TOKYO- Japanese game developer CYBIRD Co., Ltd. announced on June 28 that it has concluded a licensing agreement with Liber Entertainment Inc., (hereinafter Liber) concerning the worldwide distribution of the English version of the Liber-developed and operated ikemen actor-training game “A3!”
Ikemen is a Japanese word of recent origin meaning a good-looking man. A3! is an ikemen actor-training game in which the player becomes a theater company president and general manager with the power to cast ikemen troupe members while enjoying a story of youthful adventure. The main story is narrated in full voice by a group of distinguished voice actors.
A3! is very popular as a game in which budding ikemen actors, each belonging to one of four troupes — the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Troupes — develop their talent and slowly emerge into full bloom on the stage of a small theater.
Since beginning distribution simultaneously on iOS and Android on January 27, 2017, this title has achieved a steady increase in sales, with total downloads exceeding 5 million in March 2018. Also, A3! has become a hit title in the Japanese iOS game sales rankings, reaching as high as 2nd place in the rankings on two occasions (June 9, 2017, and January 10, 2018).
On Thursday, June 28, 2018, CYBIRD became a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese online games company Aeria Inc., making it a member of the Aeria Group alongside Liber.
CYBIRD is active as a pioneer of overseas distribution of game content. The company is convinced that it can achieve strong intergroup synergies by handling overseas distribution of A3!, Liber’s top-selling game for women in Japan, utilizing the operation channels CYBIRD has already cultivated overseas for its own Ikemen Series and its multifaceted customer attraction know-how. Now the two companies have signed an agreement to facilitate this development.
In the North American market, the popularity of Japanese animation and content is rapidly gaining momentum, as indicated by the increasing number of visitors to the annual Anime Expo (2017 total turnstile attendance over 350,000). Conversely, for women’s games, the scale of the North American market remains small compared with the Japanese and Asian markets, and it is expected to take some time to expand.
Accordingly, in the promotion and deployment strategy of CYBIRD and Liber for A3! in the North American market, the two companies are initially planning to launch the service after first increasing the game’s recognition level as a first step toward drawing attention to its worldview.
Through the present agreement, the duo will focus on enabling more people to enjoy playing A3! in the English-speaking zone known as the global market, while also achieving synergies by drawing on the respective strengths of the Aeria Group’s various member companies.
As of the date of this press release, the launch date of the A3! English edition service is undecided. CYBIRD will announce the date in a future press release as soon as the decision is finalized.