Character Chowdown Adds Disgaea Favorites

July 24, 2013 -

NIS America has added some new characters to its educational iOS puzzle game, Character Chowdown. The in-game content, which will cost you roughly $0.99 a pop, includes characters from the popular Disgaea series such as Laharl, Prinny, Mao, and Flonne. Other downloadable content includes the Hiragana pack and seven different Kanji packs.

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Nintendo Wins Major Victory Against R4 Resellers

July 9, 2013 -

Nintendo, Square Enix and a number of other Japanese game makers have won a major victory in a long-running battle against two distributors of R4 devices. The devices are used to store and play unlicensed (pirated) versions of games for Nintendo's many hand-held devices.

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Club Nintendo Security Breached in Japan

July 5, 2013 -

Nintendo announced that Club Nintendo, its member rewards site in Japan, has been hacked. The security breach was discovered when Nintendo noticed a large number of access errors on July 2. This prompted Nintendo to conduct a deeper investigation. Looking further into the issue, Nintendo found 23,000 instances of unauthorized log-ins (with 15 million attempts) between June 9 and July 4 on Japan's Club Nintendo site. The security breach does not apply to Club Nintendo sites in other countries, according to Nintendo.

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Atlus at Risk as Parent Company's Future is Uncertain

June 27, 2013 -

Publisher Atlus has an uncertain future today as its parent company in Japan, Index, wrestles with what seems like an insurmountable amount of debt. According to a CNet Japan report, Index has filed for civil rehabilitation proceedings as it faces bankruptcy. The company owes an estimated ¥24.5 billion - roughly $224 million - in debt and its current president Ochiai Yoshimi has hinted that he will resign soon.

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Atlus Parent Company Index Under Investigation by Japanese Authorities

June 12, 2013 -

The parent company of Atlas is being investigated in Japan for "shady practices," according to this Kotaku report. In Japan "Atlus" is just a brand on paper and not a real company anymore because the Japanese company was dissolved and delisted from the stock market a few years ago after it became a wholly owned subsidiary of a company called Index.

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Nintendo of Japan Patches Out Same-Sex Relationships in Tomodachi Collection: New Life

May 13, 2013 -

Kotaku reports that the same sex relationships enjoyed by male characters in the Japanese game Tomodachi Collection: New Life have been patched out. Last week it came to light that male characters in the cutesy Japanese life sim for the 3DS could have relationships with each other. Nintendo promised a patch but many had hoped that the game would patch those same kinds of relationships for females into the game.

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Fans Offer to Translate Mother 3 for Nintendo at No Charge

April 22, 2013 -

Fans want a new Earthbound game so badly in North America that some have even offered to translate Mother 3 into English for Nintendo for free. The team of fans, which includes a professional translator, has offered to localize the game in English for Nintendo free of charge in a post on its development blog.

Mother 3 has never released outside of Japan, much to the chagrin of just about every gamer in North America and Europe.

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Microsoft Offers Incentives for Japanese Xbox 360 Players to Play More

April 18, 2013 -

Microsoft has announced a new incentive for Japan that will kick into high gear on April 20th. Xbox 360 owners in the region will get free Microsoft Points based on the collective amount of time that participants in the campaign use the console in Japan. To get those free points Japanese Xbox 360 players will hit the milestone of playing for 300,000 hours using the Xbox 360 to get 100 ($1.25) Microsoft Points for Xbox Live Gold subscribers and 10 Points for free members.

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SCE Consolidates Operations in Asia

April 1, 2013 -

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Sony Computer Entertainment Asia have been consolidated into one business unit operating within Sony, according to this press release - as uncovered by Kotaku. The combined operation will now be called Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia.

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Puzzle & Dragons GungHo Acquired by SoftBank

March 26, 2013 -

In late January we reported that GungHo Group had acquired Suda 51's studio Grasshopper Manufacture. In late February the Japanese mobile publisher revealed staggering sales figures: it reported it had generated around $65 million during January - or about $2 million dollars a day - from a single game: Puzzle & Dragons.

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Aksys Games Hosting Donation Drive for Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster

March 11, 2013 -

Aksys Games passed along word that it is currently hosting a donation drive in observance of the second Anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster. To help those still suffering from the long-term effects of that horrific natural disaster, Aksys is donating a portion of the sales from its online store to the American Red Cross. For every item purchased from March 11 - 15, Aksys Games will donate $5 to the American Red Cross for ongoing relief efforts in Japan.

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Sony Unloads Stake in DeNa for $438 Million

March 4, 2013 -

Sony has decided to unload its holdings in mobile game developer and publisher DeNa, according to this Reuters report. Sony has reportedly sold all of its shares in the company to Japanese-based investment firm Nomura Securities for $438 million.

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Former Square Enix Exec Keiji Fujita Joins Adways Interactive

February 26, 2013 -

Former Square Enix and Taito executive Keiji Fujita has joined Japanese mobile ad network and game publisher Adways, the company announced today. Fujita will take the reins of the company's San Francisco office, which will serve as the home of the U.S. subsidiary, Adways Interactive. Keiji Fujita will serve as the Vice President of Game Business. The company also announced that it is looking for non-Japanese free-to-play mobile games to launch in the Japanese market. It will be on the hunt for such properties at Game Connection America 2013, where it will be present as an exhibitor.

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Report: Mobile Game Puzzle & Dragons Earned $2 Million a Day in January

February 20, 2013 -

Free-to-play mobile game Puzzle & Dragons from Japanese developer and publisher GungHo Online Entertainment supposedly generated around $65 million during January - or about $2 million dollars a day. These startling sales figures come from data collected by Japanese industry consultant Serkan Toto, who reports that the puzzle and RPG hybrid title has generated around $65 million in sales on iOS and Android in Japan last month.

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GungHo Group Acquires Grasshopper Manufacture

January 30, 2013 -

Japanese publisher GungHo Group has acquired Lollipop Chainsaw developer Grasshopper Manufacture. The studio was founded by famed Japanese games developer Suda 51 (Goichi Suda), whose work includes No More Heroes and Killer 7. The company is currently working on Killer is Dead. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

GungHo publishes online and mobile game titles such as the popular MMO Ragnarok Online and Dragon Saga.

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Sex And Violence Edited in Japanese Version of Far Cry 3

January 11, 2013 -

According to a report on Japanese gaming web site 4Gamer (as translated by Kotaku), the Japanese version of Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 had to be edited for content before it was released in the region.

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Sony Stops Shipping PS2 Console in Japan

December 28, 2012 -

According to a Famitsue report (by way of The Verge) Sony has halted shipments of its ultra popular PlayStation 2 game console in Japan. The last generation console has sold over 150 million units worldwide since its launch in Japan on March 4th, 2000 and is the most popular home console of all time.

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Wii U Controller Firmware Region Locked

December 26, 2012 -

A report on the Japanese site Rocket News reports that there is a catch for bringing a Wii U controller to another region for use. For example, using a Wii U controller from the West in Japan may not "region lock it" (bar you from using it) but it will not allow you to apply any firmware updates. Earlier reports suggested that the controller could not be used with a console that might be from a different region.

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Zynga Japan Shutting Down

December 24, 2012 -

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said way back in October that the company would be shutting down its Japanese-based studio Zynga Japan as part of a company-wide cost reduction plan and today that closure is a reality. According to a Facebook post by Zynga Japan CEO Kenji Matsubara, the studio is being closed and three of its games are being turned off. Matsubara posted a personal message thanking fans for their support and announcing the discontinuation of the games that were available in Japan.

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Level-5 CEO Says Sega Lawsuit Has No Merit

December 12, 2012 -

Level-5 CEO Hiroshi Akihiro Hino has responded to Sega's recent lawsuit, denying that the Professor Layton and Dragon Quest developer infringed on Sega's patents and called for the lawsuit to be dismissed. Hino made his statement on the Level-5 Japanese web site.

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Dragon Quest 6 and 7 Studio Heartbeat Relaunches

November 13, 2012 -

Some good news for fans of the Dragon Quest series: Heartbeat, the studio behind Dragon Quest 6 and Dragon Quest 7, is being relaunched by Manabu Yamana. Yamana was the original founder of the company and is now serving as the CEO of Genius Sonority.

In a Tweet today he gleefully announced the relaunch of the company:

"I restart the Heartbeat!" he tweeted.

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Marvelous Sued for 'Poaching Employees' and a 'Hostile Takeover Attempt'

November 1, 2012 -

Indie game studio Checkpoint has filed a lawsuit against Japanese publisher Marvelous AQL in a California court claiming that the company tried to initiate a hostile takeover and steal its employees in order to avoid a $2.5 million payment. The news comes from an extensive report on the case over at Gamasutra.

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Nexon to Acquire Japanese Mobile Game Developer gloops

October 1, 2012 -

Nexon Co., Ltd. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding common shares of gloops, Inc., a mobile games developer that made its name by developing for DeNA’s Mobage platform in Japan. Nexon will pay 36.5 billion yen in cash.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 22

October 1, 2012 -

In Episode 22 hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight laugh at the ridiculousness of fan requests to give the ladies of Dead or Alive 5 bigger breasts, discuss region locking consoles, and talk about cable providers who are considering more game-related services. This episode will chafe you more than an iron thong on a female fighter who can't stand up straight because some Japanese guy gave her an unneeded mega boob job... Someone call a chiropractor!

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Andriasang Shutting Down

September 11, 2012 -

The popular English video game site Andriasang will be closing down, according to owner Anoop Gantayat, who is moving on to new and exciting opportunities. While the site will no longer be updated with news, Gantayat says that that he may do a little bit of database work there and will leave its content up for people to continue to peruse.

The site is best known for delivering breaking news from the games industry. Andriasang launched in 2008 and currently contains 14,000 articles.

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Japanese Court Rules in Favor of Samsung in Patent Fight Against Apple

August 31, 2012 -

While Apple may have won a major victory in the United States against Samsung in its ongoing, never-ending patent war, the company has not been so lucky in other parts of the world. Adding to its column of losses is a new ruling in Japan where the courts there sided with Samsung.

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AC3 Creative Director: Japanese Developers Get a Free Pass from Journalists on Bad Story-Telling

August 17, 2012 -

In a recent interview with Computer & Video Games, Ubisoft's Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Assassin's Creed 3, said that games journalists are engaging in subtle racism when they give Japanese games a free pass on bad or odd story-telling while putting Western games through the ringer. When asked about why Nintendo can get away with endlessly reiterating the same basic stories with games like Super Mario Bros., Hutchinson offered a blunt response.

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Gree Ponders Impact of 'Complete Gacha' Ban

August 15, 2012 -

Casual game maker Gree announced in April of this year that it would enforce a new policy that restricted how much 16 - 17-year-old consumers could spend on in-app purchases. The self-regulating policy came in response to government worries that Japan's youth in that age range were spending ridiculous amounts of money on in-game purchases. Gree put a spending cap on people ages 16 - 19 at around $125 per month on virtual items and a cap of around $60 on those younger than 16 years of age.

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Report: Phantasy Star Online 2 Hacked

July 12, 2012 -

According to this Kotaku report, Sega is investigating a recent hacking incident in Phantasy Star Online 2. The free-to-play sci-fi MMORPG sequel was hacked so that vital NPCs players have to interact with were out of reach - somehow put on high structures that were well out of reach of players.

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Square Enix Employees Have Higher Average Salaries than Nintendo or Sony

June 29, 2012 -

You would think that employees in Japan that work for the likes of Nintendo or Sony would make more money than someone who works at Square Enix, but it turns out that the opposite is true. According to Nensyu Lab's top salary chart (as uncovered by Andriasang), Square Enix employees get an average salary of ¥21.68 million ($272,384.40). Sony and Nintendo employees are paid ¥9.23 million ($116,232.40) and ¥9.14 million ($115.099.10), respectively.

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Goth_Skunk@WonderKarp: Given Rosario's outspoken criticisms of the conduct of the IGDA, I would not be one bit surprised if he's being strong-armed into silence in closed-door meetings. He's not towing the party line, after all.01/30/2015 - 11:38pm
MechaTama31EZK: Thank you! (And I was able to see that you did it, only because you did it. How appropriate! :)01/30/2015 - 11:37pm
Matthew Wilson@Monte Nintendo is a Japanese company though. consoles are dead in japan. ps sony is a international company, so they do not much care about Japanese sales much.01/30/2015 - 10:11pm
MonteOnly one generation ago nintnedo had the best selling console. They know their games are still popular and can move their hardware. They just need to focus on better gaming hardware and advertising (their youtube policy not helping)01/30/2015 - 9:58pm
MonteI'd expect Nintendo to keep making consoles, much like the gamecube i doubt nintendo will see the Wii U as a sign of the end for consoles. There are multiple reason why the Wii U failed a big one being marketting.01/30/2015 - 9:55pm
Wonderkarpwhen asked on Twitter, the Chairman said He couldnt comment at this time https://twitter.com/siloraptor/status/561284497275367424. still looking for facts01/30/2015 - 9:41pm
Wonderkarphttp://pressfarttocontinue.com/2015/01/30/igda-puerto-rico-closed/ this is what I have so far01/30/2015 - 9:27pm
Wonderkarpso allegedly, IGDA has closed their Puerto Rico branch. This comes after the Chairman of the Puerto Rico branch was blocklisted by Randi Harper. I'm trying to dig up more info on it. all I have is a link with some info, but its not cited.01/30/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenSo, kinda like the Wii U just with a GamePad that's portable?01/30/2015 - 9:13pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I hope they do a Ipad/iphone thing. make a home console/handheld where games are playable on both. that is what I would want from them.01/30/2015 - 9:00pm
Andrew EisenThat would be a shame but as long as I can play comfortably on my TV I'll probably be fine with whatever the future brings.01/30/2015 - 8:56pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I would get used to it. I do not think nintendo is going to do another home console , but I suspect a hybrid one. 1. they are doing worse than the gamecube. 2. the home console market is dead in japan. even the ps4 isnt selling there.01/30/2015 - 8:54pm
Andrew EisenAside from that (and the aiming isn't too smooth but it's turn based so it's not a big deal (maybe better with Circle Pad Pro or New 3DS?)) my only other quibble is I'd much prefer playing it on a console. But I say that about nearly every handheld game.01/30/2015 - 8:39pm
Andrew EisenFrom what I've seen of Valkyria Chronicles, this is significantly slower. Mechanically, it's fine and plays into the game well. It just takes too long.01/30/2015 - 8:37pm
Matthew Wilsonyup like VC it moves every enemy each turn one by one.01/30/2015 - 8:33pm
Andrew EisenI played most of the Codename Steam demo. Pretty neat so far but the enemy turn (it's turn based) takes way too long.01/30/2015 - 8:31pm
Goth_SkunkJust finished the first episode of Life is Strange. The writing is hit-or-miss, the lip-syncing is awful (but I can't fault an indie dev for that), but the chronokinesis mechanic is dynamite. Love the concept. Can't wait to play more.01/30/2015 - 8:23pm
Andrew EisenNintendo invites disaster!01/30/2015 - 7:34pm
TechnogeekRelevant links: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/01/apex_2015_video_gaming_tournament_at_secaucuss_emp.html http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/01/30/apex-2015-smash-bros-tournament-resumes-after-short-delay01/30/2015 - 7:29pm
TechnogeekApparently, this was the first SSB tournament to actually be sponsored by Nintendo; the upcoming Wii U title Splatoon was even going to be demoed there.01/30/2015 - 7:29pm
 

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