Retailers “Refuse” To Carry Anime Games

By Spencer . July 2, 2010 . 3:13am

imageAside from series like Dragon Ball, Bakugan, and Naruto, the number of localized games based on an anime have dropped over the last few years. Europe got One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2: Awakening of a Hero while North America missed out on it, for example.


How come? Xseed offered some insight while responding to a request for Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s Portable: The Battle of the Aces.


“We do take game requests, but games based on anime are very difficult to do – unless it’s a Dragon Ball or Naruto title, retailers refuse to carry them,” an Xseed staffer posted on Facebook.


Of course, there are exceptions. Xseed published The Sky Crawlers: The Innocent Aces earlier this year and retailers are saving shelf space for Hudson’s Beyblade games. Still, the lack of retail interest could explain why anime licensed titles are less common. Publishers, perhaps, may want to release them, but stores don’t want ‘em.

Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • karasuKumo

    It’s arrogance really,they don’t understand it so are ignorant to the fact the games have a lot of fans. They’re obviously putting money over customer satisfaction which seems to be what a lot of game retailers are doing these days. And people wonder why piracy is increasing. :P

    • I wonder, do even larger game shops refuse to take them. I can somewhat understand it if, say, the local toy store doesn’t take them. Their inventory tends to be rather limited. But from what I can remember the larger game shops I used to visit had many ‘less popular games’ in stock. Not to mention were more than happy to order anything that wasn’t in stock.

      • karasuKumo

        Exactly they should be happy to order the games because they are getting some kind of profit at the end of the day. I trust Amazon the most for having amine games sometimes playasia but theyre kind of expensive.

        • The price problem with Asian games is shipping, retail is usually very close if not the same.A great strategy would be to make a production company in other countries to print and distribute Asian games, if retailers don’t want them then there could be room for a new store chain that sells nothing but Asian gaming goods.That is, in a perfect world ;_;

          • That seems a bit unrealistic, a lot of people would be thankful though.

            However I wasn’t talking about import, I was talking about ordering games that were released for the region you are in, yet not in stock at the time. (^-^;;)

    • lostinblue

      Nothing justifies piracy; not even that.

      • karasuKumo

        I wasn’t saying that, I don’t support it at all but it could be one of the reasons it is increasing.

        • lostinblue

          I doubt that’s the case, these games are niche anyway and piracy isn’t “niche” at all, if it was it could be brushed asside and considered a minor problem; it is a problem because people will pirate everything complaining it’s nor worth, say, 30 bucks but then, apparently it’s worth nothing since in the end and while they argued the entry price wasn’t good enough they’ll effectively pay nothing.

          Also, people keeping an eye out for these “anime games” are usually the “informed bunch” who has access to scanlations and fansubs; this group usually has the means to purchase online and knows how to do so. Off course, by not stocking them, these stores are killing the title sales to the masses that buy on location and judging from the cover alone, but they’re not encouraging piracy in itself. It’s people with low character that recur to that and never make up for it.

          Perhaps the problem is that they are inherently pirates themselves since they’ve grown used to enjoy stuff without paying for it; kinda like the average PC user won’t buy anything these days since they know how to download stuff and apply cracks.

    • of course it’s money over a small amount of customers. despite what seems like large number of fans of heavily anime-based games, the amount is spread thin over an entire region. retailers don’t to want to sell games that’ll cater to 1 or 2 customers per store.

      naruto and dragonball games are the exceptions because of their ridiculously widespread popularity. anime, despites it’s exploding popularity, is still a somewhat niche thing. anime-based games are even more niche, and anime fans does not always equal gamer. there’s only a limited amount shelf space, so retailers are better off selling games that’ll sell like hotcakes, than sell a game that’ll just sit there for days.

      i had more to say but i just woke up so… retort back at me as much as you want.

  • Reimine

    Its like the visual novels…

    • Apparently, VN’s aren’t regarded as a “game” by “gamers”. Like what happened to Disgaea Infinite

      “This is not Disgaea!”
      “This is not a game!”
      “Where’s the explosions!”
      “There’r only TEXTS!!!”

      It’s just like karasuKumo said. It’s all about the money..

      • Devonian

        And that “Sakura Wars is a visual novel not a game HERP DERP” thing from a few days ago…

  • This is possibly one scenario where all-digital downloads are acceptable.

    • Yeah I agree, they did that with that Fate/Stay Night fighting game. Although anime tie-in games are usually aren’t that great, there are a lot of more niche “anime-ish” games I could see having the same problem…

    • I would certainly makes things easier.

      Localization itself might be easier as well, if you would keep the original voice acting all one has to do is release a patch that changes the in-game text to a different language.

  • Wth, so not even one piece?… *sigh*

  • I remember reading in the one NISA interview that the views on the US anime market going downhill. I’m pretty sure they’re in the right there; most of the outlets on the TV anymore aren’t what they used to be that would push someone to go and find something and Cartoon Network had its fall from grace long ago. Compound that with business interests and you have a problem in all aspects, which is really sad because it’s a market that would easily rise to great heights with proper handling of it.

    I mean they seriously don’t understand what kind of cash cow they’d get out of people that want to play niche titles far more than a rehash of a remake of a sequel that came out. And there’s a LOT of them these days. Any more I can’t really stand much of the hype with a lot of games these days that are popular for their rehashing and delve towards something that is much more unique than anything else. Outside of stuff that comes from Japan that rarely sees the light of day here, I don’t tend to see that too often otherwise.

    Perhaps I’m biased a bit because of that but at the very same time there are many people that share my viewpoints and it’s not just a handful of people either. I mean if a blog site like this gets as many hits as it does with strong interest in articles such as these, chances are that there’s some serious potential that businesses are missing and some entrepreneur needs to capitalize on.

  • Devonian

    Even the Naruto games sometimes don’t, America never got Ultimate Ninja 5 even though Europe did…

    • Yeah, but that may be due to the PS2’s life cycle more than Naruto. At that time, retailers in the US were really moving past the system.

  • Retailers refusing to get games isn’t really the problem. In Europe many Companys don’t even care about hardcopies anymore. We might get many DB and Naruto games but thats because “it is for kids” mentali is still unshaken here. Also i’d rather have a Sakura Wars with japanese voice or a FMA Game than the same Game with 2 new chars every new year.

    • lostinblue

      that’s what they’re doing with Dragon Ball and Naruto though, the two exceptions to the rule “we don’t carry that”

  • ForeverFidelis




    One piece, Naruto, and Bleach are the big 3, yo

    Along with DBZ, those games would’ve gotten them mucho moolah

  • BrotherCavil

    Maybe because 90% of the titles are more or less generally crap?

    The quality of most anime games is no different than the quality of most domestic movie license tie-ins.

    There are exceptions. But are far and few in-between.

    • Deal06

      This is exactly what I was thinking. I enjoy a lot of anime but, getting me to buy a game based off of even some of my favorites is a hard sell.

    • lostinblue

      They don’t refuse to carry yet another crappy movie tie-in though.I somewhat agree that if these games had the average quality some “non-anime” games with anime’esque looks they could fare way better in the market though.

      Atari collapsed because of the abysmal quality of their games after all, it’s only normal that certain types of games are stained by way too much crap.

  • Guest

    Just order from Amazon. It blows my mind why people to continue to buy from crappy retailers like Gamestop and Best Buy.

    • People like going to physical stores and the instant gratification of purchasing something and having it in your hands immediately.

  • The One Piece games for Wii are the best for anime series based games just still wish it came out and I am really getting tired of DragonBall more than anything, and Naruto in the mix if they remake past version at least it is going in sequence of the anime series at least that is okay. But Dragonball remake every single time it is over done and too many times.

  • There are a lot great animes that have gaming potential i mean the gaming companies should realize that people are going to eventually get tired of playing DB and naruto games n that they will want to play something new.

    If they are using popular animes to make games then why don’t they make more bleach games,FMA or new games with animes like claymore would make a good hack n slash n vampireknight could be made into something kinda like DMC with sword n gunplay…………THINK ABOUT IT GUYS THERES ARE UNLIMITED IDEAS N POSSIBILITY’S IN MAKING ANIMES INTO GREAT GAMES YOU JUST GOTTA DIG DEEP.

  • HEY guys how can my name n pic

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos