Friday 4 February 2005/... A new publishing powerhouse is establishing itself in Europe, with the remit of bringing the very best Japanese titles to the continent's shores.
Rising Star Games Limited (Rising Star) – a joint venture between Japanese publisher Marvelous Interactive Inc. and long-standing Japanese Nintendo distributor Bergsala AB– will initially publish titles for PSP, Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2, introducing new games alongside enhanced and updated iterations of interactive entertainment's most loved franchises.
Rising Star's launch portfolio includes the first ever appearance of a Harvest Moon title on PlayStation 2, along with new iterations on Nintendo DS and Nintendo Game Cube.
The firm's goal is to reduce the period between Japanese and Western release, reversing the threat of grey imports. Thanks to Rising Star's close working relationship with its development partners, there will even be occasions where the European release is ahead of the Japanese street date.
"Japan is the most vibrant and creative territory for videogames with global appeal," said Mr. Owe Bergsten, CEO, Rising Star Games. "Rising Star will identify the best Japanese titles which are most suitable for European gamers and work closely with our development teams to ensure that they can be published, fully localised, of course, on or ahead of their native release."
Mr. Shigeki Takeuchi, Managing Director, Rising Star Games, added: "Rising Star is a radical new concept for the global interactive entertainment industry – reducing the delay European consumers would ordinarily expect. By removing the gap between Eastern and Western releases, we're giving the European games industry a legitimate domestic business, and European gamers the titles they crave."
The first trio of titles sees Bubble Bobble and Space Invaders appear in significantly enhanced form on Nintendo DS, along with Sword of Destiny on PS2. A new Evolution series will be introduced on PSP later in the year, which will enhance classic franchises further for the new Sony handheld.
Space Invaders Revolution takes the much-loved original format and enhances it for the Nintendo DS with a host of new game modes and challenges, all wrapped up in next-generation handheld visuals and audio.
Bubble Bobble Revolution will make full use of the Nintendo DS's touch screen, offering players the opportunity to interact with the game's vibrant environments in spectacular and innovative ways.
Sword of Destiny is an original PlayStation 2 hack and slash adventure, which offers some of the most finely-honed combat and lavish environments yet seen on the Sony console.
European gamers will be treated to four new iterations of Harvest Moon. Harvest Moon: Oh Wonderful Life will appear on Game Cube and PS2 in September and October 2005 respectively, marking the series' first-ever appearance on a Sony Console. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town arrives on Game Boy Advance in June 2004, with an all-new Harvest Moon game (working title: Harvest Moon DS) arriving on Nintendo's dual-screen handheld in November 2005. Each of these versions will offer a slightly different twist on the staggeringly popular Harvest Moon theme, and promises to introduce the series' wonderful concept to a whole new audience.
Rising Star is headquartered in Hertfordshire. Key staff appointments and distribution partners will be announced soon.
Rising Star Games has appointed Barrington Harvey as its PR, marketing and media buying agency.