It’s not everyday that something as monumental as “manga company to make video games” drops in to my inbox. So, when it does, and its VIZ is that publisher I take notice. No doubt most people are familiar with VIZ media’s most recent big move, the acquisition of the RWBY properties, now they are making even more waves. Today, VIZ formally announced a partnership with Rose City Games to make all new games under the VIZ label. The first title to be published by VIZ Media will be the supernatural action/adventure game, The World Next Door, developed by Rose City Games and featuring character designs by illustrator Lord Gris.

Brad Woods, Chief Marketing Officer, VIZ Media said today:

“It’s no secret that anime and manga fans love video games. We’re excited to be able to bring an entirely new offering to our audience. VIZ Media has always been fan-first, and the team at Rose City is the perfect fit for developing games that our audience will love.”

Boy thats a lot to digest in one paragraph, so lets break it down a bit. First we have promising indie developer Rose City Games.  This will be their first major game, but they have provided what’s often called support development for half a dozen games already. Their strength is going to be their ability to bring  innovative technologies and strong code to VIZ’s stellar art and story teams. The studio are members of both the Intel Innovators Program and has previous experience in VR and AR, but has yet to publish a full game. If your intrested in some of their previous work check out some of their Game Jam games.

Then we have VIZ. One the biggest names in anime, manga, and an established force in importing, translating, and porting video games. VIZ has been throwing a lot of weight around more western titles recently, acquiring the rights to the RWBY manga, and bringing back classics like Pokemon Season 1, and Sailor Moon. Now they are going one step further developing a full game with Rose City Games.

So what can we expect from this game? Well for now thats mostly under wraps, but we did get one big clue from of all places Instagram. Other than the post below we only know that  The World Next Door is a narrative-driven game that centers around Jun, a rebellious teen girl trapped in a parallel world inhabited by magical creatures. Inspired by the emotional storytelling and thrilling action of both anime and indie games, players can expect to meet and develop friendships with an eclectic cast of characters while uncovering the mysteries hidden within this world.  

Hey guys! (Sorry if you saw this earlier, had to reupload!) I’m excited I can finally share this with you! If you remember my post from a little while ago or if you watch my story you’ll know I’m doing character art on a video game, but I haven’t been able to talk about it. It’s all been very top secret hush hush, but as of today the cat is out of the bag! The game I’m working on is called The world Next Door and it’s being made for @vizmedia , you may or may not recognize that name but you probably know the stuff they are in charge of licencing, things like pokemon, sailor moon, one punch man etc. Even though they licence media that comes over from Japan they don’t own any original content made by them, until this game that is! It’s an honor (and kind of terrifying) to be part of this big step for them (fingers crossed I don’t mess this up). So here’s what I can tell you about this game, it’s a narrative driven game about our main character Jun who gets trapped in a parallel world full of strange creatures. Some of the characters featured here are Liza who is a floaty demon thing, and horace who is a cat litch thing? Not sure we really have specific races for these guys at the moment, but it’s been fun designing them. There’s a huge cast of characters I’ve been in charge of making and I can’t wait to introduce them to you over the next couple months. Ill be excited to see who your favorite is :3 Anyway this is a really exciting thing for me that I hope some of you are excited about a little bit too! Let me know what you think! #gamedev #conceptart #indiegames #anime #vizmedia

A post shared by Griselda (@lord_gris) on

VIZ clearly thinks this game will be a sucess, as in addition to The World Next Door which is currently in full production with a planned release later this year on PC. VIZ Media is also slated to release two more games developed by Rose City Games over the next few years.  Should be a pretty interesting time around the VIZ offices.