Entry in Long-Running Japanese Series Canceled
Various games set for international release have been either delayed or completely canceled since the tragedy in Japan. Titles such as Disaster Report 4 and a zombie-themed Yakuza spin-off got the axe following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. Highly anticipated games such as MotorStorm: Apocalypse, which features scenes of destruction, were delayed due to their graphic depictions of crumbling architecture and other sensitive themes.
Another game has been affected by the Tohoku tragedy. Momotaro Dentetsu 2012, a Japanese exclusive for the Wii, is the latest game to be removed from development. News of the cancellation came straight from Akira Sakuma, series creator.
Since 1988, the Hudson-produced series featured board game-like gameplay across several city environments. Like Monopoly, Momotaro Dentetsu required players to move across digital towns, earn money, and become the richest land owner. The latest entry in the series was set to have players building an empire across Japan.
As you may have guessed, recent events made it extremely difficult for Sakuma to design the in-game areas. Additionally, the creator didn't find it appropriate to model locations as if nothing had changed in Japan. The decision to scrap the game was made by Kazuhiko Uehara, Hudson's new CEO, as well as a number of Konami employees.
In related news, Sakuma had previously mentioned in his blog that he would retire and end the series if Momotaru Dentetsu endured major changes by Konami. What could this mean for the series and Sakuma's involvement in the company now that the game has been canceled?