Valve Contacted Japanese Developers To Bring Their Games To Steam

By Spencer . September 7, 2012 . 4:00pm

Steam has been getting an increasing number of Japanese titles like Recettear from Carpe Fulgur to most recently a port of ClaDun x2 from NIS America. Marvelous AQL will join the Steam train with Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy, which is slated for release on September 27.


"As I understand it, Valve got in touch with us! They’re keen on giving their users great options on their service and they contacted several Japanese publishers," Marvelous AQL producer Esteban Jose Salazar said to Siliconera. "I was actually hired on after MAQL had decided which game to publish. My first day they told me we’d be doing Half-Minute Hero on Steam and my grin was about a foot wide. I’m a huge fan of both.  Valve has made it so easy for us to bring the game to Steam with their constant support and amazing publishing tools.  Running development of a game in two languages (English and Japanese) can cause major headaches, but Valve was always prompt and professional in helping us out."

Xseed has said Half-Minute Hero was one of their lowest selling titles. That was disappointing news to hear since Half-Minute Hero is stellar with a fantastic localization. There’s one particular scene in the Hero 30 storyline players won’t forget. Salazar believes Steam can give Half-Minute Hero a wider audience. "[Steam] gives us instant visibility without having to worry about an ad campaign and shelf space. In addition, we can be flexible on the price. While we might have to charge more for a disc-based version, with digital distribution we can offer the game at a price that users consider fair."


Marvelous AQL has a long list of titles they could bring to Steam like Luminous Arc 3, No More Heroes, and Grand Knights History. I asked Salazar what’s next for Marvelous AQL and Steam? Will we see original games made for PC? Ports of games that didn’t get localized?


"At this point, we are considering our best options. The PC is a killer platform, Steam is a dynamite service, and as long as I’m here I’ll be championing both for our games, old or new.  The best things you can do to see more games from us on Steam is pick up this game and let us know you are interested in others.  I can’t give you any specific hints, but if the game sells reasonably well, I personally would like to see us doing something *grand* on the PC. I think others would too, but first I have to show my bosses it’s a lucrative platform."


If you have a suggestion for Marvelous AQL’s Steam lineup you can tweet them at @HalfMinuteHero.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Ohhhh man.

    This can only be good!

  • MrTyrant


  • Grand Knights History


    Yes, yes, yes! Thank you, Valve, for being so forward! My god, Marvelous, take it and go! Run with your ideas, and we will run with you!

    EDIT: I’m totally flipping my lid, right now.

    • I can’t imagine some Harvest Moon games for PC (since they already have a pretty solid fanbase on handhelds), but hey, a PC port can only help the sales, right?

      Come to think of it: Senran Kagura PC – Now that might be a surprise for many.

      • Ooh! Ooh! How about Valhalla Knights?

        … Okay.. :I

        Seriously though, Senran Kagura would be awesome.

        • #NeverHeardOfIt…

          Another wishful thinking, but I’d really love it if they port Rune Factory Frontier with adjustments made to the Runey system; that was the only factor holding the game back. Otherwise, I really like Ragna and his crew.

          • Don’t worry about it. The entire VK series was pretty terrible, and I was joking.

            I’m going to assume that they’ll put some form of RF up, for the same reason you came up with for HM. I’m sure a lot of people have wanted to play these, but never got the chance because they didn’t have the console. So this should boost sales and strengthen the franchise too.

            Although, that brings me to a different question: Is wonder if there’s any kind of backlash for this? Like.. maybe the PC port sells so well, that people abandon the console versions in the future? Stuff like that doesn’t happen, right? :I

          • I… am not a market watcher, so I don’t really know, sorry. You might have much more luck asking @Ishaan:disqus or @malek86:disqus.

            I can only assume that customers will buy something if that suits their situation and needs. So if there are enough people who are willing to sacrifice a higher price point (barring price-cuts), a specialized console and portability (in the case of handhelds), I imagine they’d flock to PC releases.

          • @DrakosAmatras:disqus Ah, sorry. I didn’t mean to ask you such a tough question. ^__^;; But that’s a pretty good inference anyway, thank you.

          • TrevHead

            I wonder if Rising Star Games would play a hand in that if it was ever to happen.

            IIRC when RSG announced they were breaking into the NA they also said they planned on doing digital PC aswell.

  • malek86

    This is great news. I’ve wondered for a long time why japanese developers didn’t try and expand to the west via Steam, and it looks like they’ve finally started. Now if we are lucky, this could end up with localizations for many games that remained in Japan, for example due to being PSP games.

  • I love Valve.

  • Meh after finding out more and more games I cannot play without upgrading I rather just support them on the handheld front.
    Great news for PC fans.  If any are low specs I’ll certainly try them in any case!

    • malek86

      Most of their offerings, for a while, will probably be PSP ports. So they shouldn’t exactly require a power rig to run.

  • I hold some pretty high hopes for games that were on the PSP originally to appear on Steam. It’d sure help boost the sales for those games who got ignored due to the PSP’s lack of popularity over here!

    Also No More Heroes on Steam? Gimme.

  • doubletaco

    I’d really like to hear how XSEED felt about their Ys games’ performance on Steam.

  • Wow! I never expected THE Esteban to show up here in this announcement! He was one of the greatest PR guys (along with Mr. John Davis) with GHM, so I’m glad he’s on projects that he can really get into.

    It will be interesting to see how HMH will fair on the PC. I have the PSP version that I enjoyed a lot. I’ll be grabbing this – and hoping Senran Kagura Burst shows up somehow. Not likely, but I gotta dream big. 

  • anarchy_panty

    I’m amazed it took them this long to start getting Japanese games on Steam. I wonder if we’ll start seeing none-ero VNs on Steam in the near future.

  • $36598391

    This is good to hear but i wish Valve would say something about when Half Life 2 Episode 3 or Half Life 3 will be released

  • SirRichard

    “Grand”, huh? I wonder if that’s just for emphasis or an actual hint? Though given the trouble stopping the game in the first place, are they going to handle it themselves or get Valve to help?

    Still, great to hear Valve attempting to bring some variety to the Steam marketplace, and I hope it pays off for all involved.

  • Carlos Escalante

    I already have it on the PSP….but I will buy it again to support it! If they by chance make it universal (MAC + PC) I’d love it, since I’m on Mac.

  • DesmaX

    So Steam themseves asked for it!? Damn, that’s good!

  • neo_firenze

    GRAND indeed…  A Deadly Premonition director’s cut seems like it would be really well suited for PC too.

  • Göran Isacson

    Oooh that little tease right there. Welp, I know that I’M gonna be contributing to this when it hits the Steamworks!

    Here’s something I’m curious about now- could it be that Valve themselves coming out and asking Japanese developers could be the turning point? Like, were Japanese developers unaware of Steam or perhaps wary to put their games there, fearing that nobody on that platform wanted or cared about their stuff to begin with, until Valve themselves said “no man we’d totally be stoked to have you guys onboard”? If a little bit of communication is all it takes to open up a whole slew of new localizations to Japanese goodies, then man, I think I will give up my firstborn to Valve in gratitude. Which is kind of a freaky promise to give but hey, if they keep making good games then I’ll keep buying them and will be WAY too busy to get busy and make babies! Who will be laughing then, eh? ;)

    … Wait.

    • Knowing Japan, I’d bet they were unaware of Steam, as they are with a lot of other things that go on outside their isolated half of the internet until an e-Perry opens them up to it.

  • Hm.  On the one hand I’ve already purchased Half-Minute Hero on PSP day one AND have the 360 version.  Buying it again on steam is a hard sell but something *grand* showing up and luminous arc 3 perhaps being in the mix is impossible to ignore…

    Sometime I feel like gaming is an abusive relationship that you never want to end.

  • Did I see Grand Knight History!:D Steam…. *sniff*… I love you.

  • Ho boy, I love Valve so much. My hype just reached the sky.
    Gabe, saving gaming,
    One game at a time.

  • Brandonmkii

    Man, I’m gonna be mad if I have to buy a computer to play GKH. But hey, whatever lets people play it.

  • Spirit Macardi

    Darn it Valve, every time I start to get flustered over something like the lack of another Half-Life installment, you go and do something awesome like this.

    Quit making me like you so much! XD

  • thaKingRocka

    This is excellent news. Things are looking good.

  • dahuuuundge

    cmon Trails in the Sky for Steam!

  • cj_iwakura

    Uh… Half Minute Hero 2?

    • JohnThackr

       Perhaps if Half Minute Hero finally finds in Steam a platform on which it doesn’t sell like utter crap (despite being far from utter crap.) I love the game, and Xseed loves the game. But it hasn’t sold.

  • $30632660

    You’re gonna make me become a hardcore PC Gamer Valve if this keeps up.

  • In Steam we trust <3

  • Fantastic, I can only hope that Valve will continue to reach out to more Japanese publishers and that more will find their way to Steam.

  • Cloak

    I’d love to see Touhou on Steam.

    • Won’t happen.

    • wat_wat

      And so would Touhou fans all over the world. Too bad Zun isn’t keen on making Touhou a big commercial thing even though he could. I respect that. 

  • I kind of don’t want Grand Knights History on PC even though I want the game…

    • LeSquide

       Given the option, I’d much rather have it on the PC than not at all.

  • Andar

    I would love to see Grand Knights History on steam. I’m not just saying this because the initial plan for localization fell through, either. I really liked the concept for online play in the game, but I personally feel that online play through the PSP can be a bit, well, sloppy, at times. I feel that PC is generally a much more stable choice compared to portables when it comes to playing online (whereas I feel portables excel in local connections among small groups, such as adhoc monster hunter sessions). Since GKH’s online mode had a strong sense of persistence to it (representation of nations), I feel it could do well like that.

  • Great news. Although I’d rather see Luminous Arc 3 on a portable since I prefer playing SRPGs on one. And you know, dual screens and all. Luminous Arc 3D! It’s so perfect! Come on MMVAQL and imageepoch. 

    I am planning to pick up Y’s Origin by the end of the week so I’m definitely behind this.

    • Vulpis

       As someone who’s played through the two ‘main character’ stories in Origins (and have gotten sidetracked from the unlockable character’s story), it’s a very nice game. Though one thing to be careful of (though as far as I can tell it’s a glitch with the Steam side and not the game itself) is that for some reason some of the Achievements that involve counters didn’t want to increment properly (I haven’t checked lately, they *might* have fixed it since then). Not really an issue unless you’re going for Achievement completion, as it has *no* effect on the game itself.

      • Thanks for letting me know. It’s a complete non-issue for me since I don’t care at all about achievements. I’m looking forward to playing Origin. I’m pretty tired of traditional JRPGs, looking for something fresh.

  • Carocaro4

    Xseed needs more love.<3 
    they are a great company. :/ 

  • This is a great idea and a good avenue for Japanese games to be distributed overseas. Grand Knights History on Steam would be fantastic!

  • Universe

    I’ll say just one thing to japanese developers: bring your tactical RPGs to Steam! I’ll buy them all!

    Also, I’ll purchase anything Falcom/XSeed releases on PC.

  • Kai2591

    Awesome! More Japanese games on Steam~

  • I have NO objections whatsoever. This could be just what the Japanese companies needed to step into the territory of affordable prices and digital releases!

  • Eliézer Dos Santos

    The future of japanese games in the west had found it’s light in the end of the tunnel? I seryously hope so.

  • Well done, Steam… Well done… You surprised me once again…

    But I mostly prefer RPGs on consoles/portables due to personal preferences and controls…

    • Not that hard to get used to it. Besides, many PC games come with gamepad supports wherever they can afford; if there’s none, you can still use external mapping software. On the PC, there are ways to customize.

      •  It is for some us. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to mouse/keyboard. I bought San Andreas on Steam and it didn’t even recognize my PC USB controller. It’s absurd. Mapping software isn’t as simple as everyone makes it out to be and it can be a pain to set up.

        • I notice many games from recent years tend to have gamepad support, especially multi-platform games (Just Cause 2). In the case of San Andreas, I would think there’s no gamepad support because it uses mouse-based shooting mechanics; for the very least, I remember Vice City being the same way.

          I won’t deny: PC gaming isn’t as much of a “plug-and-play” as consoles, and for some machines, it can be a bloody pain to get the game running smoothly. But compared to games not coming in English at all on a convenient but profit-wise uncertain console, I’m willing to invest some brainwork for a PC version. And at least with Steam, games will stay there for a long time, so even if my current machine isn’t enough, I could pick them up later once I get a better one.

          • San Andreas has an the options to use a game-pad though. It just didn’t recognize it for whatever reason. I do support more Japanese games on Steam. It’s just like you said though, getting a game to run on a PC isn’t always the easiest thing to do. I completely agree with your last point too. My PC is crap but I’ve bought some HD games just because the sales were too good to pass up. I’ll get a rig….eventually.

          • [Pat pat] Who knows – a good number of Marvelous’ games don’t seem to take a lot of system resources like mainstream Western games. Especially the PSP games.

      • I’m not gonna deny the gamepad support and the customizations but personally, it’s feels weird to play a Japanese game on a foreign platform…

        • I would think it’s too late to be thinking about that, considering we’ve had the XBox and 360 in the market for years now – especially the latter with games like Tales of Vesperia, Dark Souls, or just arcade-style fighting games and shoot-’em-ups.

          Besides, Steam is for PCs; specifically, Windows and Mac, pretty much universal platforms for this civilization (barring hardware differences).

  • Z3

    DAT tearjerker moment in Hero 30 was just unforgettable.

  • TheSwordUser

    “If you have a suggestion for Marvelous AQL’s Steam lineup you can tweet them at @HalfMinuteHero.”

    To Love-Ru -Trouble- Doki Doki! Rinkaigakkō-hen

    However, Rune Factory Frontier/Oceans would be awesome

  • my eyes lit up and my mind went blank when they mentioned grand knights history, hope this works out for japs XD

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    All I read was “Grand”, I’m sold~.

  • YES. VN lk Dead Patient next plz??

    In XSEED we trust.

  • You know, I JUST said a couple days ago how if there were more Japanese games on Steam I’d eat that crap up. Looks like I’m gonna have to put my money where my mouth is.

    Let it be known I am new to this whole PC gaming thing, so…. if there’s more Japanese titles than I thought out there other than VN’s and Touhou then that’s why I didn’t know.

    Still need to get me some Touhou…

    • New to PC gaming?  Looking for more Japanese games?  The only answer is to play Ys

      • Locklear93

        How are the Ys games currently on Steam?  My entire exposure to Ys was some Ys 1 and 2 pack for DS, I think, and I hated it utterly.  I’m certainly game to give newer installments a try, but if they’re “faithful” to the oldest Ys games, it’s probably not worth it for me.

        Edit: Nevermind, tried the Ys Origins demo. Not for me.

    • Locklear93

      There’s definitely more than just VNs and Touhou.  Check Steam for Recettear, Chantelise, and Fortune Summoners.

  • CirnoLakes

    I just made a sound that isn’t human.

  • TrevHead

    It’s really good that Valve has taken a proactive role in this, I think we have Carpe Fulgur to thank for this.

    handhelds just haven’t been my cup of tea outside of traditional handheld games, many of the games on PSP I’ve always felt would do better on PC.

    I wonder how Valve & the pubs intend to handle these games for Japanese players, atm the status quo of localisers seems to be cut the Japanese language or region lock it to not cut into the sales of the original release.

    However imo anything that gets Japanese gamers on to PC is a good thing for everybody in the long term.

  • CirnoLakes

    It’s everything I want. It’s everything I NEED.

  • Steam just got better!

  • And things continue to go according to plan. Excellent.

    • Locklear93

      Your plan includes swimming in competitors? ;)

      •  A healthy PC market for Japanese games is good for us. So, yes.

        • T moment when you want to reach through the Internet and brohug a stranger.

    • Just as Keikaku??

  • This is one of the better days in the history of video game.


    Meanwhile, most of greenlight is full of users overwhelmingly hating “ports” and “re-releases” of games that didn’t sell very well..

  • Always good to have more Japanese titles on PC via Steam, should help to break the image that Japanese games are for-consoles-only.

  • Elethiomel

    Let’s see if I got this right. Half a min- year back XSEED announced they have to call off Grand Knights History’s English release after already translating the script, because the development resources had ‘disappeared’, and now Marvelous AQL are hinting at releasing it on Steam themselves? This is getting very curious, would love to hear what’s going on behind the scenes.

    • I wasn’t here then, so I have no idea why they called it off.  I personally want to see the game localized and released for fans overseas, but it’s not up to just me. However, great sales of a our games on Steam will make a very, very good case for overcoming any obstacles in the way of GKH localization.

      • LynxAmali

        Vanillaware was too occupied with Dragon’s Crown.

        The text was all ready to be inserted into the game (XSeed’s job) but Vanillaware couldn’t insert it.

        That’s the just of it.

  • “doing something *grand* on the PC” … my emotions … stop playing games with my emotions …i was really hype for GKH … all these hinting I’M A HUMAN, I’ve got feelings lol … 

  • If they make No More Heroes for pc!
    I would break my screen from all the money I would at it.

  • Just Tim

    #IDontWantToWaitForOurLivesToBeOver for more Japanese dev’s to show up in Steam.

    Yes, I’m glad that Japanese dev’s are reaching out to western gamers who aren’t campers or necrophiliac for zombies.

    And yes, my wallet has been waiting for this day to come!

  • Josh Weatherford

    Alright so the puzzles in La-Mulana must have just destroyed Gabe’s soul or something. Only explanation for why they rejected it so many times.

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