Shining Dragon Vs. The ESRB – Round Two, Fight!

By Spencer . April 22, 2010 . 3:43pm

image You can say the ESRB had a big impact on the localized version of Shining Dragon, a PlayStation 2 Ikki Tousen game. Value console publisher Valcon picked up the rights to publish it from Marvelous. When it got hit with a M rating, Valcon canceled the game. While checking to see if Valcon had anymore shooters (no news to report there, sorry!) we touched on the lost Ikki Tousen game and the lineup of Ikki Tousen PSP games.

 

“For PS2 it’s just not possible anymore. There is just no PS2 market. It was one of those things that would have been a cool thing, but too many obstacles got in the way,” Colin Gordon, CEO of Valcom replied.

 

How far along was it? I saw it was rated by the ESRB was it near final?

 

Colin Gordon, CEO: No, no, no. The ESRB was a really big factor for us because I need to know what that would be. The ESRB will give you an indication of what that rating might be, but you’re kind of just guessing because that can change. That was such a big factor in that game – would it get a T rating? Because that would change how retail would receive it.

 

imageSo, we went ahead and did the ESRB rating. We localized sections that we showed the ESRB, the sections which we considered to be the most pertinent, which is what you have to do with the ESRB, and provided them all of that information. It came back with the rating it had. [The ESRB rated Shining Dragon M for mature audiences.] At that point we were faced with would we release it as with the M rating or strip out all of the stuff that pushed it over the edge to make it a T rating. But, if you did that then I think the people who buy it for what they wanted, who wanted Shining Dragon wouldn’t be the same. I think nobody would be happy at that point.

 

We were still looking at it as a value title for PS2 and an M rated value title. They just don’t go hand in hand. It’s tough. It’s really tough.

 

 That’s interesting so you thought there was a chance it would be a T rated game?

 

Yeah, because of discussions I had ahead of time. But, I guess enough people who rated the game checked enough boxes to push it over the edge. Because the violence isn’t that much, there is no actual nudity in the game, a lot of it is suggestive. That’s fine I understand why it got an M, but yeah there was a chance.

 

image Have you guys talked to Marvelous about picking up the PSP brawlers like Ikki Tousen: Xross Impact?

 

Yeah, we’ve looked into that as well. I think the situation in Japan is a lot of Japanese companies are pulled at the horns a little bit and there seems to be a lot of issues with the Japanese market in terms of market share, selling, revenue, and so on. Things aren’t quite where they would like to be.

 

So, we had talked to Marvelous previously about it. There was some interest in it, but we never really pursued it that far. And in the US the PSP market is not that great for us at the moment anyway.

 

I thought it could work as a downloadable game, then you wouldn’t have to worry about the retail problem.

 

Right. Don’t count it out yet, but at the same time don’t assume it’s going to happen.


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  • http://www.youtube.com/B4ULoveShine Tim_at_where

    Marvelous, Valcon: WiiWare.

  • Hello_Hello

    As an Ikki Tousen fan, I’m going to go ahead and say that the M rating is deserved if Shining Dragon is anything like the anime. Ikki Tousen goes well beyond fan service even if there’s no visible intercourse.

    Anyway, maybe on the next generation of consoles, Sony will apply some sort of PS2 download service on PSN, and Shining Dragon can be sold over that.

    • mirumu

      I own the Japanese version of Shining Dragon. Stylistically it’s in line with the anime, but there’s no close ups and no animated non-fighting interaction between the characters. With the PS2-level graphics you can see far less too. You can tell clothes have been ripped, but there’s nothing showing. In that regard the fan service is quite low level.

      Despite saying that I still think “M” is a fair call, but more in regard to the overall theme of the game. I mean some of the levels are like schoolyard brawls with dozens of enemies and weapons involved. It’s just a shame an “M” rating has such a negative effect on sales.

  • mirumu

    While this specific case didn’t lead to a successful release, I have a lot of respect for the process Valcom went through. They knew their potential market and didn’t want to release a compromised product. Personally I think that’s preferable to the alternatives. With an a customer focused attitude like that I look forward to buying some of their other releases in the future.

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