Someone got an angry phone call, methinks
Takuro Yamashita, President of NIS America, has issued a statement apologising for his recent remarks in an article with MCV, in which he believes he misrepresented the origins of upcoming fighter SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy.
In the original article, Yamashita spoke about the original plans to make the all-gal fighter a PS4 exclusive, before switching focus to Nintendo Switch for the Western market. In a follow up question, Yamashita commented that Sony “doesn’t care about small publishers like us.” Below is an excerpt from the interview, which can be read in full in MCV, page 38.
MCV: You are working much closer with Nintendo recently. How did that come about and what benefits have you seen as a company?
Yamashita: “I’ll give you a scoop! Originally we signed with SNK on SNK Heroines just on the PlayStation 4 format. Then last year an opportunity happened at Gamescom, two third-parties happened to meet all together outside Nintendo’s meeting room. The first meeting was between NIS America and Nintendo of Europe, and the next meeting was between SNK and Nintendo of Europe. Of course, these two were separate meetings. Then after their meeting, influential people from SNK came to our booth and said: ‘Hey, Mr. Yamashita, is it possible to cancel our contract on PlayStation 4? Nintendo wants to work on this title on an exclusive basis!’
So these third parties come together and the team at NIS and SNK decided to go with Nintendo for the western market. Physical copy-wise, it’s going to be a Switch exclusive. PlayStation 4-wise, it’s going to be just digital. That’s the deal. We will not release a packaged version for the PlayStation 4 format. Then Nintendo will act as a distributor for this game. Then they promised to buy a lot of units.”
MCV: What is your strategy for Europe moving forwards?
Yamashita: “For the JRPG market, the biggest country is France, so most of our key titles, such as Ys VIII and the Disgaea series, we localize the game in French to get in a much better position in Europe, because the French market is the biggest for JRPG titles. We’re starting to do more on Nintendo Switch. SNK Heroines is not the only one. We’ve teamed up with Nintendo Europe for our other Switch titles. They support is in a good way. Compared to that, Sony is not friendly with small publishers likes us. They just care about big Japanese companies.
Also, if we simultaneously release a Switch version and a PlayStation 4 version of the same title, currently the sales trend is two to one. That means the Switch version sells twice as much as the PlayStation 4 version. Physically and digitally. A lot of PlayStation 4 titles are coming up, so the market is very competitive. Compared to that, the Switch market still has lots of room for publishers to make money.”
Since then, Yamashita has released a new statement apologising for comments made during the interview. The apology seems more specifically aimed at his take on how the NIS/Nintendo deal came about, rather than the slightly more obviously incendiary statement about Sony’s lack of love for the little guys. The apology reads as follows:
“I must extend my most heartfelt apology to SNK and Sony Interactive Entertainment. The truth is that the Nintendo Switch exclusive plan was originally decided by NIS America, and only later among discussions with influential SNK people did we decide the best option moving forward would be to have as much exposure as possible. This is why that in the end, we are bringing the PS4 version of SNK Heroines to the market, and even supported this version at the NISA Press Event and in the press meetings in February and March.
In discussing matters with MCV, I thought that some insider information would make them interested in the overall conversation, and such lip service did not stand on the side of truth. Once again, I apologize to SNK and Sony if it made them seem negative towards the PS4 platform in any way, and stress that the original goal of a ‘Nintendo Switch exclusive’ version of SNK Heroines came from NISA.”
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy will release on PS4 and Nintendo Switch September 7.