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Natsume (Japanese: ナツメ) is the name of two video games publishers, Natsume-Atari and Natsume Inc, that were once the same company but are now completely separated.

Natsume
Private
IndustryVideo game developer and publisher
FoundedOctober 20, 1987 (Natsume-Atari)
May 1988 (Natsume Inc)
HeadquartersShinjuku, Tokyo, Japan[1]
Burlingame, California, United States[2]
Key people
Takashi Matsumoto (CEO, Natsume-Atari)
Hiro Maekawa (President, Natsume Inc)
Taka Maekawa (President, Natsume Inc Japan)
ProductsHarvest Moon series
Lufia
Pocky and Rocky
Rune Factory
Reel Fishing
River King series
Number of employees
150 (Natsume-Atari)[1]
Websitewww.natsume-game.com (Natsume-Atari)
www.natsume.com (Natsume Inc)

Natsume Co Ltd was founded in Japan on October 20, 1987.[1] It established in 1988 an American division called Natsume Inc. In 1995, Natsume Inc split from Natsume Co Ltd to become an independent company. The name "Natsume" was retained by both companies in their respective countries. In 2013, Natsume Co Ltd renamed itself Natsume-Atari following a merger with its subsidiary Atari that year.[3] Also in 2013, Natsume Inc (the American company) inaugurated a Japanese division called Natsume Inc Japan with no connection to its former parent company.[4]

Natsume-Atari is based in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan and is known for developing licensed titles and mobile games. Natsume Inc is located in Burlingame, California[2] and is best known for publishing unique, family-oriented niche games, such as Harvest Moon and Reel Fishing.

Contents

ProductsEdit

During the NES and SNES era, Natsume Co Ltd developed numerous titles, often licensed, such as Power Rangers. Natsume Inc published a wide range of titles, including those developed by Natsume Co Ltd, such as S.C.A.T., Wild Guns and Shadow of the Ninja. Natsume also released the SNES game Pocky & Rocky as well as Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. Natsume Co Ltd had also developed the Medabot games up until the end of the GBA era, which Natsume Inc published.

A sizeable amount of Natsume Co Ltd's products were video games it developed for other publishers. Some of its biggest clients over the years included Imagineer, Bandai, THQ and Taito. Most of Natsume Co Ltd's video games, as a sub-contractor, were original titles, but it occasionally developed some ports as well. Taito, in particular, outsourced the development of three of its Sega Master System ports to Natsume Co Ltd: Sagaia, Renegade and Special Criminal Investigation.[5]

From the end of the Super NES era up until late 2014, Natsume Inc was known for publishing a series of Story of Seasons games in North America. The last game in the series it published was Harvest Moon: A New Beginning for the Nintendo 3DS. In 2015 the developer of the series, Marvelous AQL, brought the next game in the series, Story of Seasons, to North America with its own US branch, Xseed Games, ending the relationship it had with Natsume. Since then, Natsume has released its own games under the Harvest Moon name, starting with Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley,[6] continuing with Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories and the upcoming Harvest Moon: Skytree Village.

Natsume has also operated an eBay shop, selling copies of older games sealed in their original packaging, collected from storage at its offices. At auction, the company sold a sealed copy of Pocky & Rocky for over $1,600.[7]

Corporate divisionsEdit

Natsume Co. Ltd. was previously the parent company of Natsume Inc, founded in May 1988. Although founded in 1988, Natsume Inc started publishing video games in 1990 [8] By 1995, Natsume Inc. had broken away into its own company and is separately owned and operated.[9]

In October 2002, Natsume Co. Ltd. founded the pachinko company Atari Inc. (not to be confused with the American game company) in Osaka, specialized on developing slot and pinball machines.

On May 6, 2005, Natsume Solution began operation in Shinjuku. This division specializes on web site development, providing mobile solutions/services and developing web systems. On March 1, 2006, Natsume Solution was merged with Evolve.

Meanwhile, Natsume Inc. opened up a development studio of its own, named Natsume Inc. Japan.[4]

Natsume Co. Ltd. company is now known as Natsume-Atari since 2013, and is not directly connected to Natsume Inc. or its subsidiary Natsume Inc. Japan.[10] Despite their corporate split off, Natsume-Atari and Natsume Inc. have continued to collaborate on a number of occasions.[11][12]

WorksEdit

Pre-split NatsumeEdit

These are games produced while Natsume Inc., was still operating as a subsidiary of Natsume Co., Ltd. Natsume Inc. would publish only Natsume Co., Ltd games until becoming independent in the mid-90s.

Nintendo Entertainment SystemEdit

Developer

Developer, JP Publisher

Developer, JP/US Publisher

MSXEdit

Developer, JP Publisher

  • Mitsume ga Tooru: The Three-Eyed One Comes Here

Game BoyEdit

Developer, JP/US Publisher

Developer

Super NESEdit

Developer, JP/US Publisher

Developer, US Publisher

Developer

Sega Master SystemEdit

Developer

Natsume-Atari / Natsume Co., Ltd.Edit

Natsume-Atari, formerly Natsume Co., Ltd, has mostly acted as a developer since splitting from Natsume Inc. - although it has also published some games, notably in the Medarot series.

Super NESEdit

Developer

Game BoyEdit

Game Boy ColorEdit

Developer

Game Boy AdvanceEdit

Developer

GameCubeEdit

Publisher

Nintendo DSEdit

Developer

Xbox 360Edit

Developer

Natsume Inc.Edit

These are games published by Natsume Inc. and/or developed by its subsidiary in Japan after becoming independent from Natsume Co., Ltd.

Most of these games were only published by Natsume in North America, although some reached Europe under the Natsume name through distribution deals with European companies, and some digital releases were self-published by Natsume in Europe.

Super NESEdit

Publisher

Sega SaturnEdit

Publisher

  • Highway 2000
  • Virtual Casino

Nintendo 64Edit

Publisher

PlayStationEdit

Publisher

NA Publisher

PlayStation 2Edit

Publisher

Game BoyEdit

Publisher

Game Boy ColorEdit

Developer/Publisher

Publisher

Game Boy AdvanceEdit

Publisher

GameCubeEdit

Publisher

Nintendo DSEdit

Publisher

iPhone and iPod TouchEdit

Developer/Publisher

Developer

PlayStation PortableEdit

Publisher

WiiEdit

Publisher

PlayStation 3Edit

Publisher

Nintendo 3DSEdit

Developer

Publisher

PlayStation 4Edit

Developer

Publisher

Nintendo SwitchEdit

Developer

Publisher

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c INC., NATSUME ATARI. "ゲーム遊技機開発のナツメアタリ株式会社|ナツメアタリ株式会社". ナツメアタリ株式会社.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ INC., NATSUME ATARI. "ゲーム遊技機開発のナツメアタリ株式会社|ナツメアタリ株式会社". ナツメアタリ株式会社.
  4. ^ a b "NATSUME INC. ANNOUNCES NEW OFFICE OPENING IN JAPAN" (PDF). Natsume.com. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  5. ^ http://www.geocities.jp/natsume_game/
  6. ^ "Harvest Moon And Beyond, What's Next For Natsume?". March 18, 2015.
  7. ^ "Classic game publisher cleans out its closet, makes thousands on eBay". Ars Technica. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "Wayback Machine". March 3, 2005. Archived from the original on March 3, 2005.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ "Fragments of Silicon - Live & Recorded Episodes". www.talkshoe.com.
  10. ^ "WIKIPEDIA: BAD SOURCE OF INFO". CeeCee's Musings.
  11. ^ http://theswitcheffect.net/2017/11/industry-interviews-taka-maekawa-natsume-inc/
  12. ^ http://www.natsume.com/news/news_pdffiles/pid_204_May122016_WGReloaded_Announced.pdf
  13. ^ "Touhou Kenbun Roku - The Cutting Room Floor". tcrf.net.
  14. ^ a b "Natsume Announce Next Two Harvest Moons, DS and Wii". Gaming Union. May 21, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
  15. ^ "RETURN TO THE WORLD OF LUFIA THIS FALL WITH NATSUME'S LUFIA: CURSE OF THE SINISTRALS FOR NINTENDO DS" (PDF). natsume.com. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  16. ^ Natsume Aren't Done With Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove Yet. Siliconera (2013-05-23). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  17. ^ a b "IGN: Natsume Reveals E3 Lineup". IGN. May 28, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2009.

External linksEdit