Koei talks about third party woes, promises PSP love at TGS

Koei has been talking to Gamasutra about the problems facing third party publishers in Japan’s current market climate. Citing high development costs and the need to spread one’s money and energy evenly across multiple consoles, Koei president Kenji Matsubara stated that it is “hard for third parties like us to do business.”

“In Japan, it’s slow compared with some years ago,” he claimed. “Four years ago, PlayStation 2 was dominant, and it’s not now, so I’d say that it’s in a transition situation.

“… I think it will take some years [for PS3 and Xbox 360] to be a big market. The DS is big enough, but the DS has already established a market for third parties. Two or three years ago, only Nintendo could make a business in the DS market, but these days, third parties can make a business. We expect the same situation for Wii.”

Koei has some good looking upcoming DS games in Prey The Stars and Monster Racer. Matsubara also stated that the PSP was proving to be an attractive destination for Japanese publishers and stated that some new games for Sony’s handheld would be announced at the Tokyo Game Show. Koei is also planning to use newbie subsidiary Koei Canada as a way to make the company a bigger name in the West — however, it will need to do far better than Fatal Inertia if it’s to succeed.

James Stephanie Sterling