings.
One of the biggest reasons we wanted to be here today was to express our thanks for this.

Of course, this fanbook isn’t just special to me. The development and planning staff also have access to it and sometimes even take a look through it for inspiration and encouragement.

MC
And that’s why you came, isn’t it. So let’s get right on with it and talk about how the Love Live! School Idol Festival! global version development and planning team wants to handle things from here on out.

MC
The first concept we’d like to bring up is this.

「Service closely catered to players!」

This is a pressing issue. Being in Japan, it can be tough to hear what everyone’s saying.
So when it was decided that we would be here today, we thought of collecting a lot of questions and comments from everyone and answering as many as we could.
So starting from a month ago, we started gathering questions from everyone from in-game.
And this was the result.

MC
Even though it was only a short period of 11 days, we received over 60,000 questions.
The breakdown per language region is as follows: English - ~60%, Traditional Chinese - ~25%, Korean - ~15%.
What do you think of the result, Kota?

Kusunoki
When the numbers came in, I was honestly shocked. It was with happy feelings, and at the same time, immense pressure, that I’m presenting here today.

MC
Which feeling was most prevalent?

Kusunoki
Definitely the happiness. A lot of matters of concern and interest surrounding Love Live! School Idol Festival! were brought together, and they,
along with all the tough questions included, became a big source of encouragement to present something to further players’ enjoyment of the game.
While I’ll only be answering some of the more major questions today due to time constraints, every one of the questions was read over.

MC
I see. I’m sure we’ll be looking forward to that as well. Well then, let’s look at the breakdown of the questions.

MC
So these were the most common questions.
The top question was concerning members, then scouting, then live shows.
What do you think about this result?

Kusunoki
As members, scouting, and live shows are all major elements of Love Live! School Idol Festival!, we were certainly expecting to receive a large number of questions concerning them.

MC
I see. So let’s go one by one from the most common question.

MC
These are the most common questions from the biggest category – About members:
「Will there be any opportunities to obtain past limited UR members?」
「Will there be any opportunities to obtain members from past events?」

Kusunoki
Limited UR members can either be obtained through distribution or sale through scouting with love gems. So that players who joined after the distribution date can also obtain those members, we do things like include them in the Sticker Shop. It’s not something that’s done all the time, so we’d like to consider the frequency more after hearing everyone’s opinions.

We plan on continuing to reintroduce limited UR members that were previously included in scouting. The timing of this will be in accordance with the season and the theme of the particular limited UR member.

MC
How about event distributed members?

Kusunoki
As for obtaining event distributed members, it’s still possible to get them through scouting, but there aren’t currently any other methods of doing so. In the case of scouting them, it’s relatively harder to get them compared to the time of the event, so we are considering opportunities other than scouting to obtain them.

On the other hand, we want to respect the efforts of the players who did their best during the event to obtain them, so we are making sure to explore adept ways to implement this.

MC
Thank you very much.
Onwards to the next most common question.

MC
Q2: About the scouting function
「Scout additions are slow compared to the Japanese version, but are there any plans to speed them up?」
「Are there any plans to increase the UR rate?」

Kusunoki
Firstly, the Scout additions are something that we’ve been receiving a lot of requests about for a while now. And we understand that it’s not limited to Scouting,
We’re currently striving to advance recently released features and events from the Japanese version worldwide as quickly as possible. As part of that, we’ve sped up the pace of updates for Scouting.
However, because in adding new members to the global version, certain preparations such as translations are a regular necessity and we need a certain amount of time to carry those out, we kindly ask for your understanding on this matter.

But we don’t just want to speed this process up. From the start, we’ve been wanting to release more content to both the Japanese and Global versions at the same time. As we currently do with content during special times such as birthdays, we would like to add to the type of content we release concurrently.

Similarly, with campaigns, such as last year’s 45 million downloads campaign, we plan on releasing more campaigns that global version players can enjoy along with the Japanese version.

MC
I see. How about the rate for UR members?

Kusunoki
So, I think this question is based on the difficulty of obtaining desired members. Currently, we present certain opportunities such as rate increases to create an environment in which one can obtain their desired member more easily, but as there have been a lot of questions about this, we are also going to consider other methods of doing so.

MC
So you’re putting forth policies of creating more ways to get desired members more easily, minimizing the time lag between new scout additions, as well as increasing the number of campaigns released worldwide concurrently, is that correct?

Kusunoki
Yes, this is our second major point of interest. We are definitely committed to the policy of advancing content from the Japanese version as quickly as possible.

MC
Great. Let’s move on to another question.

Q3: About Live Shows
「Will you be adding more Master difficulty songs?」
「Are there more new events coming up?」

After 5 years, it’s definitely become a staple. I understand we’re itching for something new, but what’s in store?

Kusunoki
As for the Master difficulty, there are always Master songs being released in the Japanese version and they are also being continually added to the global version as well. We are looking to shorten the gap between those releases, so please look forward to that!
To add to this, we believe this question is also an expression of the desire for new ways to enjoy playing live shows, so in line with that, we are doing things like adding swipe notes to Expert mode. As we hear everyone’s reactions, we want to continue adding new ways of enjoying the game.

MC
What about new events?

Kusunoki
Firstly, we think making current events more easy to play is important. The number one priority is for our players to have fun, and we are considering new events as one option to fulfill that goal.

MC
I see! So, a key point is making live shows even more fun. And it seems that from here on out as well, interesting updates to the game will continue to be implemented.

Kusunoki
Yes. Not limited to the global version, this is the direction for Love Live! School Idol Festival! worldwide. We will continue to aim for a policy of expanding the breadth of play of rhythm games.

MC
Well, we’ve just about run out of time, so let’s get into the announcements.

MC
Summer of Love Live! Campaign!
This is some new info, isn’t it? What are some of the highlights?

Kusunoki
One of the things to note here is that now we will concurrently release worldwide campaigns that have up to now been implemented in the global version.

We would be happy to have both Japanese and global version players enjoy these campaigns together. In addition, as the UR distributed on birthdays will have made their rounds in July, from August onwards, birthdays will be celebrated together with the Japanese version.

MC
I see. So this is one of the things you meant when you some of concurrent worldwide campaigns earlier. Not only that, but being based from the global version is something else.

Kusunoki
Exactly. Along with service closely catered to players, and speeding up the release of content from the Japanese version, we are putting up projects based from the global version as our third objective, so we hope everyone looks forward to it.

MC
Alright, let’s see the next announcement.

MC
9th Anniversary Campaign
This has alright begun, right? What kind of campaign is it?

Kusunoki
This is also something stemming from the global version. It’s a campaign in which global version players can participate in the event together, earn points, and receive increasing rewards.

MC
That seems really fun! Is everyone doing their best?
So Kota, you’re the development producer, right? So you were involved in the planning of this event.

Kusunoki
Yes.

MC
A lot of people have given us their time and gathered here today. I’m sure you know what you’d like to sayI'm trying to say.

Kusunoki
I see. I’m so happy today and was just thinking of a way to express my gratitude.
This is my own decision I’m making without consulting others, but how about giving everyone 100 points for this event?

We’ll make a more detailed announcement in the in-game notifications, so please be sure to check that.

MC
Thanks, Kota! There’s still more! Next is...

MC
A new event – the Rhythmic Carnival.
What’s this about, Kota?

Kusunoki
This is a new feature that has just been implemented in Japan. Similar to the earlier 100-player score match, this is a feature you play with 100 players, but rather than competing with each other, it’s a cooperative effort to aim for a super high score.

Since the Rhythmic Carnival is something where you can cooperate with everyone and obtain scores higher than ever before, you can aim for a score no one has yet achieved and we hope players are super excited to cooperate together.

MC
That definitely is a massive score. 2.6 billion points?
When will we be able to play?

Kusunoki
We plan on it becoming available in October. Please look forward to it!

MC
I see. We definitely will be!
Well, we’re almost out of time, so for the final portion, let’s look back on today.

MC
「Service more closely catered to players,」
「Speeding up the release of content from the Japanese version,」
「Increasing the number of projects based from the global version.」
Does that sound about right, Kota?

Kusunoki
Yes, these are the 3 concepts we’ll be advancing for the global version.

Particularly, in order to realize the goal of service closely catered towards players, we want to increase opportunities like today’s event as there haven’t been so many in the past. However, we always want to hear from everyone on a regular basis.
This time, we collected questions and comments in-game, but aside from this, if we receive inquiries, please know that even if we cannot answer them all individually, we look through everything and use it as a reference for improving the game, so please continue to send them.

Everyone, thank you so much for today! I hope everyone can continue to enjoy Love Live! School Idol Festival even more.

MC
Well, that’s time, folks. Unfortunately, today’s Love Live! School Idol Festival! stage has come to a close.
Let’s all give Kota one more warm round of applause!
Goodbye! Until next time...

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Anime Expo 2019 and Japan Expo 2019, and we hope that all of our players continue to enjoy Love Live! School Idol Festival.