Game History Secrets - How Okami 2 Almost Happened at Platinum

Today on Game History Secrets we talk about how Okami 2 almost happened, and we don't mean Okamiden. A full sequel made by Okami's original team almost came to be a whole decade after the developers at Clover Studio (who now work at Platinum Games) left Capcom. Even though the proposal fell through, Platinum are said to still have a friendly relationship with Capcom. Hideki Kamiya was even pictured at Capcom HQ playing the Nintendo Switch port of Okami HD.

Nintendo renews trademarks for four more titles, including Golden Sun

Nintendo has filed renewed trademarks for new bunch of titles. The selection includes Wrecking Crew, Rhythm Heaven, Super Mario Sluggers and Golden Sun. We imagine that this is purely to protect their properties.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon composer would like to release an official soundtrack

Would you like to see an official soundtrack release for the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series? So would Arata Iiyoshi, composer on the Red/Blue Rescue Team and Explorers entries in the franchise. Iiyoshi says one of the things standing in his way is copyright issues, but he plans on talking to Pokemon Co. and Nintendo to see if something can be worked out. Iiyoshi also plans to involve crowdfunding in some way to try and make this dream a reality.

Nintendo hits 727 million hardware units sold in total

Nintendo has moved a LOT of hardware since they started selling game platforms. Nintendo's most recent financial report confirms that the company has sold 727.65 million units of hardware, with 300.54 million units in consoles, and 427.11 million units in handhelds.

Nintendo Home Console Sales (all numbers in millions)

NES — 61.91
SNES — 49.10
N64 — 32.93
GameCube — 21.74
Wii — 101.63
Wii U — 13.56
Switch — 19.67

Total: 300.54 million

Nintendo Handheld Sales (all numbers in millions)

Game Boy — 118.69 (includes Color)
Game Boy Advance — 81.51
DS — 154.02
3DS — 72.89

Total: 427.11 million

Dr. Ryuta Kawashima of Brain Age fame gave all game royalties to brain research

Dr. Ryuta Kawashima is the man most well-known as the face in Brain Age. He was also crucial to the series' development.

As you might recall, the franchise was an extremely popular one for Nintendo, raking in all kinds of cash. This amounted to $11 million in royalties alone for Dr. Kawashima, but he didn't keep that money for himself. Instead, he turned around and gave all $11 million to organizations dedicated to researching the brain. Dr. Kawashima explained the decision to Brain World Magazine.

“Two reasons: Firstly, it was too huge for my pocket. If I received 1,500 Euros, I would have probably taken it as pocket money and kept it a secret from my wife. Secondly, I made games as one of my research activities at the university. Therefore, I simply thought the royalty should belong to my university.”

Nintendo's Sakamoto talks Metroid: Samus Returns development, Switch interest, connections between 2D/3D Metroid games, and more

Website HobbyConsolas had a sit-down interview Nintendo’s Yoshio Sakamoto, and the bulk of it focuses on Metroid: Samus Returns. You can see all those details below, but there's also some talk about why the DS never got a traditional Metroid game, why it took so long for Samus to come to 3DS, and even a tiny bit of Switch talk.

– Sakamoto says the biggest challenge was overcoming the reputation of previous entries in the series and fans’ memories of them
– There were the regular difficulties one encounters during game development
– Sakamoto says Metroid has evolved in all areas, including gameplay, graphics, etc.
– Sakamoto thanks the fans for allowing Metroid to evolve
– On whether he looked at the Prime series when developing the Metroid 2 remake: “Absolutely.”
– Samus Returns reuses sounds from Metroid Prime and songs from Super Metroid
– Sakamoto feels there are certain sounds that fit well with certain things
– There was never a Metroid on DS due to its tech specs
– it seems that Sakamoto felt the system wouldn’t be able to bring his vision to life
– It took awhile for a Metroid to appear on 3DS due to various circumstances, such as not being able to have the right team
– Samus Returns was on 3DS instead of Switch to take advantage of stereoscopic 3D and dual screens
– Sakamoto has long been interested in a user interface in which a map can always be displayed and using the touch screen
– Sakamoto says Switch is an attractive piece of hardware, and there are various possibilities
– He can’t say anything about developing a new Metroid for Switch, but he’s always aware of potential options
– Regarding breaking conventions of Metroid like Zelda: BotW did, Sakamoto always tries to find new ways to approach games
– Sakamoto wanted to remake Metroid 2 since it tells an important part of the series
– he wanted more fans to be aware of the story since it’s been roughly 20 years since the original release
– MercurySteam gave a proposal, and thought it was interesting to work with them on the remake
– There weren’t difficulties with MercurySteam being in Spain
– the two sides talked regularly and progress continued 24 hours a day as one side could work while the other slept
– Samus doesn’t speak in Samus Returns because she didn’t need to
– On Samus’ role, Sakamoto says it changes depending on the concept and theme of the game
– The same also goes for the approach to narrative style
– The images you can unlock in Samus: Metroid Returns seem to imply something about the Chozo tribe
– Sakamoto only says that it does indeed imply something, but wants fans to try and figure out what’s meant by it
– MercurySteam had the idea to make Ridley the final boss of Samus Returns
– Sakamoto thought this would surprise the fans and they would enjoy it, so he approved the idea
– Sakamoto says the 2D Metroids he’s worked on and the Prime games are different series'
– there is no direct link between the stories of these games
– the goal between 2D and 3D Metroid games was to preserve the timelines for a minimum level of consistency
– Sakamoto also wanted the 3D devs to be free to create the games that they considered appropriate
– Sakamoto is most proud of Samus Returns for having launched a new 2D Metroid that was well-received
– Sakamoto also enjoyed working with the dev team

Nintendo grabs trademarks for Endless Ocean and Another Code

Another week, another round of trademarks filed by Nintendo. This time around we have two more titles that Nintendo fans should be familiar with. The company has applied for an Endless Ocean trademark in Japan, with the trademark being related to 'video game programs.' As for Another Code, the trademark was again applies to Japan and is for a 'video game program.'

...please, PLEASE let this pave the way for an official North American release for Another Code: R. Yes, I am STILL pissed about that!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is now the best-selling entry for the entire franchise

It seems like Animal Crossing just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Fans have been absolutely clamoring for a Switch installment, and now we can see why. 3DS owners have been snatching up Animal Crossing: New Leaf ever since it launched, and Nintendo's most recent financial report shows that the game has now sold 11.78 million units. That beats out Animal Crossing: Wild World, the previous record holder which sat at 11.75 million units sold.

Falcom explains why they supported PSP over DS years ago

Falcom recently released Ys VIII for Switch, but they really haven't had much history at all with Nintendo. That was especially true during the DS/PSP era, where Falcom went with PSP. Ever wonder why that is? Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo and founder Masayuki Kato recently explained the situation in an interview with DenFamiNicoGamer.

Toshihiro Kondo, Falcom President: At the time the Nintendo DS was extremely popular, so there was a flow of all the companies going with DS. After looking at the lineup of games that were selling on DS, we had a bit of a difficult time picturing our products fitting in there. Family-oriented games and games focusing on a younger audience were the ones becoming hits, after all.

In the end, the reason we decided to go with the PSP was because we determined that PSP users and Falcom fans simply overlapped. Although it was from there that people started saying “Falcom hates Nintendo.” [laughs]

Masayuki Kato, Falcom Founder: That’s right, always from a certain message board. [laughs]

Toshihiro Kondo: It’s not that we hate them, rather, we’ve always been wanting to become closer to them. [laughs] When the DS was booming, I went with former president Yamasaki (former Falcom president Shinji Yamasaki) to greet them in Kyoto. At the time we even had their approval for development.

Golden Sun illustrator passes away

We're sad to report that Hiroshi Kajiyama, the artist behind Golden Sun and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, has passed away. The news was shared by Kajiyama’s son via Twitter. No details on Kajiyama's passing were given. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the loss of Hiroshi.