While indie developers can self-publish in North America and Europe, Japan is a different market. Digital distribution still requires a publisher that’s a Japan-based company. That’s why Skullgirls is distributed by CyberFront and Arc System Works is tied to Nano Assault Neo.
Zoo Entertainment is stepping into the ring and licensing Western developed indie games for Japan. Zoo actually started out with solutions for medical records got into the video game business in the late 2000s distributing PC games for Japan like Left for Dead 2.
Earlier this year, Zoo started releasing indie developed PS3 games starting with Realms of Ancient War which was released in April. Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams was released on October 31, but only for PlayStation 3.
Zoo has even more Western indies lined up. Final Exam, Zombie Tycoon II, and Contrast are all slated for release in spring 2014, but only on PlayStation 3. It’s interesting to see a Japanese publisher fill the void of bringing digitally distributed indie games overseas which is a new market. There’s another publisher called Intergrow that is dabbling in the same market, but with 3DS eShop titles instead of PS3 releases.