NIS America apologizes for seemingly negative comments towards PS4

A letter from Takuro Yamashita.

NIS America

NIS America president Takuro Yamashita has issued an apology regarding comments made in the MCV April 2018 issue article “Switching Gear” (available here, page 38).

In the article, Yamashita made the following comments:

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 and 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. I can’t reveal the number of units they’ve guaranteed, that’s secret talk.”

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.”

And here is today’s apology:

“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.”

Takuro Yamashita
CEO and President of NIS America, Inc.

Update 10:25 p.m.: Headline updated. The original headline (“NIS America apologizes for saying ‘Sony is not friendly with small publishers’”) misrepresented the purpose of NIS America’s apology. We apologize for the error.

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