Project Happiness Is A Nintendo 3DS And Mobile Game

By Ishaan . June 7, 2012 . 3:48pm


Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada’s next major game is Project Happiness. The game is a simulation title that involves running a store that grows over time. Natsume released a trailer for the game this week, which you can watch above.


For Project Happiness, Wada assembled a star team consisting of Pokémon illustrator, Atsuko Nishida, for the game’s characters and Nobuo Uematsu for its soundtrack. Today, we can also confirm what platforms the game will be available on—Project Happiness is in development the Nintendo 3DS and mobile phones for a 2013 release.


The news comes via the E3 Daily magazine that is published at E3. Natsume released a picture of it on their Facebook page, making the news public:


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  • Guess which version is better. The one on a real console/handheld. >:/

  • Shadowman

    Can I take a guess? Harvest Moon?

    • A guess at what? O_o? From what we know it doesn’t sound like a HM game though it is in them same vein of games like uh… the more action-y one…  uh… What is it… uh.. Rune Factory?

  • SirRichard

    I figured it would be on the 3DS; normally when a developer talks of trying to reach everyone, they pick a Nintendo platform, I find.

    Thing is, if it’s also a mobile game, does this mean it’s an eShop title, or is it going to be particularly pricy on the mobile platforms?

    • I would imagine there are probably going to be some differences between the two versions.

      • PoweredByHentai

        Were you guys able to ask them if they were inspired by Recettear?  One of the first things that hit me when I saw the trailer was Recettear, followed by one of those iOS apps where you manage a diner or bakery or something.

        • Why would it be “inspired by Recettear”? Isn’t Recettear itself inspired by a ton of games that came before it? This is the guy that created Harvest Moon, the grand-daddy of Japanese simulation games. :P

          • PoweredByHentai

            I believe that Recettear came out just before the hype and rage about iOS games kicked in.

            The reason why I mentioned Recettear has more to do with the fact that Project Happiness now revolves around managing a storefront as opposed to just managing a farm and Recettear is pretty much one of the first titles around where managing a storefront is the game.  The Harvest Moon series, by contrast, is more of a lifestyle/farming simulator where the end goal is to be a prosperous farmer who successfully marries a girl within a limited time frame.

          • I don’t think Recettear would have had any particular influence on anything, honestly. I don’t see why Wada would look to Recettear for inspiration, considering just how many successful social games there already are in Japan to draw inspiration from.

            In fact, Harvest Moon has already had spin-offs that have tried different things, one of them being store management. Harvest Moon: My Little Shop on WiiWare is a store management game, and that was released four years ago. 

            My point is: Would Wada look to other games for inspiration and little ideas here and there that he hopes to improve upon? Sure, all game creators do that. But I don’t understand why you brought up Recettear in particular, since that game didn’t do anything particularly unprecedented in terms of design. The reason Recettear made a splash in the west was because of:

            1. Its doujin status. You don’t often see these games come over in an official capacity.

            2. Its distribution model. Getting on Steam created a lot of buzz.

            3. Because the game managed to tap a new audience by virtue of being on PC and/or an audience that wanted games like it but wasn’t being served.

          • PoweredByHentai

            Harvest Moon My Little Shop came out in 2009.  Recettear came out in 2007.  I would say that Recettear is still the older title with the shop management mechanic.

            1.  So what if it is “doujin” status?  Many popular and mainstream IPs took inspiration from the “doujin” arena.  Rozen Maiden, for example, built the whole Alice game concept from Touhou’s Alice and the Touhou series is about as doujin as you get.  Vocaloid had a ton of doujin projects and that ended up being one of the most successful commercialized IPs around what with the Mikunopolis Concert here in Los Angeles last year.  Even Type-Moon started off as a doujin group and they ended up with one of the most intriguing commercialized IPs around.

            2.  So what about distribution models?  Every doujin group distributed their wares through conventions like Comiket or Reitaisai (Touhou-specific).  Comiket is one of the few places where even big-name artists and developers hang out to mingle and to sell their products, both corporate and private projects.  Look at Tony Taka; he runs the T2 Artworks circle.  Look at Carnelian; she’s a regular presence at Comiket.  Even the lead artist of the Valkyria Chronicles series, Raita Honjou, shows up at Comiket.

            3.  Recettear made a splash in the West because its game mechanic revolved entirely around profiting from haggling.  What’s that?  If you don’t make enough money to pay back the loan shark of a fairy, your house gets foreclosed and you live in a cardboard shelter?  Also: Capitalism, ho!

          • I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Just because some game came out before another game, it means the other game had to have taken inspiration from it, even though the two are completely unrelated beyond the type of game they are? 

            There’s never been anything to suggest any kind of connection at all between Harvest Moon, Wada and Recettear, so I don’t understand why you’re going on about this other than for the sake of arguing. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Wada hadn’t even heard of Recettear. It isn’t some big game-changer like you’re making it out to be.

            (Note that I’m not saying that it’s a bad game or anything of the sort.)

            I don’t understand any of your numbered arguments either. I was talking about distribution models in the west. What does Steam have to do with Comiket? Nothing, that’s what. Recettear got a ton of attention from larger sites because of the Steam deal. That’s what made people pay attention. Prior to that, most people didn’t even know what the game design underneath the surface was like. A few people on more niche sites like ours may have known, but not the audience at large.

            update: Ah, I should clarify–in the case of Recettear, by “game-changer,” I mean in terms of design. On the other hand, it is very much influential in its distribution model and opening the doors for other doujin games to come over.

  • Crap, it looked as a browser game anyhow so no surprise, started to get the feeling it would end up like this, but they should had released it as ps mini too or something, damn, i wonder if it will even get a physical release for 3ds…

    • This isn’t some tiny project.

      • When did i say it was.

        And now that you are on that, i dont expect a mobile game to be deep, never have been so far, they are mostly aiming to more casual gamers when it comes to mobiles, so i expect a pretty simple and easy to learn how to play game. Even if it itself is -big world-

        If i had to say a game that i feel this game could be close to, i would say the world neverland games

        • You said it should have been released as a PS Mini. That doesn’t sound like a deep, larger game to me. :P

          • Eh, it called PS mini doesn’t necessary means the game has to be small, from example, Zenonia that was only released for IOS, was released there, and it isnt really that small of a game. I imagine its called PSmini because the size of the games are normally really small (as in, megabytes), since most games are ported from IOS and stuff like that

          • Right, but questioning if it will have a retail release and saying it should be a PS Mini implies that it is most likely a game of small scope. There aren’t very many PS Minis that are that large in scope. 

          • Because i guessed that that would be the cheapest way to release a game with sony, and might be played on a vita too, so i, of course went for the less “optimistic” route of release on sony’s side, considering of course that his company toy box was it, was just starting, so im guessing they still dont have that much if a budget if they want to release it on all the possible media, and i feel that is what the HM creator wants to do, a game that reaches all people.

            If you prefer i can change it to release it for psn, tho, its pretty much the same as ps mini at the end of the day, a digital downloaded game.

          • Ah, I understand now. I do agree that Wada wants to hit the widest audience possible within his budget, yes, and that’s probably why it’s both 3DS and mobile. Between those two platforms, you’ve got a large portion of the audience covered. 

            Anything outside of those two systems will be largely negligible by the time the game actually comes out, so it probably isn’t worth investing more resources in additional platforms at this point in time. That’s my logical assumption anyway.

  • Vampiric

    why mobile?

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Because it should fit well with a zyniga player who wants to play a more in depth game. Leave the console requests for other sites please.

  • puchinri

    Well, that’s awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the game and curious about what the differences will be for the two versions.

    Also, I’m guessing those screens behind the character are for the new HM?
    Ah, a closer look confirms that~. I’m excited. Now I just need to know what our preorder bonus will be. ♥

  • KotaroInugami

    Don’t mind if it’s on mobile. As long as by mobile they mean Android. :P (Wishful thinking)

  •  For all you curious the screen shot of new beginning if you look clsoe enough you can see the title of the game at the top left.

  • Strain42

    3DS was my main guess. Happy to hear it. I have a rule about consoles needing 10 games I want before I buy them. This game certainly put the 3DS one more game closer to purchase for me. I can’t wait.

    • Same here… time to save up (more virgin sacrifices) for that midnight purple one owo

    • M’iau M’iaut

      10 — you greedy greedy person. I’ve done a system purchase with as few as three. That would of course come down to one should the Panzer Dragoon Saga sequel ever come to pass.

      I’d also make an exception for a The World god Only Knows game with Shiori as the main heroine — but h*ll I got a better chance of seeing the PDS sequel. And that’s no chance in h*ll.

      • uhh you can say hell without censoring it you know…i mean come on  

        • M’iau M’iaut

          I’ve been using the all mighty * since long before I was a mod. It also serves as a kindly reminder to always think about what one is posting. 

      • Strain42

         Y’know what, if wanting to ensure that the console I’m going to shell out my money for has a decent library of games makes me a “greedy greedy person” then I’m okay with that.

        I see people who buy consoles for just one or two games and then complain the console has no games that interest them. I laugh at those people.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          That just makes you far less stupid than the rest of us! :P And yes, those ‘no games that interest them’ types are the types of folks who would deserve a little humor tossed their way.

  • I wonder if there’s going to be some kind of connectivity between the two? Probably too farfetched of a question, huh.

  • jujubee88

    Where is the VITA version? :0

    • M’iau M’iaut

      We know the rules folks, consider this a thread warning — no more system requests. If you ain’t smart enough to buy a system that Wada is developing for, it’s your loss not ours. 

      • jujubee88

        Wanna cracker?

        • jujubee88

          Whoa, I check back and M’iau M’iaut’s comment has 8 likes? … Niether of my comments are getting any love? Can’t you see I seek attention and love!!!


          Actually, I was satirizing those people who say, “Why is this game on [so and so system] and not on [so and so system].”

          I guess my humor did not come through, aye? Well, you are all wrong and I am right. As long as you know that, everything should be juuuust fine.


          • You should tag Miaut in on that reply so he knows you were kidding. :)

          • jujubee88

            I can’t. I think Google Chrome is being weird and deleting tags as soon as I write something after they are selected.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Understood, but I would ask you to understand our wish to keep earlier messes from reappearing. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

          • jujubee88

            I see. I don’t want to make your job any harder. ;-D

  • boundries_san

    I believe the 3DS version and the mobile phone will be different here considering that Project Happiness is supposed to be Wada big project here.^^

  • canarinta

    “Try the premium “HARVEST Gacha!!*” for a chance to get a Super Sprite”

    *The double exclamation marks means it’s SUPER special!!

    “Let’s FARMING!”

  • Sold.  I wanted a handheld game where you run a shop like Recettear.

    What happened to that Namco adventure guild game with similar platforms announced?  That looked fun too.

  • Lisa Fraulein

    With all this awesome games, I need to start to collect money for 3DS and PSV….

  • Joanna

    I have to say, I was expecting it on 3DS (since Harvest Moon has a big fanbase on Nintendo systems), but when they mentioned multiplatform, I thought that meant Vita as well. So this is rather surprising news. I wonder how this will work. Will it be like Ishaan mentioned and the games are tweaked for each hardware (perhaps a la Ghost Trick where chapters/parts of the game are bought separately on phone but come packaged together on the 3DS or two different version with the same core idea and perhaps connectivity) or is it going to be the same game for both, which means an eshop release. Questions! On that last note, I wonder if this would open the gates to more phone games released on digital venues of heldhelds. I certainly would like that as I’ve got a small problem with syncing my Touch to the store.

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