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A developer went into debt to realize his game

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It is currently a difficult time for many game developers. We constantly hear about new layoffs and AAA games that have flopped. A development team from Japan is determined to realize its game and has therefore taken on debt.

What game is it? Anyone who followed the last Nintendo Direct could see a new Zelda title as well as many other new game announcements. Among them was a game with the cumbersome name The Hundred Line – Last Defense Academy.

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Those familiar with Japanese games should be able to recognize the art style straight away, as the developers of Danganronpa are involved in it. However, the game has had a long development period of 6 to 7 years and there were also problems with financing, which is why a loan had to be taken out.

Things are looking bad for many developers in 2024, as there have already been many layoffs: LoL developer Riot lays off 530 employees, wants to focus on the 4 biggest games

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You can find the announcement trailer here:

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The Hundred Line – Last Defense Academy – Trailer for the new game from the Danganronpa makers

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Development had to continue independently

The driving forces behind The Hundred Line are Kazutaka Kodaka and Kotaro Uchikoshi. Both are best known for the Danganronpa series, a mix of detective game and visual novel. Their next project, however, is a new IP whose development began 7 years ago and seems to be struggling with all sorts of problems.

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In an interview with Famitsu magazine, Kodaka said that they originally wanted to partner with a major publisher. The game was even canceled briefly at one point. But Kodaka and Uchikoshi wanted to start the project again and started development independently.

The game didn’t work as an indie project, so the team needed more budget. The only option they had was debt, as he reveals in the interview.

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We decided to take a risk… and got into debt. (…) We still have debts to pay off, so it is also a title for which we “risk our lives”

Kazutaka Kodaka on the risks of her new game (Source: Famitsu)

He does not regret this decision. In an interview he explains that it was a great experience. Although the duo’s studio, Tokyo Games, has now partnered with a publisher and other development studios to work on The Hundred Line but the risk of a flop and the end of the studio remains.

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The Hundred Line is due to be released for the Nintendo Switch and Steam in early 2025. Despite the huge gaming hype during the Corona period, studios are regularly facing closure. Even big brands like Xbox are not safe from this. But a Japanese studio is doing the opposite in these difficult times: Many developers are laying off their staff – Capcom, on the other hand, is planning higher salaries

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