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Rocket Company IS Smilesoft
Topic Started: Jun 2 2010, 02:50 PM (2,616 Views)
RacieB
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I figured this all along, but it still says on Wikipedia and the like that Rocket bought Smilesoft out. Take a look at this though, the last archived About Company page before Smilesoft's site started redirecting to Rocket, and the first available archived About Company page for Rocket:

http://web.archive.org/web/20030413061943/www.smilesoft.co.jp/company/index.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20030803205603/www.rocketcompany.co.jp/rocket.html

Note that they have the same address, phone number, and fax, use the same bank, have the same clients, and use the same wordings in their business description. Rocket also claims to have been founded June 19, 1998, but lists nothing that they've ever worked on since before their website showed up.

Maybe their president was the guy who REALLY liked monster collection GameBoy games with blinky peripherals and after he was arrested the company breathed a collective sigh of relief, now they could work on all those Math/English/Kanji/History Aptitude Testing games like they wanted!
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andwhyisit
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Quote:
 
  S<steady>堅実
  M<moral>道徳
  I<inventive>独創性
  L<lucky>幸運
  E<effort>努力

I think the outsourcing proves "steady", "moral" and "effort" wrong. They aren't exactly "lucky" with their president being arrested, and "inventive" is out because their president was probably the one to come up with those ideas. Time for a name change. :D
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Sanky
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Wow, hm. Nice find.


...let's write them a letter ;_;
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andwhyisit
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Sanky
Jun 3 2010, 12:58 AM
Wow, hm. Nice find.


...let's write them a letter ;_;
To the Rocket Company president,
Please bring back Telefang.

With thanks,
Tulunk Village Forums ^_^
Edited by andwhyisit, Jun 3 2010, 02:42 AM.
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SM-dood
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Well, if we're crazy (and rich) enough, we could always buy the rights. :P
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Kimbles
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For the bright future!!
Huh, I'm pretty sure it's the president who was arrested who now works for Rocket Company. D: So it was probably more of a name change thing...

The impression that I got was that Smilesoft was more of a game publisher, since Telefang was developed by Natsume and Bugsite was developed by KAZe. Looking at the credits for the games, it seems like there were only about 5 different people who worked there. :/

Interestingly, the president in question (Mr. Iida Shuuhei) appears in the Imagineer staff for the first 3 Medarot games (which were developed by Natsume and published by Imagineer)... According to some Medarot sites, he left after that to start his own company (Smilesoft) which lasted until he was arrested a few years later.

So after that they formed Rocket Company, which itself is owned by Imagineer. *nod* They've been sitting on the rights for the Medarot series as well as everything owned by Smilesoft, but now that they've released Medarot DS and it seems to actually be a good game, there might be some hope yet. XD
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RacieB
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It grates on me how perfect a platform the DS is for a potential Telefang game.

FRIEND CODE = TELEPHONE NUMBER

I keep wanting to do mockup screenshots for Telefang 3 but thinking about it just makes me sad since we'll probably never see it. I dunno. Maybe if we pooled together a package of "we would love a sequel to telefang and this is how it could look" they might consider it... T_T?
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Sanky
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Also known as Sanqui // Strong beam of light sent out from the huge hollow ahead
Maybe they just need to be reminded of it... I wonder if they have a "Mail us questions about our games!" thingy on their site.

Oh hey, they're recruiting. Game director, graphic designer, programmer, ...planner? kanji whatever, business producer, marketer, "etc...".
Anyone? :|

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RacieB
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I don't think any of us lives in Tokyo... =x
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Aezarce
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Quote:
 
Well, if we're crazy (and rich) enough, we could always buy the rights.

if only... But wouldn't it be something if the community did pool in to buy the rights to telefang. I would freak out lol

Quote:
 
Maybe if we pooled together a package of "we would love a sequel to telefang and this is how it could look" they might consider it... T_T?

did someone say, overflowing mailbox of ideas? We should start constantly mailing them until they give in =)
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kmeisthax
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There have been a few cases where communities have bought the rights of a defunct software company. The biggest example being Blender. It was originally a proprietary package developed by a company called NaN (Not a Number). NaN went bankrupt and their creditors offered copyright ownership in exchange for a one-time, 500k euro fee. The source code was purchased through a fundraising campaign and released under the GPL.

However, it's critical to note that NaN was already defunct and we got the code by way of their creditors. Creditors dealing with defunct companies generally seek to recover as much money from the failed company as quickly as possible. They aren't in the same business as the defunct company, so the business assets are only worth as much as they can sell them for. The community effort provided them an easy way to get their money back without too much hassle.

So, then, what is the worth of a copyright? To a publisher or developer it is the right to continue producing work. That is their job. Of course, creating works is expensive. So publishers seek to reduce their risk whenever they can. This generally means putting most of your money into things which are sure bets such as sequels and licensed properties. Consequently, since sequels and licensed properties are so valuable, insamuch as they -have- a known value, the ownership of those copyrights is also closely guarded.

Rocket Company is not in liquidation and copyrights are valuable company assets. Most likely they wouldn't want to sell them at -any- cost, because Telefang is an established brand which they could make a sequel to if they wanted. If they did actually bother to give a monetary cost, it would probably be more expensive than just buying Rocket out from Imagineer.

There's also huge logistical problems with a copyright transfer to anything that isn't another hierarchical corporation. We would have to establish an organization capable of taking donations and holding copyright. We would have to create by-laws which would allow for the fair and equitable control of the holding company by all donors. We would have to agree on what to do with the copyright. (Public domain is not an option because Japanese copyright law does not recognize the right of an author to commit a work to the public domain.) We would have to hire an army of bilingual lawyers to deal with Imagineer and Rocket Company's lawyers. We would also have to disclose the price, despite the fact that most copyright related agreements don't allow either party to disclose costs to the public. Then we'd have to hire a second army of bilingual tax lawyers to handle the kinds of tax liabilities we would have to deal with in both Japan and America.

The same problems exist if you change 'copyright transfer' to 'copyright license'. Actually, it gets worse, because licences are negotiated on a case by case basis and usually includes per-unit royalties. We can't charge per-unit royalties because there are no units.

There's also the underlying possibility that Telefang might not even be theirs to sell. Natsume developed the game and the original publishing contract for Telefang and Telefang 2 might not have included a full copyright transfer. They're also owned by Imagineer now which means that they probably don't have corporate approval to transfer copyrights at all. If any code development was outsourced, and there weren't full copyright transfers from the employees at the outsourcing company all the way to Smilesoft, then you may have a condition where some freelancer may or may not own part of the code. That would essentially mean tracking down another party who would most likely see an opportunity to demand even more money.

Doing a care package would be nice. (Starmen.net already did it with Shigesato Itoi)
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andwhyisit
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Then again maybe Kodansha owns Telefang, you never know.
Edited by andwhyisit, Feb 14 2012, 04:58 AM.
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RottenYogurth
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And wath´s about suggest they a 3DS game of telefang? Bad idea?
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RacieB
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Well... 3DS is region-locked, meaning you would have to own a Japanese one to play the game, unless it was ever released in English. Given Rocket's history, that'd be highly unlikely.
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Maribel Hearn
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RacieB
Jun 5 2010, 11:42 PM
It grates on me how perfect a platform the DS is for a potential Telefang game.
*bump*

D-Shot on the touch screen, anyone? :D
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Aezarce
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Wow, good bit of information kmeisthax. So I guess we have to buy Rocket Company from Imagineer xD.

Though it seems like a far off dream due to logistics and copyright transfer/license, at least there are possibilities for fanmade games through the hacks of existing games like pokemon or creating from the ground up through game engines/editors.

We just have to wait and see if Imagineer wants to compete with pokemon down the line, or if an eccentric billionaire wants to buy the rights and take up the project.
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Retro Neo
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T-Master
im really angry!
rocket company doesnt publish a new telefang game D:, but I know why, simple; Telefang vs Pokemon vs Digimon, Telefang cant compete with Pokemon and Digimon, I think if Rocket publish a new telefang game it will fail u_u Dx
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Imaynotbehere4long
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GoldenPower011
Apr 27 2016, 02:22 PM
Telefang vs Pokemon vs Digimon
Don't forget Yo-Kai Watch. That seems to be more popular than all of them at the moment in Japan.
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andwhyisit
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GoldenPower011
Apr 27 2016, 02:22 PM
Telefang vs Pokemon vs Digimon, Telefang cant compete with Pokemon and Digimon
Uh.. Digimon doesn't compete with either. It's not even the same genre.

If you said Pokemon and Yokai Watch I would understand, but Digimon?
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RacieB
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When they were both new series, Pokémon and Digimon were definitely seen as "rivals". They were both ****mon franchises from Japan, and if you liked one the other one was totally* ripping it off!

*(even though they really weren't and it's actually possible to like a whopping 2 things)
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