SIE Researched IP’s 1: TVDJ, Sagashi no Ikouyo, Hermie Hopperhead

Here is the first wave of researched SIE IP’s.

TVDJ
An early PS2 rhythm/music game with a cel-shaded artstyle and experimental gameplay. Was originally known as “Be On Edge” and was only released in Japan. This video and its description do a good job of illustrating what kind of game it is.

For the purposes of this blog, the game is developed by SCEI (this is corroborated by the GiantBomb wiki, IGN, which has a page on TVDJ, and GameFAQS).


Sagashi no Ikouyo
(Japanese Title: 探しに行こうよ for future reference)
An early PS2 RPG. Information about this game is very scarce in English (and my Japanese search has shown the game is obscure enough that it’s possibly scarce in Japanese too). Here is a review from RPG Gamer that explains the game for those curious. The game seems to be both developed and published by SCEI. While I don’t have my usual three-site cross checking system for this game, I haven’t found any conflicting information, like say in the case of Granstream Saga, which has multiple different developers listed on different sites; there are enough websites out there saying SCEI, and only SCEI, so I think it’s probably true that SCEI were the only developers for this game.

Additional Sites (for future reference)
http://www.jp.playstation.com/software/title/scps11005.html
http://www.jp.playstation.com/software/title/jp9000npjc00014_000000000000000000.html


Hermie Hopperhead: Scrap Panic and Tamago de Puzzle
A 2D PS1 Platformer that never made it outside of Japan because the PS1’s infamous 3D game policy at the time, Hermie has an extremely handy page on Hardcore Gaming. Like Sagashi no Ikouyo, there hasn’t been any definitive evidence, but there is circumstantial evidence pointing to the IP belonging to Sony. The first piece of evidence is its spinoff game, Tamago de Puzzle.

Unlike the original Hermie Hopperhead which was developed by Yuke’s, the spinoff puzzle game was instead developed by Matrix Software (aka the developers responsible for the Alundra games, which are Sony owned via Contrail). There is no connection between Yuke’s and Matrix Software from what I can tell, so there probably isn’t a case of people from Yuke’s moving on to Matrix to work on Tamago de Puzzle.

One connection that we do know about Matrix Software to Sony is their connection to Contrail. Contrail, which we’ve brought up a lot on this blog, alongside Arc Entertainment and Sugar & Rockets, were helping to develop games for the PS1 alongside external developers. Since there seems to be no other connection to Yuke’s and Matrix, the circumstantial evidence points to it being a PlayStation IP that could have been handed to another developer/subsidiary to work on from SCEI.

The other piece of circumstantial evidence is the involvement of Tetsuji Yamamoto. The Hardcore Gaming page has pictures to an interview regarding Hermie, and Yamamoto is explicitly mentioned as the Director for Hermie Hopperhead. Though I am not familiar with the person, Yamamoto is mentioned as being with Sony at the time, having worked on Philosoma and Jumping Flash previously (at the time). And indeed, looking at his MobyGames page, his name is attached to a lot of PlayStation series. Philosoma, Jumping Flash, Intelligent Qube, Okage: Shadow King, the PS2 Arc the Lad games and he even worked on the PSP title Kingdom of Paradise.

Impressive pedigree aside, there seems to be no break in this period where Yamamoto was NOT developing games for PlayStation. Unless Hermie Hopperhead just happened to be the one exception (which is still possible), I think I’d lean more to Hermie being a PlayStation series as well. Again, this is technically circumstantial evidence but until I conflicting evidence, I think I am (currently) okay with listing it as a PlayStation series.


Quick Summary:

TVDJ
It is fully published and developed by SCEI

Sagashi no Ikouyo
It seems to be fully published and developed by SCEI
There is no conflicting evidence against that claim

Hermie Hopperhead
Circumstantial evidence points to it being owned by SCEI
-Tetsuji Yamamoto’s involvement in the title as Director of Hermie […], SCE Inc.
-The spinoff was created by a company, Matrix Software, that, at the time, was only connected/related to Sony and Yuke’s via Contrail

 

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