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A Hail Mary for Devil Survivor 2 in Europe

UK publisher Ghostlight isn't seeing much retailer interest, so it's throwing profits to the wind and looking towards fans for help.

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It might come as a shock, but companies are still releasing games for the original DS. That includes UK publisher Ghostlight, a company focused on distributing Japanese RPGs to Europe.

Its next release, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, hasn’t seem much interest from retailers, and the company is throwing the publisher equivalent of a hail mary to save the game.

“Basically, the DS is sort of coming to the end of its life,” said Ghostlight community manager and public relations representative Ross Brierley to me earlier today. “The 3DS has been out for a few years now, hasn't it? Retailers, understandably, can’t concentrate on that and the Vita, to some extent. There’s just not much room on the shelves for DS games, which means we haven’t had anywhere near as many orders as we need to actually make the game viable.”

If Ghostlight receives 1,800 pre-orders for Devil Survivor 2, it’ll make the game. 1,800 pre-orders would cover the cost of manufacturing Devil Survivor 2 and that’s about it. At this point, Ghostlight isn’t hoping to turn Devil Survivor 2 into its most profitable release, and has turned its focus to finding a financially viable way to have the game released in any capacity.

“We’ve done the work,” said Brierley. “We’ve tested the game, we’ve got it all approved, we’ve had it go through the ratings board, and rather than just have it sit on our computers forever, we’d like fans to be able to play it. It’s a bit of a shame otherwise.”

Devil Survivor 2 was late bloomer, no matter how you slice it. The tactical RPG was released by Atlus in Japan in July 2011, and showed up here in February 2012. At this point, we’re talking about a full two years since the game’s native release date, and more than two years into the lifespan of 3DS. It’s no surprise retailers have mostly moved on by now. Strangely enough, Atlus is even releasing an updated version of the game, Devil Survivor 2: Break Record, with new content on 3DS later this fall.

But Ghostlight announced the game, and, admirably, doesn’t want to give on its fans.

“We get comments on our blog, we’ve had emails asking for it,” said Brierley, “and it just seems a bit of a shame to go to people and say ‘no, it’s not coming out’ without trying pretty much everything we can to get it out.”

And so this is that last ditch effort. If this doesn’t work, Devil Survivor 2 isn’t coming out. If it doesn’t hit 1,800 sales, Ghostlight isn’t going to sink the company in pursuit of a game most people don't want. The campaign launched early on Thursday, and its fate remained murky. Brierley didn’t have sales numbers in front of him, but said the website had been up and down all day. Having the website go down is, at least, one good sign.

“The hamsters that run it are suffering,” he said. “We’re trying to get more, at the moment, but they are suffering, at this point. Hopefully, we can the website more equipped to cope with this level of traffic while people are still excited about it. It’s not great timing at the moment. [laughs]”

Orders close for Devil Survivor 2 on August 31. There are two bundles available, and the total needs to hit 1,800 orders. If the quota is hit before, the game will go into manufacturing sooner.

Patrick Klepek on Google+