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Harvest Moon creator’s next game ditches farms for gardens — and the rest of the world

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Birthdays heads West next year

The newest game from Yasuhiro Wada, best known as the creator of the Harvest Moon franchise, is called Birthdays, and its first teaser trailer shows a world far bigger than the one farming sim fans are used to cultivating. The PlayStation 4 project, due out in Japan in January with a Western release planned for later next year, has players tending to a "miniature garden" — except that garden actually comprises the entire world.

Players take the form of a magical being with the power to recreate the world to their liking. That means dinosaurs roam freely atop a cubic land mass filled with plants and mountains, the placement of which is all up to players’ discretion. Developer Arc System Works said in the game’s announcement that global gardeners will be able to share their creations with others as well, making Birthdays sound like the jumping off point for a new galaxy entirely.

The Western release, handled by NIS America, has no release date as of yet, so stateside devotees of Harvest Moon — now known locally as Story of Seasons — will have to wait to see how its creator’s typically smaller scale game design translates to this larger scale. The farming series’ name change isn’t the only one it’s made over the years; Wada left Harvest Moon developer Marvelous Interactive in 2010, going to work on other games like Little King’s Story and Deadly Premonition.