Playism Will Bring Indie Games To Japan, Doujin Games Overseas

By Ishaan . May 12, 2011 . 5:15pm

Osaka-based game localization and marketing firm, Active Gaming Media, are creating an international indie game distribution and funding platform, titled Playism, aimed at both Japanese and overseas independent game developers looking for a platform to release their games through.


The Playism website launched in Japan this week, with its launch titles focused on providing PC/MAC indie titles to the Japanese market. Amongst the early games on the service at this time are Amanita Design’s Machinarium and Zachtronics Industries’ SpaceChem, both localized into Japanese. AGM are providing localization services at minimal cost — or in some cases, no cost — to developers in exchange for timed exclusivity to the Playism service. Negotiations leave room for other arrangements on a case-by-case basis, too.


Going forward, this will work in reverse as well. While Playism’s launch titles consist primarily of indie games developed overseas and translated into Japanese, in the future, AGM will also localize and publish doujin games developed in Japan for the overseas audience through the service — but there’s more.


The Playism initiative also introduces the concept of crowdfunding to Japan, in order to support original game development by independent creators.  Active Gaming Media say that the goal is to “bring users closer to the creative process” and find new ways to share what makes games and their development interesting.


At the moment, there’s a single crowd-funded title being developed through Playism, titled Desi Leaves Town. The game is a story-driven puzzle adventure, and is being developed by Pajamahouse Studios, with staff in both New York and Tokyo. In the future, Active Gaming Media hope to open up crowdfunding to more developers.


“We want to both make it easier for developers to get their products in front of people across the globe, as well as do right by all parties involved, which is to say, give a fair deal to all of our partners in development, and to all of the users of our site,” said Planning Director, Daniel Levine.


We’ll have a short interview with Active Gaming Media, providing more details on the Playism initiative on Siliconera tomorrow.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Phlo

    Spacechem? Japan is in for a treat. I’m looking forward to seeing what we get in return, too.

  • I sincerely hope #Playism will be successful in both sides of the Pacific.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    Carpe Fulgur now has competition. This could get interesting.

  • So a little bit competition, then?

    I welcome it. >:)

    On a really serious note, though, I do approve WHOLEHEARTEDLY with the idea of E-to-J localization. I’ve actually gotten a couple of queries from folks about us helping with that, and it’s broken my heart to tell them that CF really isn’t set up to such a thing – at least not to the level of quality that we demand of ourselves. I’ll need to hear some reports of the quality of the loc efforts in these titles first, but it looks like I now at least have someone to point indie buddies to if they want to release something in Japanland.

    So good luck to Playism, I hope this pans out!

    • TrevHead

      Looking forward to any new PC doujins you bring to steam. I hope either of you guys translate Fortune Summoners Deluxe and Despariaso that dungeon crawler by PlaintiveDespositif

      And ofc Crimson Clover or Hellsinker, Its a crying shame that Steam hasnt one single half decent shmup, just tons of twinstick shooters with the same neon graphics and crappy euroshmups.

      Come on chaps! :p it doesnt take alot of work to localise arcade games, and its obvious Valve and the indie gamers that buy all that crap wouldnt know a good arcade game, even if it slapped them in the face. Its gonna take a publisher thats afiliated with them to show them what great games theyre missing

      Still I might be moaning but my thx go out to any publisher that localises doujin games on the PC. Or any Japanese styled game. I think its one of the strangest things how the Japanese industry continues to ignore worldwide PC games, when its obvious to everybody else that there is demand and a market there

  • Vino (Tim N)

     I hope they don’t try to be too ambitious and tackle too many projects at once. That could be messy, but I really do like their purpose and should keep an eye on what they have to offer in the future!

  • JustaGenericUser

    This oughta be good. Watch out, SpaceDrake!

  • godmars

    Just hope they polish them up if they need it. 

  • Thanks for this information! I saw SpaceChem’s localization announcement just today, and was quite curious because it seemed so out of the blue.

    GREAT choice to start out with.

  • PrinceHeir

     yes please :D

    shumps on PC would be awesome O_O

    • The entirety of Touhou… in English!

      • PrinceHeir

        yes please!!! 

      • TrevHead

        wont happen, ZUN doesnt want Touhou overseas or as a commercial venture 

  • Oh my~ I must say, this excites me :3 

  •  I know doujinshi refers to fan-made comics, usually, but I’m not sure about doujin games. Are they just indie games, or fangames…? If it’s the latter, wouldn’t that have a lot of copyright issues?

    • Doujin games can be both original games as well as games that deal with existing properties. AGM told us they plan to be very selective with doujin creations. :)

  • This… is actually really really cool. I hope it works out for the best.

  • TrevHead

    Noitu Love 2 would be a fantastic game for publishing in Japan. The guy who wrote it Konjack, is one of my fave indie devs. Its a shame that he seems to be going through a slump and cant seem to finish any of his new projects. Maybe some recognition and cash from Japan might be what he needs. Chalk or that unfinished remake would also be great on the DS / Wii

    I know im plugging but I really would love to play a finished Iconoclasts or Chalk 2

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos