Yuke's stepping into downloadable-game ring

WWE vs. SmackDown creator's US arm creates new Akinai subsidiary to focus on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and WiiWare; High Voltage's Evasive Space due in January.


Evasive Space

Japanese game maker Yuke's is best known for its often-contentious work with THQ on the WWE vs. SmackDown wrestling franchise. However, in 2006, the developer established a US subsidiary--inventively named Yuke's Company of America--which to date has focused on such beyond-the-mat fare as Neves for the Nintendo DS, D1 Grand Prix for the PlayStation 2, and Double D Dodgeball for Xbox Live.

Evasive Space's title says it all.
Evasive Space's title says it all.

Today, Yuke's Company of America announced a subsidiary of its own, Akinai Games. Recognizing the growing prevalence of digital distribution, Akinai Games will focus primarily on creating downloadable games for Microsoft's Xbox Live, Sony's PlayStation Network, and Nintendo's WiiWare online storefronts. Yuke's also noted that it is considering extending its subsidiary's reach to the PC and mobile platforms.

"We're seeing a dramatic shift in the marketplace as online platforms emerge as a source for high-quality game content, instantly available to the consumers via direct download," Yuke's Company of America CEO Shane Takahashi said in a statement. "Yuke's is establishing Akinai Games to recognize the importance of online distribution platforms, and to focus on their growing significance to gamers."

The first game to fall under the Akinai Games label will be Evasive Space, a top-down action game developed by The Conduit creators High Voltage Software. The downloadable game is expected to arrive on Nintendo's WiiWare channel later this month.

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