EA Partners has loaded up on deals with North American developers, and now wants to broaden its horizons by hooking up with some Japanese talent.
David DeMartini of EA Partners told MTV Multiplayer that the publisher’s recent deal with Japanese developer Grasshopper Manufacture came about when he was approached by Shinji Mikami and Suda 51 at least year’s Tokyo Game Show, where they pitched their concept. “What they intended to gain was hopefully insight and sensitivity toward what a North American or European audience is looking for with regards to story and other elements,” DeMartini said. “Obviously, with Resident Evil, Mikami had already bridged the gap to selling multi-million-selling games. Suda, on the other hand, certainly has a reputation for creating incredibly creative product, but sometimes the product is very much appreciated by the game critics but not as appreciated by millions and millions of people. He was looking for a breakout hit into the multiple millions of units kind of thing.”
“If Suda or Mikami were to be publishing with Sony or Nintendo, it would be another one of the great Japanese designers who are working with a Japanese company. It’s not as much of a unique story,” he continued, explaining EA’s interest in the deal. “However, if EA was to work with some of the best designers in Japan in a limited way, with a limited number of these partners, we would be creating a unique situation where some of the best developers in Japan are actually partnering with one of the largest publishers that are not Japanese. That would represent something that is slightly uncomfortable for both parties, but also represents something that is very unique and very special.”
EA is clearly betting that “unique and special” discomfort will lead to creative magic that will succeed in both the Japanese and American markets, and isn’t done pursuing talent to that end. “Hopefully this will serve as a springboard to a successful formula that we can apply to some of the other great Japanese designers,” he said.