Retailer Says: Irem Stops Production Of Disaster Report Series Games

By Spencer . March 28, 2011 . 11:32am

imageFollowing the news that Irem canceled Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories, Japanese retailer Famicom Plaza reports the publisher will no longer re-publish past games from the series in Japan. This includes Disaster Report, Raw Danger, and the Japan-only PSP game Disaster Report 3.


All three games were re-released as PlayStation the Best titles or in other words they were "Greatest Hits" games in Japan. Disaster Report 3, originally released in April 2009, became a PSP the Best game back in February of this year.


This news has made quite a stir on Japanese blogs, but it does not mean Irem has outright shelved the entire series. They’re just halting production on reprints. Also, after awhile "the Best" versions naturally run out of circulation. While Disaster Report 3’s budget version is recent, Disaster Report was a PlayStation 2 the Best game back in 2004. Surely, Irem wasn’t reprinting copies of the PlayStation 2 game in 2010 or even 2009.

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  • They really are taking this way too personal… Something else must have happened…

    • Ladius

      Yeah, when I read the news my first thought was that maybe someone in the DR team lost part of hisher family in the tragedy and couldn’t stomach the game’s setting anymore :

      I hope Irem isn’t affected too bad by this decision, I imagine that eliminating a practically finished PS3 game AND the rereleases of the previous chapters is quite a blow.

      • Yeah, the first thing you said is what i thought too… ahh It’s really unfortunate…

    • Truly, what’s too much is too much. I could understand the cancellation of 4, but stopping the whole series as if it never existed is outright bad.

      Either like Ladius said there is some tragedy inside or something else happened, as this doesn’t make sense at all…

      • Well, they’re “just halting the production of reprints”, right? So while it is an overreaction, it’s also probably temporary.

  • kupomogli

    I agree with WildARMs. Irem is going a bit too overboard with the disaster. It’s bad and all don’t get me wrong(I donated also,) but canceling a game and then stopping production of the rest of the series is just way out there.

    The only good news about this is that maybe they’ll finally get to work on finishing Steambot Chronicles/Bumpy Trot 2.

    • Yeah, and let’s hope atlus bring the game too :P. But seriously, disaster report were pretty nice games with no evil intended…. There surely must be some weird reason.

      • Testsubject909

        You know, you could argue that removing the game prevents people from gathering some much needed knowledge that most people would not bother gaining on how to survive said disasters.

        You could argue that they’re taking away something that could provide much required tangential learning:

        It also doesn’t insult any personal sacrifices either. And you KNOW that there’s going to be some sort of hollywood-style movie made about this horrific event in the near future just to capitalize on the event, and it’ll go through with little to no trouble.

        • Suicunesol

          That would be incredibly inconsiderate if a film like that came from Hollywood. This is Japan’s crisis. If a movie is made about it at all, it should come from Japan–not America.

          The only other way I would approve of that film is if the producers donated all of their profits to Japan.

  • Yukito

    This is freaking sad….. like others, I understand a delay. A cancel for ZZT4 was a little over the line for me, but a complete halt on the games already out is just really over pushing it I think. At this rate, Irem’s company will end up going under. It will be a disaster reported over a disaster because of a disaster.

    • I want to stress the point I made below – two of the older games were re-released as PS2 the Best games awhile ago. These were probably not reprinted in 2010 or 2009 either. After some time passes, new copies of Greatest Hits games do not circulate in the market. People just pick up used copies at second hand retailers.

      • Chippel

        Not trying to be rude, but why was this reported in the first place? It truly is unlikely that 1-3 would have been reprinted anyway.

        As for the state of their games… It’s too bad. The product was almost finished, it had to have been a horrible financial loss for them. It’s unfortunate, but when you’re making a game based on things that could realistically happen, and does commonly happen to a lesser extent…

        • Right, and that was the point at the bottom of the article. Other sites are reporting this news is the end of the Disaster Report series, which isn’t correct. I thought we’d get that point across, but that seemed to have backfired a bit.

          • Testsubject909

            Quite… Well, panic spreads with much greater ease.

          • Chippel

            I see, I wondered if that was it. In that case, this is yet another reason why I follow Siliconera, however, the headline might have panicked people, as well as the logic part not being brought up until after they already have “DOOM” in their heads. Thanks for answering!

  • TTTT

    I have not played this game but maybe this could actually be used as an educational tool. Maybe have a crisis simulation mode that would teach people how to survive and help others in a real natural disaster.

    • Perhaps, but the games are rife with silliness and offbeat humor. That’s actually part of the charm of the titles.

      • TTTT

        That explains a lot. Now I can see why they would at least put the project on hold for a long time. Another game that was more like a simulator wouldn’t be a bad idea though.

  • Guest

    This is a Disaster! But thanks 4 Reporting it!

    ….Just slip me the game Irem keep it on the down low I won’t tell anyone I swear…

    • PrinceHeir

      lol :P

      anyway it sucks that they halted it but what can you do?

      hope they continue their other IP’s in the future and maybe go back in this franchise

  • maxchain

    Wow, even the backcatalog, huh? Suddenly I don’t feel so silly about Propeller Arena.

  • In hindsight, this news reminded me of #gta 3’s release, which was post-9/11, in which the developers made changes to the game.

    I understand if someone in Irem took it personally. Also, I wonder if they’d be OK with selling the IP altogether to another company.

  • Tokyo Guy

    I don’t think Irem is going “overboard” at all. Considering that the situation in Japan is getting worse by the day, what with pultonium leaks and now water contamination outside the plant, unsafe drinking water for infants as far away as Tokyo, total misinformation from Tepco…I think it’s in bad taste to release a game that is set in a situation like this, or to reprint others, don’t you?

    Or let me put it differently. How many Americans on September 28, 2001 would be upset if a game company decided not to release a product that involves domestic terrorism and the subsequent chaos that ensused? Hell, think of the controversy just with that Nicholas Cage movie years after. Same kind of thing. People are devestated. People are homeless. THOUSANDS have lost family members. THOUSANDS have been displaced by the nuclear situation. Yet apparently, it’s more important we all have games that let us virtually recreate this living nightmare.

    Seriously this attitude infuriates me. Why don’t you fly over to Japan and take a look at the areas that were hit by the tsunami. Walk around. Speak with those who lost their sibilings, their parents, their pets. Go to the shelters. Go to the reactor. Look at the boats that were thrown into mountains, or houses turned upside down. Take a good look. While you’re doing all this, make sure to openly vent your fustration to everyone how foolish Item is for not allowing you to explore a virtual reality of the situation so you can save people from their death and become some kind of otaku hero. See how much sympathy they have for you.

    Am I the ONLY person here who finds these kinds of comments unbelievable insensitive?

    • Wasnt there a movie about that already? 11 september… in some airplane most of the movie, i think i saw it.

      And besides, is not like this is the first strong earthquake japan ever had , for example 1995, why didnt they stop there? (or why did they even started, dunno when these games started)

      Of course i understand now is not the time to release those kind of games, i understand there is people suffering, i did what was possible for me to help, even if it really isn’t its fault (the game’s) all of this happened, they could at least release it 2 years later, not cancel everything.

      Can’t people separate real life from games at all?, if some random guy in the world suddenly can use magic and destroys some place with a lot of people, should there be no games related to magic at all now?

      I’ve always wanted to go work to japan when i graduate, now because of the earthquake/tsunami will i have to be in fear all my life to the point where i can’t go do what i always wanted to do? Even if is harsh, life keeps going on, and time won’t wait for nobody to stand up and catch up.

      Of course i can say this because i wasn’t affected, but im sure, if i was affected, i wouldn’t give a crap about games for a good while. So yeah… i think Irem is taking this way too personal, is not like they will now have to almost go broke. They could even have used that money to help….

      Even japan is also doing all their can to get into their feets again, is not like there is something we can do againts mother nature….. Also, i’ve seen a lot of rought things around Venezuela (my country) too, we are in the 4th spot of the most murders per capita we were im the first one not much ago… But we cant just stop that much, you know. It’s really hard to go out with how things are here, and if you have the time, compare the size of the countries on the first places and see how big they are compared to Venezuela -_-‘, ridiculous.

      Of course, for someone close to japan, this should sound wrong/indecent to you, and i respect that, you can insult me if you want, i’ve seen enough stuff that happened in japan (through videos/images, and im sure is not the same as being there though) and things are really bad, im conscious of it, and i really, really hope japan can recover, since is a country i really admire.

      But “permanently” cancelling a game wont do much either… We are just talking about a game…

      • Tokyo Guy

        I don’t think it has anything to do with separating reality from the imaginairy, it has to do more with what is and is not in good taste. Japan is an extremely passive culture, and even this issue is pushing the boundaries of tolerance with the misinformation and bad reporting. There have already been numerous protests in Tokyo. It seems to me that Irem is being responsible for its actions.

        Let me remind you of something: After September 11th, movies had to be EDITED to have the Twin Towers removed, because it was considered insensitive to leave them in. If not mistaken, Zoolander had to be recalled for this exact reason, and then re-issued. It’s hardly like Japan is somehow making this profound statement. And for reference, the movie World Trade Center came out in 2006, and yet STILL people had major problems with it. “It’s too soon”, “it’s trying to profit from the tragedy”, etc.

        If you want to blame anyone, blame the media for the idiotic reporting that goes into everything. The new game is put on the back burner for the time being. End of story. Instead, every single gaming site and blogger has to make some kind of post about it so that people can start arguing and complaining over a total non-issue. Just look at this site. Of all the posts here, I am apparently the ONLY one who is actually not complaining about Irem.

        I still don’t get it though. What is the big deal if people can’t play a silly game about wandering around a natural disaster site? Does this somehow affect life in a tangible way?

        • In fact, it wasn’t just movies. Metal Gear Solid 2 not only had the Twin Towers removed, but had an entire section of a cutscene removed, where

          *SPOILERS* Arsenal Gear destroys lower Manhattan *END SPOILER*

          Although I will say, as a New Yorker, I seriously disliked all that censorship. It was amusing to me that while movies were doing everything they could to try to make us forget about terrorism, the number one movie rental in New York was “The Siege,” which is about martial law being declared in New York City after a series of attacks by Islamic terrorists. Pretending that it doesn’t exist doesn’t make the problem go away.

          I can understand why Irem are doing this, though. But I couldn’t help but think of Japan when I ran into the tsunami references in Ar Tonelico Qoga and how, if the game was not the niche game it was, I could very much imagine those references being marked as insensitive by the mainstream media, even though all the localization was done before the earthquake ever hit Japan.

      • Tokyo Guy

        Look, I’m not trying to pick an argument with you in particular, nor am I trying to insult you. You are not the only one making these comments.

        It’s just that for someone who has actually experienced these things in a more direct manner, it’s difficult to find fault in Item’s decision.

        • Yeah…. i actually thought to better delete what i said, is not like there is a point on discussing this. You are right from your side too, this is something that really depends of people’s point of view. I dont see the need for Irem to take responsability for something that was not in the hands of anyone, but you are on your rights to say that that was the right thing to do.

  • HarryHodd

    I really want to play an Irem game this gen on a home console. I hope they can rebound from this.

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