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Exclusive: Jaleco Not Closing, Preps  Kizuna  For Wii Release

Exclusive: Jaleco Not Closing, Preps Kizuna For Wii Release Exclusive

March 23, 2009 | By John Andersen

Jaleco Limited officials in Tokyo have confirmed to Gamasutra its plans to continue in the video game business, following financial firm Jaleco Holdings' sale of its stake in video game subsidiary Jaleco Limited to Game Yarou in January of this year.

Due to the parent and subsidiary companies using the same "Jaleco" title -- known for '80s- and '90s-era games like Bases Loaded and Totally Rad -- confusion arose in numerous press reports.

Many outlets noted that Jaleco Limited was discontinuing business operations under the new GameYarou ownership, referring to a press release from January.

However, Jaleco Limited press spokesperson Yuki Takakura, commenting to Gamasutra this week on behalf of Jaleco president Takayasu Kato and GameYarou, has stated that this information is incorrect.

Jaleco Limited will operate normally under GameYarou's full ownership, with no changes being made to its established operations. It will continue to retain the Jaleco brand name and operate its Tokyo office independently of Game Yarou. The developer-publisher is preparing action RPG Kizuna for a May 28 release on Wii in Japan.

When asked about the possibility of Kizuna being released outside Japan, Takakura commented, "Unfortunately, I can't tell you yet, but wait for it."

Kizuna (Ougon No Kizuna) is being developed by TownFactory, and was written by Final Fantasy XII and Sword of Mana scenario designer Miwa Shoda. Taking the director's helm is Yoichi Kawaguchi, who was credited as the main programmer of Dragon Quest VIII.

Kizuna's storyline revolves around a lone soldier named Lian, who upon learning of his father's mysterious disappearance sets out on a journey to find him.

Lian must overcome his introvert personality to form bonds with other characters he meets on his journey through 100 different quests. Another central character within Kizuna is Aina, a royal princess of the Navigatria kingdom with magician ancestry.

The game boasts a battle system that allows over 100 monsters to appear on the screen at once. Kizuna makes use of the Wii nunchuck and remote for what Jaleco calls an "easy-operating battle system."

The soundtrack is composed by electronic musician Ken Inaoka, a native of Fukuoka, Japan, where TownFactory's development office is based. Inaoka is also known as the co-founder of Syzygy Records, one of the first independent Japanese techno music labels.

Jaleco confirmed it does have new titles in development beyond Kizuna, but declined to release any further information.

The current incarnatin of the firm, Jaleco Limited, was established in 2006 as a developer of console, mobile and online games. Former parent Jaleco Holding is the descendant of longtime console and arcade game developer Jaleco, whose vast game library is now maintained by Jaleco Limited. The company supplies content to Nintendo's Wii Virtual Console and the G-Cluster gaming-on-demand broadband service.

Jaleco Limited's new parent company, Game Yarou, is a branch office of South Korean publisher GameHi Incorporated, know for its MMORPG Dekaron and first-person shooter Sudden Attack.

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