By Paul Kainoa Vigil / February 21st, 2015
On Friday, JASDAQ publicly announced the buyout of longtime Japanese game developer tri-Ace by mobile gaming company Nepro Japan. Nepro Japan will buy all of tri-Ace’s shares and assume ownership of the company. Prominent tri-Ace figures like founder Yoshiharu Gotanda who held company shares will be compensated for the buyout and receive new shares in Nepro Japan. As part of the buyout, tri-Ace now acts as a subsidiary of Nepro Japan and will pivot their development efforts towards mobile gaming.
tri-Ace is a storied name in Japanese gaming development, making a name for themselves as a specialized developer of RPGs. They are responsible for franchises such as Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean, in addition to singular offerings like Radiata Stories, Infinite Undiscovery, and the above-pictured Resonance of Fate. They are well-known for their avant-garde gameplay systems – a quality definitely in display with Resonance of Fate, a game whose battle system is known for being flashy and cinematic, and yet also polarizing. Before their acquisition, some of tri-Ace’s more recent offerings included partnering with SEGA for Phantasy Star Nova on the PlayStation Vita (a Q4 2014 in Japan), working on the Konami-published Beyond the Labyrinth for the 3DS, and assisting with development of the last two entries in the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.
It’s worth noting that tri-Ace doesn’t own any of the above-mentioned IP’s. But for fans of some of the above titles, it does seem like the likelihood that they could return to work on some of their classic franchises has diminished even further. It should also be known that tri-Ace has already worked on an RPG for mobile devices; last year saw the release of Chronos Ring, published by Konami.
What do you think of this acquisition? Any favorite titles from tri-Ace? Let us know how you feel about the news in the comments section!