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Your Guide to Japanese Game Distribution

Who's distributing whose games? Find out here!

There's a bit of Sega in Shadows of the Damned.

With yesterday's announcement that Sega would be distributing Electronic Arts titles in Japan, you might have been wondering who's in bed with whom when it comes to game distribution. A retailer has provided a handy chart.

As detailed yesterday, EA games will soon be distributed in Japan by Sega. This deal will start with repeat production runs of older titles in August. Starting in September with Shadows of the Damned, the deal will also cover newly released titles.

These are the current major distributors and the parties they handle:


Sony, Namco Bandai, Nippon Ichi, Spike


Sega, 5pb. (partial), Imageepoch, EA (starting in August)


Capcom, Take-Two, Rockstar


Koei, Tecmo, Idea Factory

Square Enix

Square Enix, Activision, Bethesda, Ubisoft


Microsoft Japan

These lists are partial.

Nintendo also has its own distribution, but the blog was not sure about specifics as Nintendo product goes through wholesalers rather than coming directly from Nintendo.

Multiplatform titles will have different distributors depending on the version. For Namco Bandai, the PS3 version will be distributed by Sony while the 360 version will go through Happinet.

In general, the public won't see any difference with a change in distributor. However, retailers could see efficiency changes and an increase in retail promotion goods. In the case of the Sega and EA deal, Sega is faster with repeat orders and does a better job with promotional goods, so the retailer says that this deal should be overall a plus for everyone.

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