Marvelous gives up on original titles

Poor sales force Harvest Moon and No More Heroes publisher into financial restructure; new focus to be on sequels and Web games instead of original IP.


Japanese publisher Marvelous Entertainment has a strong track record of innovation, releasing such titles as the Harvest Moon series Killer7 and No More Heroes to Western audiences. But it seems this focus on originality hasn't helped the company grow, with news that the company has been forced to stop the production and release of new intellectual properties.

Marvelous says no to No More Heroes.
Marvelous says no to No More Heroes.

According to a Japanese report of the company's financial structure, Marvelous' slate of original games has landed the publisher in financial trouble, with recent titles like Little King's Story, Deadly Premonition, and the No More Heroes series failing to sell well in the publisher's home country. No More Heroes: Paradise--the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 port of the original game--sold just around 30,000 units combined in its first week in Japan, while Little King's Story developer Cing filed for bankruptcy in March this year.

As part of a financial restructuring, Marvelous will now focus exclusively on developing sequels to successful franchises like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The publisher also intends to try its hand at making Web games and software for the Nintendo 3DS sometime in the next financial year.

The original report also states Marvelous will sell off its European subsidiary and withdraw its titles from distribution outside Japan.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 115 comments about this story
115 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for DanielL5583

@TxuZz There is a Japanese remake on the XBOX 360, but it's unknown if it'll reach overseas on that system.

Avatar image for TxuZz

so will a no more heroes HD port ever come to 360 or not?

Avatar image for El_Esbirro

Hold on...don't turn this into a battle of "Adult/Real Gamer/Real Gaming" consoles...cause it's all about the benjamins. We are all entitled to play as whatever we want...don't matter if it's the same ol' boring FS Call of duty 7 barons of death (yes, it's a boring game, an currently forcing myself to play from teh first modern warfare and up...and its just not worth it) or really awful games like Legends of wrestling, or really good ones like Okami and such. Problem is, how to get a quality game hit the mainstream. Imagine if everyone was hooked to a game like OKAMI? a sequel would be bound to occur. This happens so very often, example UNCHARTED. We are lucky to have a third instalment by early november. God of War is another example, Grand Theft Auto is another example. Good games, good marketing and the money rolls in. Now take for example Transformers War for Cybertron...good game and very well executed, story wise and gameplay as well. Bam nobody bought it and critic sites just canned it. Will they get profit to make another transformer game, NOT A CHANCE. Even if it was so well done, is not going to happen. So it's all about profit, what can be mold into a other words, small creative companies will be forced to be absorbed by the big boys. And hopefully this true interesting games will someday see some light. In the meantime, am looking forward for Madden 12! ajajajaja

Avatar image for dubel_07

That's a shame, Killer 7, No More Heroes, and Deadly Premonition were incredible

Avatar image for AjaxNeron

@killer690 Or Little King's Story 2.

Avatar image for killer690

- Oh man, so much for No More Heroes 3 -

Avatar image for Yomigaeru

It's a sign of the times, brothers and sisters. Sequels sell, and original IPs with little marketing don't. Word of mouth helps, but it can only do so much. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the Final Fantasy series, but I can easily admit that is over hyped and is nowhere near the "be all, end all" among RPGs that some would have you believe. I'd love for Square Enix to go back to the days when they were separate entities. I remember the days where we had a Final Fantasy and a Star Ocean title, and a host of other good original games as well (Vagrant Story, Threads of Fate, etc). And now, we have another company that has conceded the fact that the industry's consumers are not rewarding creativity or innovation, but more of the same. The big players can afford to gamble on new IPs, but the smaller companies have no choice but to do what's profitable. It's a real shame. I'll keep supporting the Okamis and the Killer 7s of the industry, but the public at large will continue to eat up the Maddens and Halos...

Avatar image for lightning_kf

@ huntervaneg @ RealFabioSooner @ Asagea_888 @ huntervaneg To answer all of you, some of these so-called 'real gamers' (which is complete bull cause there's no such thing in my view) would rather play generic FPSes or all of the Call of Duty rehashes from Activision and company. This sucks a lot of anus. Not a tad, not a bit, not a handful. A LOT of anus. No More Heroes is awesome and I'm more than eager to get No More Heroes 2 in the near future. The most original game experience I've had ruined by bad sales cause people see that it's on the Wii and shun it. Well look at the beautifully rendered HD ports on PS3 and 360 that did even worse. It annoys me to see people bash consoles that they hate for having bad games or bad sales yet when the same happens to their console, the cat has their tongue. Pathetic if you ask me.

Avatar image for RealFabioSooner

kbaily Speaks The Truth. All hail kbaily. Now seriously, it's so true it hurts. By the way, if you look at the numbers today, you'll see that titles like Bayonetta actually sold little more (in each platform) than, say, House of the Dead: Overkill or Dead Space: Extraction. The difference is that Bayonetta was clearly an impulse purchase, with sales that died down quickly, while the Wii third-party games were slow burners - probably because, contrary to Bayonetta, they were built to last, no to catch teenagers' eyes in a flash of butt and exposed skin. People need to get into their thick skulls that the barrage of bad third-party games on the Wii is solely the fault of each publisher which did them. The console, Nintendo, and the best publishers/studios around (Sega, Ubisoft, Capcom) have zero participation on this and should be treated accordingly.

Avatar image for ffviiifreak

no more heroes never sales in japan

Avatar image for DK-Y2Y

No More Heroes is my favorite third part series on the Wii. I just thought that the games were badly marketed. No More Heroes 2 failed to even beat it's predecessor even though it is much better.Please,I want NMH to stay.

Avatar image for kbaily

I like the fact that everyone assumes No More Heroes faillure was simply because it was on the Wii, as I've recently heard the game was released for the HD twins in Japan and did just as poorly and more than likely the trend will continue here. Why is it when something like Viva Pinata or Valkyrie Chronciles bombs on the so called "gamer consoles" no one blames the idiots who just keep buying the same sequels and FPSes? Nothing to say?

Avatar image for hange

@Daian If it bugs you then I obviously did touch a nerve. Console exclusive is not quite the same as exclusive, but again, most gamers only compare exclusives based on Xbox 360 vs the Playstation 3. Also, but to the actual topic, if Marvelous wants to make money with the games they make they should put them onto the PS3 and 360. Pretty much anything that lands on the Wii that isn't made by Nintendo fails. Very sad, but also very true. The Wii does have a few games for hardcore gamers, but most of the time it does provide for casual gamers only. Unfortunately that is the route that Nintendo has chosen and while it has provided them with a lot of profit it has not for the benefit of real gamers. I can count on one hand the number of games that have been out for the system that have piqued my interest.

Avatar image for daniel13789

Wait WHAT!? No more "No More Heroes"? Dang. I feel bad for Suda 51. He really wanted the series to take off.

Avatar image for Daian

@hange Vs Wii? Not really, Wii's lineup is mostly made out of things that use the Wiimote, mostly exclusives that i don't care about anyway. The only "shared" games are the modified CoD for the Wiimote , the new PoP and maybe a couple other stuff. The Wiimote ( and the terrible hardware ) pretty much makes devs develop games strictly for casual gamers not hardcore ones. Games for real gamers = PC, 360, PS3. Casual gamers = Wii. They are not and never will be in the same category. "I said Bioshock WAS a 360 exclusive. Which, of course, means it no longer is. That is the reason you played it on your PS3." U either mention everytime that u mean exclusive among consoles or stop misusing the word exclusive. I'm just saying. U're not touching a nerve, but it gives people the wrong idea and that bugs me :P On a different note,lol, i got 2 thumbs down just for stating facts, hilarious.

Avatar image for hange

@Daian Wow. I apparently touched a nerve there. There were quite a few games that came out on both the 360 and the PC. I know that, but when people talk about video game exclusives they talk about Xbox 360 versus PS3 vs Wii. Therefore by saying it was console exclusive to the 360 I meant it wasn't out on the PS3 (initially) or the Wii. @falconclan I never said that PC doesn't count. I said Bioshock was a 360 exclusive for consoles. Most gamers are divided between console gamers and PC gamers. @Skull-Fire I said Bioshock WAS a 360 exclusive. Which, of course, means it no longer is. That is the reason you played it on your PS3.

Avatar image for Daian

@hange Oh, so the fact that the PC and 360 versions are the same and were launched on the exact same day doesn't count? Lol, by saying it was exclusive on consoles u're simply saying it wasn't initially on the PS3 because the Wii doesn't count , it has it's own types of games. Exclusive means ONE SINGLE PLATFORM ! Ok? Great, have a nice day.

Avatar image for X-RS

man that sucks! Cing went bankrupt! deadly premontion was rather interesting, among marvelous's other tittles as well. though they should release nmh: paradise over here if they want sails. main game/reason i got my wii.

Avatar image for -Skeletor-

So much for people blaming the Wii for poor NMH sales. The 360/PS3 combined sales in Japan failed pretty bad even with enhanced HD graphics. These are all niche titles which typically sell poorly, look at last gen on the ps2. Niche titles from Marvelous couldn't sell on that platform to really boast about.

Avatar image for -Skeletor-

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for wahyudil

something is wrong with japan's gaming comunity ...

Avatar image for Asagea_888

It's pretty disheartening to see that the only way for Marvelous to keep their head above water now is by churning out sequels. The potential for originality is overshadowed by the gaming dollar, and that's truly a shame because many of these IPs are truly great experiences.

Avatar image for maxgil2

crap better get NMH2 before its gone from store.

Avatar image for zenverak

People don't care for games with soul in them anymore.

Avatar image for huntervaneg

Why creativity is not rewarded? Those games were great, why?

Avatar image for Monkey_ManCCC

I'm just sad now

Avatar image for JaxxRaxor

This isn't really going to affect the release of titles in the United States as Marvelous primarily publishes games in Japan (ubisoft published NMH and NMH2 in the United States). This is still a shame however. I know that while NMH and NMH2 did ok in the USA and Europe, the first one practically didn't sell in Japan and NMH2 hasn't even been released in Japan and probably never will.

Avatar image for dzegzula

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for OkamiGeisha

I loved Rune Factory Frontier and Muramasa.. some of the best games on Wii.

Avatar image for coltACP

bad news, i actually enjoyed alot of marvellous entertainments releases over here in the U.K.At least i contributed to what few sales these games got, they seem to premote some good concepts and are fair games for gamers, not like alot of the mainstream tosh publishers are mired in at the moment.

Avatar image for Pikaandpi

Damn it. Most of the games mentioned, especially NMH and Little King's Story, have brought me quite a bit of happiness. It saddens me that so much cookie-cutter crap manages to sell so well when amazing games like these barely make a dent on the chart.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Unfortunate news indeed. I found Little King's Story to be particularly charming.

Avatar image for Glade_Gnarr

This is a sad day for gaming.

Avatar image for FallenOneX

No More Heroes 3DS please!

Avatar image for johny300

Bad news.

Avatar image for Seth_rules

@KillerChris Btw, sorry bro... I didn't mean to be harsh or anything. It's just that I loved the Sly Cooper series on the PS2 and I loved inFamous and aiming to get the sequel when it comes out.

Avatar image for Seth_rules

@Rockman_X9: I know what you mean... I started No More Heroes 2 yesterday and it brought me the same old and satisfying feeling of the first one.

Avatar image for Seth_rules

@NOscope42 The point of a game being exclusive, it's that it stays exclusive for the time to come. Titles like Bioshock, Lost Planet and Dead Rising are not exclusive, especially when the developers are Third parties developers and they're aiming to release the game and/or the sequel on another console (PS3... umh!! Not a bad idea). The GTA series is a proof of that. It was a temporary exclusivity that changed the market forever. The only exclusives that we should see on the market nowadays should be the games made by First party studios (Sony: Team Ico, Naughty Dog, Guerilla Games,etc. and Microsoft:Turn 10 Studios, Lionhead Studios, etc). Also, a temporary exclusivity doesn't make a game exclusive to a specific console, either it is the PS3 or the 360. Having a PS3 put me asides when games likes Mass Effect are released for a single console (including the PC... :D!!). Mass Effect (1 & 2) and Alan Wake should be praised for their production quality. But what I heard from the people who bought AW, the backgrounds may be astonishing, the dialogs well written, but the story is so-so, the render of the characters could have been better, especially on the 360 (that machine got some serious graphical power... :D!!), and spending about 70-80$ for about 15 hours that can be completely done in one playthrough it's not worth it. They said it's the best rental you could ever make.

Avatar image for Seth_rules

@KillerChris You better check your information. First of all, Sucker Punch has worked with Sony exclusively since 2000. Creators of the Sly Cooper series released on the PS2 back then, inFamous was the new IP they brought us and for the first time on the PS3 (let's hope it won't be the last). Btw, why don't you talk about LBP as an indie game? It was the first game project Media Molecule ever worked on (as far as I know) and decided to deliver it exclusively on the PS3. Before Sony acquired Media Molecule in last March, it was an independent developer. But I will completely agree with you on the fact that new IPs can only survive if they have good financial support (ads, trailers on TVs, etc). Not all developers can't afford it and unfortunately, Marvelous was one of them.

Avatar image for nintendoboy16

@demonic_85 NMH is out on PS3 and 360, but it's only out in Japan. And it didn't sell as well as you'd hope. Read the second paragraph in this article, and you'll know.

Avatar image for demonic_85

This is what happens when you release a great game on a system where the genre has no market. No More Heroes should have been on Xbox 360 and PS3, it would have sold plenty.

Avatar image for QtrArt


Avatar image for qubeley

It's always sad to hear innovative companies going down. Now we are really stuck with bad sequels and ports....

Avatar image for solidine

Well, realistically this was bound to happen. It's too bad as Killer 7 and No More Heroes were awesome. I haven't played any of the others so I don't know about them. Deadly Premonition, even though looked like a low rent, buggy, broken, POS, seemed strange enough to warrent an investment into. I may pick it up since I saw it for dirt cheap at Wal Mart. That said, there's a reason companies stick to sequels. They sell. Sure, it sucks that people let incredibly original, great quality titles fade into obscurity because they want to shoot aliens with big guns, but that's life. It's also the reason I've lost a lot of interest in gaming.

Avatar image for DemonRaptor

Oh no! Little King's Story is the best thing on the wii.

Avatar image for The_Owner

That's too bad. Suda 51 is under appreciated.

Avatar image for Rockman_X9

EEH, Killer 7 was published by Capcom and developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, I don't see how this game has anything to do with Marvelous, who didn't publish it. As for No More Heroes, Grasshopper and Suda 51 may find other company to publish it, or they can buy part of the rights, since they are the creators of the game. And knowing Suda 51, and his appreciation for No More Heroes (his first game in getting a sequel), that's more likely to happen. I was hoping the game to sell more on the HD consoles, than on the Wii, something that didn't happen (the Wii version sold 500.000 units worlwide) As for anyone talking trash about the series, I'm playing for the third time NMH 2, since I love the game and is extremely addictive.

Avatar image for redskinStu

That's a shame, Killer7 was cool.

Avatar image for tommy_boy9999

This is just horrible news. I loved No More Heroes such a breath of fresh air. maybe Atlus could pick them up