The Nintendojo Interview: Third Editions Books

We sit down with the innovative publisher to talk video games, books, the industry, and more!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 03/26/2018 07:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Third Editions Books is a small French publisher that has been making waves of late with its innovative take on video game writing. So far, they’ve released a handful of different titles, including books dedicated to The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, and more. The venture is run by a handful of friends with a passion for both video games and writing. They’ve previously sought (and successfully obtained) funding on Kickstarter to have their titles translated into English and brought westward. Now, Third Editions Books is back with a second season of titles seeking localization via another Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is live now and can be reached at the link below, if you’re interested in giving it some financial love:

Now, we’d like to give you the chance to sit down with the fine folks at Third Editions and hear what they have to say about a variety of different topics ranging from what games they’re currently playing to their thoughts on the preservation of the history of the video game industry!

Nintendojo: How does Third Editions decide which video games to write books about?

Third Editions Books: It is first a question of personal taste. We’ve decided to deal first thing with the sagas we love the most (Zelda, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, etc.). After that we are trying to have a view on what games are going to make the news. It’s always more efficient to propose a book whose subject is in trending topics. But even here, we have to be fans of the franchise.

ND: What is Third Editions’ goal as a publisher?

TEB: We just want to talk about video games with passion and respect. Like movies or music, video games is a culture in its own which deserves to be analyzed and whose creators must be put into the light.

ND: Video games as a medium are fascinating in that so many titles are lost to time. With technology making previous generations of consoles obsolete, it can be hard to preserve the history of the industry when old games aren’t available on contemporary hardware. Do you have any thoughts on this? How do you think the industry should approach preserving its history and making it available to today’s gamers?

TEB: It’s a tough question. It appears indeed the cartridge or the CD-ROM are not the best way to preserve the games from time. In my opinion, it will be great if we can have a Netflix of video games with all the old games available on it. I am pretty sure Nintendo will come with a system like that for the Switch and its own games. We can’t let the old games disappear! By our work, I hope we are helping to maintain those games in people’s memories.

ND: Third Editions books are noticeably very pretty to look at. What’s the design process like when putting together your books for publication?

TEB: Of course, the inside of the book (the content written by the author) is most important. But gamers are often collectors. So we have to think about what our book may look like. We are working with a lot of great graphic designers and illustrators, and with their help we are trying to make the best looking books ;) It’s always fun to find a new idea that is going to surprise the readers (like a gold stamping or a sand effect varnish).

ND: I haven’t seen your books in stores like Barnes & Noble here in the US. Are they on their way? When can we expect them?

TEB: We have recently signed with some US distributors so if you haven’t seen our books in a bookstore over there yet, it will come!

ND: Which games or series are Third Editions planning to bring to fans next?

TEB: We have a large French catalog to translate with sagas like Uncharted, Persona, or the work of Yoko Taro. We are also working on a pop-culture label, with books on Dragon Ball or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So a lot of work to do, but 30 or 40 of books to offer! In the future, we want also to work directly with English writers.

ND: What role do you see video games playing in art and entertainment in the future?

TEB: Regarding entertainment, I think video games are already in the center of attention (like comic books). About the question if video games are art, the answer is not a big deal in my opinion. Developers are not waiting for that validation in order to offer profound games, with immersive stories or sharp gameplay.

ND: Retro gaming and legacy consoles continue to be a huge draw in the marketplace. Nintendo in particular has seen great success with its SNES Classic, for instance. What do players and developers stand to gain from looking at the past of the industry?

TEB: It could be dangerous in my opinion to look at the past in an intense way. Nostalgia is cool. I have a NES and a Super NES Classic, but it’s on a shelf and I am not playing it. But I like the fact to own it and to have the chance to use it if I want to. But I am more concerned today by the new games and ideas that are going to come out of the minds of developers.

ND: Lingering a little longer on this topic, and touching upon the idea of preserving the history of the medium, which games would you argue have had the biggest impact on video games as we know them today? Are there any titles you consider greatly overlooked that deserve more recognition?

TEB: It’s fun but the games which offer breakthroughs are not the one staying in our memories. Like Kill Switch with the cover system, but everyone remembers Gears of War. There are all types of gamers so all the games deserve to exist and be remembered.

ND: Finally, what contemporary games are impressing you these days? Any series or games that you want to bring more attention to?

TEB: I am curious about all sorts of games: AAA, indie games, even experimentations like Nintendo Labo. A lot of games to come are exciting me (God of War, Detroit: Become Human, etc.). I am a [Hideo] Kojima enthusiast, so I have to say Death Stranding. But a game or a series I want to bring more attention to? I don’t know, but I am very curious of projects (AAA indie) like Hellblade, or what PlatinumGames are working on on their own.

We want to thank Third Editions Books for taking the time to sit and chat with us! We’ll be going in-depth about the publisher’s books in the coming days, so keep it tuned to Nintendojo for more!

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