Tetsuya Takahashi, the head of game software company Monolith Soft delivered a message to Japanese gamers on the official Xenoblade Chronicles 2 site. It was translated on NeoGAF and it does a great job of explaining his thinking in creating the sequel:
A young adult story with a taste of boy-meets-girl. Lately it feels like all I’ve been doing are games full of devastation, like where your hometown burns down at the start, or the spaceship you’re riding crashes(oh wait, that is all I ever do). Sometimes I just wanna try something different!
I want to make something that people can look back on fondly one day as something that really shaped their lives. Something like what I loved as a boy, like Oliver!(by Carol Reed) and Galaxy Express 999(by Rintaro).
— That’s why I started working on this game.
I’ll leave the stories about the solemn old men and hot stylish guys to someone else(even though there’s way more demand for that stuff), and go ahead with this.
That’s what was on my mind around the end of 2014 through early 2015.
Yeah, we started while Xenoblade X was still in development.
We’re building a whole new ‘Xenoblade’ title using the foundation laid by X. That’s the core of the project.
Some people think exploration is what games should be all about, while some are like “no no, story is what’s best.” Well we’ve got something perfect for both of those kinds of people: Xenoblade 2.
And that’s what I wanted to tell you with my first announcement. Sound cool?
There are still a ton of surprises left, of course.
I’ll be revealing little bits of information and riling everyone up all the way until release.
And that was my June of 2017.
(Wait, will we even meet the release deadline?!)
As you can see, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is trying to merge the best parts of the original game with its spinoff Xenoblade Chronicles X. As a huge fan of both prior games I couldn’t be happier with his vision for this new iteration. The only worry I have now is his last sentence about making the deadline! I hope they make it out on time.