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IGGYMOB COO Kay Kim Discusses Reviving A 20-Year-Old Franchise with Gungrave G.O.R.E (EXCLUSIVE)

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IGGYMOB released Gungrave G.O.R.E in November of this year. I reviewed the game for FandomWire and loved all of its over-the-top, deadly, gothic glory. Around the same time that the game released, COO of IGGYMOB Kay Kim sat down with me to chat about how the process of resurrecting a twenty-year-old franchise with Gungrave G.O.R.E:

Interview with Gungrave G.O.R.E director; Kay Kim

Hey Kim-san! First of all, I’d like to thank you for the taking the time to speak
with FandomWire. In case the folks reading isn’t aware of your talents, would you
mind starting off by telling us a bit about yourself and your career?

“Hey FandomWire! I am Kay. Before working for Iggymob, I worked for Sega Games and
it’s been 10 years ever since I joined Iggymob. I am working as a general director of
Gungrave G.O.R.E as well as other new projects.”

Before we dive into Gungrave, I’d like to know what your gaming backgrounds look
like. Have both of you always been fans of the gaming medium and if so, what are
some of your all-time favourite games?

“The Nintendo Famicom was my first console device. After that, I owned Super
Famicom, Megadrive, Saturn, Playstation, Dreamcast and many more and played a lot of
games. One game I’ll never forget is Metal Gear Solid. I still can’t forget the iconic
moment when I saw Psycho Mantis appearing on the screen. I remember it sending
chills down my spine. Other than that, Tenchu, the Oni Mousha series and Devil May Cry
were also some of my top favourite games. Of course, Gungrave was one of them, too.”

Gungrave

Gungrave G.O.R.E has been a long time coming. Are you able to tell us why it has
been so long since the last Gungrave game was released?

“It’s definitely been a long time coming. Back then, the market was really dominated by
mobile games. It was super hard to find an investment for console games. We also
deliberated on game design choices. You might not believe this, but Gungrave G.O.R.E
was initially designed as a half open-world. We later realised this didn’t befit the
franchise’s nature.”

Also read: Cultic Chapter 1 Director Jason Smith Discusses the Pressures of Working as a Solo Game Developer and More (EXCLUSIVE)

Gungrave G.O.R.E has been described as both a reboot of the series as well as a
sequel to Gungrave: Overdose. If this is indeed both a sequel and a soft reboot of the
franchise, how do you plan on appeasing fans of the original PS2 titles, while
simultaneously introducing Gungrave to a new generation?

“That’s correct. Making the game so that original fans like it is one important thing, but
also providing a whole suite of upgrades such as the stylish new visuals and gameplay
features is important to new action gamers. I truly wish gamers who play on consoles
can comfortably play the game and enjoy the badass melee attack systems in the
Gungrave G.O.R.E.”

Also read: Gungrave: GORE Review – A Gory, Gothic Power Fantasy (PS5)

Being that this isn’t the first introduction of Gungrave to the gaming world, is there
anything which the team can learn from the older Gungrave titles released during the 2000’s?

“We have definitely looked to the past for inspiration. We felt it was important to include
iconic elements of the franchise to give Gungrave G.O.R.E a familiar feeling. You will
notice this with the unlimited ammunition system in the game. However, uniqueness is
also a must. There are many new elements and abilities that will let you destroy your
enemies, and we’re excited for gamers to jump in and discover them.”

Do you have any favourite moments from developing Gungrave G.O.R.E, or any
particular point which you think back on fondly?

“The road to bringing a game to market is a long one. There were many hurdles and
hardships. One of my fondest memories was the first meeting I had with Nightow-san.
Since it was our very first meeting, I was very nervous, but at the same time it was like
meeting a rockstar.”

Gungrave

Can you tell us anything about the new characters joining the cast for Gungrave
G.O.R.E?

“I’d like to talk about Quartz, a new character in Gungrave G.O.R.E who is cheerful, cute
yet somewhat arrogant. But don’t be fooled. She is a skilled martial artist and will help
Grave on his journey with a crazy set of fighting abilities. Oh, I’d also like to mention that
Ganpo, Raven Clan’s boss, is not the clone of Mike Tyson.”

The soundtrack in the original Gungrave games was intense and memorable. Can
we expect a similar audio experience this time around?

“Imahori-san was the musician for previous versions. In this one, Shibata Tetsuya was in
charge. Shiabata-san is known for making great intense music for action games. He
deeply understands the rhythm of action games, so the music will be a great addition
when you find yourself blasting your way through mobs!”

Also read: Evil West Review – Style AND Substance (PS5)

Other memorable elements of the original Gungrave titles were its unique visual
style and bombastic aesthetic design. How do these elements translate in a game
releasing in the modern era?

“Original character designs were mainly illustrated by Nightow-san. New characters were
designed with Ikumi Nakmura. Her sense of art that she showed at Bayonetta really
thrived and it was cool. Explosive gameplay is still here in Gungrave G.O.R.E, you will
definitely see more of that.”

Given what you have learned from developing Gungrave G.O.R.E, is there anything
in particular which you will keep in mind when creating the next Gungrave title, or
whatever else is next from Iggymob?

“We have two new projects in addition to Gungrave G.O.R.E. We are aiming to have
diversity in our next projects. Having diversity in this industry is very important. Don’t
you think gamers will be bored if everyone is making the same type of game just
because they are in trend? Gungrave G.O.R.E came back after 18 years. If too many
things were changed, it would have alienated fans, so we learned the importance of
inheriting the core system of Gungrave and adding new additions to the system.”

Gungrave

This new title is being published by PLAION. What was it that incited the
partnership with them?

“They are down to earth and were just as excited for the project as we were.”

What are your hopes for Gungrave G.O.R.E and for the overall franchise going
forward?

“We don’t believe that Gungrave G.O.R.E will be the last game in the franchise. This is
the start of new saga. In order for us to move forward with Gungrave G.O.R.E, we need
fans to love the game. We will keep on updating the title and actively communicate with
fans along the way.”

Finally, can you tell us about anything about the next project being worked on by
Iggymob?

“We are currently working on three games. Information will be revealed soon, so stay
tuned for the news. But for now, a big focus will be updating Gungrave G.O.R.E to the
best of our abilities to deliver fans a glorious experience.”

Iggymob have created a love-letter to classic over the top action with Gungrave G.O.R.E. The game will make a lot of gamers nostalgic for the simpler days of over-the-top, third-person action. Thanks again to Kim-san for taking the time to chat to us and be sure to stay tuned to FandomWire for more upcoming content just like this.

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Written by Daniel Boyd

Daniel is a 27-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.