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Square Enix begins hiring for work on Nier, but is it a new game?

NieR: Automata – “Glory to Mankind 119450310”
Nier: Automata released earlier this year to rave reviews and surprisingly high sales figures, with critics viewing it as the best game from auteur director Yoko Taro. It appears that this surprise success has convinced publisher Square Enix to move forward with more Nier content — we just don’t know exactly what that means yet.

A recruitment page for Square Enix’ Business Division 6 (viewable in English on Gematsu) announced that the publisher is looking for a scenario designer responsible for writing side-quest plots, “design instructions” for nonplayer characters, and item descriptions, which are particularly important in Taro’s games.

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The director released a statement along with the announcement, saying that his team “will be carrying out various developments in regard to Nier.”

It’s worth nothing that Taro never said Nier: Automata in his statement, and producer Yosuke Saito added that “there are a great many people waiting on the world of Nier.” This seems to imply that Square Enix is moving forward on a full follow-up to the game, rather than the bosses and expansion content it has already released.

Previously, Taro worked with Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising developer PlatinumGames to create Nier: Automata. The studio’s action expertise certainly improved the moment-to-moment gameplay — an area Taro’s games had generally struggled to polish in the past — and coupled with his brilliantly weird writing, it was unlike any other game available. Players took notice, with the game selling more than 1.5 million copies by the end of May.

It was the first game for Taro to extend behind a relatively niche audience, in part because his other works were deeply interconnected. Nier: Automata is itself a sequel to 2010’s Nier: Gestalt and Nier: Replicant, fantasy-themed games centered around the title character’s journey through an apocalyptic event. But that game is a spinoff of another series, Drakengard, which featured an ending that sent its protagonists out of their own fantasy realm and into 2003 Tokyo, at which point their presence dooms humanity to fade away into ash. Pretty standard stuff.

Nier: Automata is available now for both PlayStation 4 and PC. A Blu-ray featuring music from the game as well as script readings will be released on December 20.

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