Japanese activists have come out swinging against copyright provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A group of artists, archivists, academics, and activists have formed a coalition to pressure Japanese negotiators to oppose copyright provisions that the U.S. negotiators have pushed hard for in the trade agreement. The point of contention for this coalition is a leak that Japanese negotiators and negotiators from other countries had caved in to U.S. demands that set their copyright terms to the length of an author's life plus 70 years.
Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile developer Tri-Ace has been acquired by Japanese mobile gaming company Nepro Japan. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fans of these and other Tri-Ace games are concerned that these franchises might be seriously hurt - particularly when it comes to future titles being proliferated on other platforms that aren't mobile in nature.
Yosuke Hayashi, the leader of developer Team Ninja and producer for Dead or Alive 5: Last Round, says that the controversy over the series' portrayal of women is likely a clash of cultures. Speaking to MCV, Hayashi said that any controversy over the series’ approach to female representation may be the result of a cultural clash.
Sony announced today that it plans to delay its first quarter earnings by a month in the wake of its latest security breach at the hands of a hacking group. The company was hacked and had data stolen at the hands of a group called the Guardians of Peace. The hack was supposedly in response to Sony Pictures' plan to release the James Franco and Seth Rogan comedy The Interview.
The Japanese games market recorded a deficit of ten percent in 2014 compared to 2013, according to new data released by Famitsu (as detailed by MCV). The data also shows that Nintendo's popular 3DS hand-held beat out all other gaming hardware in the region during the year. The Japanese market reached ¥368.55bn in 2014, down from 2013’s final tally of ¥408.97bn.
Parent company Bandai Namco Holdings has changed the name of Bandai Namco Games again - even if the change is ever so slight compared to the last time the company rebranded itself. The company's board of directors voted and approved a name change from Bandai Namco Games to Bandai Namco Entertainment. The change will take place officially on April 1, 2015, with 20 subsidiaries rebranded from under the new moniker.
Katsuhiro Harada, the man serving as Tekken 7's director reacted rather strongly to criticism of character Lucky Chloe. After the character was revealed, users responding in this NeoGAF thread harshly criticized Chloe as being a stereotypical sexualized Japanese female character that is more appropriate for the Dead or Alive series.
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).