Yuke's Company of America officially launched a new division called Akinai Games, which will focus on downloadable platforms and digital distribution.
According to Yuke's, Akinai Games will develop for WiiWare, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, while the PC and mobile platforms are "under consideration." The new division will kick off with WiiWare title Evasive Space
, in development by High Voltage Software for a January 2009 release.
The company chose the name "Akinai" because it says the word loosely translates to "keep entertained" in Japanese, and it chose a logo inspired by the traditional Japanese maneki-neko, or lucky cat.
Yuke's Company of America, headquartered in Illinois, is a publisher-developer wholly owned by Japanese company Yuke's -- best known for its wrestling game expertise on franchises such as the WWE and UFC series. The recent releases from its American publishing arm include Neverland Card Battles
on PSP and Double D Dodgeball
on Xbox Live.
"We’re seeing a dramatic shift in the marketplace as online platforms emerge as a source for high-quality game content, instantly available to the consumers via direct download," says Yuke's of America CEO Shane Takahashi.
"Yuke's is establishing Akinai Games to recognize the importance of online distribution platforms, and to focus on their growing significance to gamers. We’re proud to announce this new chapter in our company’s history as we look forward to making some of the most high quality, innovative and fun games of the future available for download."