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Return of the Game Development Ninjas!

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the ninja-vanish dept.

Games 19

simoniker writes "After being exposed in 2006 as 'the biggest game developer you've never heard of', with over 1,100 employees at the time, Executives from Tose have been speaking to Gamasutra about their recently 'blown cover'. The interview explores how this has affected their business working on 'stealth' game development for hundreds of titles (recently including Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime), in which the publisher takes the credit for the end product. They seem a little conflicted about it, to say the least, as Tose's Masa Agarida notes: 'Actually, I have tried to expose us more in the US than in Japan, but right now, everybody's getting to know us more than before. Right now I'm thinking of going back behind the scenes again.'"

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To clarify... (2, Insightful)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812115)

"After being exposed in 2006 as 'the biggest game developer you've never heard of', with over 1,100 employees at the time, Gamasutra has caught up with executives from Tose"

To be clear - Tose, not Gamasutra, is the subject of this sentence, the game developer with 1100 employees.

Re:To clarify... (5, Funny)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812335)

The dangling participle is but one of the many tools in their ninja arsenal used for confusing the enemy.

Re:To clarify... (1)

simoniker (40) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812785)

Oops, that'll teach me to submit too early in the morning, without recourse to caffeine.

Re:To clarify... (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18814865)

Changed, but it's still pretty bad:

with over 1,100 employees at the time, Executives from Tose have been speaking to Gamasutra about their recently 'blown cover'.
Since when was Gamasutra's cover blown? That whole chunk in the middle about 1,100 employees makes it more confusing and adds little value.

simoniker (0, Redundant)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812195)

So... do you work for Tose? or is it Gamasutra?

Ninjas huh? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812475)

I've heard outsourced devs called a lot worse.

Real ultimate power (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812559)

My name is Robert and I can't stop thinking about game development ninjas. These guys are cool; and by cool, I mean totally sweet.

Facts:

  1. Game development ninjas are mammals.
  2. Game development ninjas fight ALL the time.
  3. The purpose of the game development ninja is to flip out and kill people.

Re:Real ultimate power (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18812945)

I heard that there was this game developer ninja who was eating at a diner. And when some dude left a dangling pointer, the ninja killed the whole town. My friend Mark said that he saw a ninja totally stack trace some kid just because the kid opened an invalid memory address.

Re:Real ultimate power (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18821473)

-Ninjas always use RAII. They leave no tracks behind.

-A ninja can stealthily break into your /home and kill you in your sleep().

-When a ninja closes his eyes, he sees only objdump.

Re:Real ultimate power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18813341)

Yeah I can see the Ninjas (actually you can't, they're ninjas, right?) enter and leave thier game creation dojo through the skylights and windows.

Flipping out killer methods like shurkin and melding the objects into a calm state of oneness.

Kinda makes you wonder... (5, Funny)

djones101 (1021277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812657)

Did they ever do any pirate games? One would think that would be a conflict of interest.

Re:Kinda makes you wonder... (1)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812769)

Why would they pirate their own games? They'd just be stealing from themselves... Wait a minute! That's brilliant! The perfect victimless crime!

Re:Kinda makes you wonder... (1)

spanishfrogg (956988) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812957)

I hate to state the obvious, but I doubt the parent comment realizez dat Pir@t3s fig4ting n!njaz i$ teh coolest t4!ng in teh wurld, since they are sworn enemies.

Re:Kinda makes you wonder... (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18823973)

Whoa, you spelled a lot of words wrong. Can you please post a reply to me saying, "I hate to state the obvious, but I doubt the parent realizes I was spelling the words wrong on purpose?"

Re:Kinda makes you wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18814363)

In fact, they do pirate games, even their own. However, profitability is achieved by exporting to the West, where people are stupid enough to pay $50 for it.

Sweat -shop in Asia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18813273)

Pirate Ninja Monkey Zombie Robots! With freaking laser beams on their foreheads...

I actually RTFA (Yeah, I'm new) and the screen caps provided were ... uninspiring? 1100 employees to come up with 8 bit tripe?

I'm a refugee of the formerly robust game industry. I worked for one of the small devs acquired by one of the 'black hat' publishers - both of whom are now deceased entities.

It's a cool concept but I'm not seeing innovation or cutting edge at all... I'm seeing rehashed, retreaded, boring churn from a sweat shop in Asia. I *know* that there is more potential for back street ninja outfits to cover production schedule gaps, but, you'll probably never hear about it in the GD post mortem.

  EA is the Microsquash of the Game industry, bigger is worse, anticompetitive practices make the whole world worse

The world needs more Harry Buttles - Stealth HVAC techs that fly under the radar. Too bad the paper trail always catches up to the rogues until the empire collapses under it's own weight and corruption.

A secret? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18813339)

I wonder if the reason they want to keep it secret is because American's particularly want to know where their entertainment products are produced? I think we actually need a law which requires that information to be disclosed so that we can make informed decisions when we buy games and want the money to go back into our own economy. That information should never be kept secret from the consumer...in fact, I believe we already have some kind of requirements that products be labeled with their country of origin.

Enough of outsourcing is done at levels that we have no control over in large corporations, but with entertainment products we do have full control over whether we buy US-made products or buy outsources products from US companies. I encourage everyone to investigate the games you buy and be aware of where the money is going. There is NO shortage of extremely capable US companies looking for software publishing deals. We have extremely capable companies lining up for deals and being turned away. When I read that publishers in the US are making secret deals for outsourcing, I call foul.

No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18819785)

They've been around since 1979, supposedly with the same goal all the while.

The secrecy stems from the resulting ability of the publisher to curb speculation on the actual developer. If they came out and said, "We did this, this, and this game," brand-conscious publishers might be hesitant to let them handle future development.

Lots of contract work in many different production fields are handled this way. I'm reminded of the man who just shot a hostage and himself at the Johnson Space Center today. He worked for a California-based contractor, but his work would probably have been known as having been done by "NASA" to the greater public (if it were ever made known at all). Of course, in that case, there was no real secrecy, but that's because NASA doesn't care about whether people know that much of the work that goes into their projects is handled by contractors. For a game publisher that does care about the ramifications that such public knowledge may have on the perception on the publisher, a tight-lipped contractor is preferable. No "they stole `our' jobs!" involved.

As for the term "outsourcing," here it doesn't necessarily imply international dealings. Tose is a big-time operation that operates an American office, which presumably means that a sizable number of Americans are under their employ. With $5200 cars being made available overseas, I'd worry more about America's auto industry than its game development industry if I felt like being nationalistic and paranoid today.

Admit it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18817777)

How many other people only read this story because it had the word "Ninjas" in the title?
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