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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When I think of Fine Dining, Resident Evil 6 Comes to Mind

June 25, 2012 -

Capcom will open up a Resident Evil-themed restaurant next month in Shibuya, Japan - just in time for the release of Resident Evil 6. The Biohazard Cafe & Grill S.T.A.R.S. restaurant will have a grand opening on July 13 and will remain open for one year. The strangest part of the story is that it will remain open only for one year.

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Japanese Lawmakers Push for Criminal Penalties for Copyright Infringers with New Bill

June 20, 2012 -

According to a Wired report, Japanese politicians are pushing hard for a new law that would make it a crime to download or make unauthorized copies of copyrighted material. The new law would also make it illegal to use copyright circumvention devices. Those breaking the law could face up to two years in prison and a two million yen ($25,400) fine. We assume the devices being referred to are like the R4 used to copy DS games...

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Microsoft Skipping Gamescom and TGS

June 14, 2012 -

Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb announced via his official blog that Microsoft will skip two key gaming events later this year: Gamescom in Cologne, Germany and TGS in Tokyo, Japan. Hryb said that Microsoft is changing its focus from participating in large scale gaming events to doing more localized, smaller events.

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Neo_DrKefkaThat would be a major OSHA violation correct?11/23/2014 - 1:54pm
Neo_DrKefkaOff topic but I was at work and went over to the first aid kit to get some eye drops. I look at my hand and noticed blood on my hands. My employers said their is no incident report and they won't send me to see a doctor and that I am abandoning my job.11/23/2014 - 1:54pm
MaskedPixelanteThe more I hear about AC Unity being rushed out, the more I think Ubisoft was telling the truth about why they couldn't add female co-op models.11/23/2014 - 1:14pm
IanCI wouldnt say the 360/PS3 version were superior. They were different games.11/23/2014 - 11:49am
MechaTama31It's hard to rank my top 5 against eachother, but they would include Ghostbusters, Back to the Future (all of it), Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Princess Bride.11/23/2014 - 11:09am
Andrew EisenTrue, but I liked the fact that rather than do a crappy looking version of the PS3/360 version, it went with an art style more suited to the Wii's strengths.11/23/2014 - 12:26am
Wonderkarpif I had the money, I'd buy one of those expensive proton pack replicas11/22/2014 - 11:25pm
Wonderkarpthats the wii version though. the PS3/360 version is far superior.11/22/2014 - 11:19pm
Andrew EisenOdd that there was no hose connecting the thrower to the backpack. Was there just no more horsepower left in the Wii to animate it? And did seriously no one on the dev or QA team notice the Ghostbusters patch on the player's sleeve was backwards?11/22/2014 - 11:17pm
Andrew EisenI played it one the Wii and rather liked it.11/22/2014 - 11:15pm
Neo_DrKefkaGhostbusters on the PS3 and Xbox is Ghostbusters III for me. It was a short but wonderful experience.11/22/2014 - 11:13pm
Andrew EisenGhostbusters is my number one but the other films in my top 5 are Blues Brothers, Nightmare Before Christmas, Little Shop of Horrors (the Frank Oz one) and Jaws.11/22/2014 - 11:05pm
Wonderkarpso interesting info about that blocklist I'm on https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B3GOLniCUAAnHbP.png11/22/2014 - 10:54pm
Wonderkarpspeaking of game swag, went to a GTAV midnight release at a gamestop. I was getting WWE2k15. First in line so I got 2 free posters and a free Los Santos Sherrif hat that doesnt fit my head. Still sits proudly on a shelf11/22/2014 - 10:34pm
Wonderkarpno pics though cause I'm going to be moving soon hopefully so I'm not too keen on working on it, other than buying some stuff.11/22/2014 - 10:33pm
WonderkarpGhostbusters, Alien, and Aliens make up my top 3 favorite films. Its not a Coincidence that Sigourney Weaver is my favorite Actress11/22/2014 - 10:31pm
Andrew EisenIf you do build a game room you're proud of, do post pics.11/22/2014 - 10:31pm
Andrew EisenGhostbusters! My favorite movie.11/22/2014 - 10:21pm
Wonderkarpthough not strictly games. I have Lightsabers mounted on the wall, and on a shelf you'll see the Infinity Gauntlet, the Ocarina of Time, a Sith Holocron, and some of my Ghostbusters Props11/22/2014 - 8:57pm
Wonderkarpswag of all kinds, Andrew. I'm trying to build a game room as impressive as AVGNs nerd room. I'm also trying to build a coffee table/storage space shaped like a NES Controller11/22/2014 - 8:55pm
 

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