Our Fan-Powered Interview With NIS America’s President Part 1

By Spencer . June 30, 2011 . 6:40pm

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NIS America has a big year ahead with a mix of new kinds of games such as Bleach: Soul Resurrección and Cave Story 3D plus fan favorites like Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland and Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. Disgaea 4 being a hit in Japan with retail reorders helped Nippon Ichi grow as a company. Our focus in this interview with Haru Akeanga, President of NIS America, is how NIS America can further expand in North America. As usual, I brought along reader questions to our talk.

 

Judging by the reader questions and requests on Siliconera, people are asking for remakes, perhaps remastered versions of NIS games.

 

Haru Akenaga, President: Our games use dot graphics and are impossible to remake in HD. We would need to redraw the graphics again. In that case, it is not easy work to do HD remakes. We’re going to think about other ways to reproduce our titles.

 

Perhaps, you can work on this idea for [PlayStation] Vita?

 

Hmm… good point. Actually, we already announced there are some titles in development for Vita. This news was released in Japan.

 

nisint2

 

While it has been announced NIS America would bring Imageepoch titles overseas, we haven’t seen any games yet. I was wondering if you could clarify what’s going on between the two companies.

 

They are only making PSP titles [right now] and it is tough to sell PSP titles in the U.S. market. Their titles are really good so we want to push titles and sell more of them, but in that case we have to wait until they develop games for other formats.

 

Is there no hope for Black Rock Shooter? A lot of people, my readers included, want it.

 

I know, I love it! I want to do it.

 

NIS America has a very strong relationship with Gust. We heard from some of the fans that the delay between Japanese and North American releases are too long. Do you think it’s possible to release titles, like the core Atelier games, a little bit faster?

 

Actually, I have a question for you? We’re going to release the next game in the Atelier series, Totori, in the fall. If we released the next one in March, don’t you think it would be too soon?

 

gust1

 

Wow… now I’m on the spot! Now I know how it feels to do these interviews!

 

This is one of our problems. We released the first title in September, so that’s why the next one should be expected around the same time for users. Maybe one title would be released a year.

 

Our second problem is Gust has less than fifteen employees. All of their employees are working on another title in the series for Japan. In that case, they always release their new titles in June in Japan. March, April, and May is crunch time and that’s why we can’t work on localization. That’s a problem because the Atelier series has such a large amount of text. We need to take at least three or four months to translate all of it. Once we get a text file from them after they make a master disc, it takes about four months to get the translation done. At that time Gust is getting busier and busier on the new title, which is why they stop doing localization or work other than the next new title. We have a choice to ask another company to localize it, but basically they don’t want to give users a version they didn’t fully develop.

 

If you really think we should release the Atelier series earlier, we will think about it.

 

I’ll ask my readers about it, since their united voice is more useful than my opinion alone. [So, what do you think, readers?]

 

So about Disgaea 4 for Xbox 360… I know NIS America has been an approved Xbox 360 developer for so long one of these days you’re going to bring an Xbox 360 game to the market. And Disgaea 4, being one of the bigger NIS titles…

 

[Laughs.] We always ask the developers [at Nippon Ichi] to develop an Xbox 360 version. Especially with Disgaea 4, you know about the 50,000 minimum guarantee Microsoft has?

 

Yes, I’m aware of that.

 

Out of all our core titles, maybe Disgaea 4 is the only title that can reach more that 50,000 units for Xbox 360. That’s why Disgaea 4 is a big chance for us to jump into Xbox 360. I asked them to make an Xbox 360 version all the time last year.

 

So, it’s not going to happen?

 

The headquarters need more staff. They have only 80 employees and there is no Xbox 360 market in Japan. The priority is always there. NIS America will continue to ask them to develop for Xbox 360, but they have to make a decision to do so. It’s a complicated market. Actually, they still want to make PSP titles.

 

For the local market in Japan, the PSP is quite popular.

 

If they have time to develop for Xbox 360, they would rather use the time to develop titles for PSP. That’s the situation.

 

In America, it’s difficult to be a PSP publisher and Nippon Ichi has been a very strong supporter on the system. Have you considered releasing PSP games for PS3 untouched, even with the same dot-graphics?

 

Sony would not approve that.

 

What if you put two games on one Blu-ray? You could have ClaDun: This is an RPG with ClaDun 2 or Z.H.P. with another title. Or put all three on the same disc and have a triple pack?

 

We thought about bringing PSP titles for PS3 for the US market, but it is tough to do. Last year, we released Z.H.P.[: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman] for PSP. Before that we tried to port PSP [games] to PS3. We wanted to release Z.H.P. on PS3 in the United States. Because Sony has really high standards for quality assurance we tried to improve the graphics to match a PS3 standard from the PSP title. We tried to do so and tried to convince Sony, but unfortunately our graphics were not up to par.

 

If it was straight localization we could have released the title in summer of last year, but because we tried that’s why both titles were held until winter last year. We tried hard.

 

Read part two where we talk about Bleach, their plans for anime, and touch on Makai Wars here!



  • http://twitter.com/Linka13 Linka

    While I don’t mind waiting for Atelier games to come /out/, I do want NISAmerica to be more prompt on whether or not the game will be localized or not. I get that companies would rather announce such things closer to when they feel it will be released, but fans would rather know what’s going to come up instead of the information being withheld! The best way to build up hype for the games, after all, is a steady release of information concerning the games, even if it’s over the span of months!

    • Rarutos

      But see, if they did that then the situation similar to Rorona last year would come up. They announce it’s coming out, and then they won’t be able to release too much information on it until near the release, so we nearly had to wait half a year for more info on it. Personally, I’d rather wait until they announce it closer to when they’re going to release it, so fans won’t get so bickery at them for not saying anything about the title if it’s still far off from release.

      I mean… Look at Final Fantasy Versus XIII… Aren’t fans getting a little impatient? It was announced years ago, and yet it’s still not out (Not even in Japan!). I’m sure lots of people are saying they want it to come out already so that Nomura can finally start working on Kingdom Hearts III instead or something. :o

      • http://twitter.com/Linka13 Linka

        People saying that Nomura should work on KHIII instead is a constant anyway. XP Everytime a Square-Enix game with his name attached to it is subject to that, though Versus XIII I guess is a decent example. I’m looking forward to it myself!

        But I just feel like, in terms of localization, people would rather know as soon as possible if something is going to be released here or not. There’s a definite climate of fear when it comes to niche games like these, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people were scared that Totori was never going to see the light of day in America. At the least, PS3 games have more chance of being released than PSP games– we don’t have La Pucelle Ragnarok, we don’t have Criminal Girls, it’s pretty much guaranteed we’ll not get Blue Roses, since it sold so poorly (though I blame the fact that it came out during a big release period), and Princess Antiphona’s Hymn: Angel’s Score OP? Like we’ll get that, we hadn’t even heard a peep about it, so I assume it wasn’t very popular. I don’t even remember seeing the sales for it, and looking it up, it was 20th on the list the week of it’s release. Not very good. That and it’s a Marl Kingdom game, so that pretty much seals us never getting it.

        But it’s due to these kinds of titles never coming here that people fear, “will we get it? Will we not? Is there a reason why we wouldn’t?” It makes people want to know anything they can about a localization.

  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    I wonder if NISA will just have to branch out and get PS3 titles or 360 titles from outside of NIS. Cant wait for the Bleach part though, one of my most anticipated games of the year.

    I wonder if they would really sell that many Disgaea 4 on X360 though.

  • http://twitter.com/FuyuhotaruX Kururu

    =o
    take your time with localizing games 
    getting par localization is better than having rushed ones

  • OverlordFuka

    Oh wow I had no idea their company was so small! Kudos to them and Gust for all the hard work! Also, if you could be bothered, ask if they’ll ever translate the Disgaea Light Novels. XD

    It’s really too bad Sony didn’t approve of the graphics, though. Graphics don’t make the game, I think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Jay/100001526135754 Will Jay

    Makai Wars?

    oh wow

    Anyway, I still want to see Soul Nomad on the Vita some day…

  • Rarutos

    I do think that they should release the Atelier games a little bit faster, but only because it seems like they drag it on for quite a while (and other games come out a lot faster between Japanese and American launch from them). But I can see why they can’t if GUST is busy. As much as I’d love to have Meruru faster than next fall, if can’t be done by then, I will be patient!

    Besides, if it ensures that the localization will be high quality and up to par with all the other NISA titles, then I will be happy. Although it is kind of grating that the Gust titles seem to take longer to release yet seem to have more spelling errors, glitches, the like than titles like Trinity Universe…

    Of course, I could be wrong about that. I haven’t played Neptunia yet, but I assume that since it has a full dub, the spelling and grammar would be more spot on than those like Ar tonelico which has a few notable errors here and there. :o

    • https://twitter.com/RaiohV ShinkaRaioh

      Neptunia doesn’t have full dub though. Only story parts/important scenes(though yeah there are a lot of them) are dubbed, side quests for example aren’t. The same as Ar Tonelico.

  • FStubbs

    I’m as big a Gust fan as they come, but no way on NISA rushing translation of their games. We don’t need another situation like Ar Tonelico 2.

  • HarryHodd

    I’m fine with releasing titles on a yearly basis. I was happy when Totori was announced for this fall.

    As for developing on the 360 I just think 360 fans are going to have to buck up and buy a PS3 if they want to play all the console JRPGs that cone out of Japan. The console actually has a sustainable market for them unlike the 360.

    • http://twitter.com/furdworetzky Fur Dworetzky

      There are plenty of JRPGs for 360. In fact, for the longest time there were far more for 360 than PS3. As for sustainability, FFXIII sold over a million copies for the 360 version.

      But I do agree that if you want JRPGs, it’s probably smart to buy a PS3 at this point in time. Still, the PS3′s JRPG library is tiny when compared to the PSP’s.

      • HarryHodd

        PS3 library is not tiny compared to PSP when you compare what’s localized to what is likely to be localized. Companies are dropping the PSP like crazy it seems.

        Also I don’t think you can say the 360s million sales for FFXIII is sustainable when the PS3 version sold over 4 million. It may not quite pan out with smaller titles and it certainly cant sustain JRPGs on it’s own as has been shown this gen.

        • SolidusSnake

          American companies are dropping it. Everyone in Japan is still all over the PSP

          • HarryHodd

            Correct.

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        Yet, there’s almost 20 exclusive JRPG’s available for PS3 right now, as opposed to the five or six for the 360, with more of them on the way. In the beginning of this gen, yes, there were exclusive 360 JRPG’s, but that has changed a long time ago. The last exclusive 360 one was Magna Carta 2. Since then, it’s been all PS3.

        I bought a PS3 partly because of the support NISA had for the system. If people really want to play Disgaea on a console, they’ll buy a PS3.

      • kroufonz

        compared to today PS3 library the 360 jrpg are definitely not “plenty” , not to mention 360 now only have one JRPG title left for future release (FFXIII-2) while amount of PS3 title is not too tiny anymore and yes, PSP is the biggest heaven for JRPG:P

  • FStubbs

    Also, doesn’t the recently announced PSP -> PS3 engine built by Sony signify that Sony is now open to these kinds of ports? If not, then perhaps porting to Vita?

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    If you have the choice is always better to release them early… I mean, why do tomorrow what you can do today? (of course i imagine it may feel not much time is between each games releases, but well, i dont know how the marketing section works, still, there is no damage? they will eventually sell the same as if it was released some months later, i think… I dont really know what month is the best one to release game (when people get it day 1 mostly))

    And im really sorry to  hear that PSP games didnt do well for you guys, i got the games you released, ZHP, prinny (both) and of course Disgaea 2 <333 and whatnot.

    They were really wonderful games, is such a damn frinking shame, seriously. I hate it.

  • DanteJones

    This was an awesome interview, Mr. Akenga was very forthcoming with information as well which is cool on his part. The kind of vague answer for Black Rock Shooter was understandable. 

    I’d rather they took their time with localizing games! Better for it to come out later, polished and complete than sooner with possible text/glitch problems.

  • Ladius

    Dear NIS America, don’t change your ways, and always take your time to localize a game in order to give us a polished title (I’ve seen a big improvement in quality during the last years, and every title edited by Nick Doerr is a joy to play). I don’ think anyone want rushed translations, or an Atelier game bombing because the fanbase is still burned from the last episode. One every year is great, especially since many developers have still to release a single hd jrpg this gen (Atlus, I’m looking at you).

    If anything, I would like them to partner with Aquaplus and localize the Tears to Tiara games, since they are right up their alley both regarding gameplay and art direction.

    • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

      What if, that is what i think, they are done translating the game early, but they wait months for the reason he mentioned.

      It doesn’t really feels, with what he said, they would be rushing their translation either if they were to release it in March

    • kroufonz

      i would also love NISA to try to partner with Leaf/aquaplus not just for tears to tiara but also their other bigger PS3 Visual novel like To Heart 2 DX plus, and Utawarurumono 2.

      especially to fill long time between atelier game release:p

      • Ladius

        Utawarerumono 2 would be fantastic, but realistically speaking it could be difficult to handle since the first one has been ported only to PSP, with the PC retaining the eroge original. Tears to Tiara, on the other hand, is going to have two main chapters and the gaiden entry on PS3, and it could easily be localized without breaking any continuity.

  • landlock

    This 50,000 minimum guarantee thing that’s mentioned what is it?

    Does it main the company has to agree to make 50,000 copies of the game before there allowed to release it?

    • kroufonz

      the company must print 50k copies for first run if they wanted to release the game on x360

      • HarryHodd

        That’s likely the reason why niche PS3 exclusives don’t go multiplat.

        • landlock

          huh? I never knew that there must be alot of spare copies of games like MorphX and Crash time floating. There’s quite a few small XB360 games I can’t have imagined selling 50,000 copies. 

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      I’ll step into clarify. A publisher would need to print 50,000 copies of a game to bring it to retail for Xbox 360.

  • HistorysGreatestMonster

    NISA stay the way you are. Take as long as you need to localize a game. I’d rather get it right than get it fast. And don’t put Disgaea on 360.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      If you do this again, I’m going to ban you.

  • http://twitter.com/Saculogir Saculogir

    Wow, Gust has less then 15 people working on their games. The fact that they have such little man power and yet their games turn out so spectacular is amazing! O_O

    Also, Nisa my love, just keep on doing what your doing they way you want to do it. You have always been my favorite localizing company, and you have never dissapointed me! I already have my yearly game budget set up so that I will be able to day one your Atelier games!:D

    Now, how about some Atelier Meruru PSN avatars? I love my Disgaea 3 ones, but I would really love to proudly display my love for all of your series.~

    • HarryHodd

      That blows me away a team of 15 just had thier biggest selling game in Meruru at 82k+. Very happy for a small dev team like them.

  • neo_firenze

    As long as they actually DO release localized Gust games, I’m fine with waiting longer.  Heck, I’m still backlogged as it is and going back to the PS2 Atelier games.  If holding them back causes any risk of the games not coming out at all (i.e. PSP market in the US dying off by the time they could localize), I’m certainly not in favor of that though.

    As for PSP… really, even PSN only releases aren’t feasible?  It feels like we’re missing out on great stuff in Japan where the PSP is so strong, and I’d love for there to be some way to get localized versions even if a full retail release isn’t practical.  

  • sockem

    Haru Akenga’s interviews are always great!  He gives information no one else gives out.  I’ll keep buying NISA games just so he can give more interviews.ヾ(≧▽≦)ノ

    Regarding Gust games, as long as the quality doesn’t suffer, release dates closer to the japanese dates would always be great. News and buzz stays fresher and less time for spoilers to get around. And of course the longer you wait, the more outdated the tech will look to the uninformed.

  • Guest

    Ugh, no. Don’t port Disgaea or any NIS America games to Xbox 360. I’m tired of all of these multiplatform games, each system needs their exclusives. Their needs to be competition between companies.

    • http://twitter.com/ifarah12 Gren

      There’s no reason not to share the Disgaea love with Xbros.  I think we’re forgetting we’re all gamers and gamers shouldn’t divide themselves by platform who cares if people who play the 360 can enjoy Disgaea

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        I look at it this way: why should you get to play it if you didn’t buy the system it was on in the first place? I bought a PS3 purposely so I could play NISA games. If you want to play them enough, so would you.

        If I really, really want to play, say, Blue Dragon, guess what I have to do? I have to buy a 360. 

        • SolidusSnake

          That is ridiculous and you know it. Nobody would lose out if PS3 owners got the opportunity to play Blue Dragon or Lost Odyssey. You are only trying to artificially inflate the value of your PS3 at the expense of other gamers. Everyone wins with multiplatform, face it.

          • HistorysGreatestMonster

            No, multiplatform gaming has been the biggest problem with this generation. Look at the Wii U. Why should anyone buy it when all it’s going to get are PS3/360 ports? However, if third party exclusives were still strong, maybe there would be a host for that particular system that would make it more enticing to a potential consumer.

          • SolidusSnake

            I love how you bring out the theoretical prospects of a console that hasn’t even been released yet to prove that multiplatform gaming is the scourge of this gen. So where in the Dead Sea Scrolls did you read that multiplatforms killed off the Wii U? If people buy it, they will buy it for the exact same reason they bought the N64, Gamecube, and Wii: Mario and Zelda.

    • http://twitter.com/Paradox_me Paradox me

      Having exclusives just for the sake of exclusivity is silly. A platform’s features and first-party titles are enough to promote healthy competition, there’s no reason that most third-party titles shouldn’t be multiplatform, assuming there’s profit in it for the developers.

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        As I said before, if you wanted to play NISA games, you should buy the system the NISA games are on. They shouldn’t have to cater to you when they’ve already got a fanbase. A fanbase that will feel quite betrayed if they were to move to 360 development. Why did I bother supporting them in the past if they’re just going to do what everybody else does?

        • SolidusSnake

          They don’t have to cater to Sony fanboys either if they can make money selling it on the 360. :3

          • Lord Highawesomeparty

            Not as much since they’re relatively unknown on other platforms. Why do you think we only got one Disgaea game on the DS?

          • SolidusSnake

            Probably because a) the DS is fairly unpopular among adult gamers in the west and b) the DS port of Disgaea was significantly inferior to the PS2 and PSP version. NIS would have a good opportunity to increase their notoriety in the west if they reached out to 360 owners. In Japan it would flop of course, but I bet they could make a pretty penny selling the 360 version on the US market.

          • Lord Highawesomeparty

            Sure those two are part of it, but the major factor is because of the brand notoriety. NIS publish games for The PlayStation brand so 90% of their install bass will own the PlayStation products they create game for and the otter 10% won’t.

            They’d have to publish a lot of games on Nintendo and Microsoft consoles before they could become much more well known on those platforms and at this point in time they really can’t afford it. Cross Edge Dash and Disgaea DS are perfect examples of why.

            I say we’d see Disgaea Wii U or 3DS before seeing it on one of Microsoft’s consoles since Cave Story has helped gain them a bit of a Nintendo following.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Well we dont know if they can make that much since theyd have to higher more people in JPN for development of a 360 version. Even getting 50K seems like a huge risk involved, when they could spend more time making PSP games or even PS3 games. For a small publisher etc it seems safer to do one platform versus two.

            For the PSP side, well they should at least have better planning with the JPN side to make games for both PSP and PS3 versions…plus the X360 fanbase seems more concerned with dance games, sports games, and fps…

          • SolidusSnake

            Well, you’re partly right Tsuna; it would be a bit of a gamble, since NIS has never published a game on the 360 (yet). But if they could reach out to 360 users it would be a big deal for them and a good opportunity to sell more of their games. The 50k issue is more of a problem in Japan, where not many people own a 360.

            Also, you really shouldn’t stereotype 360 owners like that. Yes, shooters sell more than many other genres, but that is because it is a favorite genre for many American gamers, including PS3 owners. I believe you yourself have professed to be a fan of Black Ops on this site in the past?

            Of course, if NIS can’t get the manpower to do the 360 port I can live with it, but I would love to see them reaching out to more gamers and making more Disgaea fans in the west.

        • http://twitter.com/Paradox_me Paradox me

          I’m sorry, but a fanbase should not feel “betrayed” because more people will be able to experience a game, nor is it the developers concern. They should cater to anyone that’s interested in their games and make them part of their fanbase so long as it’s financially viable.

          PlayStation 3 players will still get their game, just that more people will be able to enjoy a developer’s wonderful games as well. It’s win-win.

          Edit- Bah, this was meant to be a reply. Seems my replies are posting as new comments quite often lately. D:

      • DanteJones

        I agree, more money for the developers we like means more games from the developers we like.

    • SolidusSnake

      BS, end console segregation!

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        There should be more, not less. I’d like to see particular genres limited to particular systems, myself. That would make the choices between consoles very clear and all these fanboy fights would end. If you wanted FPS games, you’d buy a 360. If you wanted JRPG’s, you’d buy a PS3, etc…

        • SolidusSnake

          lol, that would make console wars even more violent if anything. Besides, why would developers possibly go through with that when they can make more money and spread their fame by selling games to the broadest audience possible. Sony fanboys are so delusional.

          • KyoyaHibari

            Meh, I can live without shooters really, as long as I got my Rachet & Uncharted ;P.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

            would’ve been better if you said Rachet & Drake.

            [edit - was the comment i replied to deleted?]

          • HistorysGreatestMonster

            I like how the guy who said that he keeps his PS3 in the closet “where it belongs” is calling other people a fanboy.

          • https://twitter.com/RaiohV ShinkaRaioh

            Maybe he does not want to waste room space with 2 giant consoles? I do the same with the Wii and Xbox, does that mean I’m a Sony fanboy? I don’t think so dude.

          • SolidusSnake

            Hmm I believe you are out of arguments. Like most people, I keep things in the closet when I don’t use them regularly. It seems you are just offended because I don’t keep your favorite console on an altar in my living room. If it makes you feel any better, though, I still have my PS2 hooked up, and I’ve been considering investing in an altar or shrine for my Big Boss edition PSP.

          • DanteJones

            @SolidusSnake:disqus You totally should make a shrine for your PSP, the Big Boss edition is amazing. :O

          • http://twitter.com/ifhd ifhd

            it will cost more money with little gain 

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Well thats making the assumption that because a title is available on every platform it would sell better than if it were on just one. We can look to the spread of the sales of say COD:BLOPS across Wii/PS3/X360 and notice that it sold multimillions on the HD console and may not have even crossed 1 mln on Wii…It sold so little that the Wii doesnt even get the DLC content.

        • http://twitter.com/ifhd ifhd

          It will save on development cost and developers will know where the fans are.

    • HistorysGreatestMonster

      You are 100% right. The multiplatform trend has been the worst thing to happen this generation.

      • AdamBoy64

        Yes, it’s important for competing products to differentiate from each other. I can’t imagine how this market would work if all products offered the same thing. You might just pick the manufacturer that offered the colour you like.. lolz.

        It’s kind of what worries me about the Wii U as well.. I worry about how many straight ports we’re going to see from 360/PS3, and what the ratio of ports to original games will be.

        I remember reading the words of Miyamoto in regards to the Wii’s weaker capabilities, “Too many powerful consoles can’t coexist. It’s like having only ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight and hasten their own extinction.” (http://buswk.co/5o7de8).

        Perhaps a strange analogy, but I think there’s some truth behind it.

    • KyoyaHibari

      Wow lol, last time I made a statement like this no one even understood my point >.> but I completely agree, if every console had the same games, there would hardly be any competition it would all be a matter of choosing the superior hardware, but I just hate that feeling when your side of the console has a great exclusive franchise and then it just goes multiplatform so you lose the pride of knowing that only your console has those games (cough* Storm 2, FF13, etc cough*).  Still, the ones that remain are usually ones to be proud of (Here’s hoping for Demon’s Souls 2 for PS3 only :D).

      • malek86

        Wrong. Competition would still brew. In fact, it might force developers to make better games, if they all had to compete among each other, instead of simply saying “oh well, we’ll make an exclusive games, and fanboys will gobble it up just for that”.

        And console games are just about the only market where you need a specific brand medium to play them. It’s very stressing. What would happen if it were like that in other markets too? Imagine these situations:

        Dude 1: hey, how about we watch a movie tonight?
        Dude 2: cool! What do you have in mind!
        Dude 1: I was thinking about that Avatar movie, we’ll go rent it right now…
        Dude 2: uh… sorry, but we can’t. I don’t have a Samsung player. That movie won’t work on my Sony.

        Or wait, also this:

        Dude 1: so where do we go on vacation this summer?
        Dude 2: Iowa seems like a nice place.
        Dude 1: but we can’t go there. They won’t let Toyota’s in there. You need a Ford. Apparently they have some kind of exclusivity deal.

        Mind you, it’s not like cars and DVD/BR players don’t have a lot of competitions in their respective markets, so it’s not true that there wouldn’t be any. So I don’t see why consoles can’t be like that too. Competition would be defined by first-party games and by the features/price every console offers. Heck, it might be even better for us, since console makers wouldn’t have us by the throat.

        What surprises me the most is that, while in any other market an exclusivity deal would be seen as outrageous and cause a general outcry, in the videogames console market it’s not only accepted, but some people even welcome it with open arms.

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          What do you mean? We have exclusivity deals with online video stream services and its getting fierce. Sure some may offer the same content but they all have exclusive content and people arent complaining about having to pay for each service to see what they want. If every console were to have the same third party content, I honestly dont think some of the companies could survive etc, especially smaller ones. Wouldnt that mean every company would need to increase in size for learning to program on three systems, embracing three online setups, three times the licensing fees, three times everything? 

          I think developers already make the best games they can within costs. Exclusive content brews good ideas, and allows developers to just be focused on one platform and ignore wasting time with trying to get their game to work on other architecture that may or may not be limited. Imagine if in this gen, they tried to get FFXIII to work across Wii, PS3, and 360…There were even difficulties with getting say NFS HP on Wii and COD: BLOPS.

          • malek86

            The system would work if all the consoles were the same, therefore developers would only have to make one game, which would then work on every console. Essentially, instead of having three different console, you would have the same console, but made by different companies.

            Kind of like the same deal as movie disc players, really. All movie players have pretty much the same hardware and can play all movies. Why couldn’t consoles be like that? What’s more, it would actually brew competition. Without huge investments needed to enter the market and secure developers, any brand could choose to make their console and thus increase the chances of a price war. And finally, exclusive games are the reason why console prices stay high: because people can only buy that game on one console. Why do you think Nintendo never lowers their prices? Because they know people who want Nintendo games have no choice but to buy their console.

            A bit out there as a theory, but still. It would work a bit like the PC. Except without the piracy (since they could still be closed systems).

            Now, for comparison, today’s situation is like when there was the format war HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray: some movies only coming out on one format, and people who wanted to have all the movies needed to buy two players. Try telling me that was a good situation for the consumer. In fact, when the format war was finally over, there was a collective sigh of relief. How comes videogames are viewed differently?

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            I dont think we can compare it to movie players, since they arent getting any sales beyond the initial sale of the box unlike game consoles which for the creator generate more sales (IE Samsung doesnt make movies thus they only get that initial sale of the DVD player). I also highly doubt game companies will resort to using the same architecture for the system, same as all cars dont use the same parts and such. 

          • malek86

            Royalties seem a bit unfair to me anyway. They are only there because S/M/N can afford to put them, due to having closed systems. Nobody pays royalties on PC games.

            Without royalties, developers would have lower development costs and a lower entry barrier. And maybe we also wouldn’t have rules like “we don’t want 2D games on our console”.

            Of course, this is all hypotethical. But I think there would be some advantages. Of course, disadvantages too: without an entry barrier, the market would get flooded with titles. But that should be taken care of by the high development costs of today’s games, which would still create a selection process among companies.

          • KyoyaHibari

            That’s what I was debating a few months ago on a different page, but with so many game developers making a coalition, there already is a ton of people working together behind each and every game for $60/game X the number of copies sold divided by the number of employees would lead to even less income for the individuals, that’s why people have to break off into other companies promoting competition. For example, if all game developers and employees worked behind Nintendo, that’s like thousands, possibly tens of thousands of people trying to get income from $60 games and $300 consoles and everyone would probably be broke. That’s why there must be a differential in the gaming industry. In terms of that DVD Player and Car restrictions thing, I find that is a matter of secondary opinion and restriction, with DVD players, it is all about quality, price, efficiency and design, I don’t think there is anyway to limit what kind of DVDs work on whatever DVD players, it is mostly competition around those areas, of their own respective hardware, not the movies themselves, the DVD players enable all DVDs without limiting rights or anything. It’s a bit different than having a different interface, controls, licensing, experiences and what not, but I see where you’re coming from. As for the vehicles, I don’t think that would necessarily be possible unless you consider the type of energy supply like electricity>fuel as opposed to certain vehicles considering the residence doesn’t have any rights to manufactured things unless the residence was owned by that company I would think, and unless it would affect the economic or environmental status of that place, I don’t see the reasoning behind making such restrictions, but again, interesting topic.

  • Wackoramaco87

    Thanks for the interview! A lot of things are much more clearer now (ie: why we won’t get some of the the Ateliers’, etc) and yeesh, didn’t realize how small Gust actually is. Kudos to them for bringing out amazing works with such small numbers! While I would love to have more than one Atelier title per year, I can see where he is coming from.

    Can’t wait to see the second part!  

  • kroufonz

    Personally i want it released faster (if they can), the wait time is quite long and often loosing quite amount of hype or interest because of the long time frame and could lose some sales that could be generated through that hype, this day and age we can get news easily from japan, and make the hype of previous game often overshadowed by newer one, especially when the newer game look shinier and have so much impovement.

    but considering the situation, I don’t mind NISA taking their time, so long as :
    -The game still have japanese voice!
    -Nisa publish several other core japanese console/PS3 title between that time frame (mainly JRPG or maybe VN)

  • Lord Highawesomeparty

    I really don’t think Disgaea would work on the 360. From what I’ve seen the RPG market on the 360 isn’t really that big, and if gamers are looking at RPGs they’d probably buy a PS3 or a PSP.

    I also think it’d just not work since PlayStation gamers are more familiar with the series than Xbox or Nintendo gamers.

    Plus Disgaea just feels like it belongs on the Sony consoles. It’s kind of like when your so used to playing with a certain controller then you use a different one. It just feels awkward.

    • badmoogle

      “and if gamers are looking at RPGs they’d probably buy a PS3 or a PSP.”

      How could you forgot the DS?The system spits one JRPG after the other.

      • Lord Highawesomeparty

        Just slipped my mind, probably due to the fact that when I go to GameStop I only see Cooking Mama, Shovelware, and Mario on the DS rack. I sort of forget the amount of JRPGs on the system.

        I usually only play JRPGs on my PSP since I prefer to have voice acting – which isn’t usually found in high volumes on the DS.

    • http://twitter.com/Paradox_me Paradox me

      People thought the same thing when Final Fantasy made its debut on a
      PlayStation console, and again with the announcement that Final Fantasy
      XIII would also be on Xbox 360. Yet Final Fantasy VII became synonymous with JRPGs and Final Fantasy XIII was the fastest selling entry in the series.

      There was a fairly aggressive push for JRPGs on the Xbox 360 early on. I think there’s still an audience there.

      • kroufonz

        it is fastest selling sure but still can’t beat FFXII despite being multiplatform

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        But the PS3 version still outsold the 360 version in every market, including North America.

      • Lord Highawesomeparty

        But this is Disgaea, it’s nowhere near as well known as Final Fantasy (unfortunately) and if E3 has taught us anything in the past two years it’s that Microsoft’s target audience is fans of first person shooters and Sesame Street. Trying to compare the two is like comparing McDonalds and Steak n’ Shake: in concept they are essentially the same thing, but one has a much larger install base.

        And as people have said below, Final Fantasy XIII sold MUCH better on the PS3 (maybe because it was on one disc or since the JRPG fanbase was already established there)

        Most of the gamers who adopted a 360 expecting things like Tales of Vesperia or Eternal Sonata to be released frequently have probably jumped ship to the PS3 or Wii since there are a lot more games like that on the systems.

        Of course there is also the problem that these are JRPGs and the 360 has zero life in Japan at this point.

        • KyoyaHibari

          Yea, I initially bought a Wii, and they produce mostly crappy kiddy third party games so I kept my Wii for later and got a 360 seeing how they had Vesperia, Eternal Sonata, Infinite Undiscovery, etc, shortly afterwards, RPGs became scarce on 360, and there weren’t that many good games I liked coming out anyways, and so I sold my 360 and got a PS3 which was probably my best decision with so many good games PS3 has now.

    • FStubbs

      The RPG market is huge on the 360. If you’re Bioware or Bethesda.

      • Lord Highawesomeparty

        Both of those are American and Fallout could also be considered an FPS.

        JRPGs are not very popular with gamers on the XBOX 360

  • kroufonz

    oh and I’d rather have NISA broader they library outside jrpg (jrpg should still be their main dish) from PS3 mainstream anime stuff like bleach to PS3 visual novel title , instead of making 360 game with the possibility to bring both NISA and NIS go down (because combination of that ms 50k stuff and possible backlash from the the fan in both japan and overseas)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rudy-Soto/100001518601121 Rudy Soto

    15 employees huh…? I guess I know where to apply if I ever want a job as a game designer in Japan… >w>
    But I never really played an Atelier game other than Mana Khemia, but reception the Siliconera community has with it really encourages me to buy it.

    • Ravage27

      Unless you are extremely anti-moe, give Rorona or the upcoming Totori a try and i’m sure you will be converted like i was (despite me being more of an action-rpg and Nomura fanboy)

      There’s substantial depth in the alchemy mechanics, a refreshing take on prioritisation, a positive cheerful vibe that is missing from modern games, as well as some of the best game music i have ever heard. All in all, there’s lots to like :p

      • FStubbs

        People who scream “non-linear” or “tired save the world plots” should look at these games too.

  • epiphaniesarefun

    Thanks for the awesome interview :)

    And thanks Nisa, for being your awesome self, I always make a point to pre-order and buy day one with your releases.  I’m looking forward to hearing about Makai Wars, too.

    I’m content with keeping the Atelier games once a year — it takes me a while to get through them as it is :P

  • SolidusSnake

    Wow, I’d love to have Disgaea 4 on the 360 ! If you guys can manage it, then by all means do it. There’s no reason why the 360 can’t get some love from NIS.

    • http://twitter.com/NeverUnplaying Sonny Oliveira

      Very true, if other small JRPG developers can go multiplatform, so can Nippon Ichi. I would kill for Disgaea 4 on the 360. 

      • kroufonz

        I believe no other niche jrpg dev go multiplat, other than idea factory/compile heart no other niche developer go multi platform (cmiiw), and even them only release 360 only game at the start of the gen, while porting some stuff like agarest1/zero and cross edge one year after PS3 version (this before 2009), and now ( 2010 and future) looks like they are already focusing on PS3 only (neptunia, agarest 2)

        with that 50k copies req it is very risky for niche dev and could cost their life.

        other small dev have multiplat jrpg :marvelous go RF:TOD PS3/wii multiplat, and acquire PS3/PSP/3DS with class of heroes 3.

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        Funny how you’d kill for one game, but you can’t just, you know, fix the PS3 you already have to play it.

    • HistorysGreatestMonster

      If you want the game that badly, why don’t you buy the system it’s coming out for?

      • SolidusSnake

        I do own it. But I would much rather keep it in the closet where it belongs until Totori comes out.

        • AdamBoy64

          So you don’t want to play it because it’s on PS3, even though you own one? That is awesome – taking fanboyism to the next level.

          • SolidusSnake

            Nah, I’m still getting at least 2 copies. ;)

            I’d rather have the option to get them for my 360 though.

          • Ravage27

            You aren’t hiding your fanboyism very well tbh, in fact it is crystal clear to most of us here.

            Regardless of what you think about the PS3, it is the system which will be getting all the mid-tier and niche JRPGs because that is where the market is right now. The vast majority of JRPG sales comes from Japan and JRPGs sell best on Sony’s platforms, that’s an undeniable fact.

            Like i said earlier in this article, these niche developers have very limited resources and can ill-afford to piss away their money/time on loss-making ventures. As of now, 360 ports makes zero sense due to market conditions.

          • SolidusSnake

            @Ravage27:disqus No, I am just getting attacked because I am in the minority of gamers here who prefer the 360. Sony fans are the one showing their supreme bitterness by their absurd statement that NIS should not even bother with the 360, even though there are plenty of 360 users who play RPGs. Otherwise why would Aksys bother with the 360 version of Agarest? If you people were telling the truth, they are losing gobs of money and should only put out the PS3 version.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            I think its more that people are in doubt that they could do the right amount for Disgaea or even get the JPN branch to go full on with developing it for it. I thought people said Agarest was a special case since they couldnt get it to come out on disc on the PS3? Arent you at victim for assuming theyd make tons of money by putting it on the 360 and that there are just as many Disgaea fans who only own 360 as there are fans on PS3?

          • Ravage27

            It’s ok to have platform preferences (we’re only human after all) and i understand it can be frustrating when someone attacks something we like.

            I’m not sure how Aksys manage to do it but in the case of Gust, their paltry total of 15 employees have to run a tight schedule to keep pace with their Japan PS3 releases and they have to do localisation work on top of all that. Asking them to port over their games to other platforms is economically unfeasible, the opportunity cost is simply too great.

            Then there’s the issue of fanbase, as these kind of games sell primarily to a dedicated fanbase. Unlike NIS, Aksys 360 games have an audience in Japan and it only make sense for them to bring them over too since the porting and translation work are already done. It’s quite different for NIS partners who publish exclusively on Sony’s platform.

            I’m sure these conditions are common in all the niche dev houses including Cave which develops exclusively on the 360 not to mention the many american indie XBLA devs who doesn’t publish on PSN.

          • malek86

            @Ravage27:disqus  what you are saying is true. However, cut him some slack. It’s nothing new.

            I mean, like you said, right now Cave must have its reasons for developing exclusively for the 360. But that’s never stopped PS3 owners from complaining “hey Cave, where’s our games?”.

            Complaining about stuff you don’t have it’s only normal, but I wish people would understand that if they complain, others have the right to complain for their own interests too.

            Mind, I’d rather people not complain at all, and accept what they have. But that will never happen.

          • SolidusSnake

            Man, @malek86:disqus  too? You guys are busting my balls for nothing. I never even complained that Disgaea wasn’t on the 360. All I’m doing is encouraging NIS to pursue a path that they have already expressed interest in. Are you guys really that biased? Jesus H. Christ.

            Like I said, I’m already getting the game anyway. But the NIS prez himself said he wanted Disgaea on the 360. I am just pointing out that he is right to do so, since it would open up the series to a lot of RPG fans who don’t own a PS3, or who would prefer to play it on the 360 such as myself.

          • DanteJones

            @Ravage27:disqus  Where in Solidus’ posts do you see this crystal clear fanboyism? All hes said so far is that he would like to see Disgaea 4 on the 360 so more people can enjoy it, and if you’re referring to the “in the closet where it belongs” statement not everyone has the room to have multiple consoles laying out at a time. I know I sure as hell don’t, my PS3 is huge so I’ve got the 360 put away until the time comes when I want to play it again. He’s also never said that he wanted the game at the cost of the developer. Is it wrong nowadays to HOPE for something?

          • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

            Same thing could be said PS3 fan, so please don’t go into the fanboy topic (it’s already a problem around here I believe). There are some people who prefer to buy games for their main platform while using the other to buy exclusive game they are interested in. I don’t see the reason why I should get a game for this console when I can get it for the console I mainly play. So it’s either use one console as a main and the other console to play exclusive games. It’s most likely the only reason why people buy the same generation console.

          • Ravage27

            Here’s the thing, the developer themselves have already answered the question why porting is not possible i.e. limited resources.

            What i don’t understand is why as NIS fans, you would rather see them losing money on unprofitable ports when you already own the platform they are releasing their games on? Minor inconveniences aside, there is nothing preventing you from supporting them and playing their games.

            Mind you, i feel the same way about those whining for PS3 ToV from Namco (aside from those who geniunely want the hefty extra content exclusive to the Japanese PS3 version).

          • AdamBoy64

            Yes. I’m sure there’s probably a few PS3 fans out there who do the same thing. So, yes, it wasn’t my intention to start a fanboy topic.

            It’s quite unique though.. to complain about a game not being on a particular console when you own both in question. It’s a nice problem to have.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

            @Ravage27 – I guess I can’t really reply directly to you. I would rather see them produce more newer games than releasing an existing game but on another platform (ie, cross edge dash, Vesperia ps3). But to be honest, if i haven’t played the first version of a game and they release a superior version for another platform, then I will obviously get the superior version.

        • HarryHodd

          You could be playing JRPGs on it though. Ar Toenelico Qoga or Trinity Souls of Zill O’ll come to mind.

          • SolidusSnake

            Already played Ar Tonelico. Don’t give a damn about the other one.

          • HarryHodd

            Your loss

      • http://twitter.com/NeverUnplaying Sonny Oliveira

        Mine PS3 doesn’t read game disks, so it’s a designated movie player. Disgaea is not big enough to warrant a fix. 

        • Ravage27

          You might want to reconsider because it’s very likely that you would need a PS3 to play future JRPGs not named FFXIII-2 from now on.

          That means you are going to miss out on big-budget blockbusters like FF Versus, Tales of Xillia, Ninokuni, WKC2, Tales of GracesF as well as niche JRPGs like Disgaea4, Atelier Meruru/Totori and Neptune MK2.

          I assume you are a fan of Japanese games in general (why else would you post here?) so you can add The Last Guardian and the Yakuza series to that list.

        • HistorysGreatestMonster

          Just a crazy idea here, but maybe you should fix it.

      • malek86

        If only people thought that way about TOV too, we wouldn’t have had all those discussions.

        Anyway, I don’t see NISA moving to the 360 right now. There’s probably just not enough of a market. Although… if the porting costs are low enough, they could always try and see how it goes. Since they haven’t published a single game yet, they can’t really say for sure.

  • xhunter

    They should take a year for Meruru too, since it seems rather complicated to try and release it faster. They should try and release them faster starting Gust’s following game though. =)

  • Hours

    RE: Meruru

    They should take as much time is needed to make sure the localization is high quality and glitch free. If that means it takes longer, then so be it.

    As for wanting games for the 360, I’m not sure why they’d want to go in that direction. It’s not really known to be the system of choice for RPG gamers.

    • mikanko

      Xbox 360 has a pretty decent sized install base in the US and Europe, and last I heard was still ahead of Sony.  It’s not exactly the same as Xbox/PS2 days anymore.  Titles like FFXIII, Agarest Senki, End of Eternity  etc. wouldn’t be seeing releases on the Xbox 360 if publishers didn’t think the games would sell.  Even if such titles do probably sell better on PS3, more copies sold are more copies sold.  Obviously Disgaea 4 on 360 would be good for NISA because hey, money is cool.

      • Locklear93

        This.  The cost of the second platform in cross platform development is significantly cheaper than the cost of the first.  The second platform doesn’t need to sell as well as the first for it to be worth it.  This is why there are so many fewer third party console exclusives these days.

        That said, a poster above said Disgaea 4 was built on Phyre Engine.  If that’s true, it complicates things for cross platform.  The cost savings are founded on the fact that you don’t have to do the same development on both platforms.  With an engine that doesn’t support anything but PS3, the port becomes much less trivial.  If cross-platform isn’t part of the intent from the beginning, I don’t know that it’s really feasible.

        I wouldn’t mind if NISA were to try and get rights to localize some of Japan’s 360 exclusives that we’ll never see here otherwise, like Idolmaster. <_<

        • malek86

          It’s not impossible to port a game without a middleware, but it would be significantly more difficult (and expensive). That’s why I don’t think they’ll do anything with the 360 for now.

          Besides, even if they could, they would still need to see if there is a big enough market to justify a port. Probably not.

          Maybe if they were in a better financial situation, they could give it a try. Right now, however, I don’t think they can take many risks.

          • Locklear93

            Yeah. I work for a multi platform developer/publisher, and there are enough console specific issues as it is, using the same engine. Doing it with two different engines would be a nightmare. Not to mention likely platform parity issues which would just cause fans/fanboys to RAEG.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    I guess that explains why we won’t get anymore handheld Ateliers. :/

    Oh well, I guess if that’s the case, it literally can’t be helped.

  • IceRomancer

    What a great interview! :)
    I’m fine with them spacing out the atelier releases.

  • https://twitter.com/kcgst Karu

    Disgaea for 360…what is this feeling? …hope? … nah

  • epy

    Its downright depressing to hear about the PSP not being a viable option from the president of NISA himself. Japan keeps producing great titles on the PSP we cannot even hope to get because of localizing companies thinking of it like the Plague.

    If at least we could get Valyria Chronicles III. I mean… its a freaking Valkyria Chronicles game!

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      SEGA. Whats that supposed to mean? Was VCII a massively huge selling game in the western world? Market conditions of our fellow gamers are leading to these things…

      • https://twitter.com/kcgst Karu

        It seems they are more interested in developing games from super hero movies that in a few months after release will be in the bargain bin for $10. So if they are gonna have a loss, why not at least doing it releasing something more decent like PSP2 Infinity and of course VC 3 ;-; ?

  • Shadow_Raskolnik

    I always love these interviews Siliconera has with the various niche publishers and developers out there since it gives us greater insight into the inner workings of our favorite companies.

    Nonetheless this interview still left me feeling a little cold since almost every answer was a big no or not going to happen. The biggest disappointment is the news about the imageepoch PSP titles, I mean seriously at least look into releasing at least two of them just to allow the gaming public to get a feel for imageepoch games. As for the rest of the interview it was very interesting and informative. While I may not be a big fan of Gust games it’s nice to hear how NISA are taking their time to localize their games rather then rushing them.

    Hopefully one of the future questions in the next part of the interview will deal with NISA’s increasing love for DLC. I mean seriously a lot of the stuff they have as DLC could probably have been included into the game at the beginning and it’s starting to feel like one big scam to me nowadays. Nonetheless as I said before nice work and I look forward to reading more in the future.

    • kroufonz

      it’s not really set in stone yet so there is still hope

      especially Sony just officially announce “PSP engine” for dev to use(name for psp HD remaster engine)

      • malek86

        Yes, yes, I can see it.

        Sony: now, with this engine, you can easily port PSP games to the PS3, and with added features to boot!
        NISA: great! We always wanted to port Badman to the PS3!
        Sony: *cough* of course, they have to be 3D games. I shouldn’t even need to tell you.
        NISA: but… oh well, I suppose a ZHP port would be fine too.
        Sony: oh, of course we meant full 3D. No sprites or anything.
        NISA: but… what can we publish then?
        Sony: God of War, Metal Gear Solid, Monster Hunter… stuff like that, you know.
        NISA: we don’t have any of those titles!
        Sony: oh. Why are we even still talking then?

        • Yukito

           Wow, that sounds pretty spot on. I don’t know if you can get any more precise with that.

      • DaFool Visualnews

        I hope the next part of the interview directly addresses NIS plans for using the “PSP engine” to port popular Japanese PSP games to PS3 in the West, even if they end up just being downloadables on PSN or having a compilation limited edition. (e.g. 3 imageepoch games on 1 blu-ray disk with artbook).

        It’s precisely because of the “PSP engine” that I’m holding off on Vita purchase (since the games will most likely have a PS3 version as well).  So my next logical purchase will be a 3DS once we have localized versions of Beyond the Labyrinth and Senran Kagura (as if, ha!)

        Mr. Haru Akenga are you listening?  Please don’t sit on the Imageepoch licenses — upscale them for PS3 and sell them on PSN supplemented by LE compilation disks!!!  If the dot sprite graphics aren’t accepted by Sony at the very least the 3D games such as Black Rock Shooter should!

  • animaster

    NISA might want to try pushing the translation work to the fans. I mean … you know, there are a lot of anime fansubbing out there, so I think we could the same on game localization (sans the free distribution, obviously). NISA could offer the translation job online (with some non-disclosure agreement or something) and fans who know Japanese could take the job.

    Just my 2 cents though.

    • Guest

      But the translation isn’t what’s causing the long turn around times, it’s the coding.

      • animaster

        Quoted from the interview:
        ” … That’s a problem because the Atelier series has such a large amount of text. We need to take at least three or four months to translate all of it. Once we get a text file from them after they make a master disc, it takes about four months to get the translation done.”

        Isn’t the translation itself taking so much time? (three to four months)
        Well, it applies to Atelier series though.

  • http://twitter.com/Zhemos Jason A

    I like how meruru was semi confirmed for localization. ^^  Can’t wait to hear their plans for anime. 

  • kupomogli

    NIS.  You could always leave it up to the fans whether the game will see a limited print UMD release and just leave the remaining copies digital distribution only.  Maybe keep a few hundred copies back and sealed, sell them “rare and sealed” five years from now and you’ll get your profit :D. 

    What I mean is just like Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman What Did I Do to Deserve This?(even though not a NIS developed game,) you guys should put a preorder up for a minimum of a certain amount.  Maybe Cladun and Cladun 2 together on one UMD for $29.99.  Even though Badman’s preorder thing failed, I preordered it and was hoping to get the game.  I really appreciate the Badman/Badman 2 release though.

    Also. Prinny is NIS’ best series. Please ask them to make a Prinny 3. If there’s no chance at release on the PSP then on the Vita instead.

    But you know.  When a niche publisher won’t release games on the PSP due to piracy you know things are bad.  :(.  It really sucks because the PSP is getting some great looking games now and we’re never going to see them.  If the 3000 and Go were never hacked we may have had a chance, but now everything is able to get custom firmware. 

    “They are only making PSP titles [right now] and it is tough to sell PSP titles in the U.S. market.”

    He’s talking about you.  You know who you are.  Unless you don’t read this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/strawberry.kurosaki William Hsia

      not to mention apparently they have these things called singed EBOOTs, games which i heard work on Official firmware PSP, im not gonna risk it to check if it works since i disapprove of pirating 

  • BelmontHeir

    Great interview that sadly confirms a lot of fears that gamers have. In the west, PSP is a dying breed – and graphics are still king for Sony. :/

    • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

      I think you’re forgetting that PC gaming market still exist. You can optimize the graphic in-game to have better or worst graphics than the PS3 or X360 counterpart. That is if they decide to release the console version after the PC (looking at you Crysis 2). Seriously I get what you mean about Sony.

  • KyoyaHibari

    Whether or not 360 truly IS the shooter console, I don’t think there will be much profit making Disgaea 4 for 360 considering there’s hardly no one in Japan with a 360, the people that still have 360s after the decidedly decreasing amount of RPGs are probably the shooter fans and I think if there was anyone who had a 360 wanting RPGs, they probably would’ve gotten a PS3 by now, considering there is barely any RPGs on 360 now.

    • Ravage27

      Exactly, there’s already an established NIS fanbase on the PS3 and they are the ones who make up the majority of NIS sales. Releasing these niche NIS games on the 360 makes no business sense since they would be roundly ignored by an audience who are outside that fanbase. Mainstream gamers simply do not buy the niche games NIS specializes in.

      NIS partners like Gust has only 15 employees and hence very limited resources which they have to utilize wisely. Pissing away their money on useless ports instead of making profitable PSP games is sure-fire way to sink the company and i’m sure no one here (outside of irrational fanboys) wants that. NIS decisions have nothing to do with console favouritism, just common sense.

  • mikanko

    While NIS games are dot graphics, is there any reason the image epoch games couldn’t be re-released as PS3 titles? 

    As for Mereru, a year between titles is fine, it just feels so long because Rorona didn’t come till 15 months’ish till after the JP release.

    • malek86

      I hear TotlP wasn’t particularly well received, so maybe that’s the reason they aren’t thinking about it.

  • Yesshua

    Hey man, since you asked:

    Let them spread out the Atelier releases however works best for them.  I really really appreciate that throughout this interview NIS provided not only answers, but justifications.  He gave good reasons why localization follows the current pattern for that franchise.

  • malek86

    If they don’t intend to release PSP games here, why did they even strike that deal with Imageepoch?

    The only effect this is having is that, should another company want to bring them here, they couldn’t do it because NISA has the exclusive.

    Couldn’t they have waited until they made at least one HD game, before striking that deal?

  • http://www.twitter.com/Celedin Celedin

    Wow, great interview! I had no idea Gust was that small – it’s impressive that such a small team is able to deliver the quality of games that they do compared to other bigger developers! As for Meruru, as much as I’d love to get Meruru sooner, it seems like it’d be a lot easier for NISA to just doing it yearly.

    • Ravage27

      Same here, i’m really amazed a team of 15 could produce 3 great Atelier games in quick succession. And the fact that they insist on doing the localisation work themselves for quality assurance makes it even more impressive than it already is. Namco Bandai and NoA really should be ashamed.

      Great interview from Siliconera as always. After learning what their localisation process is like, waiting a year for Atelier Meruru is perfectly reasonable and i’ll stop complaining now.

      • Guest

        Their dedication would be great if it weren’t for the fact that they tend to introduce bugs into their titles when they do the localization.  Honestly, it might be better if another company handled the localization coding, because Gust seems spread a little thin IMO

  • Crimson_Cloud

    Nice interview and you can totally say that the fans are happy whenever we get Meruru, just that we get it. Yes, waiting is a pain but at least they should take their time and do the quality translation.

    If only we would get every game that Japan get even after 5 years, I would be a happy. So many good titles left deep below the sea. PSP, I’m looking at you…

  • Xeahnort

    “So, it’s not going to happen?”

    It’s understandable that Disgaea 4 still a PS3 exclusive. D4 is being built on Sony’s PhyreEngine. (an engine created by Sony themselves, available for free to developers who want to create PS3,PSP or Vita games ).On the other hand, N1S is a small company and they cannot afford to develop for both platforms.

  • HistorysGreatestMonster

    I think it’s very telling about the loyalty that NISA have accumulated, that PS3 owners are angered by the fact that he said basically, “We wanted them to do a 360 version, but they’re not going to do it, so there won’t be one.” The very idea that he even thought of a 360 version threatens their fanbase. I think it’s because we as gamers are very passionate about our hobby and many of us practice not so much console loyalty as developer loyalty. Many of us bought PS3′s just to be able to play NISA games, and to us, buying a PS3 was not so much to support Sony, but to support developers like NISA. To many of us, we feel that if you wanted to play NISA games, you went for the system they were on. 

    I was on the fence about which current gen system to buy until Disgaea 3 was announced as a PS3-exclusive, so I went with PS3. For them to disregard that would be for them to say, “Thanks for supporting us previously, but we’re no longer interested in our original audience. Those other guys have money that we want more than yours.”

    It would be sad to see Microsoft’s 50k become NISA’s 30 pieces of silver.

    • malek86

      Whew. If that’s the currently accepted idea of gamer, well… in that case, I’m glad I never called myself a gamer.

      • ForeverFidelis

        Well he has a point…to a point.

        If I hear that Nippon Ichi is gonna be developing PS4 games exclusively, particularly Disgaea 7, then I’d be more inclined to buy a PS4 than an Xbox 720

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Charles, is that you?

      • SolidusSnake

        I’m not trying to throw fuel on the fire or whatever, but did Charles get banned? I haven’t seen him around for awhile… the pro PS3 / anti-handheld agenda of his got on my nerve occasionally but he seemed like an ok guy.

  • SirRichard

    Gust has less than 15 people and they’re developing retail PS3 titles? Oh wow, that’s impressive.

    Also, it’s a shame NISJ doesn’t want to give the 360 a shot, but it’s at least understandable given their home market.

  • http://twitter.com/daxterclank Daxter Clank

    Nice interview!

    What is the 50,000 minimum guarantee from Microsoft anyway?

  • cmurph666

    This interview made me think about the time when Squaresoft used to be my favorite RPG maker.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y4E3MUV5ZOA35D2C3BNYS474WI Humberto Urías

    please, ask them about La Pucelle Ragnarok and the new port of Makai Kingdom

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I guess you’re new here. :) We’ve asked about La Pucelle Ragnarok in the past before, as it’s a topic that’s been brought up several times on Siliconera. NIS America won’t be publishing the game.

  • Mister_Nep

    Giving the circumstances, the way NISA is releasing the Atelier trilogy is fine. I just think they should try something different for the next Atelier releases after this trilogy. See if something different works or not. Just experiment really.

  • http://twitter.com/RS_Free R S
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001559914929 Timothy Solis

    I’m fine with the progression of the Atelier series. 

    • http://twitter.com/RyougaZell RyougaZell

      Somehow I knew you would ;)

  • ForeverFidelis

    Is it too late to make interview suggestions?
    ‘Cause I just thought of the possibility of Disgaea titles being ported to the PC. A lot more likely than being ported to the 360

    • malek86

      Unlikely. The PC is pretty much non-existant in Japan, outside of doujin games. And even in the west, there is not much history of SRPGs on the platform. Well, there’s turn-based strategy games like Civilization, but they are entirely different.

      Also, they are not very receptive of japanese games. Recettear had a good reception, but it wasn’t a full priced game. And as a heavy Steam user myself, I know I developed the habit of not buying anything over $15. I suspect many are like me, since we have been spoiled by the weekly deals.

      NIS would face an uphill battle, if they wanted to release full priced games on Steam or just PC in general.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      Way too late. This interview has been completed, we asked for questions a couple of months ago. Maybe next time!

  • keriaku

    I really, really REALLY hope we get Tale of the Last Promise and Black Rock Shooter. I didn’t think the PSP market was bad enough to convince publishers otherwise, if so this is a DISASTER. The PSP is wonderful and those games should see the light with english text!

  • tr1gun1212

    What exactly is the penalty for not meeting the 50k minimum sales on 360?

  • cj_iwakura

    Why would you not post the whole interview at once?

  • http://twitter.com/RyougaZell RyougaZell

    God f-damn it. So many great PSP titles lost because of a terrible market. Bah.

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