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Taito's Fujita Reveals Cooking Mama Success, Plans

As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview posted today, Taito's U.S. representative Keiji Fujita has been discussing the success of the company's Cooking Mama
As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview posted today, Taito's U.S. representative Keiji Fujita has been discussing the success of the company's Cooking Mama franchise, which he reveals has now sold over 2 million copies worldwide. The game, which is published by Majesco in North America and 505 Game Street in Europe, was developed and published in Japan by Taito, the seminal Space Invaders developer. Fujita, who particularly organizes Taito's cellphone game plans in North America, was posed the question that Cooking Mama 'seems like the biggest hit Taito has had in a while, even though it's a very small game', and he commented: "Actually, Cooking Mama was awarded as IGN's Best of E3 last year, and 700,000 copies have been sold already in the U.S. market, with another 500,000 copies in Europe. [It's sold] almost a million [in Japan], actually. It's kind of a blockbuster game for us, after more than ten years of silence." Taito's Fujita mentioned the company's other big late '90s hit in Japanese territories, the much more regional-specific Densha De Go, or Let's Go By Train, a train driving simulator, and grinned: "I think after Let's Go By Train, Cooking Mama is the most successful game of Taito's titles, actually. I'm confident the mobile version of [Cooking Mama] will be successful in the U.S. market as well." He was also prompted on the possibility of a Cooking Mama arcade game, since the firm still operates an arcade division in Japan, and while admitting no such game is currently in development to his knowledge, he speculated: "Taito has the skill and the quality of arcade machines, so they could develop an arcade version of Cooking Mama. A virtual knife and cooking board or something..." Later in the interview, Fujita also discussed Taito's product portfolio choices going forward, referencing Japanese game release dates and noting: "Taito's roadmap for console games is [mostly] remakes of the old games -- just like what I'm doing for the mobile phone in the U.S. The new version of Space Invaders, called Space Invaders Extreme, will be released [in February 2008] for the Nintendo DS, and Arkanoid [was recently] released for the DS as well, together with the optional game controller. Exit will be released for the DS as well, and Cooking Mama 2 is also [released]. I think they're targeting more for DS because of the [size of the] market. They're trying not to develop games for Xbox and PlayStation 2. They're trying to minimize the focus to the DS and PSP." The full in-depth Gamasutra interview with Fujita is now available, including much more detail on the history and staffing of Taito, as well as the plans for the 30th Anniversary of Space Invaders this year and much more.

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