Aksys and Arc System Works, the company behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, are tight. Their names are coincidentally similar, if you take the Japanese abbreviation “ArcSys” into account. What’s the deal between the two companies?
Does Arc System Works actually own Aksys? No.
“We’re not owned [by Arc System Works], they don’t own us, we don’t own any part of them,” Gail Salamanca, Director of Marketing, explained. “We just have a really good relationship and basically we get to see all of their titles before anyone else does.”
Ever since Aksys opened their doors most Arc System Works developed games have been released in North America. Before Aksys got involved Atlus and Majesco handled select titles, usually Guilty Gear games.
I asked Salamanca to further describe their relationship with the Yokohama based publisher.
“Yeah, we have first right of refusal, unless they’re going to publish it themselves.”
I followed up and inquired if Aksys ever refused to release a game from Arc System Works, which would allow another publisher to pick it up.
“It really depends. If they ask us to do it, if the numbers make sense. It’s not like they’re forcing us or we’re forced to do a game they do. We can pass on a title. If they want us to do it we’ll look into it if it makes sense.”
Arc System Works also assisted Aksys by distributing Bit.Trip Beat and Bit.Trip Core in Japan. Both of these WiiWare games were developed by Gaijin Games and commissioned by Aksys.