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Matsuura Got Rhythm: The State Of NanaOn-Sha's Founder
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Matsuura Got Rhythm: The State Of NanaOn-Sha's Founder

January 28, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 6 of 8 Next

Another thing that was interesting about larger companies doing smaller games is that your publisher, Majesco, in the U.S., tried to make big games at first. And they all failed.

(laughter from all)

And so, they were going to be de-listed from the stock exchange and everything; they were in real trouble. So, then they just fired a lot of people, got really small as a publisher, and started releasing small games. Like Cooking Mama, and they're releasing -- they're actually releasing independent games, like Kenta Cho's stuff, but they're reprogramming it -- Tumiki Fighters. Now, they're doing so much better.

I think they're making more money than they made when they were trying to make large games. Because they focused on really small titles -- and that's really interesting, for a company to scale down so much and then become much more successful. Because they can choose riskier type things. Because, as I heard from them, they had no idea that Cooking Mama would be popular; they just tried something, because they needed something. And it just sold like a million copies in the U.S., so... it's good that you're working with them. How did you get together with Rodney Greenblat again? Was it Nanaon-Sha's idea or Majesco's?

MM: With the release of a new and innovative platform, it seemed like a good opportunity to renew our collaboration with Rodney. This is something that Majesco was also very into.

How will your "game jam" work, production-wise? Will you collaborate in person, or will Greenblat send you art and you design around it, or do you design and he sends art?

MM: We try to involve Rodney as much as possible in the game’s design, so it’s a very organic and responsive process. He is always a pleasure to work with and brings a fresh dimension to any project.

Can you say anything about how the game will play, or use the Wiimote?

MM: Well, it will most certainly have something to do with music! (laughs)

Will the game also be published in Japan?

MM: We are currently looking to secure a publisher for the Japanese release.

You sent out a New Year's card with some unique art on it -- I also found similar art on your site... is this in any way related to the new game?

MM: I’m afraid that’s a secret! (laughs)

Nana-On Sha's 2008 New Years greeting card

The first games you made, were those for the Apple/Bandai platform Pippin?

MM: It was the first one.

Right. It was called "QES" or something like QuickTime Entertainment System, right?

MM: Yeah, actually, our game didn't use QuickTime. But, it was kind of a toy. A musical interaction toy.

I see. Kind of like Electroplankton? By Toshio Iwai?

MM: Ahhh!

Yeah, like his type of thing?

MM: Um, his game was SimTunes. He released his game from Maxis.

Oh, right.

MM: So his idea is much smarter than mine. (laughs)

Now, he's working with Yamaha. They're releasing the Tenori-On, a kind of interface thing. You can hold it, and you press these touch buttons and LEDs -- you can just touch everywhere, and a wave goes by, and you can play a melody, and you can save, and you can play more on top of it. It's a cool toy.

MM: It's his style.

Yeah, totally. It's a very strange thing, but it's pretty cool.

MM: Did you check the Rolly?

Rolly? What's that?

MM: From Sony. It's an egg.

Oh, the new thing! Yeah, yeah.

MM: But it's an audio player.

Right, right. Why did they do that?

(laughter from all)

MM: I know! Last time I saw that prototype was two years ago, but it was a totally scary and strange product. It's just a music player, but there a cover on the top and the bottom too, and they open up the speakers, you can tell. Sometimes it's closed. And there is a wheel, so the egg is moving -- like this [gestures] -- but playing audio.

So it dances. Yeah, that's really weird.

MM: Yeah!

Article Start Previous Page 6 of 8 Next

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