Hudson, the once prolific developer who gave us gems such as Bomberman, Adventure Island, Mario Party and most recently, Lost in Shadow, has announced that they will be shutting down their North American branch known as Hudson Entertainment according to a blog post by product and brand manager, Morgan Haro.
Haro attributes the closure to Konami’s recent purchase of the Hudson Group. He states, “It was revealed today that all of Hudson’s previously planned projects have been canceled and that our office will be closing it’s doors at the end of February”. We should clarify here that the Hudson Group still exists in Japan. Only Hudson Entertainment, the people who brought games over to North America, is shutting down. However, the Hudson Group “will likely be focusing on social games.”
It’s interesting to note that Haro considers Hudson Entertainment to be yet another company who has fallen alongside Japan’s once prominent status as game developing gods.
“As the industry continues to march towards the drum of Western game development, Hudson became for me, a symbol of why Japan has fallen behind when it comes to bringing world-wide hits to gamers. The act of producing and developing a game in Japan, and then bringing that game over to the US to compete in an increasingly competitive market is more and more, and incredibly tough proposition. A challenge in itself to be sure, but to compound the issue, minimal communication and stifled collaboration seems to be hampering the chances of success. In previous generations, developers only had so many factors to worry about to produce a title that meets a general level of acceptance. But as we, as gamers, became more accustomed to games that demanded not only more from the player, and in turn, more from the developer, many companies seem to be having a hard time keeping up.”
“The only thing I can say is that Hudson Entertainment was a great company with some amazing people behind the scenes. As a fan of Japanese game companies in general, I hope to see more collaboration and more communication between Japan and their US counterparts in the development of titles regardless of whether they’re for core, casual, or social games. It can only lead to greater things all around! We all strove for it, and as we made more progress, Hudson Japan was very receptive to our ideas; but unfortunately, looks like our time was limited to improve those processes. At the end of the day though, there were some amazingly awesome people on both sides of the Pacific, and I hope to see great things from the Hudson group going forward.”