Famed bullet hell developer, CAVE, has lost two of its big names in three months.
Things aren’t going too well for cult bullet hell developer, Cave. Huge operating losses have forced the Japanese developer to refocus its efforts on social gaming projects, as its well-regarded but poor-selling shoot-em-ups weren’t making enough to keep the company afloat. In May, COO Mikio Watanabe left the company, citing personal reasons and leaving two canceled Vita titles in his wake. CEO Ito Masahito was left as the company’s sole representative director, but now he’s announced he’s leaving too, again for personal reasons.
Masahito will be leaving in three months’ time, leaving board Chairman, Kenichi Takano, as president.
For those of you not up to date on your savagely difficult scrolling shoot-em-ups, Cave was one of several outfits founded by former Toaplan (the company responsible for “all your base are belong to us” meme sprouting shooter, Zero Wing) developers. Cave’s catalogue is a cornucopia of boobs-and-bullets shoot-em-up excellence, including titles like Donpachi, Deathsmiles, Gunwange and Ibara.
Unfortunately, the studio’s niche audience combined with the bizarre decision to release shoot-em-ups on the 360 rather than the PS3 – and we are talking about Japan-only games here – have left the company in dire straits. Back in January, lower than expected sales caused the company to lower its earnings predictions from an expected ¥10 million operating profit to a ¥31 million operating loss. That’s just shy of 400 grand in US dollars, a minuscule amount for some developers, but a heavy blow to one the size of Cave.
Source: GamesIndustry International