When Rising Star USA announced that they would be replacing Marvelous USA, the North American publishing branch of Marvelous AQL, the first question on our minds was: “What’s going to happen to Xseed Games?”
Xseed are owned by Marvelous AQL, but with Rising Star replacing Marvelous’ business in North America, there may not have been further use for Xseed’s operations in the area. Furthermore, Rising Star have an exclusive publishing agreement with Marvelous in Europe, where they get the first rights to publish all Marvelous titles in the region. If this carried over to Rising Star USA as well, Xseed could have been in some real trouble, considering they presently publish certain Marvelous titles in North America.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Rising Star Product Marketing Manager, Yen Hau, shared with us that the publishing agreement with Marvelous extends only to Europe. Says Hau: “Rising Star Games have always had a clearly defined relationship with Marvelous Entertainment for Europe and PAL regions. This relationship has not changed. We do not have any agreements in place for any other territory.”
Additionally, two weeks ago, Xseed’s Director of Publishing, Ken Berry, said to us: “Rising Star’s expansion into the North American market does not affect us in any way.” Berry explained that Xseed would likely not attempt to license the same products that Rising Star does. The only connection between the two companies is that Rising Star usually use Xseed’s translations for English-language versions of their titles in Europe.
Now that we have the full story, it does indeed appear safe to assume that Xseed aren’t going to suffer any collateral damage as a result of the Marvelous/Rising Star developments, and that things might actually be looking up for them, considering they’re the North American publisher for Nintendo and Mistwalker’s The Last Story.
Food for thought:
In case you weren’t aware, Artoon, a studio owned by AQ Interactive (who also owned Nier developer, Cavia) helped with the development of The Last Story. AQ Interactive were also the owner of Xseed. Artoon were later absorbed into AQ Interactive, following which AQ then merged with Marvelous Entertainment to form Marvelous AQL.
Xseed are now part of this larger company. Some of our older readers may even remember that, once upon a time, Xseed had their own publishing arrangement with Marvelous Entertainment in North America, well before AQ Interactive (and Xseed) were formally merged with Marvelous. Interesting how things came full circle, isn’t it?