Whenever we refer to the continual growth of the eShop platforms here on Nintendo Life, and in particular the continuing rise of download-only and 'Indie' developers, we're specifically referring to territories outside of Japan. At present a game can only be released in Japan if it's published by a company based in Nintendo's homeland, so titles such as Nano Assault Neo and SteamWorld Dig, self published on their respective platforms in PAL and North American territories, had to seek Japanese partners to make it into the country.
It's a notable contrast to the moves towards simplifying the publishing requirements in the West, and against this backdrop a company called Rainy Frog was formed, with the primary goal of supporting and publishing eShop games in Japan; its official website also states that it will, in addition, aim to bring Japanese games to the West. This company was founded by Anthony Byus and will target both the 3DS and Wii U stores, and he's been in touch with us to confirm that the company's first release in the region will be KnapNok Games' Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party, though it will be rebranded as Waiwai! Minna De Challenge.
The messaging for the title will be rather different, too. While in the West it targeted adults in trailers, the Japanese iteration will be made "more appealing to the family-orientated Japanese Wii U market". This is best demonstrated in the images above and below, with a trailer to be released soon.
Byus has told us that the company's second eShop release in Japan will be confirmed next week, and we'll bring you an interview soon to learn more about Rainy Frog's plans for the future. With the existing rules for publication in Japan, firms such as these will be increasingly important for eShop developers to reach a wider audience.