Playism Will Bring Indie Games To Japan, Doujin Games Overseas

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Osaka-based game localization and marketing firm, Active Gaming Media, are creating an international indie game distribution and funding platform, titled Playism, aimed at both Japanese and overseas independent game developers looking for a platform to release their games through.


The Playism website launched in Japan this week, with its launch titles focused on providing PC/MAC indie titles to the Japanese market. Amongst the early games on the service at this time are Amanita Design’s Machinarium and Zachtronics Industries’ SpaceChem, both localized into Japanese. AGM are providing localization services at minimal cost — or in some cases, no cost — to developers in exchange for timed exclusivity to the Playism service. Negotiations leave room for other arrangements on a case-by-case basis, too.


Going forward, this will work in reverse as well. While Playism’s launch titles consist primarily of indie games developed overseas and translated into Japanese, in the future, AGM will also localize and publish doujin games developed in Japan for the overseas audience through the service — but there’s more.


The Playism initiative also introduces the concept of crowdfunding to Japan, in order to support original game development by independent creators.  Active Gaming Media say that the goal is to “bring users closer to the creative process” and find new ways to share what makes games and their development interesting.


At the moment, there’s a single crowd-funded title being developed through Playism, titled Desi Leaves Town. The game is a story-driven puzzle adventure, and is being developed by Pajamahouse Studios, with staff in both New York and Tokyo. In the future, Active Gaming Media hope to open up crowdfunding to more developers.


“We want to both make it easier for developers to get their products in front of people across the globe, as well as do right by all parties involved, which is to say, give a fair deal to all of our partners in development, and to all of the users of our site,” said Planning Director, Daniel Levine.


We’ll have a short interview with Active Gaming Media, providing more details on the Playism initiative on Siliconera tomorrow.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.