Marvelous Switches To Licensing Model, Sells Stake In Rising Star Games

By Spencer . January 22, 2010 . 4:40pm

imageCiting lower than expected sales in the West and difficult market conditions, Marvelous revised their plan for overseas distribution.


Previously, Marvelous Entertainment’s strategy was to establish worldwide presence. They opened a North American subsidiary and made a joint venture with Bergsala, a Nordic Nintendo distributor, to start Rising Star Games in Europe.


Marvelous announced today they sold their 50% stake in Rising Star Games to Intergrow, a Japanese company that handles video, PC, and mobile phone games. Intergrow actually has a deal with Bergsala too. Those two companies formed Gamebridge, a London based publisher that handles Japanese games such as Happy Party with Hello Kitty and Friends and Overturn for WiiWare. This may explain why Rising Star Games and Gamebridge are working together on Way of the Samurai 3.


For future overseas releases, Marvelous will use a licensing model. Overseas publishers like Atlus, Ubisoft, Ignition, Xseed, and now Rising Star Games will have to bid for rights to Marvelous titles. Series developed by Marvelous include Harvest Moon, Luminous Arc, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and No More Heroes.


No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle, which currently has no release date in Japan, comes out next week in North America care of Ubisoft. Ignition will publish Deadly Premonition for Xbox 360 next month.

  • Joanna

    I’m genuinely sorry to hear that Marvelous is having such trouble. I really like a lot of their games. I hope they do better this year.

    • BK0000

      I’m not. They keep screwing XSEED, so they deserve whatever they get. I wouldn’t be surprised if even fewer of their games get localized now. Who would want to work with someone that will take away a game from you and everything you’ve done on it if you get a higher more money from someone else?

      • Tokyo Guy

        Is it only a money-related issue that made them switch, or could it also have to do with XSEED? There might very well be issues that are going on behind the scenes that are not spoken of. Perhaps Marvelous wants XYZ and XSEED is demanding that it has the right to do ABC instead. As a general note, some Japanese developers are VERY strict with what happens with their products in terms of localization, and thus may become angered if the script isn’t meeting their expectations for example.

    • MadMirko

      At least their games do well in Europe. Especially Little King’s Story and Muramasa deserve that.

  • jj984jj

    Now Arc Rise Fantasia going to Ignition makes a lot more sense at least. Even if I’d prefer XSEED localize it.

    • Tokyo Guy

      There was something about Arc Rise Fantasia being re-released in a short while as a budget priced game. It’s funny because the title bombed and thus I sorely doubt anyone will buy it at a lower price, especially since some of the stores have it in the bargain bin as is.

      • Joanna

        why did it bomb? Of what I’ve seen, Arc Rise Fantasia looked like a solid and pretty RPG.

      • The choice to re-release Arc Rise Fantasia and Muramasa was decided via game ratings on Nintendo Channel, so I’m hypothesizing that the relatively small number of people who cared all rating the games 10/10 A++ had a big hand in the results.

        Too bad that Marvelous didn’t think to release those games on handhelds, I guess!

      • MadMirko

        Eh? It’s not getting re-released because it was a smash hit, but because it seemingly was an overlooked gem. The recently announced budget line is about the highest rated (Nintendo Channel ratings) third party games, and is meant to give these games more visibility among those who would normally stick to Nintendo games (with a red sleeve over the original box, depicting the rating it received from people who played the game), and to lower the barrier of entry with a budget price.

        Is that so hard? :/

  • xemnas

    Sad for hard for the little guy these days…i wish bamco would do that with tales…graces is going to europe so hopefully they do the right thing and US version comes.

    • BK0000

      Who said Europe is getting Graces?

      • Yeshua49

        The official English Nintendo magazine.
        Scan :

        • malek86

          Didn’t they also say we were getting Fatal Frame 4?

          • Yeshua49

            I don’t know but for Fatal Frame 4 it’s was a special case since during a moment it was planned by Nintendo and then canceled ( according to Mathieu Minel director marketing of Nintendo France ).

          • ballsack1

            And Mother 3. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to them really.

  • waiting for luminous arc 3 AND RUNE FACTORY 3!!!

    • Pichi

      Same here! Hope they make it over with all this.

    • Likewise!! …well, at least for Rune Factory.

  • Sounds like a plan. Good to see they’re taking recovery measures. The less liabilities, the better, until they’re a more stable company.

  • Will this effect Marvelous games they are currently publishing?

  • BlueBlazer

    Muramasa! whyyy :’3 ?

  • Oh man… I hope Rune factory 3 and Luminous arc 3 are still gonna get localized….

    • Joanna

      LA3 shouldn’t have difficulties as Atlus published the first two independently, so I’m sure they will be able to get the rights from Marvelous. I’m more worried about Rune Factory because Marvelous was more involved with it.

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