What the hell is wrong with companies sometimes?

So well, alright, the alltime stupidest gaming company on the face of the planet is easily Sega, but why do so many others have to compete with them? What are the company decisions that have irked you the most and make the least sense or are the most repellant to you? Konami foisting on an unrelated into what became Silent Hill 4? The Non-Director’s Cut of Resident Evil original?

Okay, so here’s the story.

Capcom localized Phoenix Wright. It really shouldn’t have worked out for them, because all the super intelligent PR guys would tell you it would be dead on arrival, but it did. The game sold out. Completely. Everywhere. (Even in Japan, but that’s not much of a mystery, as it does much better here.)

So months later, they made a reprint. That sold out. Very quickly as well. Now this summer, they are on the third or fourth reprint. And this one is almost gone within a small matter of 1 or 2 weeks again.

At one point does somebody have to hit Capcom on the head with the ZZ Top judge’s gavel to let them know they have a hit that will probably sell like Advance Wars did, that is, little by little, for years at a time, due to very positive word of mouth?

To add to the confusion, Phoenix Wright cost very little to make. It was a remake, the resources for the extra additions took very little time to implement. The staff was very small and the game isn’t exactly made of expensive FMV or hired talent. And on top of that the staff was working on other projects simultaneously. It was profitable to the order six times the amount of money it took to make on the very first day of its release in Japan, returning the investment entirely. All extra sales are gravy. Its recent budget rerelease had one of the highest sell rates on an original game in the history of budget rereleases in only two weeks, despite being unavailable for six months.

Your game keeps selling out. You never produce enough copies of it in order to keep it in stock and potentially sell more copies. The DS manufacture times and convenience is a lot easier than the GBA’s.

What exactly, is keeping Capcom from printing money here? I’m not entirely sure why I care so much, since it doesn’t affect me…no, wait it does. Despite owning the original for years and the DS one since its Japanese release, if Capcom supplies it well, I’m pretty sure, over time the game will sell as well as Katamari Damacy, Tales of Symphonia, Dance Dance Revolution, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Disgaea, Ico and Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life did. All of those games racked up rather impressive sales for what they were, despite first month sales that didn’t promise a final figure anywhere close to what they eventually got to in the end. And each one was more profitable for the publisher than they thought it would be initially.

My frustration comes from the fact that clearly Phoenix Wright’s success in Japan sparked a revival in Japanese adventure games (12 alone released or upcoming for the DS in the last two years). I have a hard time believing we would have gotten things like Battles of Prince of Persia if AW hadn’t proven years ago that there was a market for it and Daisenryaku never would have been translated. On top of that, I firmly believe Katamari Damacy and Disgaea are the biggest reasons why more games along their lines (such as Ys, Eternal Mana, Metal Saga or Trauma Center, Feel the Magic and Bumpy Trot) got a chance in foreign marketplaces. If Symphonia had bombed I’m pretty sure Namco never would have bothered with another Tales game. So I think there’s a pretty good chance that if Phoenix Wright can eventually rack up an impressive sales record for its type by selling bit by bit year after year like these other games did, then it will help inspire others to follow suit and try adventure games on the DS outside of Japan.

But it needs to be supplied first, they’ve already made quite a profit, so they’re not going to lose out too much by overestimating a shipment, especially since the game is holding its value really well. I suppose it’s enough to know that the second and fourth games are pretty much confirmed for translation too and maybe when the series continues to sell well, Capcom will get a clue and support it better.

Oh well, at least they have great marketing for the series.


While I don’t know much about Capcom’s production practices, I can comment that it was far harder to get my hands on Phoenix Wright than it should have been. I’d like to see more quirky lawyer games, so boo to Capcom for not selling more copies, I guess.

Also, that movie is great. Thanks for posting the link.

EDIT: Isn’t calling SEGA the “all time stupidest” game company a bit unfair? Sure, they made some massive blunders, but it’s only because they lasted through four console generations that they’re famous enough to earn that title. A lot of console makers only lasted one generation. And besides, SEGA is still in buisness, making games (if not hardware.)

And besides, I would like to call prosecutor Kitsune’s attention to Exhibit A!

I know Capcom’s neglect of Phoenix Wright is criminal. I’ve thought similar things about Atlus and other companies. If Atlus released more copies of Disgaea, it would be like printing money.

I would think that would make it worse! After all, a bad company that goes out of business is only stupid in the classically boring ways that most companies are. Sega, however, is special. They’re are a company with uber-talented staff who keeps making bad choices and not letting themselves flourish like they could.

And what’s with SOME massive blunders? Sega’s stupidity is eternal and huge.


-Killed their forward movement with the Mega Drive/Genesis, by releasing three machines within close proximity with each other (plus the Nomad) and had plans to release a fourth.

-Decided to release the Saturn early in North America despite the fact that retail and third parties and Sega themselves weren’t, and the advertising wasn’t either.

-Tried to patent the changing of camera angles in 3D games as a technology, despite the fact that Virtua Racing wasn’t the first to implement such a thing.

-Released Shenmue 2 only on the Xbox in the US, despite their being no sign of a consumer base for it, and heavy demand for the title on the Dreamcast, along with good Japanese sales of the sequel.

-Took all the money they spent on top-notch visuals, cut scene direction and a sophisticated script, as well as fantastic voice acting in Ryu Ga Gotoku, paid money out the wazoo for talented voice actors and then produced an unbearably awful English voice track for the translated version Yakuza. Despite the fact that, of course, this game takes place in Japan with a crime organization that is pointedly in Japanese in a city that could only be Tokyo. Star Ocean and Xenosaga were on DVD9s, other game have had dual language tracks, its not that hard.

-After a very successful selling Shinobi revival on the PS2, becoming one of their first big selling games as a third party, they removed the Shinobi branding from the sequel and called it Nightshade, only to see it become one of their biggest bombs, giving consumers no way of knowing its part of a popular series. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.

-Only released one sequel to a popular franchise in the entire history of the Saturn, despite the fact that they desperately needed more visability and strong sellers.

-Gave the Crazy Taxi license, their most popular arcade game in years, to ACCLAIM to handle. ACCLAIM!

-Decided to put forth a huge amount of resources to reviving all sorts of old classics. Knowing that gamers who are interested in classics are hugely picky, they let D3 Publisher, developer of C and D-grade shovelware, handle them.

-Only ever letting the first lady of RPGs, who produced one of their biggest and most beloved series ever produce one RPG again after Phantasy Star IV. After that RPG became a beloved hit as well, didn’t put her anywhere near a Phantasy Star project and still hasn’t let her work on an RPG.

-Despite being most popular as an SRPG, will not develop a new Shining Force game as an SRPG unless its for the cellphone.

-Alienated one of their most famously loyal third parties that stuck by them no matter what even in the most desperate days enough to make them forever swear off making games for the company by simply treating them so badly on one E3 to let it happen.

-Let the Japanese branch of the company dictate iron clad policy in America and the rest of the world after it had been shown that the company’s most successful period had resulted when they let CEOs who ran the branch of the business best in that part of the world operate with their own ideas the generation before.

-Despite the fact that gamers showed a larger demand for games like Shining Force III, Panzer Dragoon Saga and Rez, left them to rot without any more small shipments, despite the fact that the games were on CD and could printed in small enough volume to guarantee profit.

-When Virtua Fighter 3 became the most successful Japanese arcade game of all time, eclipsing Space Invaders and Pac-man, and they had a machine that could a close to arcade perfect port, let a B-grade lower name company handle a sloppy conversion, despite the fact that the very same mistake of sloppy conversion FOR THE VERY SAME SERIES cost them a lot early on with the Saturn.

What other talented company has such a track record? In fact, the only really smart thing I think Sega has done recently is make sure that the Sonic series stays close to Nintendo machines.


They’re publishing TotalWar… like 'em for that. Though if they’re the ones responsible for the sped up combat and chain routing of RTW (in the interest of making it more rts-y and accesible), I take it all back.

Konami drives me nuts with their limited GBA prints.

I hope they are re-thinking things with the re-release of Castievania Harmoy of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow double-pack.

Ninja 5-O was another limited print as well and didn’t have an ounce of marketing.

How hard would it be to put another 2D castlevania on a home console (high rez sprites). It would be like printing money given that I still have a hard time finding SOTN, even after a Greatest Hits reprint or two.

You also forgot that sega decided not to put streets of rage series on the sonic gems collection in the US, because they didn’t want the T rating. I also agree about them not making more copies of some of their harder to find games.

You misunderstand me, I don’t say that they’re a bad company, they just make bad decisions. For instance, in this case, is it possible that Sega is the one responsible for Spartan: Total Warrior?


Kitsune, your Sega list makes me sad.

Why not the third? Me likey some Phoenix Wright!

While I’ll happily admit to knowing nothing about anything, I wonder if this hasn’t got more to do with Nintendo than Capcom. As platform holder, they control the supply of cartridges - and the factory they come from. I’ve read plenty of articles about their fairly horrid manufacturing processes: essentially, if you’re a third party, buying your way into their production schedule is pretty hard work. Even if Capcom are as dumb as you say, this may have something to do with the Phoenix Wright shortage.

Possibly. This isn’t the only DS game I’ve heard about having stupid shortages. Castlevania frinstance was horribly understocked.

All due respect, that might not be the most accurate picture to paint. Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Worlds of WarCraft…these games are the closest thing to “printing money,” especially WarCraft’s monthly fees collected on millions of users.

Obscure lawyerly game and obscure RPG game probably aren’t quite as close on the revenue scale. Just 2 cents here.

Phoenix Wright could be a pretty big hit if it was done right. A lawyer game is obscure, but a lawyer everything else? Not obscure. The series is huge in Japan, and there is absolutely nothing about the content that is unsaleable in not Japan. Disgaea sold very well, and that’s dense and impenetrable as well as wacky and pedorific.

On the scale of Atlus’s operations, it would be like printing money. Consider their critically acclaimed PS2 title from last year - DDS2. It only sold 25,000 copies. Disgaea goes for a lot on Ebay; you’re telling me the RPG audience wouldn’t snap up copies if they were back in retail? I know I would.

Forgot to answer this question!

I’m reasonably sure it will come over in time. Gyakuten Saiban 2 was even better than the first game (the last trial is extremely impressive, in particular) so I doubt there’s a chance of a backlash. Furthermore, Gyakuten Saiban 3 already had 5 trials, so I doubt people would complain much if they didn’t add a DS specific trial. It might be a little difficult for Capcom to space the releases since Gyakuten Saiban 4 will probably come out in Japan at the same time Phoenix Wright 2 makes its American release. So that’s probably why it hasn’t been announced yet, they’re waiting until they’re finished with two.

I hope it doesn’t wind up like Fire Emblem, where one out of the trilogy doesn’t get localized, despite demand deserving different decisions, because it would be sandwiched in between 2 and 4. To date, I feel Gyakuten Saiban 3 was the best of the series, with the best trials (they REALLY play fast and loose with the tricky situations in the third game, try defending a defendant who tries to prove he’s guilty, for instance). It would be a shame as well, since 3 is the only one with the best Phoenix Wright character of all: Goro, the coffee-obsessed cybernetic ninja lawyer!

I’m going to cross my fingers and hope my foreign friends get some proper Phoenix Wright love, including the manga and the cellphone cases.


Did anyone else spot the nods to Gyakuten Saiban in a recent episode of Haruhi? That made me feel all giggly inside.

Gyakuten Saiban 3 currently has an ongoing fan translation. I have heard rumours that Capcom will localise it, but if they finish the fan translation.

Here it is.

What about microsoft leaving all that money on the table on the 360s release by pricing it too low for the demand.

Follow that up with currently having 100% of the install base for next gen systems right now but not having more than three games worth owning out?

Hey, since we’re talking about Gyakuten Saiban, is it true that one of the newer GS games has the English translation built right into the Japanese version? If so, is this the same version as “Phoenix Wright,” or is it a completely different game? Because I’ll probably pick it up if it’s different. Unless the English translation on the cart is terrible.