News Article

Sunsoft To Release Telenet Titles On Virtual Console

Posted by Damien McFerran

Resurgent publisher confirms acquisition of defunct company's catalogue

If the recent news of Sunsoft's glorious return to the west has whipped you into a frenzy then you might want to take a deep breath before reading the press release below.

The company has confirmed that it has bought up the rights to Nihon Telenet's software library. While younger gamers might not recognise the name, veterans of the 16-bit era will recall many of the company's releases, which include Gaiares, Valis III, Exlie and Cosmic Fantasy.

The firm - which was also known as Telenet Japan (or Nippon Telenet) - also published the worst version of Golden Axe ever on the PC Engine CD-ROM, but the less said about that, the better.

Sunsoft has confirmed that it will be bringing several Telenet titles to the Wii's Virtual Console, so retro addicts have somethings else to look forward to.

SUNSOFT ACQUIRES ENTIRE NIHON TELENET SOFTWARE LIBRARY

Redding, CA – December 10, 2009 – Sunsoft, a division of SUNCORPORATION (JASDAQ: 6736) , has today announced that they have completed the purchase of the entire software library of defunct Japanese game publisher Nihon Telenet. This transfer of intellectual property gives Sunsoft the ability to publish or remake over 100 Telenet titles originally published on key platforms like Nintendo Entertainment System, SEGA Genesis/SEGA CD, and PC-Engine/Turbografx, and Sony Playstation.

Nihon Telenet, also known as Nippon Telenet, who published under the Renovation brand in the USA, was a prolific developer and publisher of popular and well-crafted titles like the Valis Series, El Viento, Earnest Evans, Tenshi No Uta (Poems of the Angel), Exile, and Cosmic Fantasy series, to name only a few. One of the interesting trademarks of a Telenet game was that it was not uncommon to see characters from one title make a guest appearance in a different Telenet game or series.

Kiharu Yoshida, CEO of SUNCORPORATION said of the acquisition, “I am proud to have succeeded in creating a home for this large family of key software. We plan to carefully cultivate the great software base we have purchased with this transaction.”

Victor Ireland, President of GAIJINWORKS was instrumental in helping the deal come about and will assist Sunsoft in the implementation of a publishing plan for existing titles and development plans for those that are chosen to be remade. Ireland effused “After Telenet closed, I was sure there was a way to keep their great ideas and characters alive, and I’m extremely happy that Sunsoft has stepped into that role. There are numerous fantastic products to work with in this acquisition, and there is nothing but amazing possibilities for the Telenet IP as a whole.”

Initial plans are to quickly begin publication of the original software releases on Virtual Console systems available on the Wii and other platforms. Then new development of key titles in the library will be initiated, targeting the best and most-wanted to be remade for current consoles and services. Given that many of the Telenet series had only one of the installments released in the US, some of these Virtual Console and remade releases will be seen for the first time in Western markets.

In the coming months, the order of release for titles from this library will be announced and publication will begin, events sure to work game fans into a frothing lather. Suggestions and comments for the games to be chosen are welcome and can be made on the new Sunsoft USA message boards at www.sunsoftgames.com.

[via nintendoworldreport.com]

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User Comments (31)

MasterGraveheart

#1

MasterGraveheart said:

Cute warrior girls? I can understand why Valis was popular, lol.

As much as I enjoyed the Batman and Blaster Master games, I don't know TOO many other Sunsoft games off the top of my head, but I liked what I played. Looking forward to memoires slipped by.

Egg_miester

#2

Egg_miester said:

sadly i don't think that a lot of nis old games come to N/A as for sunsoft i just want the aero games

Aenaida

#4

Aenaida said:

Victor Ireland has also set up a thread over at the Sunsoft forums asking people which Sunsoft/Telenet games they want to see on the VC.

Noire

#10

Noire said:

I had never heard of Valis before reading this news piece.

I now have the desire to play it for myself, so....yeah, looking forward to seeing some of these titles released.

deggs

#12

deggs said:

the valis games are sooooooooooooo a fun and awesome exercise in mediocrity...

cyrus_zuo

#15

cyrus_zuo said:

I always wanted to like Valis more than I did, but never could get into it, even Valis 3 with the 3 characters you can switch between. It always seemed like it could be a cool Castlevania-like game, but I was always disappointed.
Exile is an excellent RPG for the Turbo.
Final Zone 2 is the game I really want. The US voicing wasn't great, but I loved playing through this game over and over. Good action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9cMXdErtis

Stuffgamer1

#16

Stuffgamer1 said:

Initial plans are to quickly begin publication of the original software releases on Virtual Console systems available on the Wii and other platforms.

Other platforms? Looks around suspiciously.

I'm not what I'd call a "younger gamer" (I was gaming in the 16-bit era, after all), but I'm not familiar with this company AT ALL. But hey, more game companies supporting the VC is always a good thing, right? Speaking of which...did Activision ever bother to release more than ONE VC game? I have the feeling they own the rights to some real gems that they'll probably never bother to release.:|

7th_lutz

#17

7th_lutz said:

@Stuffgamer1,

I understood why you didn't heard of Telenet Japan during the 16 bit era. Their games were published by Working Designs, Nec and Renovation Products. The games those three companies published for Telenet Japan were either niche titles, or were on niche systems.

Those three companies translated Telenet Japan games for North America releases from 1990 to 1993

Working Designs and Nec translated Telenet Japan titles for the Turbo CD.

Renovation Products translated and published Telenet Japan games for the Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and a small amount of Telenet Japan titles for the Snes. Renovation Products published Sega Genesis Titles and Sega CD titles from 1990 to 1993. Renovation was one of the first 3rd party publishers for the Sega Genesis. Renovation only started to release games for the Snes in 1993, their final year of existence before Sega bought them and folded them.

Stuffgamer1

#20

Stuffgamer1 said:

@7th lutz: So...they barely published anything on Nintendo systems, then? That would also have something to do with why I'd never heard of them.:P

The reason I said that in the first place was that I took exception to the assumption made in this quote from the article:
"While younger gamers might not recognise the name, veterans of the 16-bit era will recall many of the company's releases, which include Gaiares, Valis III, Exlie and Cosmic Fantasy."
I am a veteran of the 16-bit era, yet I know none of these.:|

BlueFlameBat

#21

BlueFlameBat said:

I really want those Valis games, especially the ones previously unreleased in America (this includes Canada and Mexico). I'd be on board for Syd of Valis and the PC-CD Valis games. Not Super Valis IV though; I already have a hard copy for my SNES and it's too hard.

CanisWolfred

#22

CanisWolfred said:

@Zork2

Don't forget the Shmups: Gaiares is considered one of the best shooters on the Genesis, and Sol-Feace and Arrow Flash were pretty good, too.

And I really should play Valis III at some point, while I got it.

Sabrewing

#23

Sabrewing said:

Neat. The Valis games were fun, if very difficult. I imagine the WiiWare releases will be the Turbo versions.

sega_nerd

#24

sega_nerd said:

This is fantasic news! Although I thought Namco Bandai or Tri Ace might try to gain all those rights since they were involved with their games back then. I give alot of credit to Sunsoft and Victor Ireland on making this happen. Now everyone will get a chance to relieve those memories or have fun playing for first time. I wonder if Sega will plan to add Sega CD on VC meaning we can play Sol-Feace Road Avenger or Time Gal.

Token_Girl

#25

Token_Girl said:

@stuffalupagus

I haven't heard of them either so don't worry. I was still pretty young in the 16 big era though too. It is nice to see a company picking up defunct publishers and putting their games on VC. That's a trend I hope will continue.

brooks83

#26

brooks83 said:

It's really refreshing to see a company this enthusiastic about bringing games to the VC. Except for maybe Lucasarts, Sega and Hudson Soft (although lately their VC support has dwindled), most companies just don't seem to care about the VC. So this is very welcome news, and I will support Sunsoft and try to download as many Telenet games as I can. I haven't played any of them, and like many people here I had not even heard of Telenet, although I had heard of the Valis and Exile games. So...thank you Sunsoft!

Also, @stuffgamer regarding Activision, they really didn't release a whole lot between the 8 and 64 bit generations. Most of their games came out for the Atari 2600. About the best we can hope for is maybe the Lost Vikings from Blizzard, other than that Activision doesn't have a whole lot to offer. Unless Atari 2600 becomes a new console on the VC.

Mr_Nose

#27

Mr_Nose said:

I think I just swooned.

This is hands down the biggest, best piece of gaming news I've heard in years. Not just because Telenet/Renovation/Wolfteam were behind some of the coolest, and favorite titles of my Sega lovin' youth, but because of the future potential for some of these licenses as well.

I have a couple of friends who are gonna have to be picked up off of the floor when I spread the news about this.

WanderFan91

#30

WanderFan91 said:

:| Wow, that PC-Engine version (which I never knew existed) of Golden Axe looked inferior compared to the MegaDrive version. :/
Also, I can't wait to play Gaiares and Valis someday, as well as those other two games. They all look interesting.

vortexgods

#31

vortexgods said:

Time to dust off this old video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uJGMsTf6k4

When it comes to Telnet, Valis has nothing on Annet, Magical Girl and spawn of the Cthuloid elder god Hastur. Come on, who hasn't wanted to see The Call of Cthulhu merged with Sailor Moon?

"A young girl comes to smash their terrible ambition."

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