Japanese market slumps as publishers react to tragedy

Updated: Square Enix, Irem, Sega make content decisions; 3DS launch in Europe unaffected

Games publishers listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange have all seen large sums wiped off their values, with the market falling significantly following Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

At the close of trading on Monday SEGA Sammy Holdings was the worst affected of the video games publisher stocks, dropping 13.5 per cent to end the day at 1530 ($18.69), while Tecmo Koei also saw double digit decline, falling 10.7 per cent to 626 ($7.65) and Konami was down by 9.9 per cent to 1610 ($19.66).

Sony shares dropped by 9.1 per cent to 2550 ($31.15), while Nintendo's were down by 7.6 per cent to 21,280 ($259.91). Namco Bandai stock fell by 6.4 per cent to 905 ($11.05) and Square Enix was down 6.2 per cent to 1370 ($16.73).

Meanwhile the games business has been responding to situation in Japan, with Konami and Square Enix shutting down the servers for Metal Gear Online and Final Fantasy XI/XIV respectively in order to conserve power.

Regarding the forthcoming launch of the Nintendo 3DS in Europe and North America, Nintendo has indicated that that the former at least will be unaffected.

In a statement obtained by, Nintendo confirmed that no one from Nintendo of Japan was injured in the disaster and there has been no structural damage to the company headquarters in Kyoto - or any other offices in Japan.

"Business operations, including future product shipments, have not been affected," reads the statement. "Our thoughts and best wishes are with everyone who has friends and family members who may have been affected by the earthquake or tsunami."

Reports indicate that the release of Motorstorm Apocalypse in Japan has been delayed indefinitely, following on from a brief statement issued by Sony to on Friday explaining that the company was "carefully monitoring the situation" with respect to a European launch.

And Irem's planned PlayStation 3 title Disaster Report 4, originally pencilled for a release this Spring, has been cancelled by the developer, according to Adriasang.

Sega has also delayed the launch of the zombie-themed spin-off to Yakuza, known in Japan as Ryū ga Gotoku Of the End. According to website Andriasang the company only referred vaguely to 'various circumstances' as leading to the decision.

However, when the game was initially announced - before the presence of zombies was confirmed - screenshots were mistakenly thought to portray some sort of earthquake or other natural disaster.

It appears that Japanese publishers are being as cautious as possible when it comes to titles which include any imagery similar to that seen in the current real-world disaster.

Companies in the West have started to look at ways to assist the stricken country, with Zynga launching new in-game items, the revenues from which will be administered by its charity partner Save the Children.

And SEGA-owned studio Sports Interactive has announced that proceeds from the sale of the iOS version of Football Manager 2011 will be donated to a disaster relief fund, reports VG247.

Private donations may be made to the Japanese Red Cross charity via its British counterpart's official website.

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Latest comments (8)

Private Industry 5 years ago
Good to include the red cross page they will need all they can get.
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Tony Johns5 years ago
The Japanese Games Industry need to do all they can to bring in the money to their country.

And maybe this is the time for Otaku gamers over in the West to stand up and help a fellow country in need.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
@ Tony,

But importing is bad and evil and region locking is the way that was intended by higher beings than us!

Seriously though, I'm glad that everyone at those companies is okay.
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Show all comments (8)
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Here is a list of donations and support from select game companies.

300 million Yen ($3.6 million / 2.6 million / 2.8 million)

290 million Yen ($3.5 million / 2.5 million / 2.2 million)
30,000 portable radios

$1 per retweet up to $100,000 (71.5 thousand / 62 thousand)

Sega Sammy:
200 million Yen ($2.4 million / 1.75 million / 1.5 million)

Namco Bandai:
100 million Yen ($1.2 million / 875 thousand / 758 thousand)

Tecmo Koei:
10 million Yen ($120 thousand / 87.5 thousand / 75.8 thousand)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 14th March 2011 3:23pm

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Zidaya Zenovka Blogger, Writer, freelance artist. 5 years ago
@Jimmy After getting a lot of bad press over the whole 'tying advertising for Bing via donation tweets', MS apologized and made the $100k donation all at once.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Ah, good for them. Probably should have added a "0" to the end though.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 5 years ago
I'm glad that they pulled games that are related to earthquakes and alike. Japanese developers seem to have more sensitivity when it comes to issues like these. I wish them all well as the videos I saw about the quake and the tsunami are really scary. My friends there are ok but Northern Honshu is a real disaster zone now.
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Private Industry 5 years ago
While I don`t want to criticize anybody who donates and every little helps, but MS isn`t exactly poor to be able to "only" afford 100k. Bill Gates alone spends billions on donations for a good cause his (former?) company should take an example on that. I think that`s the first time I have seen that companies inside the country donate more in a short time than the once on the outside and they will have to pay a lot more in the near future in the process of rebuilding.
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