By David Fernandes / April 27th, 2012
Is Atlus flying in to save the day again? You probably remember the company UTV Ignition Entertainment (Ignition) as the company that was originally going to fund Dragon’s Crown as its publisher, but as you now see, due to unknown circumstances things have changed. Surprising news last Thursday, Atlus has acquired the publishing & localization rights from Ignition. We don’t know the full story, but Ignition’s, Senior Vice President , Lokesh Dhar has come out with official statements as followed.
He says, “While we are saddened to no longer be associated with the Dragon’s Crown project, we are very confident that the title is in excellent hands with Atlus. Since the initial announcement, information on timing and features in the game have changed and other details regarding design and functionality are yet to be determined. We are confident that Atlus and Vanillaware will deliver the finest game possible.”
Atlus stated with this, “When we took over the reins, we realized that a lot of the information made available to the public was ambitious and unfounded conjecture. The release timing, the pricing, and many of the features detailed for fans and members of the press were simply unknowable at the time they were disseminated (and frankly we were quite shocked to find out that many of the details were made public unbeknownst to even the developers).”
So whatever the case, Dragon’s Crown is now in the hands of Atlus.
Here’s why you should take notice of this title:
Dragon’s Crown is an exclusive title for the PS3, and the Playstation Vita. An action role-playing game, built like a classic side-scrolling beat ’em up, where players move their characters across the screen into the beautifully drawn background or foreground attacking enemies. Players may choose between one of six characters – Fighter, Amazon, Elf, Sorceress, Wizard, and Dwarf – traveling and working as a team across the game’s locations against the many foes that await. The game is based around an idea the director, George Kamitani, had after Princess Crown was made, but couldn’t find a publisher to help fund this idea. After helping develop an old arcade classic, Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, he still held onto this idea for years as he personally wanted to advance this genre like Golden Axe and King of Dragons while still remaining 2D. The game is going to feature a CO-OP mode, which is available offline and online so you can choose to experience it the same way arcade goers had back in the day. UTV Ignition eventually approached him with talks about funding it and they were originally going to publish it, but of course as time grew on, things changed.
This reunion is pretty big news. Vanillaware was formed from members of Atlus, who were in the development team behind Princess Crown for Sega Saturn back in 1997. A game that was sadly like most Saturn games; it was never localized except later given a PSP port, which was released back in 2005. It wasn’t until the localization of Odin Sphere, which Atlus took position of that the two company members would meet again industry wise (Note: Square Enix published Odin Sphere in the PAL region). Now, they have the chemistry as well as being on good terms. It’s a match made in heaven as people would say.
Unfortunately as the saying goes, “when there’s good news, there’s bad news.” The game is likely, not going to appear on store shelves at all this year. Instead, next year is the time specified by Atlus, which is a bit more realistic. Given how little we were shown of Dragon’s Crown as of late, this is most likely true. Another bit of heartbreaking news (though not surprising) is that the original price tag of $29.99 for both PS3 and the PS Vita version, is just not possible. Now, they will probably be what most game prices are now as stated by Atlus and sold separately, which are $39.99 for the PS Vita version and $49.99 for the PS3 version. The great news in the end, is that the game’s not cancelled and it’s still in development.
AtlusDragon's CrownOdin SpherePrincess CrownPS3UTV IgnitionVanillawareVita