Back in August SNK Playmore filed a criminal complaint against Square Enix, alleging that the company had engaged in "criminal copyright infringement" by using over 100 instances of unauthorized depictions of SNK Playmore characters in its Hi Score Girl manga.
This also led to the Consumer and Economic Crime Division of the Osaka, Japan Police raiding the local offices of Square-Enix to gather evidence.
Westone is best known for creating the 1986 8-bit hit Wonder Boy (released in America as Adventure Island) and the popular Monster World series released on the Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafx-16.
Sony has confirmed that the closure of PlayStation Home is eminent for both Europe and the United States. Sony Computer Entertainment said that the PlayStation Home service will shut down in European and U.S. territories on March 31 2015, the exact date that the 3-D social platform will close in Japan.
"Due to a shifting landscape, PlayStation Home will cease publishing new content on the 12th of November, 2014," Sony confirmed in a statement.
During its Tokyo Game Show press conference yesterday, Square Enix revealed Shinra Technologies, a new cloud-based gaming platform that hopes to deliver first-party titles to consumers. Named after the evil corporation in Final Fantasy VII, and headed up by former Square Enix president and representative director Yoichi Wada, the service is set for a beta launch early next year in Japan. A North American beta is planned for sometime in 2015 as well, but a concrete date has not been set.
Nintendo of Japan today issued a formal apology for banning Super Smash Bros. online players while in the midst of trying to clear up a glitch. The game for 3DS, which launched in Japan Sept. 13, contains a glitch related to item usage in an online game mode that doesn't allow it.
According to multiple reports on the glitch, a number of players found a way to use Princess Peach's special ability to pull and throw her turnip item in the 'For Glory' online mode. The problem is that items are supposed to be disabled.
Capcom is suing fellow Japanese developer and publisher Koei Tecmo for allegedly infringing on a number of its patents, according to a Sankei report translated by Siliconera. The patents relate to letting players in a new game import or unlock content from an older title and the use of a controller vibration to alert players of nearby enemies.
Last year at about this time Sony decided to stop releasing new content for PlayStation Home in Japan. Now the company says that it will lay the virtual environment to rest in March of 2015. A translation of the message (as detailed by Joystiq) goes on to note that the PlayStation Home services maintained by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment America will be exempt from this eventual shutdown.
Sony first launched its virtual 3D MMO-like environment for the PlayStation 3 in August of 2008 in Japan.
Japanese game developer GungHo Entertainment has sold its stake in Supercell to its own parent company, SoftBank. GII reports that the Puzzle & Dragons developer sold its holdings in the Finnish studio because it wanted to focus more on emerging markets such as "China, Southeast Asia, and South America."
GungHo Online's popular mobile title Puzzles & Dragons, has been downloaded over 30 million times to-date in Japan. The news was revealed by industry veteran Dr. Serkan Toto, who cites a press release circulated by GungHo earlier this week.
That same press release says that Puzzle & Dragons has seen 4 million downloads in the U.S. and Canada, 2 million downloads in South Korea and 1 million downloads across Taiwan and Hong Kong.
If you were wondering why the releases of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U are staggered, the answer is the debugging process. According to series creator Masahiro Sakurai, who recently wrote about the games in his Famitsu Weekly column (as translated by Kotaku East), the debugging process for both games is very time consuming. Sakurai is currently debugging the 3DS version of the game, which is set to be released first.
Sony is cutting the price of the PlayStation 3 in Japan and discontinuing some models, according to Siliconera.
A new report from Games Industry International notes that the console market segment in Japan declined by 16 percent overall in 2013. According to data from the Japanese Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association's annual report - obtained by Japanese analyst Dr. Serkan Toto - console hardware and software sales declined from $4.8 billion in 2012 to $4 billion in 2013.
Atelier developer Gust Co. will be absorbed into its parent company, Koei Tecmo, and renamed "Gust Nagano Development Group." The developer behind the popular JRPG series was acquired in December of 2011, but was allowed to operate as a separate entity under the auspices of Koei Tecmo.
But now Koei Tecmo says that "efficiency in game development and technology" are the main reasons for bringing the studio into its system.
Here's something we have known for awhile; outside of Japan it seems like Sony does not know what to do with the PS Vita. Speaking to IGN at the Develop conference in Brighton this week, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House admitted that fact.
After Japanese developer Comcept successfully funded Mighty No. 9 on Kickstarter to the tune of around $3.8 million from over 70,000 backers, one would think the studio would be focusing on the development of said side-scrolling platformer inspired by Mega Man.
But apparently the studio has launched a second crowd-funding campaign through PayPal on its website to funded additional content. Comcept said that it decided to launch a second crowd-funding round based on feedback from its legion of fans.
Companies would like to believe that the people who invest in them understand the business they are trying to make a return on and that they believe in it to some degree, but the sad truth is that for every shareholder who understands what they are putting their money into there might be one that doesn't have a clue or doesn't care beyond the financial return or loss.
During yesterday's annual shareholder meeting, Nintendo re-elected president Satoru Iwata to the board of directors. Iwata was not at the meeting - he's still recovering from a major surgery. The proposal to re-elect Iwata and nine other executives was approved without any opposition (PDF).
Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One will finally be released in Japan this September with right around 29 games available for purchase at launch. The Xbox One's Japanese launch lineup will include a number of North American titles like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Dead Rising 3, and Crimson Dragon, along with Strider, Titanfall, and Murdered: Soul Suspect.
According to a report in Nikkei, Index Corporation chairman Masami Ochiai and his wife, Index president Yoshimi Ogawa, have been arrested by authorities in Tokyo, Japan on allegations that they falsified earnings reports. In case you don't know, Index Corporation owned Atlus at one time, but was bought and split from the publisher of Tactics Ogre, Disgaea, Steambot Chronicles, Trauma Center, the Persona series, and many other popular Japanese games.
Microsoft has announced the pricing and SKUs that it will offer when it launches the Xbox One in Japan on September 4. Two bundles will be available to Japanese gamers on September 4: one with the Kinect bundled in for 49,980 yen ($490) and one without the motion sensor device for 39,980 yen ($392).
Sony announced today that it expects to report a net loss of 130 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for the 12 month period that ended on March 31, 2014. That compares with a loss of 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion) forecast in February, a reduction from its October 2013 projection of a 30 billion yen ($294 million) profit. Sony won't report its consolidated results for the fiscal year until May 14, but it published a preliminary earnings report on Thursday to get investors prepared for the news.
Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 developer From Software has been acquired by Japanese publisher Kadokawa, according to Siliconera. According to the report, Kadokawa will acquire 80 percent of From Software stock in a deal to be finalized on May 21. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Microsoft announced this morning that the Xbox One will (finally) be launching in Japan on Sept. 4. The company did not say how much the system would retail for when it is released. It is pretty surprising that Microsoft is waiting until almost the end of the year to bring its current generation system into Japan.
According to this Bloomberg report, Japanese mobile giant GungHo has four games earning nearly $1 million a month. Speaking to Bloomberg, GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita said that the company has six profitable game, with four of them breaking ¥100 million ($980,000) every month.
Despite these numbers, Morishita expressed dissatisfaction to Bloomberg concerning its monthly earnings.
Capcom announced that it is building two new research and development facilities in Osaka, Japan. The cost of these new facilities is estimated at around eight billion yen, or $79 million. Construction of the first building (R&D Building S) began in May of 2013 and is expected to be completed by January 2015 at a cost of 2.5 billion yen, or $24.6 million. Construction on the second building (R&D Building N) began this month and is expected to be completed in February 2016 at a cost of 5.5 billion yen, or $54.1 million.
A bizarre story out of Japan details a lawsuit against the president of mobile and social gaming giant Gree. According to Sakura Financial News (by way of Kotaku) Gree's current president Yoshikazu Tanaka is being sued by a former girlfriend for allegedly forcing her to have an abortion. Gree is a household name in Japan.