Guilty Gear devs dive deep on ABA in Arc World Tour Finals interview cover image

Guilty Gear devs dive deep on ABA in Arc World Tour Finals interview

The veteran studio’s newest reveal is once again breaking the internet.

Guilty Gear Strive keeps on rocking in Season 3, and our interview with development director Akira Katano and producer Ken Miyauchi shows they have plenty of plans for the future. was lucky to meet with both developers at the Arc World Tour Finals to discuss ABA's bombastic return, future DLC reveals, and whether all the memes are intentional.

Read on for our exclusive interview with Ken Miyauchi and Akira Katano at the 2023 Arc World Tour Finals.

Interview with Guilty Gear Strive director and producer First, I’d like to talk about ABA. Is there a certain reaction to ABA that you want from the community?"

Katano: ABA is a returning character from an older franchise, so there are going to be some older players who have been playing the Guilty Gear series for a long time that are going to be excited to see this character come back. That is something we are looking forward to. But at the same time, there are going to be a bunch of players who are not familiar with this character. They'll be coming into contact with ABA for the first time. We are looking forward to their reaction as well.

From the reaction that we've seen so well, its been very positive. I'm very relieved to see the reaction from both sides.

Her gameplay in XX is quite complex, with Goku Moroha mode and blood packs. How do you decide which mechanics to keep and which to cut?

Katano: In the XX series, Moroha was a very complicated system. When we release a character that was previously very complicated, what discuss which kind of elements we leave behind and what kind of elements we take out. As a character concept, we wanted to use two different modes, normal and very powerful. That's why we decided to include ABA in the game.

ABA's XX incarnation had multiple special mechanics (Image via Arc System Works)
ABA's XX incarnation had multiple special mechanics (Image via Arc System Works)

We wanted to maintain the basic concept of having two different states, one normal and one powered-up. That was the fundamental concept of ABA that we wanted to carry over. The problem we ran into in the past is that its challenging to use and master ABA.

And the opponent becomes confused, it becomes difficult to handle and deal with all these different mechanics. We wanted to simplify that interaction in this rendition. We want to keep the originality and uniqueness of ABA and have that challenging element, but for the opponent, we didn't want it to be so stressful and complex to where it was rule-breaking for them as it was in past games.

Strive's ABA trades blood packs and Goku Moroha for Jealous Rage mode (Image via Arc System Works)
Strive's ABA trades blood packs and Goku Moroha for Jealous Rage mode (Image via Arc System Works)

Miyauchi: I also talked to the battle game designers. One thing that I ordered to them is making sure that she will be compliant in Guilty Gear Strive and not something just converted from Guilty Gear XX.

Some fans have theorized that her green hair is because her original orange hair has become rusty. Is this true?

Katano: Very interesting theory! That's something that we love to hear from the fans. However, I did mention during the Arc Live broadcast stream that its just ABA dyeing her hair. But there is a reason for this hair color change. In the original XX series, ABA was locked up in a laboratory and she did not come into contact with the outside world whatsoever, and that was her story. But in Strive, the story goes that branches out of the laboratory and starts to explore and see the world for what it is.

And through that exploration, she begins to have these different values. Her values change, and she comes into these ideas of fashion and beauty and things like that. And now she's sort of exploring herself and discovering herself. So her hair color change symbolizes her changes in values and coming in contact to the outside world and all the things that she's learned about the world.

Miyauchi: About her hair color, maybe that's something that the player will be able to find out if they play her arcade mode story.

Certain DLC characters have appealed beyond the fighting game community as memes, such as Baiken, Bridget, and Jack-O. Do you take their meme-worthiness into account when deciding who to add?

Katano: We're not really aiming for meme-worthiness. I think that's just a result of the community coming into contact with these characters that we create. Our focus is more on what we call internally "catchiness." right? It's making every character unique for themselves and that no character in Guilty Gear feels ordinary. And so that's the basic concept that we have.

Bridget quickly took over the internet after her reveal (Image via Arc System Works)
Bridget quickly took over the internet after her reveal (Image via Arc System Works)

I think the meme-ness comes as a result of them reaching the hands of the fans and community and then sort of blowing up with them talking about it. So of course we want everybody to really get excited and talk about it.

Season 3 introduced new mechanics for the Burst Gauge with Wild Assault and Deflect Shield. Are there any plans to add more metered options? Something like Force Breaks for 25% Tension or more Burst options?

Katano: We can't say that we don't have plans for it, but as you know, Strive has been out for a pretty long time now, and there's been many system changes throughout the years. We want to continue adding things that will make it more enjoyable and fun. But also we do realize that sometimes things can get a little bit too complex. Sometimes there may be a need to pull back a little bit and maybe brush off some of the systems so that they're a little bit more streamlined or easier to understand for players.

Miyauchi: So we've been receiving a lot of player feedback, and we do check a lot of opinions from a variety of types of players. We're constantly discussing about how we should update balance in the future. So I would say probably we aren't really thinking of just keeping the same status that we are currently having. But, we can't answer what's the next direction, not just yet.

Lastly, please make Holy Order Sol next.


A special thanks to Akira Katano and Ken Miyauchi for the interview with at the Arc World Tour Finals.

Stay tuned to for all the latest updates on Guilty Gear Strive.