Next Neptunia game features Jaguar, 3DO and Pippin goddesses, plus the return of Adult Neptune

Exciting news for Neptunia fans: the next game in the series has been announced. Known as Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution and heading to PS4, PS5 and Switch, the title is a new spinoff entry that focuses on the dimension-hopping Adult Neptune character introduced in Megadimension Neptunia VII. It’ll be available from August 10, 2023 in Japan, which likely means we can expect a localised version sometime next year, though no plans in that regard have been announced yet.

The big addition to Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution is what developer Compile Heart describes as a “management” system. Your main goal is to manage a game company and help it become a large enterprise, and throughout the process of doing this you will have to both make decisions on the company’s behalf and engage in some traditional Neptunia dungeon crawling and battling.

Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution

So far Compile Heart hasn’t released a lot of details about how the game itself will work as yet, but it seems that the two distinct parts of the game will complement one another. Like in other Neptunia games, the management element of Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution will allow you to create discs that can strengthen characters, and progressing through the game’s RPG sections will presumably allow you additional options to expand your company.

While the game appears to focus on Adult Neptune, who has a flashy motorcycle to make getting around the dungeons a bit easier, there are also some brand new characters to enjoy the company of. Introduced as “Failure Goddesses”, the new characters Pipi, Jarga and Lideo represent the Apple Pippin, Atari Jaguar and 3DO game systems respectively, and work at the company you’re attempting to revive throughout the game.

Croire, who appeared as a secondary antagonist in Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory and Re;Birth3 plus Megadimension Neptunia VII, also puts in an appearance, so we can likely expect her to be causing mischief along the way as usual — or perhaps she’s mended her ways and wants to help for once?

Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution

Judging from the screenshots and limited footage we’ve seen so far, it looks as if the combat in Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution will build on the Tales-esque combination of real-time action on a separate battle screen as seen in Neptunia Sisters vs Sisters. There looks to be a strong emphasis on cooperating with your fellow party members to chain attacks together and work in unison with one another, and I’m sure it will be a delight to see what the new Goddesses have up their sleeves in combat.

Idea Factory and Compile Heart promise “a Neptunia game evolved in every aspect”, so it will be interesting to see exactly what that means in terms of gameplay. The series has been consistently becoming more and more ambitious as time goes on, both in its mainline and spin-off installments, so the prospect of this new title is an exciting one.

It’s notable that the game is planned for release on PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch. Compile Heart hasn’t attempted a PS5-exclusive game since Neptunia ReVerse, likely because most fans of anime games are still playing on PS4 and Switch — the latter in particular due to Sony’s ongoing opaqueness about content policies — and many of Compile Heart’s non-Neptunia titles, such as the Mary Skelter and Death end re;Quest series, have ended up on Switch eventually anyway.

Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution

Nearly three years after its original release, it seems the PS5 still hasn’t captured the full confidence of Japanese developers; meanwhile, the Switch continues to be the spiritual successor to the Vita in terms of how many anime-style games it confidently plays host to. I suspect the more the Neptunia series — and Compile Heart’s output in general — can break free of the Sony ecosystem it was traditionally associated with, the more confidently the company will be able to put out the games they really want to make.

It’s a shame, in a way; the additional power of the PS5 can certainly make some slick-looking anime-style games, but if the developers making the games don’t have confidence in the platform — and the system itself is still eye-wateringly expensive — then it’s never going to recover that particular part of its audience.

But I digress. The Japanese version of Neptunia GameMaker R:Evolution will be available on PS4, PS5 and Switch from August 10, 2023 in Japan. There’s no news on a localised version yet, but since the Japanese version has only just been announced, we can likely expect that a little down the road. In the meantime, you can check out the Japanese website for some initial details, artwork and screenshots.

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Pete Davison
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