[Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site Andriasang.com, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]
In our latest round-up of Japanese game industry news not previously reported on Gamasutra, we look at Grasshopper and DeNA's joint venture, Level-5's new Gree games from three of its major franchises, Final Fantasy Brigade, and more.
Final Fantasy Brigade, the free-to-play mobile social game based on Square Enix's flagship RPG franchise, has reached two million registered members since launching in Japan last January (it crossed the one million mark early last month).
The game is available on Japanese mobile social gaming network Mobage from DeNA. Square Enix is celebrating this milestone by giving away free items to players, including a "Debu Chocobo" that players can feed to receive equipment and abilities.
Japanese developers Idea Factory (Spectral series) and Sting Entertainment (Yggdra Union, Knights in the Nightmare), both specialists in niche RPGs, have formed a joint venture called Super Sting.
Super Sting will develop new games that are designed to combine the best elements from the two companies. The first project from the joint venture will be a fantasy strategy RPG, which will release for an as yet undisclosed platform in June.
Developer and publisher Level-5 announced that it will release games from three major franchises -- Inazuma Eleven, Ni no Kuni, and Little Battler eXperience -- to Japanese mobile social game network Gree at part of a "comprehensive business partnership."
It will put out Ni no Kuni Daibouken Monsters, a new entry from its collaboration with famed animation studio Studio Ghibli, in April. It will follow-up with Little Battler eXperience High Grade Custom and Inazuma Eleven Atsumeyoze later.
Grasshopper will release an updated version of Frog Minutes, its charity iOS game benefiting relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last year, to both Android and iPhone this spring.
It has teamed up with Japanese mobile social game network operator DeNA to form a joint venture called Grasshopper Universe, which will release the title. Grasshopper Universe intends to develop more social games for worldwide release.
[This story was written with permission using material from Andriasang.com, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]