Dragon’s Crown went into hibernation for a frighteningly long while. When we first saw it at E3 2011, it was thought of as one of the most intriguing-looking brawlers to come about in a good while. Then, we never saw it again. Speculation about its status ran rampant, involving theories of developer Vanillaware’s possible financial hurdles, or the game and company being caught up in Ignition Entertainment’s apparent implosion -- which involved a plethora of drama along the way. Those of us looking forward to it felt our hearts sink when Amazon.com collectively cancelled everyone’s pre-orders a few weeks ago. An illustrator on the project said the game was still in development, but that wasn’t enough to assuage any fears.
And that’s where Atlus comes in, who announced via the North American Playstation Blog that they’re taking over publishing, distribution, and IP ownership duties for Dragon’s Crown in Japan and America. They’re also bringing Atlus staff on as producers, who are apparently only replacing Ignition’s. And that wasn’t all they had to say: apparently some information on the game disseminated to fans and the press was incorrect, and weren’t even known by the developers. That, sadly, includes the pricing and the release date. Amazon’s reinstated preorder says the PS3 and Vita versions will be $49.99 and $39.99, respectively, quite a jump from the previous price of $29.99 for both versions. Atlus said there’s no way they could have released this game at $29.99. It also won’t make it out until sometime in 2013, which certainly isn’t good for Vita owners who were hoping to occupy themselves with this game during spring.
They really threw Ignition under the bus and ran them over multiple times in their description about what transpired, but they still handled it professionally. It was written that way so Atlus could hammer home precisely how severe its current predicament was to everyone reading. Ignition issued a response, but it contained nothing out of the ordinary. This makes you wonder what details about the game weren’t entirely accurate. Hopefully we’ll be informed of them soon, which I’m guessing should be around E3.
This game marks the first time Atlus and Vanillaware will be working together since Odin Sphere, which released for PS2 in 2007. Hopefully there’s no copious slowdown this time around. For our benefit, at least we won’t have to worry about whether it will have a good localization or not.
Meanwhile, what does this mean for Grand Knights History? XSeed announced intentions to localize it back in October, but their plans were put on hold indefinitely when Vanillaware diverted all of their resources to Dragon’s Crown’s development. Sounds like it’s time for more theories!
It could be in one of two situations: If Vanillaware is going to be working on Dragon’s Crown from now until 2013, then XSeed will have to cancel their plans for GKH. There’s no way that releasing a PSP game would be viable in 2013, even if it was PSN only. The second possibility is that Dragon’s Crown is 2013 because they want to finish up work on GKH before resuming development. Cross your fingers and hope it’s the latter.