In light of the performance of Little King’s Story, which was MMV’s last notable new property, developed in collaboration with the now-bankrupt Cing Inc., Marvelous are concerned that they could potentially meet the same fate as their former partner if they don’t take steps to ensure their survival. Part of this involves focusing on the development of online and browser-based games. MMV have already taken the first steps toward this goal with the Twitter-based Followars for iPad and Little King’s Story for mobile phones.
Meanwhile, their traditional games development will focus primarily on the PSP, which is the platform they’ve had the most success with. At some point within the next financial year, Marvelous also plan to develop for the Nintendo 3DS, but as of now, president Haruki Nakayama is unsure of whether or not they will resume development of new properties by then.
Marvelous have been experimenting with ways to streamline their business for some time now. Earlier in the year, the company sold its 50% stake in European subsidiary Rising Star Games to Intergrow, a Japanese game publisher, and switched to an overseas licensing model by which publishers would be required to bid for publishing rights to Marvelous games. Several of MMV’s top executives also took deep salary cuts in response to a disappointing earnings forecast. In march, they parted ways with company director and Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada, who is now an advisor to MMV.
The important point to take away here, though, is that Marvelous are determined not to go out of business and are open to doing whatever it takes to remain in the business of developing games. While I have to admit it’s a little unnerving to see a publisher that Siliconera holds so dear — just look at the number of links in this write-up alone — going through a financial crisis, it’s good to see that Marvelous aren’t giving up.