Nier developer to shut shop

Report reveals Nier will be the last title from developer Cavia; studio to be absorbed into parent company AQ Interactive.

46 Comments

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Despite a largely positive reception in its home country of Japan, the Square Enix-published action role-playing Nier failed to wow audiences in North America.

Neir sees players taking on the role of a muscular protagonist of the same name as he fights to save his daughter.
Neir sees players taking on the role of a muscular protagonist of the same name as he fights to save his daughter.

Now, Japanese gaming news site Andria Sang is reporting that Nier developer Cavia will soon be incorporated into parent company AQ Interactive, a move that will see the studio ceasing to create titles under the "Cavia" name.

In an interview with Japanese gaming site 4gamer, members of Nier's development team revealed the title would be the studio's last before being absorbed into AQ. Later on, AQ requested that 4gamer specify that the Cavia brand will cease to exist following the move, although no reason was given.

AQ Interactive is also the parent company of Japanese game developers Artoon and FeelPlus, as well as US publisher Xseed Games. Cavia is best known for developing both Nier and the Drakengard series for Square Enix; the studio is also behind titles such as Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Bullet Witch, KORG DS-10, and Fate/Unlimited Codes.

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Shinkada

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Uh. What. The original main character was the version we got. Cavia inserted the prettyboy for Japan, and Japan alone. If anyone should be insulted it's the Japanese for it being implied that they're unable to associate with anyone over the age of 24. Whatever, these comments are filled with people who like their J-RPGs nice and formulaic. I'll just say, thank you for Nier, Cavia, and I'm so sorry to see you go.

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Arsyad00

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thnx Cavia, Nier was great game thats why positive reception on Japan(i think around asia too). well north america just love war shooting games and SHOOTING game only.

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Rhatik

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DAMN NIER IS AND WAS A GREAT GAME IT WAS LIKE STEVEN SEAGAL ON STEROIDS IN A GAME WITH HIM TRYING TO SAVE HIS DAUGHTER THATS JUST AWESOME IMO !

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Lisandro_v22

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@Arcxe: I read it, I thought Cavia and AQ were subsidiaries of Square if I was wrong I apologize

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SteelBallsBill

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This goes to show that contrary to popular belief Westerners like quality action games and care little for the protagonist

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Arcxe

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@Lisandro_v22 ...Did you read the article at all? SE didn't even develop it...

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ahpuck

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The new gaming business model is quite ruthless, one or two bad steps and it's all over for small companies.

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lostn

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Cavia's games are always bad anyway. I'm surprised they've survived this long.

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N0tYrBeezin

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Nier has one of the most unengaging start of any game that I have seen. It neither intrigues nor tries to draw the player in to the story at all. I almost fell asleep.

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organbank

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Its a good thing From Software is here to fill the void of rubbish developers trying to sell rubbish products :D

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OJ_the_LION

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@monzmeg My problem was with the fact that they had, quite clearly, stated the entire reason for the old Nier existing was that they assumed western gamers only like super buff grizzled main characters, and I don't like being stereotyped like that. Even more so than the stereotypical JRPG pretty boy, it's a bit annoying when so many western games have grizzled mountains of muscle who look and sound exactly the same--at least Nier has some hair instead of the usual skinhead look. Judging from the critical and commercial failure of this game, it looks like the two-protagonist gimmick didn't work. Different protagonists are nice in theory but there are games with much better implementation, like mass effect.

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Lisandro_v22

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

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Lisandro_v22

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@lamprey263: Everyone knows paid reviewers never use the full range of the scoring system, no game gets under a 6 unless it makes your console burst on fire, so average games get 8s and slightly better games get 9s, nobody is going to give a blockbuster a bad review that's a rule... and there's also the case were the reviewer honestly likes bad games, that's why it's hard to come by a good review of a bad game.

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fLaMbOaStiN

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@lamprey263 I agree with ya' 100%.. But im sure there's not a lot of gaming journalist that'll tell a big developer that their game is junk or even criticize it at all.. That's actually for the game testers, and i'am guessing a lot of those were Japanese.. And that's why the game probably did so well in Japan, because it got a lot of testing and feedback from it's Japanese game testers.. I'am not sure who tested it for the Western audience but from the reviews and stuff it seems like they failed Cavia. BUT it is interesting i saw a preview of this title in one of my older Game Informers and the person writeing the article clearly voiced his concerns with the game.. Which is something you don't see in a lot of previews.. After i sorta read that i got a little iffy and pulled my pre-order.. Glad i did.

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fLaMbOaStiN

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I was really lookin forward to this game and was watching it for some-time.. As i havn't played a JRPG in a long time besides FF13 and some older ones i been playin on the PS2 *drool*shadowhearts:covenenat*drool* is the one im playin now ^_^ .. I read in most previews saying the story was "mature" and the theme was "dark." After reading almost all the reviews the game came off more as a kiddy-RPG then it did as a "mature" and "dark themed" one.. Oh well.. Square Enix jus' need's to give us another Star Ocean PLEASE!!!

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slaves

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NNNNNOOOOOOOOOO

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ChubbyGuy40

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I didn't get to complete this game, but I was having fun with it. And they made the RE: Chronicles which I enjoyed but seems others didn't. Too bad this developer was pretty decent.

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Ohaidere

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@ 64-bit "SE is next if they dont do something good." You mean something like the critical success (yes, 82-92% is critical success) and strong selling FF XIII? Or maybe the critical success (commercial success is still TBD) Dragon Quest IX that was JUST released?

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lamprey263

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this game looked like crap, though I don't entirely blame the developers for this, gaming journalists are just as much to blame for bad games sometimes as the developers, take G4TV for instance, I see them on X-Play talking to gaming journalists asking about the game, telling about the game, saying "oh, this looks so interesting, can't wait to finally try it" then weeks or months later they'll review it and rip it apart, and not just to single out X-Play, but online gaming websites and magazine gaming journalists do this too, they have a perfect opportunity to tell developers "hay, this looks iffy, might I suggest..." and possibly save developers and publishers the hassle of putting out a bad game with some simple peer review plus, gaming journalists have perspective developers don't, surely developers of even the best games don't really know if it'll be a success until it's out, they've been making these games for years and are possibly numb and even sick of looking at the things we're hoping turns out good, they need as much outside perspective as possible

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Nosnitsttam

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thank you! now can someone do something about the jerks who ported the force unleashed to pc?

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ohwhat_24

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@kaboom. serioulsy...the most underrated game of this generation...i really do hope you were joking or under the influence when you said that...because you couldnt be more wrong. this game sucked. plain and simple.

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SneekyRatchet

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i agree with the two guys below me

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Waldkrieger

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That's what happens when you make garbage games.

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73X

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Can't say I feel too bad. Nier was awful, in my opinion.

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KaBo0m

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This is the most underrated game of this generation

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64-bit

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SE is next if they dont do something good.

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gshell

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can't say they will be missed......beat down could have been so awesome but the game was dreadfully boring and the things you could do wasn't very fun.....drakengard 1 & 2 were cool but very average.....haven't played nier but i have played enough of cavia products to make an approximate assumption that will save me money

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Abberon

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Square continues to spirall downhill.

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johny300

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Not good.

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monzmeg

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@8DaysTillSunday ......Its already dropped to £20

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8DaysTillSunday

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Hmmm I'm gonna get Nier when the price drops. Unsettling news for Cavia, though.

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Witchsight

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So Nier, yet so far :(

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TTDog

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If Nier is the best they can come out with then this is only for the good of games in general.

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OJ_the_LION

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Cavia..well, they weren't a top-tier developer, but their games were marginally fun. I enjoyed Fate/Unlimited Codes for a while, although notably Cavia only did the "planning" according to wiki, the actual developer was Eighting. Maybe if Cavia had spent less time and money in making region specific versions of Nier and more time working out the kinks it would have done better. I'm sure there was a better thing to do than the extremely cynical move of giving the Japanese a white haired pretty boy and the western audience the grizzled old Nick Nolte character, considering plenty of other games have done well without that. The game was pretty fun, but could have been a lot better.

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MacenKrace

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That just goes to show ya that not all that is good on the market is also being appreciated.

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rigzzsy

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i loved nier =[

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Black_Adder_

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I have to admit I haven't even heard about AQ Interactive though - but now I'll know that they have some good people working for them.

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Black_Adder_

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I just hope they will continue to create games where story and gameplay is above the graphics - as MONZMEG mentioned before, NIER was much better than FFXIII and I think the game (NIER) might even be THE BEST STORY OF 2010 nominee. Also NIER's soundtrack is superb.

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monzmeg

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Yup...what a damn shame.....Nier was a lot of fun, way,way more enjoyable for me than FF13 (which I just couldn't take any more of after several hours of trying) just started second playthrough plus there are 2 more endings....gfx a bit rough in places but still good, sfx and music great (the soundtrack is awesome) .....Bullet witch was garbage though lol....still, sad to see Cavia go.

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Chargrilled

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very sad. i guess this means there wont be any more nier dlc :/

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Glottis

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Nier is a very underrated game. I'm sad to read this news :(

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Kleeyook

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They should just make Drakengard 3 instead of Nier. :(

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Gelugon_baat

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"Later on, AQ requested that 4gamer specify that the Cavia brand will cease to exist following the move, although no reason was given." I can think of a reason. It has been mentioned already that << LINK REMOVED >>; Square Enix already has the Japanese consumer base hypnotized, i.e. there are zombie customers guaranteed to buy any Square Enix product, but the market there is practically saturated now (and they have serious competitors, like Konami and Namco Bandai). The Western market is not under their complete thrall yet, so it is obviously the next target for Square Enix. Let's take a look at the << LINK REMOVED >>. You would notice the huge difference between the sales number for the American region and Japan. Clearly, NIER failed at its goal of market penetration, and Cavia is understandably punished with oblivion. Square Enix may not own Cavia or AQ Interactive, but in Japan, the wrath of a bigger stakeholder (Square Enix in this case) is great indeed.

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SDBusDriver1979

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I enjoyed Drakengard and oddly enough Bullet Witch for what it was but yeah looking at their track record it isn't too impressive.

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Pete5506

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Thats to bad, hopefully when combined we can see some good games in the future