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Is Nicalis one of the worst "indie" publishers in the industry? Why?

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duckroll

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Jun 7, 2004
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Does anyone disagree with that sentiment? I don't generally like shitting on people who are trying hard to do stuff with limited resources, but it just seems to me that Nicalis has a terrible track record when it comes to announcing stuff, vanishing off the radar, communicating poorly with the fanbase and with the developers they work with, and just having a reputation for being unreliable. Why is that? Are they stretched too thin by trying to get their hands on whatever they can? Do they announce projects without having an actual publishing plan? Do they just suck?

Here's some stuff off the top of my head:

- The terribly handled La-Mulana WiiWare debacle, where the developer and Nicalis couldn't even agree on what caused the cancellation after a ton of delays even though the game was released in Japan.

- They were supposed to bring Pixel's Ikachan and Guxt to the 3DS eShop. In the end only Ikachan made it, despite Guxt having a ESRB rating. No one seems to know what happened.

- They ported Cave Story+ to the 3DS eShop in 2012, and it seems to have taken 2 years for them to finally release it in Europe. Wut?

- They announced Legend of Raven for 3DS in 2012, which would be a port of an existing and pretty old PC doujin fighter at that point. After not having any news for ages, the Japanese developers even managed to crowdsource a brand new remake in 2013. Nicalis then announces that they're scrapping the 3DS version in favor of a Vita version, and then later they announce PS4 and XB1 versions as well. Without releasing a single thing!

- They announced 1001 Spikes for 3DS and WiiU over 2 years ago. Still nowhere to be seen. It was supposed to be an enhanced port/remake of an existing XBLA game. Still no date.

What gives? Does anyone have insight into why this company can't seem to put out anything on time despite being a middleman publisher localizing and/or porting/enhancing games which already exist and are often pretty old?
 

Silky

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I think they have a lack of communication going on that exists outside of PR.

Shame, because Legend of Raven would be great for the PS4/X1's budding fighting game library.
 

Man God

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Nov 2, 2007
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They are basically the US version of one of those awful European localization companies!

Games coming out years late or never, glitchy, failing QA test after QA test.
 

Boney

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Jan 6, 2010
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I'd like to add the whole remastered track for Cave Story Wii debacle, where they apparently used the wrong and incomplete version in the game and took forever to fix it.

Not sure how much of it is their responsibility, but it certainly doesn't help their track record.
 

VanWinkle

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Jul 8, 2011
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I agree. They seem to announce things either way too early or more things than they're capable of. I've been waiting on 1001 Spikes for years and it feels like such a common occurrence with them.
 
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To add:
Pretending or not realizing that audio issues in the WiiWare version of Cave Story existed
Previously mentioned Vita port of Yatagarasu is the base version, not the crowdfunded expansion
 

Yoroshiku

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Aug 14, 2013
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You forgot their terrible handling and meandering with the WiiWare port of Cave Story. They weren't on the radar yet back then, but it was horrible and they deleted a lot of inquiring posts from their blog. Additionally, the port was a horrible mess when it was first released. It had a bunch of bugs, a few spelling errors, and the soundtrack didn't work, period. The port took almost two years, by the way.
 

Jinfash

needs 2 extra inches
Oct 16, 2007
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They are very suspect indeed.

Here's another question: Have they ever had a successful project without a single hitch, from announcement to launch?

It might give an idea of how they prioritize.
 
Jan 18, 2013
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I think somebody from Nicilas post here on GAF, not sure how much they could say though.
I think Tyrone has posted on gaf before, and he's the founder of Nicalis so he could probably say whatever he wants.

It's a shame Nicalis has such a bad track record for European localisations and releases in general. I would probably have given them money for Cave Story DSiware or CS+ 3DS if we weren't left hanging for ridiculous amounts of time for releases. Otherwise they're met with brutal indifference.

It does seem like they've dropped everything for BOI: rebirth.

They are very suspect indeed.

Here's another question: Have they ever had a successful project without a single hitch, from announcement to launch?

It might give an idea of how they prioritize.
They managed to release the VVVVVV 3DS port only 2 months after announcing it in America (Europe, of course had to wait another ~half a year, and Aus another 5 months on top of that), so it's not completely beyond them to wait long enough to announce something when it's nearly ready for release.
 

yurinka

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Well, in gaming there are always issues that appear out of nowhere in the last minute and are really specially difficult to handle and communicate if you don't have the budget and or experience to solve them properly and quickly.

I'd just be patient.
 

duckroll

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I am guessing they threw everything else aside for that binding of isaac remake.
That was only a thing from late 2012 though. I don't even think it was in development until 2013. They've been having these problems for years now, dating back to 2010 or so. If not for the fact that Edmund McMillen is overseeing that project personally and posting updates about it from time to time, I don't think we would have heard anything so far either honestly, and it would be just another Nicalis project which was announced and had radio silence for 2-3 years.
 

Persona7

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Sep 24, 2007
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But it did come out here... eventually.
It was published by a different company.

That was only a thing from late 2012 though. I don't even think it was in development until 2013. They've been having these problems for years now, dating back to 2010 or so. If not for the fact that Edmund McMillen is overseeing that project personally and posting updates about it from time to time, I don't think we would have heard anything so far either honestly, and it would be just another Nicalis project which was announced and had radio silence for 2-3 years.
Oh, I agree. This company has many issues. Do you know how many employees Nicalis has?
 

Kaybe

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Nov 18, 2013
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I think they're one of the worst, especially if you live in Europe. Cave Story DSiWare never released, Cave Story+ 3D released 2 years later, no Ikachan and I guess some more stuff I can't remember.
I don't know if I should be happy or frustrated when they announce their games.
Hoping that Binding of Isaac Rebirth has a worldwide launch without problems.
 

Shadow Hog

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An acquaintance of mine, one of the admins of The Cutting Room Floor, absolutely abhors Nicalis simply because he's found evidence that their Cave Story remakes and ports used fan mods and never credited them for it. I forget specifics (which mods, whether Nicalis was confronted about this and declined to do anything, etc), however.

Also, I vaguely recall Flip Mode in VVVVVV on the 3DS being completely unplayable for a while; rendered a black screen instead of the game field.
 

rjc571

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Jun 23, 2012
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Don't forget, they just released Grinsia on the 3DS... and it doesn't even work. One of the towns causes it to crash immediately upon entering. Like, how the fuck did they not catch that before they released the game?
 
Jan 18, 2013
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Also, I vaguely recall Flip Mode in VVVVVV on the 3DS being completely unplayable for a while; rendered a black screen instead of the game field.
Ah, you're right, I remember reading about that now.
Nevermind then, they screw everything up. Let us join in prayer for the Nicalis version of Binding of Isaac, as it will likely take a miracle to save it from the nicalis curse.
 

rjc571

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Jun 23, 2012
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Also, I vaguely recall Flip Mode in VVVVVV on the 3DS being completely unplayable for a while; rendered a black screen instead of the game field.
Did that even get fixed?

They also promised that 3DS owners would be able to download user-made levels on PC, move them to their SD card, and play them on the 3DS. That never happened.
 

Mafro

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- They ported Cave Story+ to the 3DS eShop in 2012, and it seems to have taken 2 years for them to finally release it in Europe. Wut?
This was completely ridiculous and I couldn't care less about the game by the time it was out. The Wii version took 9 months to come out in Europe as well, and they didn't even bother releasing the DSi version here at all. The 3DS version of VVVVVV took months to come out here as well. All these lengthy delays just make me not want to buy their games.
 

zulux21

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Oct 24, 2011
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I suppose I can't argue with that they are one of the worst... mostly because I can't think of many other indie publishers that didn't become publishers while publishing their own successful game (or that aren't huge companies like microsoft)

at the same time... I also don't care if they are terrible with the console stuff as they have delivered well enough on the PC front. Cave Story Plus on PC was a well done upgrade, and the binding of isaac rebirth will likely be one of my favorite games ever given how much I like the original... and hey at the very least they seem to pay the creators of the games, from what Edmund McMillen has said it's not to uncommon for companies to give the downpayment for the game and then never give an indie game company another cent (which is why they only have physical releases in EU for their games from a certain company)

This was completely ridiculous and I couldn't care less about the game by the time it was out. The Wii version took 9 months to come out in Europe as well, and they didn't even bother releasing the DSi version here at all. The 3DS version of VVVVVV took months to come out here as well. All these lengthy delays just make me not want to buy their games.
it's a little sad that an extra 2 years made you stop caring about a game that was already 8 years old by 2012 :p While I can understand frustrations about it taking a while to get to EU, at least they eventually did... much larger companies such as Atlus still often skip EU because the laws are a pain (and because they don't have a presence there but still)
 

Mael

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This was completely ridiculous and I couldn't care less about the game by the time it was out. The Wii version took 9 months to come out in Europe as well, and they didn't even bother releasing the DSi version here at all. The 3DS version of VVVVVV took months to come out here as well. All these lengthy delays just make me not want to buy their games.
To be fair they patched the music in the Wiiware version of Cave Story and the result was well worth it, can't hate them for that at least.
La Mulana was BS and the rest is entirely their fault too.
I'm just saying Cave Story Wiiware is not where I would shit on Nicalis.
 

gngf123

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Jan 27, 2013
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To add:
Pretending or not realizing that audio issues in the WiiWare version of Cave Story existed
Previously mentioned Vita port of Yatagarasu is the base version, not the crowdfunded expansion
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that when the Yatagarasu crowdfunding campaign was going there was actually no Vita version planned at all, it was a 3DS port of the original. They switched platforms basically immediately after the campaign. Citing the "larger fighting game community" on the Vita. Even though every Vita fighting game to date has bombed hard.
 

Tripon

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May 24, 2013
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- They announced 1001 Spikes for 3DS and WiiWare over 2 years ago. Still nowhere to be seen. It was supposed to be an enhanced port/remake of an existing XBLA game. Still no date.
1001 Spikes seems to be a Wii U eShop game now.

http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/SJtqqz8DEFGO8CFAvPR98xJUY5vGOZk8

Edit: They're also handling the 90's Arcade Racer with the original Kickstarter devs. I remember Nicalis and Tyrone Rodriguez answering questions in the gaf thread.

Tyrone Rodriguez also went full blast on the Wii U Gamepad recently.
\
 

Ludist210

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Jun 14, 2013
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They do publish a lot of good games, but...
Also, I vaguely recall Flip Mode in VVVVVV on the 3DS being completely unplayable for a while; rendered a black screen instead of the game field.
Came in here to post this. It was broken for around three months at launch. Fantastic game, but an awful oversight.

Also, remember when NightSky was supposed to launch exclusively on WiiWare? Yeah, that never happened. Launched on Steam first, 3DS second, and never on WiiWare. (Still a fantastic game)
 

Mael

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They do publish a lot of good games, but...
Came in here to post this. It was broken for around three months at launch. Fantastic game, but an awful oversight.

Also, remember when NightSky was supposed to launch exclusively on WiiWare? Yeah, that never happened. Launched on Steam first, 3DS second, and never on WiiWare. (Still a fantastic game)
Heh, I guess I know why I avoid Nicalis like the plague now....
 

Mr. X

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Feb 28, 2013
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Biting off more than they can chew or just thinking they can cash in on sloppy localizations?
 

Dog Problems

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I got tired of seeing them release Cave Story over and over but one thing I have to thank them for is publishing Swift Stitch on iOS. It was developed by Sophie Houlden, whom I had never heard of before, and after playing Switch Stitch she had become an indie developer that I follow closely. I just love that game a lot.

But I have noticed the various delays and the lack of transparency which is annoying. Announce something and never talk about it again, or talk about way later is a bad business practice.
 

ReaperXL7

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May 23, 2011
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Anyone have a comprehensive list of "indie" publishers? The only two I can think of is Nicalis and Devolver and they seem like the complete opposite sides of the spectrum with Devolver being on the Great side, and Nicalis being kind of shit overall.

I'm pretty much always looking forward to Devolver announcements, but Nicalis I just really trust so I keep my interest in check
 

cw_sasuke

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Sep 9, 2006
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As a European game I gotta agree, their announcement are worth nothing to me because they pretty much always fail to keep their promises.
 

Pikma

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Mar 4, 2009
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Idk but they're really doing things wrong, because by time their games are released A) I forgot about them or B) the hype died and I'm not interested anymore.
 

BinaryPork2737

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Don't forget, they just released Grinsia on the 3DS... and it doesn't even work. One of the towns causes it to crash immediately upon entering. Like, how the fuck did they not catch that before they released the game?
Yeah, I was honestly kind of interested in that game despite the continual release date troubles. I was really disappointed when I read about that in the Nintendo downloads thread.
 

bon

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They're the worst that I can think of, mostly due to their handling of La-Mulana. iirc they didn't even tell Nigoro that they canceled it, what the hell.
 
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