According to various sources, Jaleco is leaving the game business, and has sold all game-related assets to online game purveyor Game Yarou for one yen, assuming the latter company will absorb all the former’s debt as well. 1up has a surprisingly good writeup of Game Yarou’s past and present relationship with Jaleco, which for some time has been owned by Hong Kong internet company PCCW. The forthcoming Kizuna was being banked on heavily by Jaleco, and there was rumor of some employee uprising at TGS, though it was quelled before I was able to investigate further. The DS edition of Ninja Jajamarukun was playable at TGS 2007, but not 2008 – but it seemed quite nice to me. Sadly the website has not been updated, and still says 2008. The official Jaleco site has not been updated with the news either.
Jaleco did lots of neat things, and hopefully won’t die out as the result of this transition, but I’m guessing it’ll exist more as a back catalog now. Games like Suchie Pai, Choplifter, P-47, Irritating Stick, and even
Punky Skunk shouldn’t get brushed to the side. Curiously, Puchi Puchi Virus, slated for release by NIS America in the U.S. has still not seen the light of day. Will the relationship be further complicated by Jaleco’s psuedo-demise, or will it live on? Another legendary company down the toilet.
Update: Not Punky Skunk! It was only released by Jaleco in the U.S. while it still had a division here.