Following a delay, doujin game publisher, Nyu Media, released the eXceed series of shoot-em-ups for PC this week, in partnership with Capcom. As of now, each of the three games is available on PC from the Capcom Store, GamersGate, or GameStop PC Downloads. (Steam versions haven’t been released yet, unfortunately) You can find pricing details here.
We got in touch with Nyu Media founder, Seon King, to ask a few quick questions about when the company was founded, their experiences working with doujin game developers, and how the publishing partnership with Capcom came about.
How and when was Nyu Media founded?
Seon King, Nyu Media founder: The company was registered in 2010, but the business really started from mid-2011.The ‘how’ was a result of a long-standing admiration of Japanese indie video games and a desire to work with them. Seeing what Rockin’ Android then Carpe Fulgur are achieving just added fuel to the fire. Around mid-way through this year, I decided to take the plunge. I reached out to like-minded friends and former colleagues with the talents and skills to make it all happen, they came onboard and here we are.
Incidentally, I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with the RA or CF guys, but full credit to them for the fantastic work they do. They’ve both achieved so much and raised the profile of the Japanese indie gaming tremendously. They set the standard for us in many different ways.
When you’re setting up a new publishing company such as this, what are the steps you have to follow to get it up and running, and how did you go about accomplishing these?
You can broadly split the set up into two types of work: 1) doing the business, which is defining your goals, putting together the necessary resources and relationships to achieve them, and then doing the work to realize those goals. Then there’s 2) business admin, which is registering up the company, finding an accountant, creating an Internet presence, etc.
In some cases, the admin work has to be done before doing the business, but in terms of priority it’s always business, then admin and, of course, results are everything.
The key capabilities necessary for our type of publisher are being able to: to meaningfully communicate with the devs, localize the games (of course), promote the games effectively, then secure as broad distribution as possible for them.
You mentioned several different games in your first announcement about the company. How did you go about talking to each of these different doujin developers? How does the approach you have to take with each one differ?
We knew from the outset which games and which devs we wanted to work with, so it was just a case of getting in touch, introducing ourselves and starting discussions. There’s no black magic or secret handshake networking involved – in most cases it’s just starting with the contact details on their websites and dropping them a line.
As it happens, every one of our dev partners is a pleasure to work with as well as extremely good at what they do. ASTRO PORT are the nicest guys you could hope to meet, atelier773 is as gracious as he is hard-working, Tennen-sozai and Edelweiss are both very kind and accommodating.
The approach didn’t really differ per developer. It was just a case of saying, “Hey, we love your game, can we talk about bringing it overseas?” and taking it from there.
Have any doujin developers turned you down?
Certainly, but thankfully more developers accepted than turned us down. In all but one case, they weren’t able to proceed because they already had wheels in motion with other companies.
Incidentally, my impression from those responses and from talking to devs at summer Comiket this year was that there was a boom in companies starting to work to bring doujin games overseas. Having said that, we haven’t seen much of an upswing in product releases. It seems we were the first of the next wave of doujin publishers, if there is one.
How large is your staff?
Small. And disparate! We have a core staff of four people, spread over London, San Francisco and Osaka, then we bring on other resources, such as contractors and outsourcers as required. We’re not actively recruiting yet, but we’d like to look into bringing on interns in the new year. Anyone interested can contact us at [email protected].
Can you say how the publishing agreement with Capcom came about and just what their role in the partnership is?
Our marketing manager and I previously worked for Capcom, so we already had some relationships there and insights as to how Capcom works and their strategic objectives. That’s not to say we had preferential treatment! We pitched the partnership to Capcom USA, then worked with them to take it up the chain of approval, which went all the way up to Capcom’s board of directors in Japan. We had a huge advocate in Christian Svensson, who takes a very progressive view on video games as a whole and the PC market in particular, so big thanks out to him.