One Piece Games Face One Challenge Most Anime Video Games Don’t


  • One Piece’s massive scale presents unique challenges for game adaptations, requiring thorough knowledge of its lengthy arcs and storylines.
  • Most One Piece games exclude content from the beginning, alienating newcomers and rushing ahead of the source material for unsatisfying conclusions.
  • Breaking the franchise down into chunks or telling standalone stories in games could cater to both longtime and newer fans effectively.

One Piece is one of the most beloved anime and manga franchises of all time. Beginning in 1999, the show has run for well over 1000 episodes and is only now beginning to enter its final saga as the celebrations begin for its 25th anniversary. One Piece‘s unique blend of the adventure and battle shonen genres, as well as elements making it one of the most recognizable media franchises on Earth, has made it ripe for video game adaptations. With dozens of titles, there is no shortage of things for fans to stick their teeth into, but they come with a catch. Despite there being plenty of One Piece games, adapting the show to the gaming medium comes with some unique challenges.

One Piece has over 30 arcs. These arcs are broken up over 11 sagas, each one lasting anywhere from almost 50 chapters to just under 150. When translated into the anime format, some of the major arcs last for well over 100 episodes. One Piece is one of the longest-running anime of all time, which presents a unique challenge for both viewers and game makers alike. Watching all of the show is daunting enough, but adapting it comes with even greater difficulty. The enormous length and ongoing nature of One Piece means that no game adapting the series ever feels truly complete or definitive. Furthermore, newer fans of the franchise are left with little to play without turning to older consoles.


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One Piece’s Scale Makes Game Adaptations Difficult

The most recent One Piece game of note was 2023’s One Piece Odyssey. Odyssey has an original storyline that involves extended flashback sequences. The Alabasta, Water Seven, Marineford, and Dessrosa Arcs all play a key role in Odyssey during these sequences. The earliest of these arcs, One Piece‘s Alabasta, begins in the 92nd episode of the anime, and the latest one, Dessrosa, ends just before episode 750. This means that One Piece Odyssey requires players to have seen most of the show to fully appreciate its events. One game that is exclusively aimed at longtime fans is fine, but this is how most One Piece games are.

One Piece Needs a New Game Set Near Its Start

With the exception of Pirate Warriors 3, the vast majority of modern One Piece games, including that title’s successor, exclude content from the start of the series. Considering the success of the live-action One Piece adaptation, this is truly a missed opportunity. Not only do One Piece games often lack the beginning of the story, alienating newcomers, but they also rush ahead of the source material and deliver slapdash conclusions to story arcs that aren’t actually finished. This is necessary to cover recent content from the series, but it prevents many of the games from having satisfying conclusions, as was the case with the otherwise great Pirate Warriors 4.

How Could a One Piece Game Take On The Full Series?

Luffy in Romance Dawn arc

Instead of trying to tell the full story in one entry, a series of One Piece games could break the franchise down into chunks, telling the tale slowly over time. This would allow longtime fans to revisit the earlier parts of the series in a more comprehensive way than what is offered in current games while giving newer fans titles to play that aren’t jam-packed with spoilers. Another good option would be to tell standalone stories separate from the canon of the anime so that anyone can enjoy them. This strategy has been effective for One Piece movies and could easily work for games as well.

The announcement and impending release of The One Piece anime remake makes now the perfect time for developers to start creating games that cater to all sorts of fans. The series is also in its final saga, meaning that in the next couple of years, there will finally be a conclusion to the story of the Straw Hat Pirates. When this finally happens, games will have a real ending point as well. For now, though, focusing on arcs that are finished rather than rushing ahead could improve the quality of games, as would slowing down and covering the events of each arc in greater detail or telling an original story.