Atlus taking over Dragon's Crown publishing duties

Atlus has wrested Vanillaware's newest from Ignition, will be assisting in development

Atlus and UTV Ignition Games have announced that Atlus has taken over the publishing rights and IP for Vanillaware's Dragon's Crown for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The hand-drawn 2D brawler was announced at E3 2011 and was set for a release this year, but Atlus will be pushing the title back to 2013 in North America. The Japanese release date is still listed as TBA. In addition, the publisher will be assisting in the development of the title, with members of the Persona team acting as producers.

"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)," wrote Atlus Manager of Public Relations Aram Jabbari in a post on the US PlayStation blog.

Jabbari also revealed that the title will be getting a price hike from the expected $29.99 MSRP.

"It's still way too early in development to be talking about specifics, but we can say that the game simply cannot retail for $29.99. We don't know where that price point came from, but it is a logistical impossibility. We're all gamers and we all wished it could be so, but it would have essentially destroyed any chance for profitability," he wrote.

The press release from Atlus Japan (translated via Andriasang) mentions the takeover of the IP, which was a spiritual successor for Atlus' Princess Crown, a Sega Saturn title released in 1997. Members of the Princess Crown development team, including Art Director George Kamitani, later formed Vanillaware.

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Latest comments (6)

Alex Byrom Studying Multiplayer Online games design, Staffordshire University10 years ago
Looks great, With Atlus on board it can only improve the quality
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Benjamin Crause Supervisor Central Support, Nintendo of Europe10 years ago
Watching this video the label "Golden Axe 2.0" popped up in my head. (No bashing intended.)
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Oh right, I remember this! Glad to see that Atlus will be taking over and adding their standard of quality and style to it. I'm especially happy that they're openly talking about the lack of communication between the designers and the marketing department.

And if Atlus is saying the price needs to go up, you know it's true. They have a record of selling games at launch for $10 less than regular retail launch prices, or including some sort of bonus to make their fans happy (sometimes both).
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers10 years ago
This is exciting to anyone that played the Dungeons and Dragons beat-'em-up from the late '90s and fans of Vanillaware's other titles.

To me, it's fascinating that people are reacting differently to the price increase announcement differently because it's Atlus. Not that I believe that it's untrue (I know enough about the retail publishing business to know that $30 is hard to make a profit from launch) but it shows the goodwill that Atlus has constructed that fans take them at their word.
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I could see them setting the price at $30 if it was digital distribution, but I think they're doing a regular retail release.

I'd actually like to see Atlus start offering their products digitally. They could easily throw in a soundtrack download for cheaper than including the disc in a regular release, and they can still offer a full "collector's edition" style release at retail for full price, but because they usually discount prices at launch, they'd be in a good position to compete with other companies by offering further discounted prices digitally ($30-$45 vs $60, especially since people don't see sales tax "added" when buying digitally). They could help reset the bar for quality/price perception in consumers.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 10 years ago
I want this baby on a disc with my other games on the shelf. This is one of the few games Im super hyped about. I loved vanillawares previouse games.
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