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Q&A: Ex-Atlus Staff Form U.S. Publisher Aksys Games

Q&A: Ex-Atlus Staff Form U.S. Publisher Aksys Games

July 17, 2006 | By Brandon Sheffield

A new North American niche console publisher has emerged, in the form of Aksys Games, created in January 2006 by former Atlus USA project and business development manager Akibo Shieh. The company has just announced its first game, Eagle Eye Golf for the PlayStation 2, so Gamasutra had a chance to catch up with Aksys' Gail Salamanca to find out about the new firm.

The game is a localization of Telenet Japan's somewhat cartoonish sports title Enjoy Golf! - the game is also due for a May 2006 release in Europe (as Eagle Eye Golf) by Italian publisher 505 GameStreet, and is being brought to the U.S. with the help of Japanese localization house InterOne, home of former EGM editor John Ricciardi.

The fledgling company, which has also been pitching its localization services, has yet to issue a full company announcement, so Gamasutra conducted a brief Q&A with the company's marketing manager, Gail Salamanca, also formerly of Atlus USA.

What was the impetus behind Aksys' formation?

The objective was to be able to provide our excellent localization skills and services to companies (not just the gaming industry) that needed assistance in localizing text from Japanese to English, and vice versa.

Why did you transition from game localization to publishing? Was this the original goal when Aksys was formed? And will you continue to offer standard localization services?

Getting into the game publishing business was an eventual goal that happened much earlier than we expected. The localization service that we offer is now ancillary to the core publishing business, but as long as there is a market, we'll keep offering it.

How large is the staff presently?

We have 5 people currently on staff.

What market are you aiming for with published titles?

Considering our previous experience and skills in the game industry, we're definitely shooting for bringing Japanese games localized for the U.S. market. One of our main goals is to build a hardcore fan base for our games, which I believe is crucial to the success of any small publisher.

How well-suited do you think the games market is for small publishers right now?

We're not going to kid ourselves, we know that we'll be fighting an uphill battle with the console transition and the price erosion of current-gen titles. However, as long as we play it smart, watch our spending and bring out quality titles I am very confident that we'll succeed.

Aksys' Eagle Eye Golf is planned for a Fall, 2006 release at an MSRP of $29.99, according to the company, and Gamasutra will have more information on the company's plans as they are announced.

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