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 Seaman  3DS, TGS 2012, and more in this week's Japanese news roundup

Seaman 3DS, TGS 2012, and more in this week's Japanese news roundup

February 20, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

[Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site, 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 reports of a new Seaman game in development for Nintendo 3DS, details about Tokyo Game Show 2012, and a social game adaptation of Virtua Fighter.

Nintendo reviving other publishers' games, Seaman for 3DS

Nintendo is working to revive other publishers' properties for new 3DS entries as part of a new strategy to bolster the handheld's offerings, according to a report from business newspaper Nikkei.

One of those properties is Sega and Yoot Saito's eccentric Seaman series, which was a strong seller on Dreamcast after its debut in 1999, and it also saw a Japan-only sequel for PS2 in 2007.

The original Seaman was a virtual pet-raising sim in which players used a microphone to interact with an evolving fish/frog creature with a human face. Saito created a spiritual sequel for the series with Gabo for iOS several years ago, but Apple rejected the idea.

Grasshopper Manufacture and Kazutoshi Ida Working on iOS/Android Game

Developer Grasshopper Manufacture (Shadows of the Damned, No More Heroes) and the Japanese arm of Korean publisher NHN Corp. announced that they will release a new iOS and Android game this summer.

The game will be directed by Artdink veteran Kazutoshi Ida, who worked on PlayStation series Aquanaut's Holiday. Like those ocean exploration games, this new smartphone title will feature "detailed depictions of sea life, and a deep sea world."

Tokyo Game Show 2012 Detailed

This year's Tokyo Game Show, which runs from September 20 to 23, will center around a new theme: "Through Games, Your Smiles Connect." Organizer CESA expects to attract 180 exhibitors and 195,000 visitors during the four-day event this year.

TGS 2012 will feature several areas open to the public: the General Expo, PC Game Corner, Smartphone/Social Game Corner, Game Device Corner (accessories), Sales Corner (for buying products), Game School Corner, and Family Corner.

It will also have several areas and events for industry professionals only: the Asia Game Business Summit, TGS Forum 2012 (focused on new technology and trends), Sense of Wonder Night 2012, and the Asia Networking Party.

Sega brings social Virtua Fighter to Mobage, Yu Suzuki's studio supervises

Sega has released Virtua Fighter Cool Champ, a new card-based adaptation of its beloved fighting game series for Japanese mobile social game network Mobage. The game was debuted for Mobage members late last week.

Japanese studio Epics (Nanashi no Game) developed the game with supervision from Sega and Ys Net -- the company founded by Virtua Fighter and Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki. Ys Net also handled the recently shuttered Shenmue Town social game.

[This story was written with permission using material from, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]

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