A Japanese publishing company called Zoo Entertainment is stepping up to help deliver popular Western indie games to the impenetrable Japanese market. The country’s digital distribution is currently crippled by draconian rules which force indie developers to publish through a legitimate publishing company, making Japan’s bubbling indie scene sound a lot like the former Xbox One policies.
And you thought Japan and Microsoft had nothing in common.
Zoo Entertainment has already published Realms of Ancient War and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams both for the PlayStation 3, and it is looking to wrap up even more titles. Final Exam, Zombie Tycoon II and Contrast are all due out on the PlayStation 3 in 2014.
The Japanese indie scene has not seen the same success as the West. Lots of brilliant little titles lurk in the back corners of the Internet, but largely due to language barriers and inability to get their names noticed has held it back from booming. For every Cave Story and La Mulana that make it big on the indie scene, there has to be a dozen of fun little games waiting to be discovered.
Hopefully, Zoo Entertainment will be a beacon of light for these indie developers to finally get a hold of some decent indie games in America, and inspire them to share their creations with the world. An indie scene in Japan might just be the spark the country needs to wrestle itself from the funk its big publishers have gotten the industry stuck in.
No doubt, they might have even more trouble competing should the Japanese indie ever reach the world scene. It’s only a matter of time.