What have been the highlights for Rising Star over the past 12 months? Did any titles perform beyond expectations?
The last 12 months have brought us many highlights, including the continuing sales by Nintendo of Harvest Moon DS, which means that we have now sold in excess of half a million units across Europe. Another highlight has been the media campaign for No More Heroes, then there's the Hudson publishing partnership, amongst other highlights.
For a small publisher trying to punch above its weight I'm delighted with what the team has achieved. Our last audited figures saw turnover reach in excess of 11m and we are very profitable.
Over the past few months MCV has reported on a number of new recruits joining Rising Star. Has the team now been finalised?
We are a small, enthusiastic team of 14, having brought in-house many of the marketing requirements of our distribution partners and customers.
We have staff specialising in the UK and internationally, and all from cool new offices too.
Rising Star's relationship with Mastertronic is a year old now – how has that helped you take on larger publishers?
The partnership with Mastertronic means that the sum of our parts, people, products, services, commercial know-how and experience, relationships, good will, and so on, makes the venture viable rather than being just another small publisher gasping for air. The other thing is that it means we have fun doing business in the UK – some of the time!
Would you take on another title like No More Heroes that had a hint of controversy? And was it all just a storm in a tea cup?
You bet we will! Wait for our announcements at Tokyo Game Show next month. I do not even know that we reached storm conditions in the tea cup – maybe just a slight wind and then we got on with doing what we do; publishing Japanese games in Europe – not USA versions.
Is Rising Star looking to enter the PS3 or 360 markets?
Our focus presently is very much with the Nintendo formats, DS and Wii. We have a strong line-up for the remainder of our half-year on those platforms alone.
Longer term, into the next fiscal year we'll have further DS and Wii products, along with one or two PSP titles. We will also announce our first Xbox 360 and PS3 title from Marvelous Entertainment. Most likely we will look at acquiring a PlayStation 3 title from Japan to add to that line-up.
Finally, are you looking forward to Rising Star's five-year anniversary? What will the next 12 months hold for the company?
Five years next October. Add in the couple of years that preceded the formation of the company with planning and ‘sign offs' and we're not far from rounding up to a tidy decade (that's from the Roy Campbell school of ‘rounding up').
The next year promises much for Rising Star, and we have kind of sat out the summer due to product delays and the repositioning of some releases.
I – well all of us – here at Rising Star, are looking forward to breaking rocks in the hot sun with a release schedule littered with great products: Harvest Moon 2, Harvest Moon Wii (at long last) Rune Factory DS, XG Blast DS, Populous DS and the beautiful Little King Story for Wii.