Marvelous’ Game Division Books Profits, But Cancels Epic RPG Title

By Spencer . February 9, 2011 . 1:23am

imageMarvelous Entertainment’s digital contents division is in much better shape than it was last year where the publisher reported 1,311 million yen in net losses ($14.5 million*) between April 1, 2009 and December 31 of the same year. Fast forward a year and Marvelous booked a modest net profit of 89 million yen ($1 million) for the video game sector during the same time period.


Fate/Extra released for PSP in July shipped 100,000 units. Harvest Moon: Twins Village for Nintendo DS was the star of the show with 200,000 units shipped. Figures were not reported for No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, which Marvelous published in October. Marvelous also started service Everyone’s Harvest Moon and Ikki Tousen browser games. Both titles are acquiring new players, said the publisher.


The financial report also makes mention of an "epic RPG" for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 which Marvelous canceled. Marvelous decided to discontinue development due to unfavorable market conditions and absorbed a 245 million yen ($3 million) loss. Marvelous has not made mention of an RPG to date. Past RPG projects from Marvelous include the Valhalla Knights series developed with K2, Avalon Code from Matrix Software, Luminous Arc, and Arc Rise Fantasia. The last two titles were handled by Imageepoch who are now self-publishing games in Japan.


* This figure was calculated by using the average yen to dollar exchange rate from February 2010.

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  • Testsubject909

    Well that’s depressing…

    … I’ma gonna go look at some kittens now to cheer me up.

    • neocatzon


  • Please…no more Valhalla Knights games.

    • Kaishounashi

      Yeah… I played the first one these days and it’s the worst game i’ve ever played on my wii, and i’ve played Far Cry and Cruisin…

  • Hope they develop a full 3D(S) Luminous Arc.

    Kind of a shame we’ll probably never get LA3. Understand it’s another big improvement on the last game. Much stronger date sim elements.

  • Laaaaaaaaaame! Not enough HD RPG goodness this gen, hope they resurrect it.

  • Boo!!

  • If the RPG was that epic, why cancel it? Really disappointing…and I still haven’t played Arc Rise Fantasia, stupid region lock~

  • Zero_Destiny

    When I first saw the pic I thought the article was about ImageEpoch and was like “No, they’re one of the biggest RPG developing companies right now.” Whew glad their still making RPG games. I’m not sure what to make of this article though. Should I be upset that Marvelous finds RPGs not to be profitable or just be happy that Harvest Moon is doing well? T_T

  • Bruce

    bummer ! , i hope this won’t discourage them from localizing future titles .

  • RIP T_T

  • HarryHodd

    So they keep making exclusive Wii games but a multiplat RPG on the PS3 gets canned? Cant wait for Rune Factory Oceans PS3 to outsell the Wii version.

    Very disappointing.

    • Guest

      HD development is a lot more expensive and if their gonna sell barely any more than a Wii game it ain’t worth it. Their “HD” game is gonna be nothing more than a higher res Wii game. ARF was nothing more than a prettier PSP game. They should stick to handhelds imo. They did some great stuff and I still wanna LA3.

      • HarryHodd

        Traditional RPGs sell well on the PS3 in Japan. Tales of games and WKC show that. Ar Tonelico 3 did pretty well too. If this Marvelous game was a traditional RPG it would have done 100k+ most likely, maybe more depending how good it is. I think that is about double to what Marvelous rpg games have done on the Wii in japan.

        • puchinri

          Aren’t those part of series that traditionally sell well anyway? I thought selling a (JRPG) IP is harder than one that’s spin-off/sequel/what have you.

          • HarryHodd

            White knight Chronicles is a new IP that sold over 350k. Tales of Vesperia ia PS3 is approaching 400k and Tales of Graces is selling on par. Sales for these games show there is a market for RPGs on the PS3 which Marvelous has basically ignored all gen. Problem is the PS3 doesn’t have many traditional RPGs.

          • puchinri

            WKC yes (but I will say that I think it’s an exception where being a Level-5 title probably helped those sales, what with them having developed a DQ title and Dark Cloud at that time), and like I said, the Tales games are like FF. It’s bound to sale with the brand name alone. It’s different for MMV, because they’re know for HM and don’t really have any JRPG titles for people to go ‘hey, that’s going to be boss!’. I’m sure they’d have some people looking forward to it, especially if it looks good, but it’s a very different story. (And anyone who plays HM knows their track record with that as well, so that’s another thing to go by.)


    an this the reason why i don’t like h-d videogame development.
    it does more harm than good.

    • HarryHodd

      How is hd development to blame? 3rd party Wii games aren’t exactly setting the world on fire and Marvelous was in worse condition last year when it was pretty much Wii and DS exclusive.

      • Guest

        Stupid decisions are to blame. Valhalla Knights should have never been made and MMV should have never gave Ignition publishing rights.

        • HarryHodd

          Valhalla Knigts might have fared better on the PSP. I just think they backed the Wii too much then didn’t port the right games to other systems.

      • Kaishounashi

        They got a lot of PSP games last year too. The reason this year was better was because they got bigger titles like Harvest Moon and Ikkitousen.

  • Sorry, pseudo-hijack, but it’s also a bit related:
    Can someone explain to me why the people at Marvelous don’t want Arc Rise Fantasia to see a release in Europe (was posted on Rising Star Game’s forums not too long ago)?

    It’s already translated (let’s ignore the quality for now bad one) and licensing it to an European publisher could soften the financial loss caused by things like this canceled RPG project. Not by much of course, but it would be start.

  • I’m glad that Marvelous Entertainment decided to save some money for a bit longer.

    See guys, this is the price of graphics whoring.

    • HarryHodd

      Yeah let’s make some more Wii exclusives. That’ll save the bleeding.

      • Are you suggesting to put Marvelous Entertainment in the red again, given the overkill amounts of yen of developing an HD game PLUS marketing it?

        • HarryHodd

          Works pretty well for other people (Gust, Namco, level 5, idea factory). PS3 is where the jrpg gamers are for home consoles. Marvelous hasnt really even given PS3 a chance. Also don’t act like the Wii hasn’t caused some companies to lose money. Even Marvelous was bitching about the Wii a couple of years ago when all thier Wii exclusives underperformed. Now with the Wii performing worse than ever, all the sudden they announce another Wii exclusive hardcore game and cancel an RPG on the system that sells them best. Seems like some company is playing it too safe.

          • It’s because the others have big enough funding to pursue a PS3 JRPG project, especially with the case of Ar tonelico and Tales, and not to mention how Gust gets Namco Bandai money, via Ar tonelico. Also, I find it simultaneously bewildering and oxymoronic how the PS3 is the home of JRPGs this gen., even though #SCEA is blatantly promoting it for anything BUT JRPGs. Heck, when it was given the option to market JRPGs, SCEA had to learn it the HARD way with its 1st-party titles, especially with Demon’s Souls.

            As for the Wii, I guess graphics whoring at a Crysis-level finally caught on in Japan, and not to mention other various reasons like lack of marketing. Even then, just wait for Marvelous to make a PS360 epic RPG on their own.

          • malek86

            Graphics whoring? Come on now. Many of those PS3 RPGs (especially from Gust and IF) barely look better than PS2 games, I don’t think that’s the case. They are in high resolution, yes, but little more. In that case, you can probably make money even with relatively low sales.

            Besides, what’s this talk about graphics as if they were a bad thing? From my point of view, it’s true that I don’t care much about graphics… but let’s face it, the Wii is getting really antiquate. It was ok five years ago, when HDTVs were not widespread yet. But by now, HDTVs are extremely common. Nintendo should seriously think about coming out with a HD console by now. Lack of technical prowess is one thing, but muddy 480p images on a FullHD are far less bearable.

            There is an unwritten rule among PC gamers that goes pretty much “you must always play in native resolution, even if you have to put details to the lowest setting to run it smoothly”. Even today I could play with graphics like in Super Mario 64… but those ten polygons that make up Mario better be in 720p.

          • @Malek86 – I don’t understand this bitterness Wii owners have about HD graphics. It’s like they can’t accept that they don’t have a system that aims for the hardcore. It’s almost sad to see how butthurt many of them get when you mention that the indisputable fact that the PS3 is the console for JRPG’s. My favorite is when you mention games like Disgaea or Ar Tonelico or Atelier Rorona or even Cross Edge and their response is, “Oh, those games suck, so they don’t count.”

            @B4ULoveShine – and actually SCEA has been promoting it as a system with just about everything for every type of gamer. SCEA still released White Knight Chronicles in America and all signs point to the sequel being released here too. They admitted they made a mistake in not releasing Demon’s Souls, but, uh, what other JRPG’s has Sony made in Japan that they haven’t released here in the last few years? You make it sound like they have tons and tons of unreleased roleplaying games in Japan. Can you name them?

          • SolidusSnake

            The PS3 is in no way, shape, or form the console for JRPGs this generation, neither is the Wii or 360. Yes, the PS3 has a few more JRPGs than the others, but it is still a pittance compared to the wealth of JRPGs on the DS and PSP.

          • @Solidus – When most people say “console,” they mean one of the home systems. It’s undisputed that the portable systems have more JRPG’s than any of the consoles, but the DS and PSP are traditional referred to as “portable” or “handheld” systems while the PS3, 360, and Wii are referred to as “console” systems.

            So, when someone says the PS3 is the console of choice for JRPG fans, they’re telling the truth, as the use of the word “console” specifies that they aren’t counting the portables.

          • SolidusSnake

            @Charles Lupula — ok, but the fact remains that – in America at least – the PS3 only has a few more JRPGs than the other current gen home consoles. Since Gust and Nippon Ichi seem to be the only ones making great PS3 exclusive JRPGs, I can hardly see it as some kind of oasis for JRPG fans.

            Conclusion – the HD generation of consoles has been teh suck for JRPGs. Thank god for handhelds.

          • malek86

            I never said anything about the hardcore though. The whole “hardcore/casual” debate doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I don’t really believe the Wii can’t be aimed at hardcore (although, a look at Nintendo’s own commercials would make you think otherwise, so maybe you do have a point…).

            I just said it would be nice if Nintendo gave us a higher resolution for our games. They don’t even have to look good or with a gazillion dolars budget, just make them the same but in higher resolution. It’s all I need. We’re in 2011 now, darnit. I can still easily watch 1920’s B&W movies, but a Blu-ray restoration would be much appreciated. That’s what I mean. Image quality, not technical quality. And you can’t really have image quality with a 480p source on a HD monitor.

            As for the whole JRPG debate, well. I have little doubt that, if we’re talking about non-portable consoles, most of the focus will be on the PS3 from now on. Maybe not as exclusive, maybe as exclusives, it still doesn’t matter. My point was that you don’t have to have a HD-like budget to make RPGs on the PS3 or 360. Look at Neptune: it sold around 70k copies and was deemed a success. Yeah, it also reused assets and had crappy graphics. Notice that there’s no rule against doing that, so long as the game sells.

          • @Solidus – Well, I didn’t say it was comparable to the PS2 days. It’s not a paradise, but it is a pretty nice field.

            You’ve got White Knight Chronicles, Disgaea 3, Ar Tonelico, Atelier Rorona, Neptunia, Demon’s Souls, Last Rebellion (not a great game, but it does still count), Cross Edge, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Disgaea 4, Valkyria Chronicles, FF Versus XIII, Tales of Graces F, and personally, I’d count the Yakuza series as well for PS3. Please note I’m only counting the US here (which is why I’m giving 360 Tales of Vesperia as an exclusive).

            For 360, you’ve got Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Tales of Vesperia, Last Remnant, Magna Carta 2, and Infinite Undiscovery.

            So, it has a least twice as many exclusive JRPG’s than the other HD system. If you count multiplatform titles to both of them, there are actually a fair number of PS3 JRPG’s. Nowhere near the PS2 days and definitely nowhere near the portables, but noticeably more than 360 and way, way more than Wii.

          • @Malek86 – I brought up the hardcore thing because I honestly believe that calling someone a “graphics whore” is a negative code word for the “hardcore.”

  • Dimentionalist

    *sigh* I love JPRGs. That’s an unfortunate blow.

  • Not hard to see why, I mean Red Seeds Profile/Deadly Premonition was a catastrophic bomb, selling barely over 1000 on PS3 and less than 1000 on the 360 in its first week, and NMH HD barely did any better than the Wii version on each platform.

    • HarryHodd

      NMH was a over a year late port without much added that outsold the Wii version. Red Seeds Profile looks like crappy PS2 game. None of this holds a candle to what they’ve put on the Wii, which was often underwhelming in the sales department and part of what got them in trouble in the first place. Oh but somehow they continue to put exclusive games on the Wii. This company just keeps making bad decisions.

      • I swear sometimes when you tell Wii owners the facts of life, it feels like you’re telling an eight year old that there’s no Santa.

  • PrinceHeir

    aww man can they at least show us some pics? oh well sucks this game got canceled i wanted to see what it looks like :

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