"Regarding the 'Xenosaga' series, in five or ten years, I'd like to revisit this world if I have the chance."
- Hirohide Sugiura (Xenosaga II Weekly: Vol. 3 interview, 2004)
"The love for the series is always in my thoughts. I hope someday we can have an opportunity to show other episodes + our version of episode III"
- Soraya Saga (deviantART Jun 4, 2008)
"For as long as I’m alive, I want to release the 'answers' [to Xenogears episode 6] someday."
- Tetsuya Takahashi (denfaminicogamer interview 2018)
Based on some requests, suggestions and people bringing to my attention the occasional sign that the creators and producers haven't forgotten the Xenogears and Xenosaga series, I decided to make this separate article about the rumors and latest news regarding a possible future for the series. Since this means moving the last part of the History of Xenosaga article here, it will also help lighten the load on that already quite long article.
Since I may be unable to (or not quite as interested anymore) in keeping up with the latest news and interviews with the developers relevant to the series, and since this will be a rather short article, I'm activating the comment field so that people can post new information or rumors and discuss them whenever they appear out there. However, keep in mind that this is for Xenogears and Xenosaga news and rumors only, not new games in the Xenoblade franchise.
So, let us continue where we left off in the History of Xenosaga article and after Monolith Soft became a first party developer for Nintendo in May 2007. On November 9, 2007 Soraya Saga became a member of DeviantArt and started talking to fans under the name of 'Solaryear' where she said that she and Takahashi hadn't forgotten the series and that they hoped to one day have the opportunity to show other episodes of Xenosaga [see screenshot]. She also drew an interesting abstract artwork for Xenogears' 10th anniversary in 2008 featuring two female shapes clearly reminiscent of Elly and Miang with Xenosaga's version of the Zohar.
An interesting rumor later appeared in 2008, when Soraya seemingly hinted that they were working on something Xenosaga related that never materialized. Back then she had written on her CV, following the release of Soma Bringer, that she was working on Co-writing a story/script that was in pre-production, and the only time she has ever co-wrote the story and script have been for Xenogears and Xenosaga. This would not turn out to be Monado (Xenoblade) because she was not involved with that game. She also made the following comment on her BBS at this time while fans were talking about the music of Yasunori Mitsuda:
Soraya Saga: I wish I could see a sight of Durandal docking with Excalibur with music by him.
Fan: Durandal docking with Excalibur!?!?!!!!!
Soraya Saga: I won't tell in detail.
While this wasn't proof of anything, it seemed to suggest that a new Xenosaga game was in the works with an intriguing link to Xenogears with the ship Excalibur. But after a while the pre-production project Soraya had listed was removed and the comment about Durandal and Excalibur slowly fell into oblivion. Since there was definitely no Xenosaga game in the works while Takahashi was working on Monado (Xenoblade), and as Sugiura had made it clear they were taking a break from Xenosaga, the project Soraya had listed as being in pre-production with herself as Co-writer remains a mystery.
On deviantART at the time, Soraya also responded to a frustrated fan who wondered why there was so much hush-hush around the series, to which Soraya replied: "There's no great hush-hush. :D Just because when I speak about "commercial products", sometimes it has to go through so many channels. (and getting clearance takes very long time...) As for [Xenogears] manga, novel or anime, if Square/Enix wants, anything goes. But seemingly now they have plenty of other merchandise to sell, So no one knows what will happen," and when asked if she expect something to be made in the future she responded with, "I can't say other than that it's up in the air for now."
Then, in 2009 she replied to a fan with the following enigmatic comment:
"Thank you for visiting.
I'd rather leave anything about Xeno untold till Zohar awakes again. :) "
- Solaryear (deviantART Jul 3, 2009)
While at the time it sounded promising, like a hint of something to come involving Zohar (i.e. Xenosaga) along with the previous hints surrounding Soraya's mysterious pre-production project, in the wake of the first Xenoblade Chronicles game (which didn't involve Zohar or Soraya) it remains just a "cute" comment that may have been projected way longer into the future, if ever, than what Monolith Soft was working on back then.
In June 2017, almost a decade later, in an interview with the French gaming site Gamekult, Tetsuya Takahashi got a question asking if he'd like to come back to the Xenosaga series to finish it one day if the opportunity presented itself, where he responded saying (with a laugh): "If someone financed it, certainly."
Then, in February 2018, being interviewed together with the creator of Persona series by the Japanese denfaminicogamer website, he was asked a similar question but this time regarding Xenogears because of it being a universe with 6 episodes in total. This time his reply was: "For as long as I’m alive, I want to release the 'answers' someday." This comment reinforced what Soraya Saga said ten years earlier, that they hoped to have the opportunity to show more episodes, and reveals that the creators still haven't changed their minds or forgotten about that.
Apart from any news regarding a continuation, something else to look out for is news of a possible remake. Apparently a remake of Xenogears is not without demand from Japanese gamers, especially in the wake of a Final Fantasy VII remake having entered production around this time. When the Xenogears 20th Anniversary Concert was announced in December 2017, composer Yasunori Mitsuda made a comment on Twitter saying that he is aware fans want a "remake." In February 2018 he wrote the following on his Diary blog The Brink of Time: "Recently, Xenogears has reached its 20th year anniversary. It's quite rare to see a game this popular after so long. It seems that many people are eager for a remake, and I'm truly grateful that I could have been a part of this game."
However, Mitsuda then went on to express some doubts whether they could pull off a remake, saying: "I think that a remake would be very difficult, personally. When it comes to [copy]rights, that's just a matter of money, (that is, if the development company is different) but the problem is the level of understanding towards the work. This of course includes the understanding towards the original work, but we also have to think about if we are understanding it from the user's perspective, and the differences in feel of the world that arise from the aging of the game and improved technology. And this can be said about the music as well. If we were to just remake it as a job, we would not get any positive results."
"If we’re ever going to do a remake, I hope I can write a remix of Chu-chu’s theme and not use Flight."
- Yasunori Mitsuda (Xenogears 20th Anniversary Concert interview)