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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'Saints Row Penetrator' Altered In Saints Row The Third for Japan

November 11, 2011 -

Ding.Dong.Ditch. It looks like Japan is not comfortable with the giant sex-toy weapon in Saint's Row The Third. Even though the game received the highest rating it could for its content in the region (CERO Z - basically adults only), the "Saints Row Penetrator" had to be altered for the game to be released in the region.

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Report: Nexon IPO Worth $1.3 Billion

November 8, 2011 -

Free-to-play MMO company Nexon is planning an initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange next month, according to a TechCrunch report. The IPO is reportedly worth $1.3 billion USD, or ¥100 billion. The TechCrunch report is based on a report in the Japanese business paper The Nikkei. If the valuation turns out to be accurate, it could make Nexon the most valuable IPO in Japan this year. The IPO will be handled by Nomura Securities, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, with Nexon expected to be approved for the listing by the end of the week.

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3DS Tops Japanese Sales Charts

September 22, 2011 -

It looks like after some tumultuous times at retail in Japan, the Nintendo 3DS is making a comeback. According to retail sales data from Media Create, the 3DS managed to move 58,837 units last week, while the PlayStation 3 sold 36,061 units - half of what it did the week prior. If anything the price cut is helping, despite the grumblings from the investor class. The PSP remained mostly flat for the week, while the Wii sold 5,000 more than it did a week earlier.

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Battlefield 3 Sole Western Award Winner at TGS

September 20, 2011 -

According to Andriasang only one Western game managed to break into the Future Awards ranks at the Tokyo Game Show - and it wasn't Call of Duty. EA's Battlefield 3 stood out like a sore thumb in the awards list, honored alongside such Japanese darlings as Final Fantasy XIII-2, Final Fantasy Type-0, Monster Hunter G, and Phantasy Star Online 2. The award winners are chosen based on attendee feedback - who are asked to choose their favorites among any game on display on the show floor or announced at the event.

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Tokyo Game Show Attendance Figures

September 19, 2011 -

The Tokyo Game Show is over and organizers have released the final attendance numbers, among other information. According to organizers, a total of 222,668 people attended the event during its four day run, up from last year's number of 207,000 attendees.

A new single day attendance record was set as well on September 17 when 86,251 showed up to take part on the festivities of the opening day. Sunday attendance was down slightly to 83,744 people, compared to last year.

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Nintendo Stocks Continue Decline on 3DS Fears

September 9, 2011 -

Nintendo stocks declined 2.3 percent - the biggest decline in more than two weeks - in Osaka trading on the growing concern that price cuts to the 3DS will not do enough for the company to meet its full-year sales target. Nintendo stock fell 2.3 percent to 13,160 yen, the biggest drop the company has seen since August 24. Overall, the stock has declined 45 percent this year.

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Fukushima Game Jam Announced

August 26, 2011 -

IGDA Japan is organizing the Fukushima Game Jam, a developer event that it hopes will stimulate game development following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last year. The Game Jam is organized with the help 9Leap, a student development contest and will take place from August 27 to 28 in Minami-Souma city. The event is modeled after Global Game Jam hosted by the IGDA each year, where development teams take a theme given by organizers to create a game in a limited amount of time.

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3DS Sales Climb in Japan After Price Cut

August 16, 2011 -

Nintendo 3DS hand-held sales in Japan climbed to the second-highest levels since the system's release last February as the company cut prices by about 40 percent, according to data gathered by research firm Enterbrain Inc. Nintendo sold 214,821 3DS units in Japan last week, the most since the 371,326 units it sold in the last week of February when the system was introduced. Nintendo cut the price of the 3DS to 15,000 yen ($195) on Aug. 11 from 25,000 yen.

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Will an M rating hurt Batman: Arkham Knight's sales?:

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ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightThe problem I have with complaints of "sexualized men" is that men don't have to wear speedos to be sexualized. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood/Doctor Who, was one sexy man, but he spent 99% of his time in a WW2 soldier's trenchcoat.02/26/2015 - 8:23pm
 

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