All About Idea Factory International And Why They Are Publishing Monster Monpiece

By Spencer . February 6, 2014 . 5:30pm

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Idea Factory established a base in the West and former NIS America president Haru Akenaga is leading the division. However, since other publishers are releasing games from the Hyperdimension Neptunia and Hakuoki series where does that leave Idea Factory International? We spoke with Mr. Akenaga about the company’s plans and why they picked Monster Monpiece as their first title to localize.

 

How did Idea Factory International start? Can you tell us why you wanted to form this company and what are your goals?

 

Haru Akenaga, CEO: We knew there are many Idea Factory fans outside of Japan. And we were well aware that these fans are not just interested in games released in North America and Europe, but also in titles that only get released in Japan. So we wanted to create a place where we could provide any and all news relating to the Idea Factory brand, both in Japan and from third party publishers in North America and Europe, to fans worldwide in a timely manner.

 

One of our goals is to provide a place for fans to obtain all news about Idea Factory titles in Japan and third party licensed titles in North America and Europe. But Idea Factory International has also announced its first self-published title for these regions, and we would like to keep bringing more Idea Factory titles to the Western market via third party companies and ourselves. Idea Factory International would, slowly but surely, like to try to bring titles that fans demand to North America and Europe.

 

There are other publishers in the USA and Europe licensing Idea Factory and Compile Heart’s games. Where does Idea Factory International fit in?

 

The third parties we have worked with in North America and Europe have been great for spreading the Idea Factory brand worldwide, and we will continue to work with them to achieve that. Idea Factory International is motivated to become something like an information hub for our fans, and to keep bringing titles to fans in North America and Europe via third parties and ourselves.

 

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Will Idea Factory International localize or publish games from other developers? What about internal development?

 

We do not have any plans to publish other developers’ titles at Idea Factory International. We are currently putting all our efforts into making a better and stronger community for the Idea Factory brand by bringing more Idea Factory/Compile Heart titles to the western market, and we will continue to do so. If we are to publish any other developer’s title, it would be when we have received a massive amount of requests from fans.

 

Regarding internal development at Idea Factory International, we just opened the company a few months ago. Despite people’s perceptions, it only consists of a few people at the moment. The idea of internal development seems really attractive and exciting, but we have a long way to go before we will be able to build a team to develop a title here.

 

Monster Monpiece is the first game from Idea Factory International? Why did you pick this title?

 

Yes, you are correct. Monster Monpiece is the very first title being offered by Idea Factory International. We selected this title because we heard many fan requests for it. Fortunately, Monster Monpiece hadn’t been licensed to any third party publishers, so even if we had to make some modifications to the title (replacing in-game images), we decided to give it a surprise release for fans in Western regions.

 

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Can you tell us more about the game? What has changed from the Japanese version?

 

Monster Monpiece is a card battle game featuring light RPG elements, a simple yet tactical card battle system, and numerous illustrators’ Monster Girl designs to collect. In order to power up your cards, you will use the level-up systems called “First Crush Rub” and “Extreme Love,” where you rub, poke, touch, and so forth, the selected Monster Girl card using your Vita’s touch functions (front touchscreen and rear touchpad). What we have changed in the US and EU versions are some of the images used in higher level Monster Girl cards. Basically, each of the selected images have been replaced with the same design’s corresponding lower-level card image. Neither the mechanics of the game nor the gameplay have been changed at all from the original Japanese version. Even with the replaced card images, the player will still gain the same effects and skills as the Monster Girl cards level up.

 

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Are you looking at the second game in the Monster series, Moero Chronicle, as a possible release?

 

We are interested in the second installment of the Monster series. However, we will have to see how fans perceive and accept Monster Monpiece in this market.

 

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What about Fairy Fencer F? That looks like an interesting title and it certainly has a lot of talent behind it.

 

Fairy Fencer F was received well in Japan, also. We’ve heard lots and lots of requests from fans. At this moment, we have no plans to release this title. However, I can say that fans’ voices have been heard and listened to. We always appreciate their suggestions and feedback, so please keep them coming—both good and bad!

 

Idea Factory has dozens and dozens of Otome games. Aksys brought some of them over, but there are tons more that could come out. I think this genre is just finding its space and has room to grow. Have you thought about any of those series like Amnesia?

 

I have the same view regarding the Otome game market in North America and Europe. We have heard many fans express how much they would like to have Amnesia localized, as well. But again, we have no definitive plans for it at this moment. That said, we hope to be able to share some great gaming news in the near future!

 

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How do you view the Western market now with all of the new consoles on the market?

 

Having all the new consoles on the market is very exciting, and they are also very engaging devices. I personally believe that the best way to enjoy videogames is on consoles. However, considering customer needs and the videogame business, it becomes clear that the PC, smart phones, and tablets are all important and vital platforms, as well. That being said, we might never see another console or handheld system dominate the entire market like what happened with the PS2, the Wii, and the DS. Instead of one device dominating the market, many platforms and consoles that answer the various demands and needs of users already exist in the current market, so I feel the videogame industry will only become more exciting. As for Idea Factory International, we would like to publish titles on consoles that fans demand and hope to have.

 

Thank you very much for your support, as always. And thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk about Monster Monpiece, along with everything else!


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  • Jesse

    “Fairy Fencer F was received well in Japan, also. We’ve heard lots and lots of requests from fans. At this moment, we have no plans to release this title.”

    Well, that not…exactly, “no”, so maybe they’ll surprise us in the future. Please? D=

    Maybe it’ll be one of NISA’s announcements on the 13th.

  • Andrew A

    Huh, I thought Fairy Fencer F was a shoe in for localization. No plans, though? Wow.

    • surakian

      It is possible that another company will/has plans to localize it if IF International isn’t.

      • Randgriz

        Yeah i have a feeling NISA might have already snapped this up, well see come the 14th

        • Manny Being Manny

          What happens on the 14th?

          • Jesse

            NISA will have “new title announcements”.
            http://gematsu.com/2014/01/nis-america-hosting-press-event-february-13#disqus_thread

            Oh yeah, it’s actually on the 13th. ^^

          • Tyler Beale

            And on that day, Prinny shall drop some bombs into my inbox. He shall order them 4 Return, and get a Fairy Fencer to travel to Neptune to get them.

            A bomb will say “Hyperdimension Neptunia”.
            Another bomb will say “Fairy Fencer F”.
            Another bomb will say “Disgaea 4 Return”.
            Another bomb will say “More Anime Shit”.
            Another bomb will say “???”.

            So yeah!

          • Kornelious

            Huh, i was about to go on a rant as to why they would choose Monster Monopiece over the more anticipated Fairy Fencer F, But your words ring true and give me hope :) (It did kinda seem like they were trying to play the question of too)

            I guess we just have to play the waiting game…..again.

          • Kornelious

            Aha! So THAT was their plan! I shall await eagerly on that day for what I like to call “NISA REVOLUTION!” :P

          • Demeanor

            Oooohhh this I like!!! Here’s hoping for:
            - Fencer F
            - NepNep Rebirth 1 (2 as well)
            - NepNep PP
            - Rorona remake
            - Disgaea 4 ret
            - Black Heart <3
            Have I forgotten something? :P

          • http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/PlayStation_All-Stars_Wiki Sackchief

            They should announce a new Nep game entirely.

          • Landale

            That would be something Idea Factory and Compile Heart would do, they’re the ones who make them. NISA just localizes the games, they don’t make them.
            And frankly, they should kind of ease up on the Neptunia series a bit before they beat it to death. The Agarest and Spectral series could use a bit of attention, or they could try their hand at another crossover game.

          • Demeanor

            A new mothership NepNep would be awesome, even better if for PS4 :D
            I’d also be cooool to have a 2D or 3D anime fighting game with the Neptunia cast too! :P à-la-P4A.

          • http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/PlayStation_All-Stars_Wiki Sackchief

            The Niche crossover fighter with the entire cast of Neptunia and basically every other game Silliconera reports on. That would be too amazing.

          • Christopher C

            NISA already announced Neptunia pp for I think march? Sometime spring. And if they are localizing an IDOL SIMULATION game, with such a specific fan base, the other Neptunia games are a sure win, especially that Noire spinoff. SRPGs do good in the west. Look at Fire Emblem, popular enough.

          • Demeanor

            The PP demo was pretty fun, dat Neptune singing! BOEEEEE BOEEEEEE!!! XD
            Anyone figure out how to shift into Megami form during songs?

    • DesmaX

      I guess saying something like “Can’t talk about it” would spoil the fun

      • pimpalicious

        Or “NISA’s already on it, so talk to them”.

  • Miyako Arima

    EVERYTHING RESTS ON MONSTER MONPIECE!!!!

    • Weeb

      Well this won’t end well.

      • Landale

        That depends on results vs expectations really. I’m sure things will be at least decent in that regard.

        • Weeb

          I can’t really see a censored erotic card game selling well when it’s digital only on a handheld where the memory cards are ridiculously overpriced. I mean a big chunk of the players interested in the game already dropped it because censorship, things aren’t looking good so far.

          I just hope Fairy Fencer F gets localized in the future, Monster Monpiece was a bad choice to get the company moving.

          • Randgriz

            Im actually looking forward to MonMon, the gameplay looks great.

          • Weeb

            Great, I hope you enjoy the game.

          • Landale

            A vocal chunk. And if that vocal chunk is in any way represented even remotely accurately by the people that were ranting about it here, most of them weren’t interested in the first place.

          • Weeb

            No clue why my original reply didn’t show up. But anyways, That vocal chunk are the people who mostly buy those games. Look at the last time something like this happened with Mugen Souls, it was censored and people were upset. Now The limited edition is still available on NISA’s online store after almost 2 years.

          • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

            NISA will localize Mugen 2 wich mean that the first one was a success, it all comes to the spectations set by a company.

          • Landale

            And yet the standard version is not available. Consider then the possibility that, while the censoring was enough to affect purchases, it was more so that they were not willing to go spending $70-100+ on a censored product than to not buy it at all.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            It honestly wasn’t censored that bad and all your missing out on is art

          • Thad McMichael

            When one of the draws to the game is the fact that they used artwork from over 50 high-profile artists, that’s a big deal. Censorship is always bad on principle anyway and it’s only done because people blindly accept it as “not that bad”.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            They only took away the artwork of the last stage for a few cards it could have been worse those cards could have been removed altogether.

            I think it was stupid they were censored in the first place but they didn’t remove a gameplay features.

          • Zoozbuh

            Exactly, not like they removed a whole gameplay feature or something. Censorship is indeed stupid, but people also need to chill out and put things into perspective.
            Not buying a game “on principal” just because of small reasons like this is what makes companies go bankrupt :/

          • Zoozbuh

            Let’s be honest, there’s probably a reason they decided to censor the last level of the cards. I’m guessing they were pretty ecchi, verging on porn, so it would have made it significantly harder to release in US and EU.

          • Thad McMichael

            So you haven’t seen them? Why are you commenting when you don’t know what you’re talking about?

            No, they weren’t that bad. There were no pornographic content, and according to a trusted insider who has a lot of experience in the localization business (Tom from XSEED) he is very, very sure the game wouldn’t have reached AO rating uncensored.

            Also, don’t forget that they censored the game BEFORE submitting the game to the ESRB. Couple that with the fact that some of the uncensored images are much more lewd than the censored images, there’s good reason to be against this decision.

            Friendly reminder to not support censorship. We should be allowed to decide for ourselves what content we’re able to see.

          • Landale

            The issue was primarily, but not exclusively, the fact that it’s one english version of the game for multiple countries. Countries that have laws outright banning the content of those images. US law also played a role in that, while there were no outright bans on the images, the wording of some laws those images could apply to are murky enough that it could cause issues especially considering the small size of the company meaning they likely don’t have legal experts on hand to actually deal with the bullshit.

          • Zoozbuh

            Wow, excuse me. You’re right, I didn’t know that, but I was just going by what usually happens in these kind of situations (where a vocal minority of fans are “outraged” and boycott the whole game release).

            Maybe it doesn’t make sense why they did it in this case, but jeez people should chill the hell out. It’s essentially the SAME game, if you cared that much about a few graphics and CGs here and there, maybe the core game wasn’t that great to begin with!

          • Audie Bakerson

            Nope. Some of the bathing scenes in Agarest (which was made by IF…) were more lewd than most of the cards that got censored and they got over here just fine.

          • Landale

            “Here” being where?
            Your logic falls apart spectacularly when you realize that this game is being released, one version, across multiple regions. And guess what? Child Fiona was not “OK” in some of the regions getting this.
            http://blog.ghostlight.uk.com/post/a-closer-look-at-the-deluxe-edition
            Finally, for those of you who haven’t kept up with the comments thread on the last blog, we have had to make a small number of minor changes to the game. Firstly, while she remains a playable character, we have had to remove the 1st generation version of Fiona from the minigames (and only the minigames). Don’t worry, affection levels have been taken into account when making this change.

            In addition to this we have had to remove 4 static images from the game. Please understand that we are making these changes under advisement from PEGI and the USK, as without their approval we would be unable to publish the game at all.

          • Audie Bakerson

            “under advisement from PEGI and the USK”

            Exactly what IFI did NOT do.

          • Landale

            Because they’re totally going to change their mind on a type of content. Yep. Gotcha.

          • Audie Bakerson

            IFI didn’t even check AND censored it in NA.

          • Landale

            Why check when you already know the rules. “We know we can’t have content where you’re rubbing little girls in next to no clothing, but can we have content where you’re rubbing little girls in next to no clothing?”

            And again, one version of the game. That’s it. I’m honestly drawing a blank on what sort of small company could release multiple versions of a product for multiple regions as their first release. Could you tell me what companies have been able to afford that?

          • Audie Bakerson

            YOU STILL RUB THEM EVEN IN THE CENSORED VERSION!

            It’s not even consistent censoring.

          • Landale

            You fixate on the rubbing, but not the level of clothing. Fascinating.

            Also, I’m not seeing them say anything about having not been in communication with the ESRB, PEGI, nor USK. All I’m seeing is what the results were for their submission of the censored content. And based on the conversation with an Xseed member in a previous article on the game, the method they utilized for their ESRB rating is less a standard submission and more a discussion with the ESRB on what they’d like to do and are able to do.
            So, between them stating they did not wish to censor the game, history itself, any possible discussions with any of the three, or more, rating boards, and potential legal issues where exactly do you get the idea that nothing was checked in regards to things being censored?

    • Taedirk

      Guess that means we’re screwed.

    • Demeanor

      Well that must be some mighty comfortable rest XD

    • Arrngrim

      Pretty much, Miyako. So that means whether or not we’re pissed about the censorship (like many, I am), we still better buy it if we even want a remote chance of other titles localized. Le sigh.

  • surakian

    Come on Idea Factory, we’d love to see the Amnesia games come out here. The art would be enough to capture people’s attention.

  • Randgriz

    I always wondered what the true nature of IFI was, this article answered alot of questions for me.

    So its a whole new company brand, just to raise awareness aboout IF titles.. and with some localization if youre lucky?

    It seems more about advertising/community rather then bringing titles as a #1 priority. I guess time will tell if they change that stance.

    • Landale

      They did say that pretty much right from the start. That they’re actually localizing anything themselves was more surprising than most of this interview.

    • Yause

      The aims can change over time. It’s a difficult climate to release niche Japanese games, so IF may not be willing to dive in deep right now. However, the fact that they’re releasing Monster Monpiece does imply a desire to self-publish.

      A feasible strategy might be to raise brand awareness first (uniting all fans under a single hub), and then take over publishing duties when the time is right.

  • klkAlexar

    I’m kinda curious about MonMon, but not enough to pay $40. I’m more interested in their otome games so I wish them success.

  • Lazulis

    I thought Fairy Fencer was a shoe in for localization…well, maybe it’s just a secret surprise!

    Oh, I sure would love Amnesia getting localized. There are some otome games on Steam Greenlight rn actually! Dandelion by Cheritz, and Backstage Pass by Sakevisual iirc

    • Landale

      To be fair, they said “we have no plans to release this title” not “we have no plans for this title to be released”. The plan could simply be for someone else to handle it.

  • http://epiclyamazing.wordpress.com/ AzureNova

    I know what they said, but I hope their plans change for Fairy Fencer F soon. The demo was fun.

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    Well I’d rather have diabolik lovers as a possible option but amnesia is a lot of fun so yeah.

  • icecoffemix

    I’m just here to let IFI know that I’m also waiting for Fairy Fencer F. Do it guys!

  • Estellise

    Amnesia would be a good choice for Otome games because it has a good amount of fans and I can speak for the game itself since I’ve played it. Plus its nice a change from Hakuouki (since its more modern/fantasy like) and the art is really beautiful.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    So there’s a chance of Moero coming over? Interesting….
    Also Fairy Fencer F. C’mon IFI. You know you want to…

  • Jessi Aldana

    I’d Love to See that Date a Live Game here….

  • Prinny Dood

    Localize Hyperdimension neptunia series for the vita please

    • artemisthemp

      Hyperdimension Neptunia fall under NISA to localize and they most likely won’t announce it until after Idol PP

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    Fairy Fencer F! Fairy Fencer F! Come on, Siliconera, say it with me!

    • pimpalicious

      I wouldn’t be surprised if NISA has it already and is waiting to announce it.

  • Splinter

    I saw all the images that were censored and I don’t understand why people are complaining. Seriously, are they really necessary? Do they compromise the experience? I prefer when games are intact just as the original, but I don’t get why that specific images are so important to many players.

    We’re fans of japanese niche games and if we don’t buy Monster Monpiece there’s a chance that fewer titles will be localized in the future. I prefer playing a slightly censored game in English than an uncensored one in Japanese. More important than knowing that the game is censored is seeing what was censored. In the specific case of this game, the content is not essential.

    So, Idea Factory, you’ll have my contribution on day one because I support games in English, even if some sacrifices are necessary.

    • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

      I think it’s just that many would hope we would be past this part of the industry that reminds them of things like this, especially if you grew up in the 80s and 90s when they would edit little 8/16-bit crosses and such. At least, I can understand that much.
      I also understand that when it comes to certain niche games, it’s a give and take kind of deal, but others draw a very deep line in the sand about having it all or nothing.

    • Audie Bakerson

      Yes. It’s an IF game. No one buys it for the gameplay nor should they.

      IF literally LIVES on fanservice, without it, they would die. The fact that IFI thinks removing that is a good idea just shows they have no idea what they are doing.

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    If you buy this game lots and lots that might help other things come over
    If you guys ruin my chances for otome games because of your anger towards censorship I’ll bomb a gaming company.

    • Landale

      Might want to reel it in a bit before you get banned. Or raided by a SWAT team.
      Just saying.

  • Yan Zhao

    No plans to release Fairy Fencer F as of now? Worst news so far :<

    Guess we need Monster Monpiece to sell well so they localize the other Monster game, then maybe Fairy Fencer F after that as fans keep on demanding.

    • Mister_Nep

      I think it’s safer to assume they licensed it to somebody already, and it’s being worked on.

      I’d assume NISA got it, and they’re busy publicly working on Neptunia PP, Hundred Witches, and so they’re not gonna announce it just yet.

  • Oltheros

    Always great to have more localization companies..just I hope they don’t repeat what they did with Monster monopiece ever again

    • Landale

      If they had the funds to create region specific versions of the game, they wouldn’t have to. At least not for everyone. Europe will still get the shit censored.

  • Learii

    oh omg IF I love you more if you guys keep localized those games

  • Roses4Aria

    He seemed to be saying no to Amnesia for right now, but maybe yes to another otome title…? That statement about sharing some great gaming news in the near future is verrrrry interesting. I want Amnesia badly, but at this point I would be ecstatic about getting any of IFs otome games. :)

  • Andar

    “we might never see another console or handheld system dominate the entire market like what happened with the PS2, the Wii, and the DS.”

    And it’s kind of a shame, really, I personally rather enjoyed the PS2′s console dominance (and the golden age of RPGs it brought).

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