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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Report: Anonymous Claims Responsibility for Japanese Government Web Site Attacks

June 27, 2012 -

Individuals claiming to be a part of the hacktivist group Anonymous have claimed responsibility for a series of cyber attacks on Japanese government websites. The websites for Japan's Finance Ministry, Supreme Court, and the DPJ and LDP political parties were taken down temporarily by attacks. The sites are now back online.

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Japanese Release of Sleeping Dogs to Feature Punishment System for Killing Citizens

June 27, 2012 -

It looks like Square Enix is editing the contents of its upcoming game in order for it to be released in Japan. The game, (called Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police in Japan and Sleeping Dogs in other parts of the world) developed by United Front, will be edited to fit the market in some bizarre ways.

Besides getting a rating of CERO Z (adults only), the game will be edited with a system that punishes players for killing civilians. We have no idea what that punishment will be, but we imagine it will be much more than a "time out."

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
 

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