Harvest Moon for the SNES could have been lost in the wave of excellent games released in Japan during 1996, yet the farming simulator grew into a well-established series that celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. During these years Harvest Moon has visited multiple platforms, experimented with different playstyles and even been renamed to Story of Seasons when, in 2012, Marvelous Inc. stopped licensing the series to Natsume. From 2014 onwards, Marvelous Inc. has instead used its own publishing brand, Xseed Games, to localise for western audiences, while Natsume began releasing its own farming simulator series using the Harvest Moon title, which, understandably, has confused many fans.
Alongside its silver jubilee, Story of Seasons is celebrating its latest addition – Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town for the Nintendo Switch. This game was directed by Hikaru Nakano, who has a long history with the series; being part of the development team since the days of Harvest Moon 64 and previously directing the 2020 remake of Friends of Mineral Town.
Talking to Eurogamer in a new interview, Nakano explained the series began with “the general idea of not having a fighting game, but one of those peaceful games in which you just move to a farm”, and developed around the idea of “what kind of lifestyle would you live actually if you were working on a farm?”. When it comes to Pioneers of Olive Town, Nakano views the game as a “new chapter” that “really gives new life to the series”.