Konami to close Hudson Entertainment

North American division of Hudson Soft shutting down at end of month

Maybe it's a sign of the times, or just the reality of 'the biz', but not a week seems to go by in the videogame world without news of a studio shutdown or developer layoffs. Unfortunately, this week's victim is none other than Hudson Entertainment, the North American localization arm of Japan's Hudson Soft, which will folding up shop at the end of February...

Formed in 2003 to replace Hudson Soft USA and handle Hudson Soft's western publishing duties, Hudson Entertainment was recently deemed to be a lost cause by Konami who had wholly acquired Hudson Soft and all of its divisions earlier this year. The news was confirmed today via Hudson Entertainment's brand manager, Morgan Haro, who took the opportunity through his blog to bid adieu to his fellow coworkers and reflect on how the developer lost its footing in the west.

%26ldquo;Like every company, Hudson Entertainment wasn%26rsquo;t perfect,%26rdquo; wrote Haro. %26ldquo;As the industry continues to march towards the drum of Western game development, Hudson became for me, a symbol of why Japan has fallen behind when it comes to bringing world-wide hits to gamers. The act of producing and developing a game in Japan, and then bringing that game over to the US to compete in an increasingly competitive market is more and more, and incredibly tough proposition.%26rdquo;

Haro added while Hudson Entertainment tried to stay afloat with 'cash-in' titles like Oops! Prank Party, and more original fare like Lost in Shadow for the Wii and Bomberman: Live for XBLA, that the lack of communication between Hudson Entertainment and its Eastern counterparts ultimately proved too stressful on the development process.

%26ldquo;It%26rsquo;s clear that we didn%26rsquo;t have the money muscle to bring on big talent, and create big experiences. In this current landscape, it%26rsquo;s tough now to have companies that find a place somewhere right in the middle. You%26rsquo;re either a hit, or an indie developer looking to be a hit.%26rdquo;

Though Hudson Soft USA is a distant memory, seeing the final crumbs of the Hudson Soft legacy on this side of world swept away is depressing all the same. As always, we wish the best for the Hudson Entertainment staff.

Feb 9, 2011

[Source: Edge Online]

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