We caught up with Haru Akenaga, President of NIS America, to see how Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten was doing in North America. In Japan, the game exceeded expectations and retailers quickly reordered the title. Akenaga discussed sales in North America plus his thoughts about working with PubFund, an initiative by Sony Computer Entertainment to fund PlayStation Network titles.
Disgaea 4 was a pretty big hit in Japan. Now that it’s out in North America, how are sales so far?
Haru Akenaga, President of NIS America: They are doing OK. We got really good review scores and the first week of sales were really great. I think we can reach more than 100,000 units easily in the future, but right now we’re not there yet.
Disgaea 3 sold about the same number of units in Japan and the US. In the US, we sold more about 150,000 units and Disgaea 4 is doing better than 3 in Japan now.
And Disgaea 4 is coming out again with the Fuka and Desco scenarios too. Have you considered releasing the expanded versions like they do in Japan in the States?
If many customers want an extended version we look into it, but right now we have no plans to release one on Blu-ray, but we will release the extra content on PSN.
Let’s talk about Black Rock Shooter. NIS America announced it, but didn’t specify a release window.
The release date has not been decided yet. We are not sure if we can release it before the PS Vita launch [in North America]. In that case, it would be really tough to sell a UMD to the public and our only choice will be to release it for PSN. Actually, I want to ask you and your audience if you really want to have the Premium Box released in Japan. If many users want the Premium Box we can talk with Imageepoch and bring the Premium Box to US customers.
Sure, I can ask the readers I think they’ll be happy to hear you’re considering it. You know they are interested in Makai Kingdom Portable too.
We haven’t decided yet, but there might be a small chance to release it.
Nippon Ichi has a close relationship with Sony, so has NIS America thought about using PubFund to develop original titles inside your North American office for PlayStation platforms?
Hmm… right now we don’t have any plans to make small titles just for PSN.
NIS America seems to be in a good position to develop original IP, especially since you could borrow characters from Nippon Ichi Japan for cameos and everyone loves cameos these days.
Our staff really wants to do that, but we need to team up with developers in order to that. We have a good relationship with Nicalis, the developer for Cave Story. I believe we could work with them to create titles, but right now we have no plans.