Welcome back again to Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly look at the international world of video games.
It was a busy week in the video game world abroad. Reports out of Korea suggested that that country’s big publishers Nexon and NCSoft were looking to purchase Valve; in Japan, it looked like Konami was going to stop farming Silent Hill out to European developers and give it to its premiere Japanese creator Hideo Kojima instead; and in Britain, Revolution Games greenlighted development on Beneath a Steal Sky 2. That’s not all that’s been going on beyond our borders though, as Jetsetter can attest.
* Starbreeze announces Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
At the beginning of September, Jetsetter reported that Swedish developer Starbreeze had signed a two-game deal with publisher 505 Games. The first title would be Payday 2, a sequel to Overkill Software’s multiplayer shooter. The other game though was more mysterious. All Starbreeze announced was a codename for the game, “P13,” and it said the game would be a collaboration with filmmaker Josef Fares. P13 debuted on Thursday as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a lush looking downloadable for PC, Xbox Live Arcade, and PlayStation Network. The story follows the titular boys as the try to find a cure for their dying father. As you can see from the image above, Starbreeze’s very first original game is quite a looker.
Japanese MMO culture is peculiar. While online role-playing games like Final Fantasy XI are played in the country, they’re far less popular than multiplayer RPGs like Monster Hunter played on portable devices but over local wireless connections rather than online. How popular are local multiplayer RPGs? Square-Enix sold 4.3 million copies of the multiplayer Dragon Quest IX for Nintendo DS within six months of its release. The company released the first fully online entry in the series, Dragon Quest X, this summer on Nintendo Wii. Not great, comparatively. According to Nihon Securities Journal (via Siliconera), there are only 300,000 Dragon Quest X subscribers paying the $13 per month fee to play. If Dragon Quest can’t get Japanese citizens playing MMORPGs in the millions, nothing can.
* Jump Games expanding to either Canada and Singapore.
Indian mobile game developer Jump Games—a purveyor of numerous movie tie-in games for iOS like Total Recall and Real Steel—is opening new studios in Singapore and Canada. “We’re clear that we need to have a studio outside India,” Manish Agarwal told MCV. Agarwal is the CEO of Reliance Entertainment, the parent company of Jump Games. “We’re looking at exploring the talent pool in either Singapore or Canada by opening a studio there because it’s going to take time for the local talent to develop.”
This is Jetsetter’s second week at its new Saturday slot. Any suggestions for the column? Drop us a note in the comments. You can also follow me on Twitter at @ajohnagnello.