Japanese game development favourite, GUST, has been shut up as a business as part of Koei Tecmo’s acquisition of the company. But don’t worry, the GUST developers will continue to do what they have always been doing – it’s just that they’ll be doing it as a more formal part of Koei Tecmo going forward.
The Nagano-based developer was acquired by Koei Tecmo in 2011, but has remained a largely independent business, working on such hits as Atelier Escha & Logy and the upcoming Ar Nosurge using much the same company structure as it had used prior to the acquisition.
It was managed separately to Koei Tecmo Games, in other words, sitting under the broad Koei Tecmo Holdings group. However, in a statement released today, Koei Tecmo has announced that it is rolling GUST into the Koei Tecmo Games company.
Naturally this has meant that a lot of people have been concerned that this means the end of GUST. To clarify based on my understanding of the Japanese statement – GUST is not actually gone. The business units of GUST and Koei Tecmo Games have been merged together as business operations, and this means that likely some of the back office management of the two companies has been affected (no mention of any job losses, mind you), but the Nagano office will remain open as GUST Nagano Development Department, one of the Koei Tecmo Games development studios. It will have the same creative people working in it, working on the same IP that it had been working on previously.
In other words, as far as I can tell from this release, GUST will formally behave like development studios such as Team Ninja and Omega Force as internal Koei Tecmo Games studios, rather than as an independent company that just happens to belong to Koei Tecmo Games’ parent group.
Furthermore, as far as I can tell, the GUST brand will continue to be used in association with these titles. This seems to be little more than a business consolidation and the important thing to note is none of the creativity that we’ve come to love that comes out of that little office in Nagano will be affected.
– Matt S.
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