KAIO: King of Pirates cancelled
posted on 03.13.15 at 04:31 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Marvelous loses $3.8 million as a result.

KAIO: King of Pirates

Marvelous has cancelled Kaio: King of Pirates, its 3DS action RPG led by Comcept and Keiji Inaune.

According to Marvelous, Kaio was being developed as a powerful new IP for the company, but after sudden changes in the market environment that would make developing the initially planned cross media project difficult, it was decided that the company would cancel the project. As a result, Marvelous has lost 461 million yen (approx. $3.8 million USD).

KAIO was first announced in 2011 as due out in 2012. It was later delayed to 2013, then to 2014. And from there, well, you know.

Thanks, Games Talk.

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  • Elvick

    Can’t say I’m surprised, but I’m pretty sad about it. I love penguins, and was looking forward to this. Even if it was based on nothing other than a penguin pirate. xD

    • Budgiecat

      I have a pet penquin

  • JonathanisPrimus

    “According to Marvelous, Kaio was being developed as a powerful new IP for the company, but after sudden changes in the market environment that would make developing the initially planned cross media project difficult, it was decided that the company would cancel the project.”

    Read as: we saw Square Enix, Capcom and Sega all flop with kids cross media franchises and decided we didn’t want to join them. Level-5 got that on lock.

    • Casval

      They got that on lock? Remember Gundam AGE?

      • JonathanisPrimus

        no one bats 1000

        • British_Otaku

          Likewise with Capcom, they were pros at the cross media stuff between Megaman Battle Network and that DS series. If they designed something else with Megaman brand by similarly simple genius, it could go far.

          Gaist Crusher? It was actually a good series, but the marketing and anime seem to have slowed it down before it could even start running.

  • Anime10121

    Not surprising in the slightest…

  • Warboss Aohd

    awww, i wanted that game.

    • British_Otaku

      We never saw game footage to get too excited though.

      I was interested in Rodea as it had a great theme song and wonderful looking gameplay in the first trailer, this only had my interest because… Inafune’s name and King of Pirates in the title (FLCL and One Piece are dope).

  • Alexandre Duval

    Keiji Inafune is the Peter Molyneux of japan. Riding on past glory, he talks big and constantly fails to deliver. A real financial black hole.

    • British_Otaku

      He isn’t that bad… At least not yet.

    • OverlordZetta

      Where has he “constantly failed to deliver”? Both Soul Sacrifices were great, and that’s literally the only thing comcept has released.

      MN09 may fail just because of inflated beyond realistic expectations and people completely misunderstanding their campaign, but that’s not really a fair judge of the game’s quality.


        Soul Sacrifice is great because SCEJ took part in development, i guess Inafune’s pawns is not so bright compared to people from SCEJ.

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

          Yeah, SCEJ actually does some pretty good work when they’re involved anyway, lol. Getting them on board is the hard part though :p

    • astrogamer

      You guys are also missing Azure Striker Gunvolt. It’s not terrible and it sold over 100k copies. Plus, Isn’t “Molyneux”ing promising big and saying past games are failures? He isn’t doing that aside from the ones that are legitimate failures (like Yaiba).

      • http://twitter.com/GNPixie Lynx

        Gunvolt was Inti Creates, not Inafune.
        They simply cross promoted given they’d worked together in the past.

  • Zuhri69

    Ah, man. Was really looking forward to it.

  • British_Otaku

    It is pretty common that losses are cut by releasing a game instead (see Gaist Crusher God and likely Hero Bank 2 – both still had an anime running for a year at the time) of sitting on all of the resources built up. Or even cases where games are turned into games for other platforms, other genres, mobile titles and novels (see Level 5’s PSP game) instead of cancelled outright.

    This isn’t only a case where the market wasn’t going to welcome the game for the 3DS, but Marvelous likely felt that it wouldn’t get enough mileage elsewhere to even try in general. In addition,very little work was probably done I’m guessing.

  • desponent

    Why not just release the game without the mixed media? Or is it not at presentable state? Then where did all that money went to? Inafune, but he just begged people’s money for notmegaman?

    • OverlordZetta

      It probably went into making stuff they’re now not releasing. All the hours paying employees and everything they made and never finished is now worthless.

      And some games just need or work much better with it. Yokai Watch did.

      • desponent

        I never said that mixed media never work, where did you even get that?

        Here’s option I proposed to them :
        1. If the game is in presentable state, then finish it without the mixed media, it might at least get their investment back.
        2. If most of the money went into the media part… well then they’ve done goofed, but they might be able to make some money. Just release it without the game.

        If they think either won’t work at all, not even for recouping the investment, because they knew it’s really really that bad… well, why did they even make it in the first place lol.

        • astrogamer

          It won’t get their money back (it would need close to 200,000 copies sold and little known new IPs don’t do that) and it probably isn’t finished properly

          • desponent

            I just don’t understand how they could spend all those money for a 3DS game and still doesn’t have it in working state after all these years. And absolutely nothing even come out of it.

            Maybe they’ll try to salvage the game by turning it into something else as an established title’s spin-off, EX Trooper-style…. and failing again.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

    Why do people insist on putting money on this guy? I’d just abandon ship at this point. He’s not really worth what he used to be and unless he comes up with something original that really makes him stand out, every future project will fail in some way or another.

    • OverlordZetta

      It’s probably got less to do with Inafune and more to do with how they’ve seen how these things play out since so many IPs of this kind have come and gone since the games’ initial announcement. At the time it was a novel idea, but right now it’s just something that often fails if not handled well – even Level-5 took a while to get it down to Yokai Watch.

      • vishmarx

        infafune failed with devil’s third too.
        he hasnt made a proper game in ages

        • OverlordZetta

          Two Soul Sacrifices and MN09 are all games.

          Potentially Marvelous pulling the plug on this too.

          • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

            Soul Sacrifice is his swan song, in my opinion, and MN09 is just him trying to make Megaman while not being a part of Capcom. The quality in that game is terrible (looks like a Flash game), so you can definitely tell MN09 is merely a poor substitute for what he used to make when he had a better team and tools at his disposal.

            If he wouldn’t have been such a dick and just released MML3 like he should have done, people would actually give a shit about him today, but as it stands… Now he’s just a has been and probably won’t make a game even worth mentioning any more.

            • Elvick

              He should have stayed at Capcom to ensure that MML3 happened. It wouldn’t have been too much longer. He’d be out by now, and the only real notable thing he’s done since leaving is Soul Sacrifice and Mighty Scam 09.

              • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

                Pretty much. Inafune has always been the Mega Man guy. Now, without that, he doesn’t have as much respect these days. Don’t get me wrong. Soul Sacrifice was/is very successful for Vita, but I don’t think he’ll ever be as successful or well known as he used to be… That time has come and gone.

                It pains me to see him trying to give fans a poor man’s replacement for Mega Man, as if trying to keep his child on life support, even though we all know it’s not going to get better. It’s very rare you ever see someone like this break from a company they’ve been with for so long to start their own and actually do well for themselves.

              • Joshelplex

                Capcom didn’t want him, because he was responsible for the “westernization” of the company, which ended up almost killing them, which is why the asked him to leave.

                • Elvick

                  I’d imagine they had more of an issue with him working on games in secret to push them further alone to point where it was either lose a ton of money or finish them and release them to make some of it back than anything.

                  He did that with Dead Rising and Lost Planet.

            • Pete K

              Don’t talk about shit you obviously have no idea about. Mighty No. 9 might be a bit of a disappointment graphically (though, if you expected anything more, you can blame yourself for silly high expectations), but its gameplay is extremely solid. You’re also judging an incomplete game for looking a bit rough, which is always dumb. Not that the game will be a stunner either way, but still, it’s a game that needs to run on everything from 3DS to PC, so that limits how good the game can look, not only because of hardware limitations but because developing a game on so many different kinds of platforms simultaneously isn’t cheap, so each different version is resources away from stuff like graphics.

              • Elvick

                “though, if you expected anything more, you can blame yourself for silly high expectations)”

                I’m sorry, what? There are games with smaller budgets than MN9 that look significantly better.

                Their backgrounds look like poop. That Sega + Game Freak game with the Elephant looks better than MN9 does. And Sega is having issues with money, so I can’t imagine the budget is that much.

                WayForward, aside from DuckTales which has the same ugly environments like MN9, makes better looking games. And at least DuckTales had great sprite work.

              • Mighty No. 56008

                You probably shouldn’t “talk shit” and get your facts straight as well.

                They actually promised amazing graphics on one of their first updates. However we now have a game that actually looks worse than the “primitive” test video.

                Now realistically I wasn’t expecting much, but I was expecting far better what we have right now. There are flash games that look better than MN9.

            • DukeMagus

              He got out because people were pulling the plug on legends 3 and Mega Man Universe. He offered to develop the game outside capcom, Cyberconnect2 offered to develop the game too. Capcom denied both

              • Aiddon

                no, you have it backwards, they pulled the plug because he left. Had he stayed on MML3 probably would have been greenlit and produced.

        • BadGenome

          Inafune is not Itagaki.

          • vishmarx

            my bad…
            so one’s the ninja gaiden guy and the other is the capcom one right?

            • BadGenome


            • AnGer

              Also, Devil’s Third is still a thing. Nintendo announced they’ll help finance the rest of the project last year.

      • Budgiecat

        they did? I dont remember that

        Now that canceled PSP game however…

        • OverlordZetta

          Yeah, they did. Inazuma Eleven was successful, but not YW successful, and Danball Senki ended up having to get taken out back and put down so they could start YW.

          Likewise, we’ve seen the likes of Gyrozetter, Gaist Crusher, and more all come and go since this was announced. These are really risky projects that cost a LOT of money to make (getting merchandise ready, anime going, and so on), and if it doesn’t catch on, you’re right fucked. I don’t blame them for pulling the plug given they could have potentially lost a lot more had this actually come out and not taken off, much as I wanted to see this game.

          • Budgiecat

            you think this coulda sold 200k copies?

  • OverlordZetta
  • Guest

    lmao 1 delayed + 1 cancelled.

  • MrKappa

    Not surprised at all. I hate to say it but Inaune is washed up now and even MN9 probably won’t be as big a turn out.
    I suspect he will be begging fans for money for whatever his next project is.

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari


      • MasterSensei


  • NessWonderSprite

    Not surprised. I stopped caring about this game a long time ago.

  • Budgiecat


    game alone probably woulda needed to sell at least 200,000 copies to turn a profit..

  • epy

    Not much sympathy for Inafune anymore. Sucks for Marvelous though.

    • AnimusVox

      I’m curious; what did Inafune do to make people a bit upset with him?

      • astrogamer

        I guess it’s the fact that MN9 had a second kickstarter

        • DukeMagus

          it hadn’t. the game would be 100% developed with the attained perks when the kickstarter ended. People mailed asking for english dub, the team said it wasn’t in the plans, people were willing to pay and the paypal pre purchase option was opened

          • Mighty No. 56008

            Only a loud minority asked for voice acting. The fact that the campaign for more funds to make it happen failed shows that there wasn’t that much interest for it.

            • William VanZant

              The campaign didn’t fail, though. We are getting English VAs.

              • Mighty No. 56008

                It actually did fail. If I remember correctly they only managed to
                collect $20,000 for the $200,000 campaign that would’ve funded both
                English and Japanese voice acting.

                However by using extra funds they collected from
                backers increasing their funding amount or from “slacker backers” (gawd I
                hate that term), they used those funds to reach the $100,000 mark.

        • César H. Sandoval

          Except that it totally didn’t.

        • OverlordZetta

          It didn’t. The first one continued past its ending date, with stretch goals included. That’s a very different thing.

        • Mighty No. 56008

          Technically they opened up another campaign for voice acting and then DLC, not antoerh Kickstarter project. But your point still stands.

      • Rohan

        For me its just the fact that he promised us a Megaman game under a new name and decided to change the formula so you fucking dash all the time for everything now and its just really not a fun game. It seems Inafune was not the reason why MegaMan was fun.

      • HotLimit

        He did a lecture tour where he badmouthed Japanese devs for their lack of originality.. So he’s basically a huge hypocrite. Plus, as this article proves, he can’t seem to get anything done without sympathy from people lost in nostalgia. He’s paid his dues, time to pack it in.

        • AnimusVox

          Oh ok, I was unaware of that. Just seemed kinda odd how he was kinda loved and then suddenly people were upset with him but I see why. Thank you for the response.

  • AnimusVox

    Not gonna lie I didn’t even know this was in development until reading this article.

    • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9OfI5Q2bHMAse95sgWMU2Q NinEnixAtArt

      Same here I didn’t know what the fuck this is until I read this article lol

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      Not your fault. Outside of delay announcements, there was like one real update on the game following its initial announcement.

  • Wolf Star

    To be honest… I forgot about this game, a long time ago.

  • Aiddon

    Whatever, it didn’t look that good anyway, and considering that it was Inafune behind it I doubt it would have been good.

    • Guest

      wow prime example of a hater

  • César H. Sandoval

    Nice to finally have some closure.

  • An Tran

    Disappointing, but not surprising I guess.

    Now I wonder what the status of certain delayed games like the Wii U version of Project CARS is…..

    • lpchaim

      Oh yeah, I was thinking about CARS just the other day when that other delay was announced. Devs must be kicking themselves for having promised to launch it for WiiU initially haha

  • ManagedCorn

    Inafune does it again.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I’m not even surprised. Sucks for Marvelous that they lost that money. I’m sure Inafune isn’t sweating it though.

  • BizarreJelly

    Kamiya was right.

  • http://www.spaghetti.com/ Kaisenex

    i always wondered what happened to this game… dang

  • Dimitri Theodosakis

    Still no Fate of Sony Japan Studio’s Last Guardian and Rockstar Worldwide Studios’ Agent

    • Elvick

      TLG will come out when it’s ready. How many times does Sony have to confirm it’s in development before people stfu?

      Agent is vaporware.

      • Guest

        well the same was said about this and now it’s gone so whats ur answer wise guy?? it’s happened before where games just don’t get finished for whatever reason. take a chill pill.

  • PrinceHeir

    Damn that sucks, but with constant delays and no updates it’s not surprising.

    I do wonder what Inafune’s next project after Might No.9? Is he involve wit Azure Strike 2? What about Soul Sacrifice 2?