(This is the second PSAS-Watch Blog Repost. The picture is the Yarudora series, specifically Double Cast, and the artist is Keiji Gotoh. Here is the source page)
The discovery of these now-defunct studios serves a good self-reminder that trusting Wikipedia only is not a good way to find information.
From my recent research of PlayStation IP’s, I have found that there are two major developer studios that have been greatly overlooked. But first a slightly unrelated studio. While not obscure enough to not have a Wikipedia page, there is Contrail. They differ from the other two studios as they are a production company, but what connects them is their placement on the Japanese SIE page. Contrail oversaw and possibly helped to develop games such as the Legend of Legaia series, OreShika, Wild Arms 2, Boku no Natsuyasumi and a Hermie Hopperhead puzzle spinoff among others.
Onto the main discoveries; next to those on the Sony page are ARC Entertainment and Sugar & Rockets. While I will admit that I have no knowledge of the Japanese language, I have been able to semi-confirm these as definitely PlayStation related. ARC Entertainment, as their name suggests, were related to the Arc the Lad series (and this is indeed mentioned in the Making of Arc the Lad documentary for the Arc the Lad Collection). Sugar & Rockets have also been briefly mentioned before on this blog, via the Yarudora series. Sugar & Rockets is mentioned as a former in-house developer on the Giant Bomb wiki, but there is a minor (yet important) appearance of the company in the Making of Arc the Lad. In that mini documentary, there appears a wall with a number of other PlayStation developers (such as ARC Entertainment, SIE and Clap Hanz) and among those developers, is, surprise, Sugar & Rockets.
This essentially confirms that the Yarudora series is indeed a PlayStation series (and it is one I will have to look into in the future). Aside from that, it has been very fascinating to see ARC Entertainment’s other works. I had previously known about their main series, of course, and I had learned about the Book of Watermarks through a Hardcore Gaming Article. What is new is learning that they developed a Mecha game called LOVE AND DESTROY, a few manga adaptations (they did a game off a series by the author of Slam Dunk) and they also worked on a third game (that I have absolutely no information of in English, not even a bit, but it seems to be related to mountains). ARC Entertainment also had extra work on some other games, like the Granstream Saga and another RPG that I am forgetting at the moment, but that will be saved for a later post.
The ultimate fate of these three studios is explained on Contrail’s wikipedia page (and corroborated by the Japanese pages on ARC Entertainment and Sugar & Rockets): originally created to help with external developers, all three studio’s operations were eventually re-integrated into the main company (SCEI).
So to conclude the post, the major discoveries here are:
Sugar & Rocket’s games (Philosoma, the Yarudora series and other smaller titles)
ARC Entertainment’s games (Besides Arc the Lad, the Book of Watermarks, LOVE and DESTROY and some other titles that are unconfirmed.
I’ll need to check over my notes but that is all for now.