(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| U.S. Network Game Venture Sets Up Office in Japan
March 3, 1999 (TOKYO) -- VR.1 Inc. of Boulder, Colo., which develops
network games, established an office in Japan on Feb. 24.
|The company aims to develop software in an effort to enter the Japanese
market. Also, VR.1 seeks to enhance its sales in Japan.
The new company will develop and market game software for homes as well
as network games. It also will localize and support VR.1 Conductor,
a network game development tool.
Michael J. Moniz, president of VR.1
of the United States, said that the company aims to introduce products
suited to the Japanese game market by employing Japanese staff.
VR.1 Japan Inc. is capitalized at 10 million yen, and is solely funded
by the U.S. parent company.
Shige Yoshikawa, former group senior producer of Sony Communication Network
Corp., is president of VR.1 Japan. At Sony, Yoshikawa developed the
"Post Pet," popular email software package in which animated pets deliver
Yoshikawa is supervising the development of three titles for home game
machines, two network games and two Japanese titles for network games
developed by VR.1 of the United States. All of these projects are slated
to be completed within 1999.
Also this year, Yoshikawa hopes to start developing four titles for home
game equipment, three titles for network games and two titles for localization
into Japanese of the network game developed by VR.1.
Yoshikawa declined to comment on the software for home game equipment
with communications capabilities.
As for VR.1 Conductor, the localization is underway, and a release date
is tentatively set for November 1999. Until then, promotion activities
will be focused on the English version software. The Japanese company
will support users in Japan and in other Asian countries.
The office in Japan was established in conjunction with Planning Office
Wada, a game software company that was acquired by VR.1 in December
1998. It now has 41 employees.
VR.1 Japan's sales target for the initial year (February 1999 through
December 1999) is 400 million yen.
(BizTech News Dept.)
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