TEKKEN 8 – Interview with Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray

Watch the electric interview with Kastuhiro Harada – Director on the Tekken Project and Michael Murray – Producer on the Tekken Project to learn more about Arcade Quest mode and much more!


TEKKEN™8 is now available for preorder in Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate Edition.

Preorder now


What surprised you the most during the Closed Network Test?

KATSUHIRO HARADA: What surprised me the most is that we were expecting a certain range of results before the CNT. I mean this is a positive surprise, as the actual results were better than expected and connection was stable.

For instance, regarding long-distance connectivity, we thought the network could be unstable between Europe and the US or between North America’s East and Weast coasts.

But actually, user feedback was good on this matter. And that was a very good surprise for us.

MICHAEL MURRAY: I was so surprised that there weren’t bigger problems during the network test. Everything went pretty smoothly. No major outages of the server or anything like that, which was a big surprise.

Because it’s the first time we actually opened it up to such a large number of players.

And also, I think we touched on it at EVO a little bit - but we took all kinds of data, and some of the more popular character usage was a bit different than I had imagined.



What is favorite new addition in TEKKEN 8?

KATSUHIRO HARADA: It is hard to decide what my favorite addition is… Well, there are some things I can’t really talk about yet. That is why I can’t really say what my favorite new addition is for now.

However, I can say that while there are so many games that are free-to-play or subscription-based,  but we have developed the game with a balance between, quantity and quality – as a full package game.

MICHAEL MURRAY: For me, I think it’s the character models, for one. We just totally redid them from scratch, so when we first announced the game and when people the Kazuya Model, they just went crazy because they were surprised at the level of detail.

I think just the look of the game is outstanding, but also the heat system, because a lot of the rage arts and things like this that affect the game as a whole, the heat system actually gives more depth to all the characters. I think those two elements are probably my favorite for TEKKEN 8.



Will I be able to understand the story if I haven’t played Tekken in a while?

KATSUHIRO HARADA: The story mode can be enjoyed by anyone, even if you haven’t played the story mode of the previous games. That is because the story mode uses a lot cinematics and battles that are different from normal 1 on 1 matches.

We want the story mode to be enjoyable and beatable by everyone. Even if it says TEKKEN 8, newcomers don’t have to worry about knowing the story of the previous games. The story can be enjoyed nonetheless. I don’t think you have to worry.

MICHAEL MURRAY: Personally, also I would add that while you’re waiting for TEKKEN 8, A good way to kind of brush up on the story is – there’s a really cool TEKKEN anime that we did for Netflix. So while you’re waiting for the game, maybe check that out to get a primer on all things TEKKEN.


Is the game easy to pick up for new players?

KATSUHIRO HARADA: Of course, this is something that we focused on while developing TEKKEN 8. You may think that you need to learn how to play before you play the game, but you can jump in and play Arcade Quest without the need to learn anything before or asking others to help you out.

Arcade quest is where you experience your character grow as a TEKKEN player, which is different from the classic story mode with TEKKEN characters. After you play and finish the Arcade Quest, You will have a strong base of TEKKEN knowledge and know how to enjoy matches.

That’s why the arcade Quest is the perfect mode for newcomers.

You can also use the new special mode by pressing the L1 button. That way, the controls are switched to shortcuts that let you do all kinds of actions. You can freely switch from normal controls – arcade style – to special style with one button. You can use this feature to get better.

I really recommend that newcomers try it out.

MICHAEL MURRAY: I would just add as well that it is quite interesting when we were trying out the special style, some of our marketing staff who aren’t really TEKKEN wizards, they put on the special style and they were actually doing quite well against more experienced people.

Not only it is a set preset of moves, it actually changes. If you’re in rage or you have access to the Heat State, the combo route actually changes to give you the optimized action for that particular situation.

So it is a really cool feature to check out.


Will the arcade Quest include features for both beginners and veteran players?

MICHAEL MURRAY: So obviously, the mode – as the name implies – Arcade Quest, it’s kind of like a love letter to arcade culture and its atmosphere. So it’s kind of geared to not just beginners or advanced players, but also young players or older players.

Players of our age maybe actually been to an arcade and they kind of miss that atmosphere of being there and playing with other people.

So, you can kind of get that Nostalgia from playing through the mode. So we think there’s something for everyone. But not just that, you know, you’re playing through the mode and you’re learning how to play the game. At the same time, there’s all kinds of conversations between the characters and little hints at that arcade culture, but also some stuff thrown in there that kind of revolves around the Tekken World Tour and some kind of call outs to that is quite interesting. So it’s quite a really cool mode that is geared for, you know, any type of player.


What was your favorite character trailer so far?

KATSUHIRO HARADA: Well, I think all of them are pretty good. I think the new character we announced the other, Azucena, is pretty good as well.

But in terms of fan reception, I would say Jun, because she is a fan-favorite character and finally back after a long time. And also we were able to reveal a bit ore of the story and her part in it.

MICHAEL MURRAY: I would say it’s tough, you know – there’s two. In the same vein, at EVO we announced Azucena but also Raven, who’s coming back after a while, and that action where he kinds of splits into different characters, etc., it was just really exciting, and I think the crowd went crazy when they saw that at EVO.

But then I also like Lili, because of her redesigned costume, and just the kind of character background lore you feel from the trailer, and she has a cat this time, Salt, right?

And there was a little cool tidbit that the Director, Nakatsu, told me that she’s like, you know, trying to be all comforting and cute with her cat. Her cat’s actually like, you know, get off me. He’s not too happy about that. It’s kind of a little background info there.


Any final thoughts?

KATSUHIRO HARADA: well, the game will release in January next year. So, it will be there much faster than you think.

MICHAEL MURRAY: Also, I would add, I think it’s the premium collector’s edition. The Jin Figurine actually lights up and it’s super cool. So if you haven’t seen it yet, that’s actually one of my favorite pieces in the collector’s edition, so check it out.


TEKKEN 8 is now available for preorder in Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate Edition.

Preorder now



Release Date:

TEKKEN 8, the brand-new entry in the legendary TEKKEN franchise, brings the fight to the new generation!

Xbox Series X|S