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Majesco Entertainment saw a nice jump in their stock value this week, a jump that I credit to the announcement made public today. The company has inked a deal with legendary game designer Masaya Matsuura, and the well known New York artist Rodney Alan Greenblat. The purpose of this partnership is to develop a new and original music based video game scheduled for a release in the latter part of 2008.
You may remember Matsuura and Greenblat from their previous collaboration, Sony's PaRappa the Rapper on the original Playstation. PaRappa received praise for the quirky and lovable artistic style that Greenblat provided, which included 2D characters in 3D surroundings, anthropomorphic animals, and the games title character, Parappa the rapping dog. The game play, which was designed by Matsuura's NanaOn-Sha company, received high marks from critics around the globe, receiving a score of 92 out of 100 on MetaCritic.
Since Majesco Entertainment switched their focus to the more casual and artistic style of video games, the company has seen a much larger success than when trying to produce big budget, blockbuster titles. A game such as Cooking Mama reflects the company's ability to produce an addictive hit out of quirky concepts, while maintaining a sensible budget.
Masaya Matsuura commented on both Majesco and his design partner, "Majesco’s publishing know-how and retail relationships allow us to stay focused on creating a game that is conceptually unique and, above all else, fun. Working with Rodney is a true creative collaboration.” Rodney Greenblat returned the complement, adding that he welcomes the opportunity to re-team with Matsuura, who he shares a similar artistic perpective with.
Greenblat mentioned that the game will be designed from the ground up for the Wii system. No mention of whether the release will follow in the footsteps of peripheral based music games, or if the formula will stick to their former projects. Honestly, it doesn't matter. We're talking about the guys that made music games worth investing in. These are artists who were able to create an incredible experience, and we're excited to see their new ideas mashed into interactive form. Rodney Alan Greenblat has his own website, which is located at http://www.whimsyload.com.