The sequel to last year’s ClaDun: This Is an RPG! from Nippon Ichi is being released as a downloadable title only on the PlayStation Network on August 30th, under the title ClaDun x2, according to a press release from the company.
Nippon Ichi, most well known for their work on the Disgaea series of strategy RPGs, has recently announced a plethora of games for the North American market, including the latest entry in the Disgaea series and the newest rendition of the freeware PC shooter, Cave Story.
Cladun x2 is one of only a few Nippon Ichi titles to be released only on Sony’s downloadable game market—the only other titles being the What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? games.
No comment was made available as to the company’s decision to make ClaDun x2 digital-only and not issue a physical retail copy of the game.
The company advertises the title as having “twice the thrills” of the first game, which was pushed as being a retro-style dungeon crawler. ClaDun x2 will introduce new types of dungeons to the gameplay, including interesting portmanteaus like “Tri-geons,” though no information has been given as to what they involve. Similar to the first game, players will be able to customize their main character and explore randomly generated dungeons with other players using the ad hoc function of the PSP.
No information has been given about the pricing for the game.
EDIT BY C. BOWEN @ 5:18PM EST: We have received word back from Ryan Phillips of NIS America regarding their decision to eschew a physical release:
We opted to make ClaDun x2 PSN only much like the original ClaDun mainly because in the recent years, generating sales on the US PSP UMD market has been difficult for us. The original ClaDun was received pretty well for a digital download-only title, and it ultimately was a decision of either not offering ClaDun x2 in the US or having it exclusively on the PSN.
We have received no pricing updates, and will update with further information as we receive it.
Analysis: Though I couldn’t get a comment from Nippon Ichi in time for this article, a quick scan of the sales numbers in Japan when the game was released around the end of March show that ClaDun x2 is far from a system mover, with only 5,956 units sold during its first week, then dropping off the Top 20 list shortly thereafter. It’s more than possible that its rather small sales numbers in Japan influenced Nippon Ichi America’s decision to make the game a download-only title for the North American region.
As for the game itself, it does look like more of the same from the original ClaDun (if you’re wondering why we’re capitalizing the “D,” the title is short for “Classic Dungeon,” as it appears on the first game’s press release). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given that ClaDun: This Is an RPG! sold relatively well in North America—the classic dungeon crawling gameplay is rather addicting to those disillusioned with the current RPG market.
This has been Nippon Ichi’s niche as of late, even with the company basically being the niche of a niche market. Publishers like themselves and XSEED are some of the few actually still releasing Japanese RPGs in the Western market, save the RPG powerhouse that is Square. We can only hope that with releases like ClaDun x2 and their upcoming games, Nippon Ichi can make enough profit to keep that niche going.