Nippon Ichi Opens Two Game Development Subsidiaries, Cancels One Key Title

By Spencer . April 1, 2011 . 2:16am

imageWe’ll get the bad news out of the way first. Nippon Ichi announced to investors that an unannounced title was canceled, which caused the Disgaea developer to absorb a 14 million yen ($167,000) loss.


Even with this loss, Nippon Ichi expects sales and operating profit to soar past expectations and that’s thanks to Disgaea 4. Retailers have requested additional shipments of the PlayStation 3 game, which increased Nippon Ichi’s total sales to 2.1 billion yen ($25 million) from 1.9 billion yen ($23 million). Operating profit jumped from 143 million yen ($1.7 million) to 278 million yen ($3.3 million).


Some of these earnings will probably be used to boost their new subsidiaries. Nippon Ichi opened Nora and Counterstop, two studios, built with game developers in mind, designed to create original titles in the consumer video game space. Nippon Ichi has three other subsidiaries: NIS America, ClaDun developer System Prisma, and Studio ToOeuf, which is led by Disgaea artist Takehito Harada. With all of these studios, Nippon Ichi hopes to be able to release four major titles each year.


That’s in the future, though. Right now Nippon Ichi is focusing on releasing additional downloadable content (free and paid) for Disgaea 4. The publisher plans on strengthening download services in Japan and overseas.

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  • I wonder what title it was gonna be, that got canceled? Always sad to know something was in the worlds, but was shot down. :(

    Though I’m glad that they’re actually doing better in general, now. It’s a good sign that Disgaea 4 did as they hoped it did! :) I can’t wait to get it this summer!

  • I’m betting the cancelled game starred Asagi.

    • Sad sad Asagi, almost got her own game, but then this happened. the running gag continues, for eternity. ;_;

    • Even if it didn’t, they should just say it did, to keep the joke going.

  • I hope getting expanded on psp games helped them too, hope to see more games close to blue roses

    • NetscapePizza

      PSP is the perfect platform for their games, for the sleep function alone.

      I got a PSP only a few months because (mainly for NIS titles) and I tend to wake it up when other games are loading then do a few moves in disgaea and sleep it again

      • Yeah, i seriously consider the psp great, if it wasnt for piracy/umd maybe it could had been close to ps2 level. i love it, it always feels good to play on it.

  • d

    who cares about discrapia, make a better game

    • The saddest part of your post is that you probably think that was witty.

    • Hurr durr Imma trolling.

    • Barrit

      And all this time I thought the “d” stood for “Disgaea” :(

    • Time to make a new Disqus account! :D

      • DanteJones

        What we in the Siliconera community like to call… JUSTICE!

  • Very excited about Disgaea 4. Very happy for NIS that it did well and hope it does well for them here too.

  • Methylene

    As long as the cancelled title wasn’t the LP sequel.

    … though at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if that already got canned.

  • And people were claiming Disgaea 4 did not meet expectations…time for them to eat thine words, as one always says, “be not wise in thine own eyes.”

    Anyway, hopefully this means tons of DLC content for D4 and a faster release in the US. I can not wait. 4 Major titles? So I am guess a Disgaea port or off shoot each year (portable each year, console every 3 years?). I wonder what their other major series are? ZHP?

    • HarryHodd

      Makai Wars? I’d love to see NIS do a traditional RPG or SRPG with Disgaea 4 graphics.

  • malek86

    Their problem is that they seem dependant on Disgaea. It’s like Squenix in a fiscal year without Final Fantasy: their profits crumble.

    Cladun 2 sold little, and their other new IPs before also had a hard time. Now Disgaea 4 has raised them again, but for how long? Should NIS try and expand a bit, in order not to have to rely too much on just one game? Is that even feasible for a small japanese publisher at this time in this kind of market? They could perhaps take a page from Idea Factory, who seems to be in better shape and without a particular focus.

    • Pichi

      Hard to picture what they can do next. They tried many new IPs and the market doesn’t seem to bite on them. Hope their next offerings will attract more people.

    • They should continue to do what they do and reach profitability by enhancing the quality of their products instead of releasing more. They can survive by appealing to their niche market and fan base. Its not like they need to sell millions of units of their software to sell. They should also continue to focus on lower developmental cost alternatives such as titles releasing on digital services. Lastly, to get profitability, dont focus on multiplatform development as that increases costs.

      • malek86

        That is partly true, but remember that being in a niche doesn’t mean that you have to stand still. As the market evolves, so does the niche, and so should you.

        Going digital is a good idea, as maybe would a focus on online, and maybe also a focus on smartphones (Cave seems to get a kick out of it). Lower development costs can probably only go so far, unless you want to go the Neptunia route (which might damage their image a bit). Yes, I too would avoid multiplatform, because it doesn’t look like it would be profitable enough.

        Maybe I would change my focus a bit. The PSP looks a bit saturated now. Maybe the PS3 would be a bigger market at this point. The 3DS too, since it’s just been launched there’s a big untapped potential there. It would be important to get there before the competitors.

        • NetscapePizza

          I half disagree with going digital being a good idea. I think they might benefit going digital in the west but in Japan I think their audience is more bothered about sense of ownership and collection. Seen how obsessed geeks over there get over box sets and special editions.

          Really hope they don’t go smartphones, gaming on those is absolutely horrible.

          • The problem is that Japan only seems to care for Disgaea, which was Malek’s original point, I think. It would be nice to see NIS (not NIS America, who are attempting to do this already) branch out and not rely as much on the same kind of games/brands. ClaDun is nice that way.

  • HarryHodd

    Cant wait for Disgaea 4 to hit the west. I think it might surprise us. Also absolutely can’t wait to see what PS3 title they come up with next.

    • Truly a surprise indeed, though I cant resist looking at all the players media, it looks so awesome.

  • MizuMikomi

    Nora and Counterstop?
    Not very N1-esque if you ask me, and considering what today is… yeah, I won’t believe it until I see an official statement or something.

    If it were true… I am willing to bet that the canceled game was yet again Makai Wars.

    • Cancelled again?

      • MizuMikomi

        Indeed, Makai Wars is supposed to be Asagi’s game, but every time its be re-announced, N1 also ends up canceling it or “Putting it on hold, indefinitely.”

        However, I still don’t believe this article, and I won’t until this day is over.

  • Looking forward to D4, I’m glad more content is being made for it.

  • Maxwell3000

    I picked up Z.H.P. last fall and its my second NIS purchase after Makai Kingdom. Personally I really enjoy it. I have never gotten into the Disgaea, but hearing that the Unloosing Ranger may make a cameo in 4 has raised my interest.

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