I’m sure you already heard about the huge interview with Mages boss Chiyomaru Shikura published in this week’s Famitsu magazine. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the biggest part of the interview, Chiyomaru Shikura explaining why he decided to partner with Colopl.
As you already know, Chiyomaru Shikura over a year ago made his own studio called Chiyomaru Studio and bought all the Mages/5Pb shares from Dwango in 2019, separating itself from Kadokawa Group and becoming independent. Chiyomaru Shikura said that back then, he had no plans to join up with Colopl. And yet this is what happened in March 2020 with Colopl buying Mages for 1.6 billion Yen (around 15 million Freedom and Justice Dollars). Chiyomaru Shikura explained that after 6 months of being his own owner, he realized it wouldn’t work out.
Chiyomaru Shikura believes that when it comes to creative industries like the game industry, it’s important to have people who don’t always agree with you, bringing negative but constructive criticism. That’s why he started looking for a new partner. Around 10 companies were interested, and they ultimately decided on Colopl.
They picked Colopl because it valued Mages very highly, and Chiyomaru Shikura gets along extremely well with Colopl founder and President, Naruatsu Baba. Among the ten or so companies, Naruatsu Baba is also the sole president who accepted to meet directly Shikura for first contact over a meal instead of sending someone else.
Chiyomaru Shikura also mentioned the negotiations weren’t done yet when Covid-19 started hitting Japan really hard, and he was pretty worried on that side too. Luckily, everything went well and he’s incredibly grateful to Colopl.
Chiyomaru Shikura also explained why he left Kadokawa Group. Overall, he considers himself an “idiot” who gets along with other “idiots”, but in the good sense of the term. He considers Naruatsu Baba an “idiot” like that too. And Dwango was that way too, so he was happy to join them in 2013. However, when Kadokawa and Dwango merged in 2014, he believes it affected the group in various ways, and it felt like the number of “idiots” in the group decreased. That’s part of why he decided to go independent. Chiyomaru Shikura believes “stopping being stupid is the same thing as dying”. Overall, he believes game creators who manage to balance making money and being idiots in a serious, adult way, are the best game creators. And he aims to be the best in that category.
While Colopl is known for its mobile games, Chiyomaru Shikura also stressed out it’s not like Mages will be releasing mobile games from now on. Even if mobile is the biggest market in Japan, especially when it comes to games related to anime, music, etc. He logically explained Adventure games / ADV games (what people call Visual Novels outside Japan) aren’t suited to the gacha economic model of today’s mobile games. He wants to keep making new games and expand each one with anime, novels, manga, Drama CDs, stage plays and all the adaptations that are the norm nowadays. And Colopl is a good environment for that.
Personally speaking, whenever I hear Colopl, I think about Project Babel which closed on April 30, 2020, and a certain case of mobile games ranking manipulation:
Colopl is a publicly traded company.
The news came out after market close on Friday in Japan, so the hammer should come down on the stock on Monday.
This kind of manipulation is not uncommon – but getting caught is.
— Dr. Serkan Toto / Kantan Games Inc. (@serkantoto) June 21, 2019
In the same Famitsu interview, Shikura also mentioned he wants to do a Science Adventure Series crossover and Steins;Gate Zero Elite, gave new details on Anonymous;Code, and teased more Steins;Gate coming soon.
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