Exile: Wicked Phenomenom North American Cover (Image Source: Hardcore Gaming 101)
It's probably been a while since you've heard anything from publisher Sunsoft, perhaps best known for their classic NES titles like Blaster Master and the Batman 1989 motion picture tie-in. Now Sunsoft is making headlines again, and it's no small gambit. The company confirms it has acquired the entire library of intellectual properties previously held by now defunct Japanese game publisher Nihon Telenet (Telenet Japan).
Many Nihon Telenet games were localized in English either under the "Renovation" branding, and included titles like Earnest Evans, El Viento, Valis, Exile, and Cosmic Fantasy. The last two titles may sound familiar to longtime fans of the similarly shuttered North American publisher Working Designs, who served as their publisher. It may be fate then that Sunsoft's bid for Nihon Telenet's properties was made possible largely through the efforts of former WD head Victor Ireland, who's still at large in the gaming industry through his new company GaijinWorks.
The deal should see Nihon Telenet titles re-released through digital distribution platforms like Nintendo's Virtual Console, and that's just for starters. Remakes and new releases for Nihon Telenet's stable of franchises are also planned, but no concrete titles have been confirmed at press time. Sunsoft and GaijinWorks promises what lies ahead is "sure to work game fans into a frothing lather".
At the very least, Valis could be in good hands again after its attempted revival as an erotic game series on PC in Japan. Perhaps we may also see the rebirth of the Exile series, which featured an hashshashin hero way before the first Assassin's Creed game did.