Interview: Cubed3 Talks to Yoshiro Kimura of Onion Games

By Adam Riley 21.02.2018 2

Cubed3 recently knuckled down and took a look at a very intriguing new game on both Android and iOS formats called Million Onion Hotel. Released so far on Android and Apple iOS formats, Onion Games' Yoshiro Kimura - who most will know from his illustrious game-making past - sat down with Cubed3 to answer various questions on his background, the game experience itself, and what the future has in store for lucky gamers eager to get more goodness from Kimura-san and his highly skilled team.

Image for Interview: Cubed3 Talks to Yoshiro Kimura of Onion Games

Cubed3's Thom Compton and Joshua Di Falco: Are there any particular games or consoles that you like right now?

Yoshiro Kimura-san: I love Switch from Nintendo. I also love Steam and Undertale, and Toby the Fox!

Cubed3: When did you decide that you actually wanted to make your own games?

Kimura-san, Onion Games: I have been making videogames since I was 13 years old. The first game was my own personal game - simply for me alone. After becoming a professional videogame maker, I made many original games. But the problem that started after living as professional was that even though I was making videogames with my own ideas, 100% of my art, purely, fundamentally the publishers had all the rights. I do not have the right to make a new Chulip by my choice. It is the curse of the Japanese videogame industry. Maybe only I think that?

Million Onion Hotel belongs to me - 100%. This gives me great happiness. So I am no longer bothered too much by this curse! In the near future, I will be able to find a way to make my own game again, similar to what I did with Million Onion Hotel.

Image for Interview: Cubed3 Talks to Yoshiro Kimura of Onion Games

Cubed3: The staff on Million Onion Hotel is very experienced! For those that are unaware, can you mention what projects they've worked on before?

Kimura-san: Kurashima-san has been making games with me since the Square era. I met Tom-san during the days of Chulip. He also worked with me from Rule of Rose till Lollipop Chainsaw. They also worked with me on Little King's Story!

The programmer is Takuma-san, who was lead programmer on Dandy Dungeon. Taniguchi-san has been working with me from the Lovedelic era. He is the composer from Chulip and Moon.

Cubed3: How did the idea for Million Onion Hotel come about? What was the inspiration behind it?

Kimura-san: From life? Maybe? The story came from my childhood. I was drawing a Manga comic, called "Peace Robot." The robot was talking often, saying, "Peace, peace, yeah." This was his peace movement! This is same concept as in Million Onion Hotel.

As for the game system, it came from ...uuumh… a pure flash from space! I often love to play strange games. At first it was going to be simply a pure "whack a mole" type affair, but while I was playing it I saw vision in my brain. That vision was a "Retro Hotel," rather like Namco's Mappy.

Cubed3: Was it always meant to be a mobile title?

Kimura-san: In my mind? Always? No! It was all down to how the game idea developed. Million Onion Hotel's game system needed touch controls. That's why I ending up using phones. I still believe that a mobile phone can be a machine for pure videogames. Saying that, though, my next game - "Black Bird" - is going to be a shooting game, for consoles.

Please look forward to playing my Black Bird release on your Mac and PC… and… some other systems.

Cubed3: Do you plan to bring Million Onion Hotel to other systems, like Nintendo Switch?

Kimura-san: I cannot say yes or no just now. But I am learning about Switch rapidly now…

Cubed3: What were the big differences between making Million Onion Hotel and your previous titles? Were there any new challenges faced?

Kimura-san: The new challenge is… I wanted to stop giving too many tutorials and support for players.  I wanted to put the idea from my heart, 100%, even if only I believed in how my idea would work. When my heart says, "Cows should walk in space," then that is what I will do. This is the strangest game in my work collection so far. I am so glad that I released it!

Cubed3: Was it easier to develop a game for mobile and tablet devices, compared to making games on consoles?

Kimura-san: No! I do not feel it is easy. There are a lot of different Android specs out there, so when I first started developing on that platform, I was really confused!

Cubed3: Where do you feel Million Onion Hotel fits into the mobile gaming market? Do you believe it's more in contrast to the current market or complementary to similar titles in the mobile world?

Kimura-san: Yes, of course - I believe. Also, I know my Million Onion Hotel game is not fitting in too well with the mobile game market because the mobile game market is for "freemium apps" after all. Right? But I believe still there are people who love real videogames. They are waiting to playing videogames without watching adverts, without paying micro-transactions, and so on. I wanted to show how a phone can really become a videogame machine. There is another possibility with this wonderful mobile machine without the need for freemium. But European people don't notice my game at all, sadly. Is this a joke? LOL!

Image for Interview: Cubed3 Talks to Yoshiro Kimura of Onion Games

Cubed3: Will you continue to work on mobile games, and if so, do you have any ideas what you would like to do next?

Kimura-san: For the time being, I'm just focusing on Black Bird for Mac and PCs.

Cubed3: With the current landscape of indie developers and titles, is there a way you're trying to set yourselves apart from the rest? Is there a niche market you're trying to target?

Kimura-san: I do not know about this. I am not thinking niche or not. All that I know is that "I can make a game."

Cubed3: Will you be revisiting any of your past projects and working with old friends in the future?

Kimura-san: It depends on the idea of what I want to do. If I need someone for new idea, and if I need an old friend, I will talk to them immediately! Actually, recently I have been working with younger people. I like them. I feel a lot of "diversity" and "similarity" with them. It is such a good feeling for me.

Box art for Million Onion Hotel

Onion Games


Onion Games





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European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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I'd love to see Million Onion Hotel come to Switch! It's such a shame, though, that core staff cannot make sequels to past greats, though, because of too much red tape. It must be so frustrating for them (as well as fans!).

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I wonder how you could replace that touch-interface in docked mode for Switch, what with the Joy-Cons? But it seems they are looking into it somewhat!

But I agree with the red tape... just have to look at EA to see what happens when the powers atop the food chain think with their wallet rather than give fans what they want.

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