Vacant studio points to Game Republic’s demise
posted on 06.14.11 at 10:47 PM EST by (@salromano)

Game Republic, the developers behind the PlayStation 3-exclusive Folklore and the more recent Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, appears to be in bad health.

Recently, Game Republic’s website went offline. Visiting their URL leads only to a browser-based “server not found” error. Concerned, Japanese gaming site G-Dash made the trip to Game Republic’s Tokyo office.

What they found was a vacant studio. Game Republic was originally located on the fourth floor of a building within a minutes walk from Tokyo’s Toritsu Daigaku Station. It’s no longer there. Its windows now feature a tenant solicitation sign.

We’ll keep you updated.

Thanks, Andriasang.

  • Sal Romano

    This would suck if true. Majin and Folklore were great. Couldn’t say the same for Knights Contract or Genji, as I’ve never played them, but I heard they were bad.

    • camaro300zx

      For those looking for an awsome deal go to Gamestop . com. Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is on sale NEW for $12.99 Unfortunatly the stores within 100 miles of me don’t have any new copies.

  • FAUNA

    PLEASE DONT LET THIS BE TRUE! GAME REPUBLIC makes masterful art games..

  • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

    Boy that sucks =(

  • http://www.youtube.com/tezchi TezChi

    This is digusting news if true, no other way around it. Game Republic, whilst not ‘hitting’ with every title they made, are an original and visionary developer. More developers should try put it creative effort like they do, and perhaps more standout experiences would be born.

    Let’s just hope it’s not true.

  • Charlie

    NO!!!
    First Cavia now Game Republic :(
    Why can’t crappy studios get closed down!

  • http://blogeadorsolar.blogspot.com Palitococo

    GR its one of my favs developers, i cant say that i I did not expect this, cause Majin and KC sell just a few copies, but this is really sad man, i enjoy so much with Majin, Folklore and Brave Story: New Traveler.

  • http://www.youtube.com/tezchi TezChi

    I think I’m going to buy Knights Contract just out of principle now!

  • XxBarretxX

    Man, I’m one of the few who payed $60 for Majin and Folklore and I don’t regret it at all. (Even though the price dropped on Majin very quickly.) Folklore is one of my favorite JRPG’s and Majin was actually very good other then the voice acting.

  • Snufkin

    Really hope they’ve just moved offices or something, I actually really liked Folklore – sure it wasn’t perfect, but it was amazing all the same. I also heard Genji wasn’t too good, but I’ll probably pick up a copy of Majin – too late from the sounds of it =(

  • DeftBehemoth

    i really REALLY hope this isnt true. game republic is one of the few developers i like and kinda care about. i really liked folklore and majin.

  • FinalFantasy_fangirl

    This is sad news… Folklore was awesome.

  • DarthXehanort

    Aw… :/

  • Zero

    WARNING (This is going to be a long post! If you do read it, please, feel free to comment, I would love to discuss more about this.)

    Edit: First time I tried to post this, the internet exploded or something, going to try again.

    I read about this on kotaku most recently. It was disturbing and a clear view on just how bad things can get in the business world of gaming these days.

    I read about how Yoshiki Okamaoto, the man who formed the studio. I read about how the studio went from having great success to the chopping block.

    This is one part of the article that really got to me…

    “Okamoto blogged about moving to a new apartment, apparently separating from his family. He described the apartment as tiny, far from the station and the type of place you’d expect roaches to scurry out from. He wrote about getting fish, that didn’t exactly look delicious, for dinner that bargain basement prices.

    Japanese netizens lamented at the lows Okamoto, who had been a certifiable gaming celeb, hit. Gone was the acclaim, the sales, the regular column in mag Famitsu, and it seemed like gone too was Game Republic.”

    If you want, you can read the full article here. ( http://ca.kotaku.com/5807708/japanese-dev-legend-goes-from-riches-to-rags )

    This is just awful news I remember thinking after reading that, and it seems that the news is spreading across the web. I suppose the attempt to keep the departure/shutdown of GR under wraps didn’t quite work.

    I still think the best game GR ever made was the first Genji on PS2. If you feel like you must do this studio a favor, and play a game developed by them, go pick it up for like 10 bucks or less, or get it on an emulator. (Genji: Dawn of the Samurai/PS2)

    Up until Genji, action games with samurai had really used control schemes like Onimusha did. The slower, camera plagued Resident Evil system. And, yes, while that worked for Resident Evil back in the day, it didn’t age well, the the idea of them using it in an action title today is hysterical.

    (Quick note, I’m not bashing Resident Evil, I think when done correctly, the old school style really suits that game. I thought Resident Evil 4 was great, and beat the first 3 back in the day on PS2. I’ll drop it for now.)

    Genji was what Onimusha should have always been, it has a solid story, fun combat that controlled like an action game should, over the top special powers, and had a very JP feel to it. Not only the plot and how it mixed in some altered JP historical tidbits, or the characters, which were samurai, monks, and what have you. The environments, music, the dialogue is even Japanese with English subtitles!

    Ironically, not to long after Genji, Capcom released Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, aka Onimusha: 4. Remember when Capcom said 3 was the last Onimusha, and that would be the end of the series. Why did they, only after barely a year, start working and make another title in a series they had said was closed? You don’t usually say, this series is done in 2004, and few months later in 2005, open up development on a new game in the series for release in January 2006. Very confusing, I’m sure.

    I’m sure if you have been reading my post by now, you know where this is going. I’ll save you from going to wiki…

    ” Game Republic was founded on July 1, 2003 by Yoshiki Okamoto after he departed from successful Japanese game developer and publisher Capcom. Okamoto is seen as somewhat of a luminary in the Japanese video game industry. He began working at rival game developer and publisher Konami in the 1980s, and was responsible for such arcade classics as Gyruss and Time Pilot. He then moved to Capcom, where he worked on many extremely successful franchises, such as 1942, Resident Evil and especially Street Fighter II, a series Okamoto is considered to be the father of.”

    Yes, this is another sad story involving a former Capcom developer folks. It also feels ironic to be talking about Onimusha, since Keiji Inafune was a producer on basically every game in the series.

    For those who know of Keiji Inafune, you are aware of the great stuff he did at Capcom, and how he most recently went through a whirlwind of sorts with Capcom, which eventually led to him leaving, and creating a new company called Comcept.

    Back to Onimusha & Genji. Despite Yoshiki not being listed as working on any of the Onimusha titles, he was more than likely somewhat involved. And considering the first title Game Republic created was Genji: Dawn of the Samurai…well, coincidence? I don’t think so.

    The studio wasn’t just one man, so I’m sure some of his team was made up of former Capcom employees, maybe some of them even worked on Onimusha? I can’t pretend to know that much, but, I can say this.

    I’m more than certain, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams would have never been created if not for Genji. I played Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams not long after finishing Genji. Dawn of Dreams was a fantastic game, but it played a lot like, you know, that one game, oh, uh.. Genji, that’s the one!

    Of course they added new things to Dawn of Dreams, but two of the big changes were the controls/camera, and the RPG like level up aspects. You could actually move around freely for the first time, it felt more like an action game, and you could lv up your character, weapons, skills. And not like the previous games with a simple little glowing bar you filled to lv 3 or whatever, it was very RPG like. Just like it was in, you know, Genji.

    Now, Dawn of Dreams was better than Genji, but it was clear to me, they used Genji as an example of what they could do to improve Onimusha. Some of it was more noticeable than others, but they clearly took a ton of the game mechanics from Genji, and mixed it into Onimusha Dawn of Dreams.

    Why am I going on and on about this? Well, look at games today. How many games have improved from better free flowing movement with the camera and character, and how many games use RPG like elements to improve the game mechanics? Yeah, it’s very common.

    Perhaps Capcom would tell you they had Dawn of Dreams in development before Genji, but personally, I wouldn’t believe it. I’m not saying Game Rebuplic is responsible for games today. Or that they started the whole, lets mix great aspects from other genres of gaming, into action games or shooters, or what have you. They were early adopters of those ideas, and partly responsible for bringing those ideas to mainstream though, you can’t argue with that.

    (Some of you might think about Devil May Cry here, but I’m not talking about it in this post. If you want to discuss that, please go [ http://gematsu.com/2011/06/dmc-devil-may-cry-returns-at-e3 ] here.)

    I really hope that Mr. Okamoto, and all the staff at Game Republic, can find new work elsewhere, and quickly. They did not deserve to see things end this way. When they were not rushed and given time, they developed some great games, and released some that while flawed were very unique and special. (Genji 1, Folklore, Majin, Brave Story New Traveler on PSP.)

    When rushed and pressured, they released poor titles like the sequel to Genji. Which was probably the beginning of the end for them. Which is just sad…

    I’ve lost my train of thought now, so I’ll just end this with saying, best of luck to them. Perhaps they can get back into gaming at Platinum Games? (I hope so!)

    • http://myanimelist.net/profile/PrinceHeir# PrinceHeir

      always love Genji :D

      interesting read, will play the first game on PS3 for sure :P

  • legendarydynasty1992

    Maybe I should pick up Folklore. Had my eyes on that game for awhile. Alot of gamers says its underrated.