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.
The PlayStation 4 went on sale in Japan on February 24, and according to Japanese publication Famitsu, the system sold a repeatable 320,000 hardware units. Believe it or not, the two day sales figures are a lot better than they were for Sony's last console launch in the region; the PlayStation 3 sold 88,443 units in its first two days of release in Japan. The PlayStation 2 remains Sony's fastest selling console in Japan to date, hitting 630,552 units in its first two days on sale.
In ancient times gamers in North America had to wait a year or two after a system was released in Japan to get their hands on that same system, but Sony has put that paradigm on its head with the PlayStation 4's launch. Instead of releasing its latest console system in Japan first, Sony decided to release it in North America and Europe last year instead, making gamers in its home country wait a full three months.
More details have emerged on what Sega plans to do with Atlus and its parent company, Japan-based Index. Sega acquired the original North American publisher of Tactics Ogre, Disgaea, Steambot Chronicles, Trauma Center, the Persona series, and many other popular Japanese games in September 2013 in a deal that cost the company an estimated $140 million.
Yesterday we reported that Resident Evil and Onimusha composer Mamoru Samuragochi admitted that he hired someone else to create the compositions he took credit for. Today we learn who composed those works and that Samuragochi may not be deaf after all.
Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo Online expects to rake in around $1.2 billion in revenue this year, and because it keeps its overhead low, it expects to keep about $700 million of that figure after expenses. These numbers are from CEO Kazuki Morishita, who recently spoke with CNN Fortune about the company's runaway hit game and business in general.
He attributes at least some of his company's success to his experience as a Manzai artist and stand-up comedian - believe it or not.
Japanese game developer Idea Factory is altering the content of its upcoming PlayStation Vita card game Monster Monpiece for markets outside of Japan such as Europe and the United States. On hearing the news, some in the community said that Idea Factory was being heavy-handed in changing the game for release in North America.
On Friday Nintendo projected that it would take a $240 million net loss for the fiscal year ending in March on weak holiday sales of its Wii U console and related software, and scaled back its sales projections for its home console and its 3DS hand-held. This morning the company is seeing the effects of that news in its stock price, according to this BBC report.
If you live in Japan you already know that the government taxes games (and other physical goods) with a consumption tax that are imported from outside the country, but that tax will soon be applied to digital purchases as well, according to this Kotaku report.
A Japanese man has been arrested for allegedly forcing his young stepson to play Grand Theft Auto while his mother was not at home. The Kyoto, Japan resident, a 28 year-old male nurse named Maasa Kawabata forced his nine year-old son to play Grand Theft Auto IV for two-to-three weeks, with each gaming session lasting about two or three hours a day. All of this occurred while his mother was outside the home. He also apparently told the boy that he was "stupid," a "moron," and that he should "die" whenever his mother was not around.
Koei Tecmo has introduced spending limits for micro-transactions in its games for those under the age of 20 in Japan. According to Silicon Era, the company will only allow $50 a month to be spent by someone under the age of 15, with the 16-19 year olds being limited to a maximum of $200 a month. No restrictions apply for players 20 years old or older.
Koei Tecmo plans to add these limits in its games in Japan before the year's end. No word on if this policy will be a global one or if it is just specific to Japan.