Shueisha publishes Weekly Shonen Jump, the most famous weekly manga magazine in Japan. And now the company is getting into gaming in a much bigger way.
Famitsu reports that the iconic publisher has established Shueisha Games on February 16, 2022, to develop and release games for consoles, PCs and smart devices. The company will also be involved in the development and sale of analog games (ie board games).
The head of game production for the company is Masami Yamamoto, formerly of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio.
Shueisha’s Weekly Jump has published some of Japan’s most iconic manga, including One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Hunter × Hunter, Fist of the North Start, Slam Dunk, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and dragonball. All of these have been adapted into anime as well as video games.
Last year, the popular manga publisher launched Shueisha Game Creators Camp, a project designed to support independent game creators. According to its BitSummit listing, “this project aims to apply this knowledge to guide indie game developers and help them produce innovative games.” There are already a handful of titles to come from the effort, including Oni, The children’s towerand Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimension for the Nintendo Switch.
Shueisha is currently working on several large projects in collaboration with large-time game companies. These projects will leverage Shueisha’s talented manga artists as well as its in-house manga editors.
One project is about smart devices. It will feature character designs by a famous manga artist from Shueisha’s Weekly jump. The game will be developed with the aim of first freeing in Japan and Asia, but eventually expanding globally.
Another project, which Shueisha Games describes as a “multiplayer speed trick action game,” will be co-published with a major Japanese game publisher and developed by a major Japanese studio. The game platform is still TBA.
Starting a Shueisha video game company is a big deal because it would mean the publisher is much more involved in the game creation process. So far, Shueisha seems to have been more of a licensee. To be honest, it’s a wonder the publisher didn’t have a big game-making branch sooner.