NIS America Bringing Imageepoch’s Games To North America And Europe

By Spencer . November 26, 2010 . 6:23pm

imageRyoei Mikage, CEO of Imageepoch, just let the cat out of the bag. Dengeki Online asked Mikage if he had any plans to release Imageepoch’s RPGs overseas. He does.


NIS America will release Imageepoch titles in North America and Europe.


Part of the reason why Mikage chose NIS America is because of their Disgaea sales, which exceed 150,000 – 200,000 units, a number Mikage says shouldn’t be ignored. His plan for overseas expansion is to target overseas fans of JRPGs first and foremost.


Imageepoch announced three games for consoles: Black Rock Shooter: The Game, Tale of the Last Promise, and Chevalier Saga Tactics.

  • excellent

  • godmars

    Everybody Happy Dance!

    Too soon?

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Fingers crossed for LA3 to be included.

    • Luminous arc 3 T.T we want youuuu


    • Joanna

      YES PLEASE x 100

      It’s the last game, we just have to get it!

      NISA if you bring it over, you shall make it onto my list of favourite publishers. I actually never liked Disgaea before, so I never really paid attention to NISA, but I recently gave D1 another try and I enjoyed it much more (Still far from my favourite kind of game…too much of a time sink, but I am now interested in trying the other Disgaeas and D4 looks really nice). If NISA released LA3, I would instantly love them so much more. :D

  • Barrit

    Wow, that’s great! I didn’t think we’d have a chance of seeing BRS since it isn’t well known in the states.

    • Locklear93

      BRS has an inherent advantage for localization, since the OVA blu-ray was released subbed in 7 languages in the first place. Still need to pick that up; any company that subs for international use deserves my money.

  • YEAH!! and i agree NISA is the best choice, they have been the strongest company when it comes to jrpgs >8D, weee, im gonna buy them

    • Testsubject909

      XSeed, NISA and Atlus are all fine companies when it comes to catering it’s fans with more niche titles or japanese items. From time to time koei also pulls out a small miracle.

      Bandai-Namco isn’t all that reliable plus some of what they’ve been stating out in the open are rather distasteful, such as “We are in the belief of selling incomplete games to the players and then selling them the rest of it via DLC”… Not cool. (And yes, i realize that THQ has decided to reduce their prices down to 40$ and to have more DLC content, but the difference is that they’ve never mentioned anything about selling us an incomplete game. It makes a rather large difference even if it’s just PR.)

      I wouldn’t say NISA is the strongest company. But I will agree that you can rely on them.

      Definitely will be buying.

      • But if you compare what has been released lately, when it comes to jrpgs, NISA is on first place :D, Aksys ans XSEED are doing an excellent job as well, ATLUS has been kinda quiet lately so i cant really say much about them :(

    • Hraesvelgr

      Really? I’d say NISA is pretty weak with games in general (though I don’t have any real issue with them otherwise), but if these games are good, I might rethink that.

      • zettai hero project, atelier rorona, cladun, trinity universe, and neptunia is coming with ar tonelico 3 and disgaea 4.
        I dont think they have been weak at all, at the most, they are the ones giving us people who are carving for more jrpgs some love.
        Like xseed, giving us FALCOM love >:3

      • What do you find weak about their games? Maybe they’re not your particular taste, but they are consistent towards their fanbase.

  • I just hope that Fate/Extra is somehow included ( even though it appears the contract in question likely only applies to the newly announced games ).

    I also hope the new Type Moon collaboration is for HD consoles, and also gets brought over.

    Hey, I can hope, right?! Right!

    • Yeah I really hope Fate/Extra is one of those titles they are bringing over.

  • Tales of the last promise to EU please~!!! Thank you NIS!!!

  • Black Rock Shooter looks to be amazing…the last promise seems utterly hardcore but I shall remain cautiously optimistic.

    • But is it good though? I haven’t seen a glimpse of its gameplay yet.

      • Screw gameplay, its the experience in sound and drama that matters most!

        • kupomogli

          “Screw gameplay. Show us a fancy looking FMV and we’ll buy it all up.”

          It’s sad, but that’s why a garbage game like FF13 made all the sales that it did. Aside from it being Final Fantasy.

          • Ummmm…I think the gameplay was the best part of Final Fantasy XIII, actually. The battle system was awesome, if you didn’t cheese out and use auto-battle the whole time.

            It’s the lack of towns and the linear nature of the game that people mostly complain about, which would, strictly speaking NOT be gameplay related, since you’d be playing the same type of battles whether the game was linear or open-world.

          • Ya know, I can’t blame anyone for being a sucker of buying FFXIII just because it’s Final Fantasy, but it gets redundant if people rely on their egos and say “press A or X the whole time” or “walk in a straight line.” Those are people who played the game for like 5 hours and sold it back. I know because there were 3 college students in my area who did the same thing, and it was almost laughable.

            The one thing that makes the linearity and lack of towns a problem is because Squeenix has never done it before, really. No JRPG had this approach. And yet, it still works because the game can focus more on the narrative as if it were a movie (i.e. Enslaved). And who can’t go wrong with the gameplay? Squeenix did say it was meant to be approachable to the western audience because we like active gameplay.

          • Phoenix_Apollo

            It’s times like these when I feel like Squeenix was trying to make a Xenosaga clone but kinda got lost when they realized that it still was a Final Fantasy game. That, and the sudden 360 port probably screwed that dream up. The groundwork was definitely laid out (linear structure, focus on story) but they failed to capture the feel that Saga had and made you care about the story. Instead, it was just kinda there.

            As for NISA, I think, if any of the older imageepoch games were to be localized, it would be 7th Dragon and maybe Criminal Girls. This is because NISA has at least done work with Sega before, so they could probably talk them into letting NISA publish the game. Marvelous, on the other hand, is more of Atlus/XSeed’s territory and obviously, The Last Ranker has that whole Capcom trademark deal. Criminal Girls, despite it’s content, at least has a chance because it was NIS published.

        • what the fffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

        • Darkrise

          I don’t even… Wouldn’t it be better for you to just watch a movie then?

          • Ereek

            I think most of you are missing the point. The overall experience is a big deal in a game. It can make a generic, boring, overly cliche game interesting. Obviously gameplay is important, but gameplay is enhanced by the overall feel of the game.The entire Horror genre succeeded based off of the “experience.” I wouldn’t go as far as to say they have amazing gameplay, because they don’t. It’s the overall experience: The need to survive, limited supplies, haunting environments, that makes them fun to play.

          • I agree. Silent Hill: Homecoming lost a lot of what made the series great, by giving the main character an actual way to fight effectively.

          • Aoshi00

            Sure atmosphere is important, but his point was “screw gameplay”, that’s why people didn’t agree w/.

          • MemeticRichard

            I agree. But a game without some sort of gameplay is just a movie, or a series of cutscenes. At which point, it isn’t even a game.

            I don’t disagree with the fact that experience is important. But he was shunning gameplay entirely, at which point, I reiterate all the bad things George Carlin said to someone.

        • I would disagree with you on that I think BOTH need to be there. If you take away gameplay and just give people good presentation, you get something like Enslaved or the Legacy of Kain series, which while having great narratives, are a bore to actually play. If you take away the narrative and just stick with gameplay, but with no storyline, then you’d better make sure that there’s nothing repetitive about it, otherwise, the lack of motivation will eventually turn people off.

          I would never say “screw gameplay,” even if I think the sound and drama matter a lot. You need both for a great game. Not one or the other.

          • malek86

            “you get something like Enslaved or the Legacy of Kain series, which while having great narratives, are a bore to actually play”Your heart, it’s so cold.

          • That’s what my mom said last time I spoke to her. lol

            But yeah, I’ve already spoken about my dislike of Enslaved, so as for the Legacy of Kain series, the only one I actually enjoyed playing was the first one for PS1. The rest of the series…I think it’s the only game series where I actually preferred watching my friends play than to play it myself, because it felt like work to me. I wasn’t having any fun. It just seemed like “move some blocks, fight some enemies, get a new power that enables you to…move some more blocks.” I love the story behind those games, though, so watching them was fun. Playing them, though, was a hellish experience, outside of the first one.

          • Aoshi00

            But the 10-12 hours of Enslaved I spent was so much more fun and exhilarating experience than FF13’s 80 hrs though… Believe me, Enslaved’s gameplay was neither boring nor easy, sure it was no Bayonetta (it wasn’t trying to be), just play thru the game once on hard instead of basing your opinion on the short demo, which really didn’t paint an accurate picture at all, that was like a movie started out w/ a big bang to get people interested in the story. If anything Enslaved is the game that has both good presentation and gameplay to me, instead of FF13 which had problem of both presentation (pacing) and gameplay (sometimes fun but very flawed battle system & linear X 100).Gotta to get the Pigsy DLC soon :)

            P.S. The reason why I played FF13 as long as I did was to unlock the trophies and wallpapers.. too bad I would never get Platinum and Serah’s.. Also at $25, you can’t go wrong w/ Enslaved. Majin though, I don’t even feel like picking it up even it’s $22 on day 1… I want to give it a try, but I just bought a lot of games..

        • MemeticRichard

          Ahahaha…no. >_>

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Visual Novels agree with you. Geometry Wars disagrees.

    • Aoshi00

      These are all cool titles and glad they’re coming over. But yea, I don’t like perma deaths either especially w/ long strategy RPGs.. the other thing I don’t like is time limit (like Dead Rising)..

  • Rarutos

    I’m actually not sure how I feel about this. NISA already has a bunch of games that are being and can be localized, and this is just adding on, and possibly even pushing aside games that we’d see otherwise!But it is nice to see that these games are going to get localized, usually we don’t know if they are until after they’re released in Japan. :3

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Well, if those announced release dates hold true, both AT3 and Neptunia should be largely done. The only other thing they’ve officially announced is Disgaea4, which really screams holiday 2011. That leaves Totori as the only other major expected title. Plus, if they are able to get support from imageepoch right from the start of the Japanese dev process, that could help a bit.

      • Rarutos

        True, true. I’m just a bit worried for the GUST titles for the most part. I mean, it seems like we’re not getting Atelier Lina and Judie, both of which I really would have liked to see… So, I don’t know. I was almost certain last year that we’ll get every Atelier game that comes out after the Iris series (although they did skip Lise and Mana-Khemia 2 Portable, but for seemingly good reasons like glitches and the fact that MK1 Portable didn’t meet very good standards.) but now, it doesn’t seem like that.

        I shouldn’t be complaining though, I’m happy to get a bigger variety of games in the first place!

        • i dont think the atelier series does all that well over here to be honest; i have always found them lacking in the combat department and story (which i know isnt thier focus) if they could just refine the combat systems to be more exciting; and give me a story i can get behind; combined with thier already amazing item and alchemy systems and theyd have a winner on thier hands

          • Rarutos

            If you’re looking for a cool battle system, you’re not exactly looking at the right game. The Atelier series has always focused more on item customization than anything. And although there’s a lack of story, there’s plenty of character interaction to make up for it IMO.

            I think Totori does end up doing that you said pretty well though. The battle system seems more akin to Atelier Iris and Mana-Khemia than traditional Atelier games.

          • HarryHodd

            At least Atelier Rorona was turn based. So few of those these days.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            It’s actually quite interesting what Gust does with their family of games. Ar Tonelico does put the story and combat ahead of the crafting, Mana Khemia plays a middle ground including more combat and story while several of the Atelier games (Annie and Rurona) focus on the crafting side.

          • Ereek

            I don’t mean to sound like an ass, but your comment doesn’t really make much sense.

            i dont think the atelier series does all that well over here to be honest; i have always found them lacking in the combat department and story

            All you’re saying here is “I don’t really enjoy the games, therefore I think they do badly in the west!”

            So then, what of Harvest Moon? It doesn’t have the most interesting battle system, yet those games keep coming over.

          • FireCouch

            It isn’t so much of the combat system that’s bad, it’s just that the presentation is pretty awful. The game looks ugly as hell when you are fighting. Not to mention the menus are ugly.

          • Graphics and Menu Design arent everything in a game…

          • FireCouch

            Yeah, but when you are paying 60 bucks for a game it sure does matter to me. And if the presentation is so lackluster it gets in the way. I don’t really care about graphics in games, but when Final Fantasy VII has better attack animations than a PS3 game, it gets pretty ridiculous.

          • Well, then it’s good that the games aren’t $60, then, huh?

      • … Holiday 2011 for Disgaea 4? But they’ve already confirmed it’ll be Summer 2011 for the American release.

        NISamerica has generally been good with keeping to expected dates with releases and not waiting around for big buying areas. In fact, Holiday might be worse for them, because that’s when larger, more first-party companies go and release their games to entice the market.

        If anything, Summer is probably their best time to make the biggest impact.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    This deal better include all 5 of those mystery games…

  • Ladius

    I’m really happy about this deal, I don’t think we will miss anything from the GustNiS portfolio because of the added localizations since NiSA’s 2011 lineup isn’t so crowded, with Neptunia and AT3’s translations probably already finished and only an handful of possible candidates along with Disgaea 4, namely Atelier Totori and ImageEpoch-developed Criminal Girls (sadly I think Atelier LinaJudieViolet were going to stay in Japan even before this agreement, at least if Carpe Fulgur doesn’t intervene).

    While I haven’t liked any ImageEpoch title I have played so far (I found Sands of Destruction one of the worse jrpgs of the last decade), I have pretty high hopes for the next batch of releases, not to mention Last Ranker and Fate Extra, which I would gladly buy at day one if they were translated.
    That said, I find refreshing that he is targeting western JRPG fans and not the west’s whole gaming community: this kind of approach is far more realistic than the usual “we want to appeal to every western gamer, so we will make a dumbed down title that will disgust longtime fans and be ignored by those who normally avoid JRPGs!” crap many japanese developers spout nowadays.

    • Barrit

      Well said, and Neptunia is coming to the US a lot faster than I had expected. Let’s hope they can keep up that pace!Edit:By the way, I haven’t really kept up with NISA until recently. From the last few titles, it seems they announced they were localizing specific games around their release date. Is it unusual for them to announce they are bringing the titles over this early in development? If so, I wonder if their goal is to be able to release games simultaneously, or as close as possible. If so, that would be pretty damn awesome and ambitious of them!

    • World destruction had a great story, but the gameplay later on the game was too broken (sadly T_T), and random battles could bother a lot too. But at some point, you just pwn everything.The story and the ending was pretty good, it made me play it to the end, even with the broken gameplay in battles.

    • TyeTheCzar

      If I remember, WRPGs have far more complexity. After all, WRPGs debuted on computers, and JRPGs got popular on consoles.

  • Hours

    Please start with Luminous Arc 3!

    LUMINOUS ARC THREE… @[email protected]

  • this man is doing it right; their style of games fits a niche genre tht simply doesnt work with the mass consumer; so they picked a publisher who flat out knows thier niche consumer

  • Yukito

    Well, at first, I was thinkin it was a slightly bad idea giving it to NISA of all people, but when they talk like that, perhaps not. After all, NISA is one of the only groups out there that bring us JRPGs with JRPG feel, niche or not. Only bad things here are, that NISA’s dubbing gets a bit cheesy no matter how serious the game, they got ALOT already in their books, and lastly, if ImageEpoch has a 360 title ever coming, I doubt they would localize that. I always sort of got an anti-360 vibe from NISA.

    • HarryHodd

      Didn’t NISA bring Cross Edge to the 360?

      • Cross Edge Dash never released domestically (NA)

        • HarryHodd

          Hmmm didn’t know that. Well I don’t think IE would ever do a 360 exclusive so there is always the PS3 or perhaps another company would step in and do the 360 version. All hypothetical of course.

        • Correct. In fact, I remember Nao saying on the Playstation Blog that she was just as surprised to hear there was a Japanese 360 version as everybody else.

          • Testsubject909

            The Cross Edge remake for the 360 sorta slipped from a lot of radars. The news, if I recall, wasn’t all that huge and got firmly stomped down by various other more pressing news as well.

            Plus, 360 is a minority of sort in Japan, even if they curiously get so many niche and ecchi games and highly otaku centric games.

            Hmm… eh, whatever.

    • I can’t imagine why ImageEpoch would ever do a 360 title, anyway, since they seem to be focused on being as proudly Japanese as possible. Not the right audience for them. The days of 360-exclusive JRPG’s ended a long, long time ago.

      • TyeTheCzar

        I think remember Inafune saying that Japanese developers don’t know how to handle budgets suitable for PS3 and 360, leading them to developing games on portables.

  • Darkrise

    BRS and Tale of the Last Promise! Hope we get an announcement for those soon. I can feel it. 2011 is going to be quite a year for jrpg’s! Might we be have Luminous Arc 3 as well? =D

  • HarryHodd

    Cool for psp owners. I’ll continue to buy any and all PS3 titles they bring and look forward to thier 2011 games with great excitement. Hopefully the Cavalier Saga is one of them.

  • Wait, does that mean Black rock shooter and Tale of the last promise will definitely get localized? Or is it just a possibility for those two game to get localized?

    • No confirmation from NISA yet.

    • Think of it like the Gust deal, there’s a publisher for Imageepoch published games in North America. No specific titles have been announced at this time, though.

  • That’s awesome! If they also localize The Last Ranker it would be perfect!

  • Pichi

    I hope this leads to LA3 if Atlus can’t get it. This sounds like it has good potential. And I believe NISA is doing well these days, with showing alot of game announcements and anime as well. Wish them the best.

  • Last Ranker… For North America in 2011 or 2012 i guess(The end of the world damm it xD).

  • Well, this is promising, even if they’ve yet to make anything for my chosen system except for that one announced game from a couple days ago. Still, always good to see more JRPG’s heading our way. Hopefully, a few more of those will be for the PS3.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      The Type-Moon one that will take 3 years is the most likely candidate. That one to be announced by Sega with the orchestra and bizarre concept art… seems like something special but I it’s too early to tell.

      • That’d be very cool.

      • TyeTheCzar

        I’d rather see Type-Moon work together with Bioware to make an RPG since the one thing they have in common is how choices affect the game.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          As impossible as that collaboration seems, I would very much like to see that.

  • Yay! I love NISA! Keep me busy, please =)

  • Finalstar2007

    Good news indeed

  • Wait, so… Imageepoch pretty much just confirmed U.S. releases for those three games? Because I would LOVE to play Black Rock Shooter. Tale of the Last Promise seems pretty good too.

  • caddyalan

    I was kinda hoping for something more unusual (Criminal Girls, a new version of Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea, or a new remake of Eien no Aselia), or the PSP remake of Atelier Violet.

    Hopefully some of the Imageepoch games are worthwhile. Publishing run-of-the-mill eastern RPGs won’t win many fans…

    I think some of us old fans are waiting for a reconstruction. In other words, the sort of game that addresses what has been missing in the last few years, and which reconstructs the things that made 8-bit through 32-bit translated RPGs worthwhile.

    • What are those things that have been missing in the last few years?

  • This is great now will they release last ranker and fate/extra -.-

    • MemeticRichard

      You don’t want Fate/Extra here…trust me.

      • Dude do you have to repeat how much you hate the game in every single comment? Geez, give it a rest already. You almost make it seems like everyone hates the game but it’s just you making the same comment over and over.

        • Why would we want one to silence their voice? I think it stands as a testament to just how bad he felt about the game.

          • I don’t have a problem with him stating his opinion. But 3 times in the same article? Geez.

  • Testsubject909

    *opens his wallet, sniffs lightly, salutes*

    Goodbye money, your sacrifice will not be in vain.

    • But we dont even know which games and when they are even releasing, it seems it couldnt possibly be until like late 2011…

  • MemeticRichard

    Black Rock shooter already?

    Badass. Game better not suck. Imagepooch has been known to be less than awesome on many occasions… *stares at Fate/Extra*

  • MemeticRichard

    Just some clarification here for ya peoples.

    Last Ranker – If memory serves correctly, Capcom is distributing this one in Japan, and as I recall, they made a behind-the-curtain announcement of a stateside release a while ago, but haven’t said anything since then. Can’t find the article, but I think its somewhere on Andriasang.

    Fate/Extra – :/ This game is terrible. I don’t even know why you guys would want it localized. It’ll only take up time over other, superior products. If you guys want to play a Fate game, just fire up Fate/Unlimited Codes, or hell, even Crucis Fatal/Fake for the PC is better than this.

    • Ladius

      There isn’t any announcement regarding Last Ranker afaik, you are probably confusing it with the trademark registration in the USA (but that doesn’t mean anything, many Tales game have been registered in the USA without ever seeing a release).

      Regarding Fate Extra you should refrain from considering your opinions as the Only Truth. If you want to tell us about the game’s problems you are free to go, but simply labeling the game as horrible doesn’t tell anything useful about it, especially when you compare it to two beat’em up games while FE is of a completely different genre.
      Plus, many importers have liked it and many who don’t play japanese games would like to test the game on their own in order to make their judgements, without someone imposing his own in this kind of way.

      • MemeticRichard

        X_X Agh, you’re right about Ranker. Sorry.

        Oh, and about that Fate/Extra thing… Many importers liked Sigma Harmonics. Doesn’t stop it from game a stain of a game.

        Just ask Aoshi. XD “Sigma” and “Harmonics” are taboo words for him. Very easy way to activate his Fatal Death Mode.

        It’s not a matter of opinions, it’s a matter of technicalities. But alas, fanboys will always gobble up what has their favorite characters slapped on the cover. D: It’s why I have such a strong aversion to Naruto and Bleach games – they are, in essence, crappy as hell when compared to…well…pretty much everything out there. But good luck convincing fans.

        Reason why I say Fate/Extra sucks is because compared to pretty much every other Fate game out there, it’s easily the bottom of the barrel. As for an RPG/Sim hybrid, it’s blatantly a cheap slap-on. Persona 3 and especially 4 do it much better.

        Like I said, technicalities. :/ It’s one thing to play a game, then have an opinion. But it’s another when you start comparing its individual aspects to other things – then you can fortify a more concrete conclusion.

  • Totally looking forward to Chevalier Saga Tactics here. :) Glad NISAmerica is bringing them over.

  • JustaGenericUser

    I’m still a bit disappointed. Imagepooch made such a huge deal when they made their JRPG Comeback announcement a week ago, but so far most of the titles they announced aren’t TOO great. Especially since they’re almost all PSP. Imagepooch, JRPGs aren’t dead on handhelds, they’re dead on CONSOLES. That’s what you guys should have focused on. In fact, the only PS3 RPG they’ve announced that I’m aware of is some kinda browser game. I would have liked to have seen Black Rock Shooter or Tale of the Last Promise on consoles.

    But I guess Imagepooch doesn’t have too much money. So maybe that’s why they can’t do PS3 games?

    As for NISA working together with Imagepooch; might be cool. I hope NISA doesn’t get backed up too much. I hope this doesn’t cause a Totori localization to get delayed. And NISA or some other company should dub the Black Rock Shooter OVA(s) if they hope for BRS to do decently here.

    • HarryHodd

      Totally agree man. Sad thing is Black Rock Shooter might have resonated with the PS3 crowd a bit. Oh well, they won’t be getting $60 from me anytime soon.

  • Shuryou

    Come oooooon, Criminal Girls!

  • Damn XD Lazy’s going to throw me off a cliff if I say this anywhere else….but thank you NISA <333 Ugh, I need some more JRPG titles on my consoles T_T There's like a drought. The last entertaining JRPG I had for ages was when Arc Rise Fantasia was released.

  • xNekux

    For a second there I thought there was already screenshots of Laharl in Disgaea 4.


  • TyeTheCzar

    Ummm… yeah. Usually, cliche storms do not a great story make–and SoD is no exception.

  • TyeTheCzar

    I hope they won’t kill the translation like the “localizer” Ignition hired. That one just turned out to be a Japanese firm with no knowledge of the English language reminiscent of pre-Woolsey Squaresoft games.

  • symytry

    Tales of the Last Promise definitely sounds like a winner. I like my games with permadeath :)

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