Interview with Ryan Phillips(NISA)
I got the chance to ask Ryan Phillips from NISA some questions. Now I want to share these questions and answers with you guys as well.
Can you tell us a bit about how the company came to be? What were the main reasons for starting the company?
NIS America, Inc. is a subsidiary of Nippon Ichi Software, Inc. of Japan, which established its North American operations on December 24, 2003. Nippon Ichi Software, Inc. was founded in 1994 in Gifu, Japan, as an entertainment company. NIS America, Inc. is committed to marketing the most innovative and creative titles in the industry. We at NIS America, Inc. will continue to work hard to bring exciting new titles to satisfy both our fans and new users.
Why did you decide on the name Nippon Ichi Software America?
The title of the company was decided by our previous company president, Mr. Haru Akenaga. The actual reasoning behind it is a bit before my time, but my guess is that it seemed appropriate to maintain our parent company’s name while adding ”America” as at our inception it was our new primary market.
Xeed ran into some problems with bringing Grand Knights History over. Rumours say the translation was as good as complete. Have you had talks among yourselves as to bring this much anticipated game to the US?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any news on this particular title.
Why did you decide to start to also localize anime shows? Can you tell us how you decide on what anime and even games outside of the mothercompany that you localize?
Our anime business was created as we felt that it was a great fit for our mission statement of bringing over exciting Japanese culture to a western audience. Our anime title selections are chosen on two stipulations/guidelines – if it is story driven, or comedy driven. We usually don’t rely on the women in the stories to sell the titles. As for games outside of Nippon Ichi titles, they are usually handled by our producer , but fan interest and whether it is a good fit for NISA are definitely other factors that help influence our choices ^^
The Witch and Her Hundred Knights, can you tell us a bit more about this title? It seems to have the ordinary quirks from a NISA game but there also seems to be new game mechanics and such that we haven´t seen yet in the previous games?
The Witch and the Hundred Knights is a full-fledged action RPG that we at NISA are really excited about! It’s a new direction as it will be our first true action-RPG – with an isometric/3D environments. Art-wise, Disgaea fans will enjoy this series as they illustrations are drawn by Takehito Harada. Again, we’re really excited for this one as it’s going to have more action than our typical SRPG titles! Look for more info on that in the upcoming months!
Which charater from the Disgaea universe is the favorite among you? We all know how much you love to abuse and work those poor Prinnies to their death. Except for these cute penguins what character/s is/are your favorite?
Outside of Prinny, my personal favorite is Laharl. He just has the funniest reactions to the things that happen to him and really in my personal opinion is a comedic genious ^^ – plus I have a Laharl Prinny plushie in my car ^^
Are you able to tell us how Disgaea 4 sold? Was it more or less to your expectations?
Disgaea 4 sold really well for us across the board. I can’t go into exact specifics, but I can let you know that it sold extremely well!
Will there be any more clothing created? Could there be a competition on your store to create a funky and crazy design for some clothing and it would be created?
We actually created a new t-shirt for Anime Expo this year for our Online Store. It’s called the ”Billion Damage T-Shirt” – definitely check it out, dood! A new t-shirt design competition could definitely be a possibility! We encourage all our fans to utilize our ”Pram’s Wishlist” to help give us new ideas for promotions! Keep your eyes peeled on our store – we may be selling new items this fall ^^
What is your take on the visual novel market? There are some all ages games for Playstation 3, one of them being the remade Tears to Tiara which is a strategy jrpg. Is there any possibility that NISA will start to localize these visual novels as well? Or is it a franchise to shallow and the released games will sell to few copies to be of any interest?
The visual novel market in the West is really difficult. It is difficult to weigh in all the localization effort and time/capital it takes to localize a large text-based game (outside of RPG’s of course) against the projected interest in the title & or sales. We know that there is a fanbase for it, but it ultimately comes down to if it is profitable or not.
What does the future hold for NISA? Can you speculate into this is there any nice new info coming soon?
Next year is actually looking to be a very big year for us! This year was a bit more low-key, however next year we are looking to really push out a bunch of new exciting titles. We should have more information soon on that! Thank you so much for the interview!