Marvelous AQL’s Video Game Sales Are Up Thanks To Vita Game Reorders

By Spencer . November 8, 2013 . 2:50am

muraMuramasa Rebirth maker Marvelous AQL reported an increase in sales and operation profit from their consumer games division. Sales for the first half of the fiscal year were 3.7 billion yen ($38 million) up from 3.1 billion last year. Operation profit rose sharply to 1.27 billion yen ($13 million) up from 745 million.


Marvelous AQL attributed the gain to continued Pokémon Tretta arcade game sales and reorders for titles released earlier this year like Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus and Muramasa Rebirth. Additionally, Valhalla Knights 3 has sold 82,000, units so far which Marvelous AQL said was positive. The PlayStation Vita game will be re-released with extra content as Valhalla Knights 3 Gold.


In the near future, Marvelous AQL plans to maximize revenue of Pokémon Tretta and considers the upcoming Harvest Moon game for 3DS which comes out in February 2014 “killer content.”


Their strategy is to create strong IP, expand mobile business, and to strengthen overseas business.

  • Virevolte

    Cool ! Gambatte Marvelous AQL !

  • Shady Shariest

    Marvelous! :3

  • fyi1191

    I hope they make Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus 2 with New Wave characters next year. They can’t ignore their best selling VITA game.

    • d19xx

      Boobs cannot be ignored…

      • Ric Vazquez


    • OlimacFTW

      I doubt a sequel for Shinovi Versus could sell better than the first, unless, there would be another anime hype and another Vita price drop at the release time.

    • Renaldi Saputra

      SK: SV was sold better bcos vita’s cut off price AFAIK

  • This kind of makes me worry for the future of MAQL from a content standpoint. They’re seeing a very clear message from Japan that they can rely on T&A to keep themselves out of the red, sometimes regardless of the quality of their games.

    Personally speaking, I think that’s a step down from a few years ago, when MAQL would come out with all sorts of interesting original IP, a lot of which was actually comprised of great games, even if they weren’t particularly high-budget.

    *sigh* Ah well. Nothing lasts forever. With so many other publishers going this route, it shouldn’t be a surprise that MAQL are doing it, too.

    • RovCal

      when u say T&A. you means tits and ass correct?

      if yes, than u get my downvote!!

      if someone is good at ”T&A” you support them! except if u have a company whose known for making iconic nostalgic games and if they go down the ”T&A” route, than i would have agreed with u.

      • Neophoton

        While everyone knows sex sells, I think what Ishaan was getting at is that it shouldn’t be the basis of a game and essentially what a game relies on. It should be a game trying to sell itself as a game and not shallow fanservice.

        I just feel the otaku pandering has gotten really bad this past generation, it’s making a fair amount of JRPGs hard to stomach and this is coming from someone who’s a huge fan of the genre. There’s a reason JRPGs that rely less on otaku pandering do better overseas or just overall are met with better reception (Fire Emblem: Awakening, SMT4, and Bravely Default will likely meet the same — all of these titles offer less otaku pandering than the average JRPG).

        • RovCal

          See Ishaan this is how u write a post.

          bravo neo.

        • Crazy_O

          Fire Emblem and Persona have some dating sim in them, though.

          But yes I would like some solid gameplay for my fanservice titles. It don’t mind it pandering even more than usually, if it’s fun. For me, it only gets out of hand if gameplay gets left behind in the process.

          • Neophoton

            As I mentioned before, I mentioned they offered less than most JRPGs boast. FE:A definitely had its share of otaku pandering, but compared to the “norm” in most JRPGs as of this gen? It had far less, which made it more appealing overseas.

            Persona’s a bit of fair game since I noticed that ages ago (and most I could argue on that is the west didn’t care much for Persona until P4G, which had slapstick scenarios to cushion the dating sim aspects), but I was using SMT as an example, not Persona. :P

            Trust me, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I enjoyed some fanservice. Female fans like myself went nuts for Ringabel in Bravely Default (doesn’t help most of the current fandom is literally female), but BD didn’t just make itself pure fanservice. It was a game first and then it offered some fanservice on the side, which I feel is how things should be.

      • I’m grateful for this post because I couldn’t work out what T&A stood for at first. Oops. >.>

        • RovCal

          ha ha pleasure

      • The problem isn’t fanservice or that it’s there, but it’s starting to become the only thing they’re relying on.

        I love supporting certain people for my fanservice and erotica, but they’re usually the people actually known for it and that made themselves a name for it; not the people trying to abuse it or use it to pander and make a quick buck (and that’s not bringing any statement of quality to the fold even).

        • I think this is probably the most insightful thing I’ve read today. There’s nothing wrong with erotica in general, provided you’ve actually made a name for yourself in that field and you’re good at it. Like you said, there’s a difference between really pursuing something and being good at it, and just abusing it to make a quick buck.

          • Yeah; and the way things are sounding, quality is certainly an issue for one of those titles and another seems to have enough quality but most of it is applied specifically to the fanservice (and I still question the quality of that even in a way).

            It’d also be another thing if they were genuinely trying to step into a more erotic direction and hey, that’d be fine. But they really are just trying to get away with selling sex; just without actual sex – and that always bothers me. Such a cheap, cheap move.

    • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

      Are you calling Muramasa or VK T&A? This is fucking hilarious. Only shows how little clue you have of things outside of your Nintendo ecozone.

      • Not Muramasa, no. More Kagura and VK. And if you aren’t aware of the fanservice in VK3, you clearly don’t know much about the game.

        • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

          I wonder how much you know about the game, outside of those red-light district mini-games that Western video game journalists have been so fervently reporting on.

          • If you think that’s all people have been reporting in the case of VK3, you’ve developed some remarkable selective reading skills, I’m afraid.

            When I posted my comment I was hoping for some sort of productive discussion that didn’t fall back on pointing fingers at people and the usual pointless fanboy/journalist accusations. If you have nothing to offer beyond those, I’m afraid I don’t have much else to say to you.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Well, to Ishaan there. You just need to adapt there i guess? At least here, they still come out with Rune Factory 4 and of course upcoming new Harvest Moon.

      Considering they are smaller, i can see them focusing more on T&A to increase their finance there but i can also see them using some of those money to come out with interesting game too.^_^

      The only thing i wanted to ask from them is whether that Inafune Penguin Three Kingdom game is going to come or not and whether that game called Dragon is dead? is still alive or not.T_T

      If like what you say, they actually cancelled those two games for more T&A, i will probably be like you here.T_T

      • They haven’t said anything about Dragon Marked for Death in ages, so at this point, one would assume it’s been cancelled. I mean, we reported that way back in 2011, and at the time, the game’s producer told us it had been in development for a long time.

        • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

          Well if it is cancelled that i will be so sad here.T_T The title sounds so cool there.

          But considering how that sometimes game can get stuck so long on Limbo, i can also said that there are still chances for that game to come out in the future.

          I mean, we had ZombiU that change its concept thrice before becoming ZombiU and that game is actually fun to play. ^_^

          ……we also had some case like Chocobo Racing 3D though.T_T

      • Guest

        Just a question of curiosity but what was interesting about the Animal Three kingdom game? Any gameplay details? I couldn’t help but think of the Backyardigans when I saw it. There are some Three Kindoms games out already as well. Even if Inafune-san is involved I couldn’t see the appeal of this game.

        • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

          Well, while there are still no gameplay video, the fact that it is a new IP and it is a huge project(Like Inazuma Eleven level) which is designed to attract kids filled with Anime and Merchandise, i am interested on how Inafune with Marvelous will be able to grow that franchise.

    • MXC

      Well Ishaan, I’ve seen what you had to say and how a couple of other people responded and I don’t know if I can live up to your expectations, but well if the whole T&A bothers you then I guess you can only hope for it to become so common that nobody minds it anymore or it dries out and becomes scarce and people try to make their games stand out in a different way. Happened with RPG’s right, why can’t it happen for this? There are some good RPG companies without T&A right now and they get their support right?

      Haven’t played it yet but isn’t VK 3 about a prison society that is pretty much co-ed? This may just be me being narrow-minded but women can’t realistically say they would be able to do stuff outside of “that” can they? If you made a game of the where I live, a moderate ghetto area, you would get quite a bit of fanservice.

      As for SK, guilty of wanting to get the game when it’s out, I don’t wanna write too much but I’ll go into detail if you want. They are high school girls, “nuff said” right?

      • It’s not that T&A bothers me. I mean, I was the one that pushed really, really hard for Siliconera to cover Kara no Shoujo in as much detail as we did. That’s a hentai game and Spencer and I had many long discussions about covering it, despite its status as an h-game.

        This was before I was Siliconera’s managing editor and was still learning my way around running the site, so I didn’t have a lot of pull at the time. The deal we made was that, yes, Spencer would allow me to pursue KnS, provided we came up with great content. And so, I made the effort to reach out to the game’s developer in Japan, a company that no English-speaking site has interviewed before, and did a feature with them.

        Fanservice in moderation is fine. Fanservice as something accompanying a fantastic game is fine. Just as an example, one of my favourite games of all time is Tsukihime, which has a couple of sex scenes thrown in for no good reason.

        The problem arises when more and more publishers begin to rely more on T&A and less on just creating a great game. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that we’ve seen an increasing number of games in Japan that have been following this trend. In the case of MAQL, there was a time about four years ago when they would publish all sorts of fantastic low to mid-budget RPGs and new IP across a whole range of genres.

        They’ve stopped doing that now. Ever since Wada-san (the creator of Harvest Moon) left and Kagura took off on 3DS, we’ve seen more and more of MAQL’s games go in the fanservice direction, and that’s what worries me.

        • MXC

          I can understand your worries but unfortunately companies don’t stay the same. When a company loses a source of revenue or is in need of new sources, they tend to make drastic changes in a do or die strategy and it worked for MAQL. Doesn’t mean MAQL will only do games like these. I don’t have much knowledge of games that MAQL have worked on or work on outside of SK, VK, Muramasa, Soul Sacifice, Rune Factory, and apparently Harvest Moon(never played a game in the series), but what are some other series or games that they have worked on or are working on. Going by what you say it hasn’t always been this way right?

          • Oh, I’m not questioning if what they’re doing is in the best interests of their profit margins. It clearly is. Sex sells, and every mid-sized publisher in Japan right now is well aware of that fact.

            But here’s an example of the kind of games that Marvelous would publish a few years ago: Muramasa, Luminous Arc, No More Heroes, Half-Minute Hero, Deadly Premonition, Little King’s Story, Arc Rise Fantasia, Flower, Sun & Rain DS, Lux Pain (good game with terrible localization), Luminous Arc, Avalon Code, Sakura Note. Not all of those were amazing games, but they tried.

            And that’s just part of the list. If you followed Marvelous a few years ago, they were a company that relied on constantly establishing interesting new IP while strengthening and polishing their existing IP.

          • MXC

            About two years ago was when I seriously got into gaming and JRPG’s but yeah come to think of it I loved the Badman(No More Heroes game) series because it was so original, but that’s just an opinion of one of their other games. Have they announced any games they are working on other than VK3G, which we already know will basically VK3 west Ver. with a few bonuses? We can’t be certain yet if they haven’t and can only hope.

          • To my knowledge, the games they’ve announced that they’re currently working on are Rune Factory 5, Harvest Moon: Connect to a New Land and KAIO: King of Pirates. I would assume the next Senran Kagura is in development as well.

            HM and RF will always be their staple franchises, so those aren’t very surprising. (That said, Rune Factory has been getting increasingly moe with each successive game…)

          • MXC

            I decided to look at the game covers for 1-4 + the Wii game + PS3 game and from my perspective it just improved the art from sketches to more solid final cover art or are you speaking from a viewpoint of the characters personality? From what I’ve seen, the “moe range” is continuously expanding its range and as weird as it might sound I have a few friends that I could classify as a type of moe character. Or for better reference what is your definition of moe since it is a vague type that is somewhat self-defined.

            Edit: BTW these are the images I saw.

          • It’s a mix of both. The original Rune Factory had the strongest character designs of the series, with well-rounded characters and personalities. Frontier, which was a direct story sequel to this game, was like that as well.

            In RF2, for some inexplicable reason, they had you playing this really young, moe-looking character that could honestly pass for a pre-teen. There are people that argue that it’s something you can just chalk up to stylization, but when the first RF took such a balanced approach to character design, that kind of renders the “stylization” argument ineffective, in my opinion.

            RF3 got even more moe. You played as this really effeminate looking dude that could turn into a sheep. Initially, there were people that were actually confused as to whether it was a guy or a girl.

            In RF4, the characters seem to be going further down that same route. Not only do the protagonists keep looking younger and more effeminate, the dateable characters tend to be that way, too. I mean, in RF4, one of the prettiest characters in the game isn’t a dating candidate because she’s older than the rest (and someone’s mom).

            And on top of that, you’ve got them sticking tails onto characters and following the usual archetypical anime character personalities for the bachelors and bachelorettes. It’s… a little disheartening.

          • MXC

            Ah okay, I haven’t played them (waiting till I get a 3DS) but I can see what you mean. But also it seems like all the MC’s can be seen as female characters with short hair. With it being on from what I’ve seen most franchises on the Nintendo systems have you play as young characters right? As for the mom well, there are two issues. One you have too huge an age gap supposedly and two she’s supposedly married and not meant to be seen as available.

          • Hmm. I don’t think it’s Nintendo systems. I mean, look at games like Neptunia or the Atelier games and so on, which are on Sony systems. Those tend to have you playing as younger characters, too. I think it’s more just a trend in the Japanese market at the moment.

            As for the lady in RF4, my point was more that they have one pretty adult-looking lady in the game, and she’s unattainable because she’s somebody’s mom. Would it really have killed them to create a more grown up looking dateable character for those of us that aren’t comfortable hooking up with really young looking chicks?

          • Bigabu Beaze

            You named Luminous Arc twice man.

          • …really? Is that how nitpicky we’re going to get? Substitute it with Baroque if that makes you happy, I guess.

          • JonathanisPrimus

            Substitute it with a Sting game published by Atlus?

          • Published by Atlus in the west. But I see Sting self-published it in Japan, not MAQL.

    • $77496739

      Marvelous AQL also made Soul Sacrifice.

      • Inafune/Comcept conceptualized Soul Sacrifice with funding from Sony, while Marvelous AQL handled development (art assets, programming etc.). So I wouldn’t exactly call that a MAQL game.

        • $77496739

          It all balances out. Tits in the main menu, a little bit of grotesque on the side.

          • I think this is the most depressing thing I’ve read all day. :'(

    • echokanon

      Its kinda saddening that nowadays reality strikes hard and many companies were pursuing either fan service or mobile aspect in order to gain more profit/lower the cost.

      Not that I dislike those stuffs and in fact I love them and many of them are enjoyable but it worries me that the aim is kinda drifting…

    • JonathanisPrimus

      Wasn’t Marvelous effectively a money pit in their early days with projects like No More Heroes, Arc Rise Fantasia, and New Little King’s Story performing really poorly in Japan?

      • Yeah, pretty much. Which is why it’s hard to blame them for doing this… but it’s also really sad to watch at the same time.

        • JonathanisPrimus

          They should get Imageepoch to port ARF to Vita, and see what happens. Maybe it could get a proper localization this time around.

          • That might actually be worth a shot, now that you mention it. They have nothing to lose.

    • I agree. However, I feel they were kind of going that route and showing it with HM. I think they’ve been trying to go with the cheapest possible route and assure a very minimum level of quality, and now that’s basically expanded to include the entire company and not just their main franchise.

      It’s really disappointing, but I hope it’s at least temporary. If they strike a balance even, I won’t mind; I just don’t want them shifting entirely to such a mentality.

      edit : Also, I suppose it bothers me that they’re using the sex to sell and the excuse is that “sex sells.” But anyone that really knows better knows that you don’t need any hint of sex (or form of sexuality/romance) to sell, and especially, to sell a lot. It really goes to show that they’re just doing what they want (not creatively, do mind) just to make a quick buck without having to exert too much effort or try to reach out to many audiences. My boyfriend and I had this convo just last night about DC actually, and now I think I’m actually starting to get pissed off with these companies. >u<;;;

      • I actually don’t play much Harvest Moon (just Rune Factory) so I wasn’t aware it was showing up in HM, too. But it certainly has been showing up in RF more and more of late, which is disappointing. Like you, I hope it’s temporary.

        • Yeah. I’ve noticed they’ve really been cutting down on the home console titles (which is somewhat fair), but even what they do with the portable titles now feels very borderline cheap. I won’t say they’re cheating fans, but for a while I feel like they’ll add something but skimp out elsewhere. Shame it’s happening to RF as well.

          Maybe when they’re financially stronger it won’t stay this way (I hope that’s the case).

      • Actually, I was just talking to a friend about romance in games last night, and how most games are terrible at it, but decide to throw it in anyway.

        Excluding any eroge, you could probably count on one hand the number of games that have done romance properly. (ie; made it look convincing and actually invested the player in it.) I don’t know what it is with developers in Japan and their approach to romance, but it just seems so non-committal and like there was no thought whatsoever put into it.

        In a way, the romance is just another attempt at fanservice. There’s rarely anything meaningful there. It’s just, “Hey, here’s this chick/guy for you to fawn over.” Never anything that actually explores the intricacies of a relationship or the way you need to build up trust or the complications that arise.

        • Yeahhh. I like having routes where I can play with romance, but sometimes I can’t even call it romance because of how it’s handled. It’s so vapid/shallow or just really shoe-horned in, I just take it for the extra “character devevlopment.”

          But indeed, it is another attempt at fanservice. Oft enough, I think it’s really just handled as pandering too; not only is a character to fawn over, but in many RPGs (especially ones aimed at guys), devs take it as a chance to stroke the (target) audience’s ego (and sexuality) rather than deliver something stronger or more serious. (Which says a lot about how condescendingly they view male audiences, among other things.)

          • That, or maybe they simply don’t know how to do good romance. Which is a scary thought, frankly, because you’d think that anyone that’s ever been in love or in a halfway decent relationship would be able to understand and convey those feelings.

          • . . .Yes. That is a possibility, and a frightening one. Then again, seeing how certain devs talk about relationships (and female characters, which certainly impacts handling), I guess it’s not surprising how they can’t handle a romance.

  • Christopher McNair

    Since Senran Kagura sold better on VIta than two games did on 3DS, can we get a localization of Shinovi Versus? Or a Sequel with both games on the cart and released wordlwide? Hell, I’ll even take a chibi Pocket Fighter graphic style game. as long as they release it in the US.

    • TheExile285

      If Burst doesn’t bomb I have no doubt that XSEED will bring SV over. Wouldn’t expect retail though.

      • Kami nii

        That’s what were here for to support the game :)

        • Crazy_O

          I would too if I owned a 3DS :/, we are counting on you 3DS owners! Don’t disappoint us!

          • hospitalbills .

            It will never happen. In japan, there’s the adult table and the kids table. Which one’s do u think we are?

          • hospitalbills .

            Most of the girls cloths come off in SV, u rly think they would release a game like that over here?

        • xXDGFXx

          Wish I could, but… eshop. It’s not gonna happen, for me. Ever.

      • WhyWai

        I wont like to support that. but why only eshop release… same with Bravely Default… sigh…

        • TheExile285

          1. Bravely Default is NOT an shop only release
          2. Its eShop only because XSEED doesn’t think it would do well at retail. I don’t blame them and am glad we are getting it all.

  • Kami nii

    Senran Kagura versus should be localize if not make versus 2 and localize like @fyi1191 wrote, its one the best game I bought from them and this is coming from a guy who don’t know Jap good thing I can read scenarios but really the gameplay is solid what more if I understood the story and backgrounds of the characters? its not all about the boobs we….ll maybe a littl……

    Okay its about the boobs but also the characters have backgrounds I hope they support it more it was gorgeous on Ps vita!!

  • cyberkinghardy

    *eats popcorn while reading the comments*

  • Mando44646

    Pokémon Tretta?

  • J_Joestar

    This reminds me…
    How much longer are they planning to sit on their hands with King of Pirates?
    Last i heard, Inafune said it was done but MAQL are the ones holding back the actual release.

  • easter

    Does anyone know the pricing on the Genroku Legends DLC in Japan? Someone on the Vita subreddit said $5 per episode, so about $20? Source(s) if any?

  • Aristides

    I wonder how sales are going for them in the US

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