Gung Ho may have found some money in its back storeroom.
Japanese publisher Gung Ho Online Entertainment is gauging fan interest for the revival of some PlayStation era (and earlier) role-playing games, and it looks to be considering these for release on Valve’s Steam digital store front. This is an interesting move for the publisher best known for the mobile industry giant Puzzle & Dragons, which pulls in about a billion dollars a year. The company could be testing the PC gaming market for its back properties, which would give it a bigger piece of the growing segment, one which Newzoo says will hit $30.7 billion by 2017.
Ports of older properties is a great place to start. Japan-based Gung Ho subsidiary Game Arts is behind the Lunar and Grandia role-playing franchises, which are now considered classics. The games from these series and others are listed in a new survey sent out this week, with the publisher asking fans which games in the back library they would be most interested in.
Steam seems to be a good fit for older and niche role-playing games series. Sega recently tested this with a digital release of PlayStation 3 strategy game Valkyria Chronicles. Late last year, this game surprised the company by outranking top franchises such as Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty on Steam — not bad for a six-year old sleeper. Similarly, Japanese studio Nihon Falcom announced earlier this year that its port of niche action RPG Ys Origin had toped 200,000 digital copies sold on Steam.
The poll seems specifically targeted at the possibility of PC ports of these console titles, asking fans which platforms they prefer, and which genres interest them most, among others. It will be interesting to see the response to this survey as some of Game Arts’ library dates back to the eary 1990s.