NieR series producer says he's doing something with the key creatives, adds with a chuckle: 'It might be NieR, it might not be NieR'

NieR creator Yoko Taro in his trademark Emil mask from the games
(Image credit: Yoko Taro)

The latest issue of venerable Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu includes an interview with Square Enix executive officer and NieR series producer Yosuke Saito (thanks Gematsu), in which he reveals they're putting the band back together. Maybe. Possibly. Look, maybe he shouldn't have said anything.

The exciting element of the news for NieR fans is the name-dropping, with Saito referencing both series director Yoko Taro and composer Keiichi Okabe. The following is a machine translation of Saito discussing this future project:

"I've been talking about wanting to do something with Yoko-san and Okabe-san for some time now. I'll have something a bit more comprehensive to say in the not-too-distant future, so please stay tuned. It might be NieR, it might not be NieR [laughs]. That's all I can say for now."

Rarely has a "[laughs]" done such heavy lifting. Saito went on to reference another Square Enix project he's currently working on, which began "with the desire to create something that doesn't exist in the world yet" and has "turned out to be quite interesting. I'm looking forward to the day we can present it."

Over time the NieR series has built a huge following, and it was recently announced that the Platinum-developed NieR: Automata has now sold eight million copies since release. 2021 brought a remaster of NieR Replicant but the anticipation for a new mainline entry has been building, something of which series creator Yoko Taro is all-too-aware and quite happy to play up to. At a London orchestral show featuring NieR music, Taro told the crowd to cheer the Square Enix president in the stands and make him feel the appetite for an Automata sequel.

There have been other teases along the way, though at least one project came to nothing. Late last year Tencent cancelled a NieR mobile title that had been in the works for years, apparently over concerns about monetisation and licensing with Square Enix.

One thing's for sure: People love NieR, and Square Enix could sure use a hit. Taro's pronouncements may sometimes verge on the cryptic, but the main thing is he seems drawn to talking about possible futures for NieR in a way that makes you think there is hope for the Automata spiritual successor we'd all love to see. He's also got a winning strategy for big-budget development: "at first I listen to what the publisher wants from me, but later I don't."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."