Sony is apparently in talks with SEGA, the goal being to get some of the most requested game series’ onto the PS3 ,PS4 and our beloved Vita.
Adding even more oil to the fire is something Adam Boyes (Sony PR) said to Kotaku during a PlayStation 4 event;
Boyes: It’s tough because we’re doing a lot of different things that are gonna make pockets of people happy. There’s not like one thing that’s gonna make everyone’s mind explode. The key is to bring people that are fans of certain content great stuff. So if people are fans of Japanese content, you can imagine that’s a place we’re putting a lot of effort into. People who are fans of the Vita, you can imagine we’re putting lots of effort into that. Even with PS4, right, people who weren’t necessarily planning on content, or whether there’s a PC game we think should come over. There’s a lot of things that are happening in that space…
I would say in the next year’s time, if you’re a fan of Japanese games, if you’re a fan of Vita, then hopefully we’ll have a little treat for you.
Schreier: Okay, so, full disclosure: I’m a big fan of Japanese games. I’m a big JRPG guy. Over this past generation, I saw tons and tons of games that stayed in Japan, and while you’d have a few niche publishers—the XSEEDs and Aksyses and Atluses of the world—that are bringing some of those over, a lot of them are stuck, especially on the PSP. And for me as a PSP owner, I was like, ‘Jesus, Japan is getting all these cool games that I want to get my hands on.’ Do you envision that continuing to happen? Some of that stuff wasn’t localized because it was niche, some of it wasn’t localized because companies couldn’t see the sales potential there—are you guys more willing to take risks on those types of games?
Boyes: That’s the thing like, we also revamped our whole sort of financial strategy group, and so we’re doing really deep dives on the commercial viability of a lot of products. So you can imagine—and I’m trying to tread the balance of I don’t wanna make a lot of promises that people like, ‘wahh I thought you said this’—but imagine us watching TGS, and when there’s content that’s been announced at TGS on our stage, the first thing we’re doing is making a list and saying, ‘Is there opportunity for that content to come to US?’
And then also going through the most popular stuff – you know when we were building lists there was a massive amount of requests for all kinds of huge IPs that are big in Japan. And those are the ones we’re going after, based on the popularity of the requests, so you can imagine there’s lots of… whatever games I say, [people are] gonna be like ‘Ahh, it’s coming!’
Schreier: With the caveat that this is all up in the air, this is all in negotiations, are there any that you guys have in mind that you would really like to bring over here?
Boyes: I think a lot—we get a ton of requests for Yakuza, a ton of requests for Shenmue. We see the lists. Like everything that people have tweeted Gio, literally we have a person that compiles those lists and prioritizes based on how many requests we’ve gotten. And I think to date there’s well over 10,000 mentions across like forum threads and stuff like that. So those are the ones we’re focused on.
But I think the challenge is always that there’s so many different intricacies, going into is the creator there, what’s the current status, does the publisher have other things going, so it’s not as easy as like, ‘Why are you taking so long?’ There’s a lot of things you have to do. And because it is a new thing that we’re doing, it’s also difficult to sit down with a partner saying, ‘Hey, we’re gonna do this, it’ll be fine.’ You can’t imagine that the Gearbox team and Randy Pitchford would be like, ‘Oh yeah yeah yeah take our baby and just whatever.’
They want to be really involved and they want to be sure we build trust. So I think what you’ll see is the first couple will take longer, and then once we get a couple of those games, especially ones localized from Japan over here, then I think you’ll see the cadence increased
Schreier: That’s good to hear. When you say that you’re targeting games in Japan, you mentioned Yakuza, you mentioned Shenmue—those are older games. Are you looking at PSP games? Are you looking at PS3 games?
Boyes: You could imagine that every piece of content that’s come to those platforms over in Japan, we’re looking at bringing over. It’s also a balance of like, is it gonna be commercially viable if there isn’t some sort of HD remix, should it come just as the native version, should we port it up? And so those are conversations, again—I worked at Capcom, now I work with Sony, so this is my second Japanese company. It’s about trust. And it takes a long time to have those conversations and make sure everyone feels comfortable, especially ’cause it’s like, we haven’t released it before in America, how’s it gonna do and stuff like that.
So it’s a long process. But I’m very hopeful. The whole reason we started the group is to bring great content that you love back over here.
Al DeLeon, Sony PR: Do you have a wishlist, Jason?
Schreier: All of my readers want Final Fantasy Type-0, which is a PSP game that was never brought over here. That’s like number one request from everybody.345
Boyes: It’s on the list. It’s building the list.
The PlayStation Vita has been out for two months in Japan. So how is a PSP game topping the charts? Read…
Schreier: Another one is that Suikoden PSP game that was released in Japan but never made it here. Is that something that you’ve gotten requests for?
Boyes: It’s on the list, yeah.6
Schreier: That’s good to hear—it’s exciting.
So what would you say about the possibility Shenmue coming to the Vita?