There's a small but passionate group of people who still care about 2D gaming; the majority of the industry, and gamers, have moved on to 3D -- years ago, in fact, at this point. 2D is only routinely used on portable platforms.
However, somehow, Japanese developer Vanillaware has carved out a successful and critically-acclaimed niche creating 2D games. Its Odin Sphere was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2007 -- a gorgeous dark fantasy that, despite its apparent limited appeal, sold in the hundreds of thousands globally, surprising many.
The company's 2009 release is Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Nintendo's Wii. Released in Japan in April, the localized version of the game will reach North America in September via publisher Ignition, and Europe in November. It's generating a lot of buzz -- fans who played the import version speak of a step up in gameplay quality from Odin Sphere; the game won several best of E3 awards from enthusiast publications.
Here, Vanillaware's founder, George Kamitani, talks about his ambitions for the company -- sticking with 2D, going to HD resolutions, and maybe even making an online game.