Like many games developed by small Japanese studios, Vanillaware's Muramasa: The Demon Blade has something of a shaky history. Questions about whether or not it would be imported, and by whom, created quite the kerfuffle among Western hopefuls. It only got worse when the game played publisher musical chairs a few months ago, bouncing from Xseed to Ignition Entertainment, who now have the rights to publish the game in North America.
Given the amount of hype and positive press Muramasa has been getting (Burch 'n Davis' ho-hum E3 impressions notwithstanding), Xseed ought to be a little bummed about dropping the title. However, it seems that, quite the contrary, losing Muramasa allowed them to publish other Japanese titles in the States.
“As much as it hurts to lose Muramasa that does open us up to give more resources to other titles. That gave us a little more energy to focus on securing Fragile and other titles as well," explained Ken Berry (Director of Publishing at Xseed), speaking with SiliconEra at E3. “In the end when it comes down to the consumer: they are still going to play Muramasa. It’s still going to come to North America. We’ve gone out and gotten a title like Fragile, which I doubt any other publisher other than Namco Bandai USA themselves could have licensed for the US.”
Berry's altruism aside, Fragile has been getting a fair share of positive press in its own right, and I'm sure that Xseed will enjoy the profits made when they distribute Gungho's Ragnarok Online DS in the United States -- it's got a built-in audience of 3.14 million.
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