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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Nexon Buys Nearly 15 Percent Stake in NCsoft

June 8, 2012 -

A few months ago rumors were flying that Japanese MMO company Nexon was going to buy a gigantic company like Electronic Arts. Today we see a more realistic investment from the company responsible for Maple Story and other free-to-play games in the U.S. Nexon has bought a 14.7 percent stake in South Korean MMO maker NCsoft. Nexon purchased 3,218,091 shares from NCsoft CEO Taek Jin Kim for ₩804,522,750,000 (approximately $686.8 million USD).

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Woman Sues Capcom Japan for Work-Place Bullying

May 18, 2012 -

A Japanese game developer who worked on Dragon's Dogma at Capcom is claiming that she was bullied by her fellow employees to the point where she considered committing suicide. According to an article on Japanese publication Minpokyo, the unnamed 20+ year old female joined Capcom in 2009 and was assigned to the Dragon's Dogma development team. But the trouble began when a senior female employee was assigned to the team too. According to the report, she decided to make it very unpleasant for the unnamed employee.

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Japan Bans 'Complete Gacha' Mechanics in Games

May 18, 2012 -

The government of Japan has decided that it needs to ban 'complete gacha' mechanics in video games, particularly those used by companies like Namco Bandai, Gree and DeNa. Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency will ban 'complete gacha' mechanics because they see it as encouraging the addictive nature of gambling.

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Gree's Largest Shareholder Loses $700 Million on Government Regulation Fears

May 7, 2012 -

While most of us couldn't imagine having billions of dollars in profits, that doesn't take away the sting of losing $700 million that Gree CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka feels. According to this Kotaku report, over the weekend the Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the Japanese government could regulate online social games that have players paying extra money to try and win rare in-game items. The items in question are rare in-game idol cards. Players collect these cards in order to collect a whole deck. In Japan both Gree and DeNA use this reward system for their social games.

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Report: Dena, Gree Plan Caps on In-Game Purchases for 16-19-year-olds in Japan

April 27, 2012 -

Casual game giants Dena and Gree have agreed to enforce a new policy that will restrict how much 16 - 17 year-old consumers can spend on in-app purchases, according to a news report from Japan Times. The new self-regulating policy, according to that report, is in response to reports that Japan's youth in that age range are spending ridiculous amounts of money on in-game purchases. The company's might also be trying to avoid national in-app spending laws in Japan.

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DeNA Ordered to Pay $2.9 Million for Copying Fishing Game

February 24, 2012 -

A Tokyo District Court has ruled that DeNA violated GREE's copyright when it released its fishing game Tsurige Town 2 in 2009. The game bore a striking resemblance to GREE’s Tsuri Star fishing game. GREE filed the lawsuit against DeNA in October of 2009 in Japan claiming copyright infringement. This week the court agreed and ordered DeNA to pay GREE $2.9 million. DeNA said that it will appeal the ruling.

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Wii no Ma Channel Shutting Down April 30

February 21, 2012 -

According to an Andriasang.com report, Nintendo of Japan will shut down its "Wii no Ma" video service on April 30. The service, which was launched in May 2009 offered a variety of paid content to consumers such as movies, anime and more from companies such as Walt Disney and Warner Entertainment.

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Nintendo 3DS Hits Five Million Units Sold Milestone in Less than a Year

February 20, 2012 -

Nintendo announced today that it has managed to sell 5 million 3DS handheld game systems in Japan. The company hit this milestone on Sunday. The system was released in Japan on February 26, 2011. - a little less than a year ago. Nintendo said that this milestone makes the 3DS the fastest-selling game platform ever in the country.

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Tokyo High Court Punishes Konami for Maternity Leave Discrimination

December 28, 2011 -

The Tokyo High Court has ruled in favor of an ex-Konami Digital Entertainment employee who sued the company for discriminating against her. Yoko Sekiguchi alleged that Konami demoted her because she took six months of maternity leave in 2009 and slashed her salary by ¥200,000. The demotion and pay cut happened when she returned from her maternity leave, she claimed.

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Four Million 3DS Units Sold in Japan

December 27, 2011 -

Nintendo  has revealed that it has sold over four million 3DS systems in Japan, with half a million units being sold in Japan alone last week - according to Enterbrain. Two of its 3DS games became million-sellers in the region last week as well. So why is the 3DS doing so well now? According to analysts a combination of a price cut earlier this year coupled with new and popular software has caught the attention of consumers.

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Collective Vita Software Sales Hit 300K Units

December 22, 2011 -

New data released by Japanese retail research company Media Create reveals that the 20 titles that launched with the PlayStation Vita sold a combined 300,000 units. This happened, according to the firm, in the first two days of Vita's launch. The system sold an estimated 325,000 units in the same timeframe. According to Andriasang - who translated Media Create's numbers, this gives the Vita an attach-rate of around 0.92 games per system. That rate might be a bit higher because these numbers don't take into account games purchased online through PlayStation Store.

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Sony: Western Games Gaining Popularity in Japan

December 21, 2011 -

Sony President of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida, said that Japanese consumers have become more open to Western games. Of course, anyone following the sales and ratings of Skyrim in Japan already knows this. Speaking to the European PlayStation Blog, Yoshida said that Everybody's Golf and Uncharted: Golden Abyss were the most pre-ordered games in the Vita's Japanese line-up. The system launched last week. Yoshida added that the prominence of the US-developed Uncharted in a line-up dominated almost entirely by Japanese games is an indication of a larger trend in the region.

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Nexon IPO Set for Dec. 14

December 6, 2011 -

Despite a recent security breach in November and contending with the timing of Zynga's initial public offering, Nexon will makes its debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange December 14, according to Reuters. The social and online game developer will reportedly sell at around ¥1300 each with Nexon expecting to raise around ¥91 billion, or $1.2 billion USD, with a market value of ¥560 billion.

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Skyrim First Western Game to Get Perfect Score in Famitsu

November 29, 2011 -

Bethesda Softworks’ newest open-world single-player RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has managed to do what no Western game has ever done before: get a perfect score in Japan's most popular and prominent magazine, Famitsu. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has become the first Western game to receive a perfect 40/40 review score in the Japanese magazine - pulling off what games like with Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire, Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gears of War 3, and FIFA 12 could not do.

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PlayStation Vita UMD 'Transfer' Pricing Revealed for Japan

November 11, 2011 -

With the pending release of PlayStation Vita in Japan, Sony has finally revealed how owners of UMD-based games will be able to get digital versions of them on their new PlayStation hand-held devices. All games will have to be re-purchased to be played on Vita, but those who can prove via UMD that they already own games will get a discount when re-purchasing the same content digitally.

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MaskedPixelanteI hope Nintendo actually follows through with the DS Virtual Console, that sounds like it could be cool.07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
james_fudgePeople don't deny it persay, they bristle at the idea that it's a "problem" that nneds to be "fixed."07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
Papa MidnightRacism and Misogny are heavily prevalent in the gaming and online arena. Getting people to actually admit that, however...07/24/2014 - 11:42am
Papa MidnightThat very thing is somthing that anyone who has been subjected to racial-based targeting online could actually state that they've experienced.07/24/2014 - 11:41am
Papa MidnightPerfect example: "I have yet to talk to a man who has had to call a police officer due to a stalker, only to be told nothing can be done until they are physically assaulted."07/24/2014 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightNot that said communities are mutually exclusive. Even the very first comment on that last article equates women in the gaming industry with being the n-word. Despicable, aetestable, and (sadly enough) this is not an uncommon presence in either community.07/24/2014 - 11:35am
Papa MidnightI only wish someone would lead a similar investigation of the sheer level of irrational racially motivated hate and insults that are perpetuated in the online and gaming community.07/24/2014 - 11:33am
Papa Midnighthttp://www.polygon.com/2014/7/22/5926193/women-gaming-harassment07/24/2014 - 11:31am
SleakerAhh.. I have a feeling it's because they wanted to put up their own games on their own store.07/24/2014 - 10:56am
MaskedPixelanteRemember in 2012 when they decided to include new releases? That's when the whole service fell apart for me.07/24/2014 - 10:47am
Sleaker@MP - sold out? I thought they were always like this.07/24/2014 - 10:46am
E. Zachary KnightHowever, there are still a good number of games that have viable linux versions already and are currently in their games library that are not yet in the Linux store.07/24/2014 - 10:40am
E. Zachary KnightI for one am glad to see them finally support Linux. It has been a long time coming.07/24/2014 - 10:39am
MaskedPixelanteFrankly, I think GOG is on a quality downswing since they sold out.07/24/2014 - 10:22am
SleakerMy respect for them can't get any lower at this point, but at least they cut the bullshit I called them on back when they said it wasn't plausible to release on linux.07/24/2014 - 8:59am
SleakerGoG.com is retconning their previous 'We can't do linux support statements': http://www.gog.com/news/gogcom_now_supports_linux07/24/2014 - 8:58am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.nerdist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/WW_Cv36.jpg The new Wonder Woman design, created specifically to shut people up about Gal Gadot being too skinny to play Wonder Woman.07/24/2014 - 8:12am
InfophileVery nice article, Zen. I definitely agree that many devs won't support something unless everyone has it. So many other examples from the past, even as far back as the SNES and accessories for it like the mouse or superscope.07/24/2014 - 5:40am
ZenWrote up a story about people wanting Nintendo to drop the GamePad...and why I think it needs to stop. :) http://bit.ly/1raIQvv Let me know what you think!07/23/2014 - 10:53pm
MaskedPixelanteHey, so remember that "redeem your Sims 2 key on Origin for a free copy of the all-in-one edition" promotion? Well, it didn't work, so to make up for it, just go into your Origin profile and redeem the product key "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS" for your free Sims 2.07/23/2014 - 9:12pm
 

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