Koei Announces First Game for Next Generation PS
10.29.04 - 3:19 AM

At a press conference in Tokyo today, Koei, along with Shibusawa Production and Kurozawa Production, announced a feature film and game based on a posthumous manuscript written by legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Tentatively titled Oni, the game will be produced by Kessen mastermind and Koei general producer Kou Shibusawa for Sony Computer Entertainment's new PlayStation hardware. Shibusawa will also act as producer for the movie version of Oni. The game is described as an action title with strong RPG elements as well as online features. Its protagonist is called Oni (Japanese for demon), because of his tall figure and red eyes. The project will be part of the company's Media Mix strategy (which in addition to the game and movie, also includes cellphone-based content, music, books and merchandise) and cost a total of three billion yen ($28.19 million US) to develop. Apart from producer Shibusawa, Koei chairwoman Keiko Erikawa, Hisao Kurosawa, director and son of Akira Kurosawa, Sony Computer Entertainment president and chief official officer Fumiya Takeno was also present to take part in the official announcement of the first title for his company's newest hardware platform.

Both the movie and game version of Oni will be available in Japan sometime in 2006. The announcement marks the first time a major Japanese third party publisher revealed concrete plans for supporting a next generation platform.

Chris Winkler

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