Developer of million-selling .hack series also establishes animation division and boasts Level 5 tie-up

CyberConnect 2 partners with Kyushu University reports that CyberConnect 2, the Fukuoka, Japan-based developer behind the cross-media offline-MMORPG .hack series, has announced a partnership with Kyushu University’s Computer Science Systems Graduate Research Institute to develop a retail game.

The effort is part of CyberConnect 2’s involvement in the Game Factory’s Friendship scheme, an independent group formed alongside Dragon Quest developer Level 5 and several other Fukuoka-based developers to promote the town’s growth as a ‘Game Hollywood.’

Graduate students from the institute have been visiting and working alongside CyberConnect 2 staff on the new title, which is currently un-named. The institute is well known for its research into 3D software development support systems and new techniques in 3D animation. Last year, some of the students of the institute won the Indie Award at CESA’s Japanese Games Awards for their game ‘Kappa’s Five Seconds.’

Also announced was a ‘refresh’ of Cyber Connect 2’s operations, including a new logo and the establishment of a movie team within the company called ‘sai’, which comes from the words sensible, art and innovation.

The division’s first project is .hack//G.U. Trilogy, a CG anime project based on the successful .hack//G.U. series. The company says the movie is made ‘with game techniques’ and proudly claims that it will be entirely hand-animated without any motion capture. The movie will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in January 2008.

“In the 12 years that I’ve known Mr. Matsuyama [Cyber Connect 2’s president], he’s always been passionate about doing a movie,” said Namco Bandai Games president Shin Unozawa.

“To put it simply, we’re making something like a digital anime. As the game industry progresses, we’ve become able to make things that are like movies. A good example of this is Square Enix’s ‘Final Fantasy VII Advent Children’, which sold over a million copies worldwide. Game creators can make good movies too.”

Also as part of the restructuring, a new music division called ‘Lien’ has been created, which will serve to write background music and lyric songs for Cyber Connect 2’s projects.

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