Nier Developer Absorbed Into AQ Interactive

By Spencer . July 12, 2010 . 11:07am

imageCavia, the studio behind Drakengard and Nier, has been dissolved. 4Gamer reported the news at the end of a lengthy interview with Nier staff including comments from Taro Yokoo, Director.


Cavia, at least the staff members, live on within AQ Interactive. AQ Interactive, the parent company of Artoon, Xseed, and previously Cavia, absorbed the studio.


With the cancellation of Cry-On, Nier was Cavia’s last project. No information on what Yokoo and his team are working on now, though. Recently, AQ Interactive has been focusing their efforts on browser games.

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  • So, it seems nier was pretty good uh?, what do you guys say, red dead redemption or this one?

    • I’ve struggled with accepting it, but I thought Nier was an abominable train wreck in every way not pertaining to certain facets of its plot (definitely not its characters, especially Kaine–ugh) and stellar soundtrack. Your mileage may vary, and most likely will, vary, but I’d go with Read Dead Redemption.

      • Ereek

        Agreed, to an extent. Everything outside of the music, story, voice acting, and direction was pretty much “below average.” They tried to add a lot of variety to the gameplay, but didn’t really succeed at any one thing and it all ended up rather shallow. For example, I love the on-rails shooting segments, but you have no problem just holding down the magic button to beat them. The top-down sections were my favorite in the game, but all of the enemies were extremely weak and it ended up as a button mashing section.Despite the problems I still loved the game, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a masterpiece.That said, I also haven’t tried RDR yet, but if it’s the same vein as GTAIV I won’t like it. More of a GTAIII style would be better for me.

    • Red Dead Redemption. Anyone who’s anyone should try that game out.

    • vrakanox

      Nier hands down.

      • Aoshi00

        I still haven’t the 3rd and 4th endings yet, missing one weapon from the King’s quest.. and still have the Jpn ver. to finish.. I still need to read the artbook/guide, there’s so much beautiful artwork and tons of extra info in it, seiyuu/developer interveiw, timeline, extra short novels.. I hope the spirit of the Cavia members would live on in AQ Interactive..

        • Kris

          What weapon? I just happen to have the guide next to me here. Seriously, Nier is the first game I’ve ever played that’s made me buy the guide after beating it twice!
          Edit: Sadly, just the English one. Grimoire Nier still escapes my grasp.

          • Aoshi00

            I forgot the weapon’s name, I looked up some FAQ online I think it’s the one that you get by completing a side quest given by the King of Facade. Do you take on that quest and go back to the temple to kill a shade boss or something, is it hard to get? I’m just missing that to go on my 3rd and 4th endings. I love their made up language, it’s like Ico or Panzer Dragoon Orta but flows rather naturally :)

            Yeah, Grimoire Nier! that’s the book I was referring to, it’s totally worth the $33 (1,900 yen). I rec’d it like 2 weeks ago but didn’t open it until today lol, lazy me.. the amount of info (on chars, story, even weapons!) and artwork is staggering, the book is cramped w/ lots of text and text and text on behind the scenes and interviews..

          • Kris

            Yeah, Labyrinth’s Song! That mission is kind of a challenge, but if you’ve gotten ending B already, you’ll be fine! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for Grimoire Nier when I’m in Tokyo in August. I also want to get the soundtrack at some point.

          • Aoshi00

            The Nier OST is amazing, I bought it even before I played the game. There were a few tracks performed w/ different instruments, all are so beautiful. P-A has been having 10% off all of their sountracks (in stock or not), they’ve conned me in buying a lot lately, I’m not sure if it’s easy for you to pick them up when you’re in Jpn. I wish they would do some drama CDs even, but then I kind of prefer the Eng. voices since I prefer old man Nier (but I wouldn’t mind some drama CDs in Jpn), I just like the characters so much.…So you’ve gotten Ending C & D, how do you like them? I know Ending B added a lot to the first one from a different perspective (I have not cried playing games since Lost Odyssey..). Pls don’t spoil me though :)

          • Kris

            I actually just completed the Shadowlord’s Key for ending C. So I’m not sure yet! Really looking forward to getting it though!

    • Haven’t played Red Dead, but I’m guessing it’s a more polished game than Nier already. Still, I loved Nier.

      Nier has some pretty huge flaws. The quests are pretty much kill the monster or fetch item X. Luckily, you only have to do 30 of them for the trophy, 2 (iirc) of which are required for ending D.

      Speaking of trophies, Nier is a pain to get them all for. I didn’t even try. The rare items are enough to add hours upon hours of farming.

      The plot also takes a while to get started. The first half of the game sets up the second part nicely, but the plot doesn’t really progress during that time. The second part is pretty sweet though, especially on your second run (it adds a lot of dialog and gives you more of Kaine’s perspective). NG+ also starts in part 2 of the game, which saves you some time to get all four endings. And though there are four endings, you only have to go through part 2 three times (it’s really easy to just burn through it quickly).

      Oh, and the world is so small that you run through almost all of the dungeons twice as part of the plot. That really sucked.

      Dialog is very amusing. About everything Weiss says is gold. Especially when it involves Kaine. And honestly, Weiss and Kaine kept me going in part 1.

      The gameplay is very basic hack and slash. It’s nothing special. I won’t call it boring, but I didn’t find it especially fun either.

      Soundtrack is amazing. Song of the Ancients (all four of them!), Shadowlord (OP music), Kaine’s themes… I should really get around to buying the album.

      tl;dr: Nier is a game you play for the plot, some of the characters, and music, as it has little else going for it.

    • Kris

      Apples to Oranges. They’re entirely different. RDR is more polished by far, but Nier is more unconventional. I’d try getting one used from Gamestop, and if you don’t like it, take it back in seven days and get the other.

  • …Oh man. Just when they were getting good and finally starting to get some development talent going.

    That hurts. Nier was awesome.

  • Nooo! Drakengard and Nier were so good; how can they do this!?

    • Aoshi00

      Same here, Drakengard and Nier were some of my favorite games ever, just when I thought someone’s still around to make quality games to counter garbage like FFXIII churned out by S-E.. I hope being absorbed by AQ wouldn’t affect them developing future good games, these are some talented people, that didn’t just think $$$ like S-E does (everything going toward good graphics and forgoing story and gameplay).

      And I thought the Cry-On getting canned was sad..

      • Kibbitz

        Sadly, based on sales (which I suppose to some degree reflects public opinion), it seems that the majority are seeing Drakengard and Nier as garbage instead. Though what’s good about Drakengard? Heard only bad things about it, so wouldn’t mind seeing a positive angle on it from someone who likes it.

        • Aoshi00

          Personally I thought Nier blew FFXIII out of the water in every single aspect, I eve prefer the graphics in Nier because the chars in FFXIII just had no soul, my being was completely absorbed by the Ico-like atmosphere from beginning to end, it was quite an experience. Too bad sales doesn’t necessarily equal quality though.. Ironically Nier was one of the best games published by S-E in ages, again thanks to Cavia..Hm.. it’s been way too long since I played it. Have you played it before? If you’re going to play it now, I’m sure the PS2 graphics is outdated. To sum it up simply, Drakengard w/ a mix of Dyanasty Warrior hack ‘n slash and Panzer Dragoon aerial battles, but flawed at either. The gameplay could get repetitive because it’s you against a thousand, but the soundtrack and story were very unique and addicting (the violin music would drive you nuts kind of like the movie Psycho, but it really fit the crazed motif of the game), and the variety of weapons made the game quite fun to play (usually I can’t play games like Dynasty Warriors, Gundam Musou, or even Ninety Nine nights). The story was extremely dark and unsettling from beginning to end, the characters all had their flaws (physically each one of the main characters has lost something important like sight, speech, even fertility making a pact w/ their respective monsters (it’s on the other side of the spectrum of feeling happy, I’m glad while Nier’s story was deep and tragic at times, but not as messed up as Drakengard’s :), which felt very special to me. I was so looking forward to Cry On, for the art was drawn by the same artist (I have both the Drakengard and Nier artbook/guide, beautiful and totally worth it) + Uematsu/Sakaguchi. Good thing the artist is still doing the artwork for the upcoming Last Story.

  • Wow, just wow… I can’t believe this. After Nier, I was looking so much for their next project and now this? I cried a little inside when read this =

  • jarrodand

    Weird imo. You’d think feelplus or Microcabin would bite it before cavia. The RE Chronicles games were pretty big sellers, way bigger than almost anything from those other studios afaik.

    I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for AQi?

    • I think feelplus has a decent amount of contracts now especially with Square Enix so they’re doing OK. It seems like they’re pitching projects now.

    • Whaa? Micro Cabin still does games? I thought they vanished in the early 2000s. I mostly know them for their stellar MSX titles…

      • jarrodand

        Microcabin still exists, but they seem to work exclusively on pachinko games now (specifically the portions for monitor displays). AQi bought them out in 2008 it looks like… what I wouldn’t give for a new Xak…

  • … ='(
    Alas Cavia, I knew thee well.

  • Kris

    This is sad, but as long as they have the creative freedom to keep making great games, I’ll be happy. Nier was a total surprise for me, but it might just be my favorite game of 2010. I look forward to seeing what these guys do next.

  • EvilAkito

    Wow, that really sucks. I never even noticed Cavia until after playing Nier. It’s sad to see them go right after they caught my attention.

  • gatotsu911

    Oh, no. Not Cavia. Just think of all the amazing games we will miss without Cavia in this world. Oh, how I will miss their amazing works of endless, mind-numbing button mashing and dated graphics that exploited every possible use of the colors gray and brown.

  • Aoshi00

    @WildArms — Like CleaningGuy said, it’s really two different types of games, if you like GTA IV and the old west setting, RDR is a great game, better control, great story/char/voice acting. But if you like an action RPG w/ epic story/chars/music/4 endings w/ NG+/good dialogue, then Nier’s your game. People complain about sidequests, those are skippable (unlike FFXIII which didn’t have any at all). I think both games are worth playing, for me, Nier is a must play. They just don’t make RPGs like that these days anymore. But RDR is great too if you like sandbox games like GTA IV.

  • I just finished Nier yesterday! A diamond in the rough if I ever saw one. I was prepared to hate before it came out, gave it a chance and loved it. It’s strange because, technically I should hate this game. But it has a soul so unique I just couldn’t help but fall for it. The music, characters and ingenuity made this game more than the sum of its parts.

    I definitely recommend it if you like action RPGs or experimental games.

  • Feynman

    This is a damn shame. Cavia’s games may not have been perfect, but even flawed, they have produced some of the most interesting, well-written games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Why is it that all the most brilliant game developers (Hi, Clover!) always suffer from the worst sales?

  • FireCouch

    At least they made Nier before this happened.

    • Aoshi00

      True, went out w/ a bang indeed. I really thank them for making Nier, when so many RPGs this gen have been rather lackluster..

  • epy

    They did great stuff that not many people appreciated. Thank you for Drakengard and the PS2 and PSP Fate games. Sad thing that studios like Cavia and Clover need to meet these ends.

  • lostinblue

    They also did Darkside Chronicles.

    They were talented and stuff… If they were absorved instead of laid off it could be like they’re intact, no? AQ is a publisher I believe they don’t develop games after all, could be like UGA bein absorved by the Sonic Team for financial reasons, but remaining intact?

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