Initially Media Factory Co.,Ltd were established as a subsidiary of Recruit Co., Ltd in 1986. On April the 1st 1991 the company changed its name from Recruit Shuppan Co.,Ltd to Media Factory, Inc. Even through they had changed the company name to Media Factory, Inc it was still a wholly own subsidiary company of Recruit Co., Ltd. Media Factory, Inc’s head office at the time of their Dreamcast release was located in Tokyo, Japan.
In late 2011 Media Factory.Inc was acquired by Kadokawa Shoten Co., Ltd. And following restructuring of other previously acquired companies the group changed its name to Kadokawa Corporation in which the Media Factory brand still exists as a subsidiary company.
The companies primary focus was as it still is the creation of various media content from all aspects of book & magazine creation, editing & publication through to production and distribution of music and film & tv related products. Around the turn of the millennium Media Factory started developing and publishing game software for various formats. From what little information i can find seems to suggest that they were only active as a game developer and publisher for a short amount of time and by the end of 2001 they had ceased all development and publishing of consumer game software.
Media Factory had initially planned to publish at least three titles on the Dreamcast although only one title was actually released. Ironically the title that they did publish was the only title out of the three which they didn’t develop themselves. Both of Media Factory’s unreleased titles are known and listed below. Why neither of their two internally developed titles were never actually published for the Dreamcast is currently unknown.
ALEX ~ Virus Composer also known as ALEX ~ The Road to Persia ~ the title changed during the games development. ALEX ~ The Road to Persia ~ was to be the Western name for アレクサンダー戦記 or Alexander Senki which was both developed and to be published by Media Factory for an late 1999 release in Japan. ALEX ~ Virus Composer’s official genre is described as an organic intelligent real-time simulation. According to the last official Sega listing the game was scheduled for an autumn 2000 release before it was listed on subsequent release lists as TBD.
The plot of the game would follow the movie Alexander Senki which the game was based on being part of the licensed cross media promotion. You would’ve played as the protagonist Alex and the game was a strategy simulation title which featured a unique system called Demolition & Divinity that evolves game units independently by the Virus. The game would’ve feature other strategy elements such as diplomacy between various factions and heeding council from your advisors.
Alexander Senki was a major tv animation event with character designs by Peter Chung of Aeon Flux fame and was produced at noted Japanese animation studio Mad House. Media Factory were one of the companies involved in its development and with them having a game development studio they looked to bring the Alexander Senki franchise to the Dreamcast. Below is linked a press release that was published in Famitsu.com announcing the upcoming Dreamcast version. (c) 2000 Famitsu All rights reserved.
The game seemed to slip from an autumn 1999 release date into various 2000 TBD dates with the last official confirmation from the official アレクサンダー戦記 site was the game would be released in March of 2000. The game according to the official press release would receive an overseas release with various network features an updated Japanese release with these features added was also mooted for a possible later release. I assume this overseas release was possibly for the North American market as theres no mention of the game getting any coverage from publishers in Europe at all.
The last Alexander Senki coverage i could locate was that Famitsu.com featured it in a coming soon article and it had its scheduled release as an undetermined 2001 date. The screenshot featured in the article looks from very early on in development and the copyright information confirms this. This report makes no mention of either the planned network features or a western release. (C) MEDIA FACTORY (C) RocketStudio (C) J-boy ※画面は開発中のものです/FAMITSU.com (C) 2000 ENTERBRAIN, INC
The other Media Factory title that was briefly listed on official Sega release lists was 五分後の世界 or The World Five Minutes After which again is based on a licensed property. The World Five Minutes After franchise is based on an alternate history during the second World War and its aftermath. A game was published by Media Factory based on the series for the Sony Playstation 2 in late 2001. The Playstation 2 title was a sound novel i have no confirmation on what the genre the rumoured Dreamcast title was going to be.
While there is no official confirmation on the reasons for either Alexander Senki or The World Five Minutes After Dreamcast cancelation i did find reports on Japanese BBS boards about the subsequent discontinuation of the Dreamcast being a factor in at least The World Five Minutes After cancelation. Again these can’t be confirmed but since Media Factory stopped development and publishing titles in late 2001 that and the discontinuation of the target platform is most likely the reason behind why they never were actually released.
Media Factory’s only published title was Culdcept 2nd the sequel to the highly regarded original Culdcept developed by Omiya Soft and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn in 1997. A Sony Playstation version was released on the 1st of May 1999 again developed by Omiya Soft and published by Media Factory, Inc.
I’ll add what little information i can about Omiya Soft as it’s a unique company they are the developers of every instalment of the Culdcept series. The official Omiya Soft website is actually not that helpful since it doesn’t list any company information at all. The only concrete information i can provide is from an interview with the former president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata who conducted an interview with Omiya Soft about their upcoming Nintendo 3DS Culdcept title.
Omiya Soft was founded in 1993 it is a very small Japanese development studio it initially started with three employees working at the company and according to the Satoru Iwata interview for the Nintendo 3D’s release the company numbered five employees at that time. The company name comes from where it was initially founded in the Ōmiya-ku district of Saitama City, Japan.
The Nintendo article kindly asks to link to it if using any information so i’ll respectfully link to it below. 2016 Nintendo.
The Culdcept series is effectively the only home console series Omiya Soft develops they recently in 2016 released the latest update in the Culdcept series for the Nintendo 3DS system. While the Culdcept series is the main focus for Omiya Soft they have branched out to develop mobile titles. In comparison to the official Omiya Soft website the official Culdcept website is full of in depth information on every title in the Culdcept universe and if you have any interest in the series is well worth your time taking a look. Below i’ve linked to the Official Culdcept site. Copyright © Omiya Soft all rights reserved.
Media Factory published カルドセプト セカンド or Culdcept 2nd on the 12th of July 2001 and it retailed for ¥6,800. Culdcept 2nd is a fantasy card battling game that is for one to four players. The game has over 450 beautifully illustrated cards from which to choose from.
To support the release Media Factory had a pre order reservation campaign for physical limited edition cards that was held at 1,500 various Japanese shops nationwide. The campaign was supported by Sega Direct, various game shops & chain stores. You were able at the time to download the data via password for the Sega Direct character card ‘Leoknight’ through the games network mode. Below is a Game Watch Impress article which covers the campaign in detail it also has pictures of the exclusive cards incase you’d like to try and track them down. Reported by 北村孝和 © 2001 impress corporation.
Below are the pre-order exclusive cards and where they could be acquired including the ‘Leoknight’ pre-order card.
‘Leoknight’ pre-order exclusive
If you were lucky enough to pre-order through Sega’s D-direct website you also got these two exclusive cards Cait Sith & Catoblepas.
Catoblepas (C) Yuji Kaida (C) Media Factory Co., Ltd.(C) 2001 Omiya Soft (Supported by Marigul)
Other game stores carried two different exclusive cards Judgement & Succubus i’m not sure exactly what stores had them for pre-order.
Succubus (C) Katsura Terada (C) Media Factory Co., Ltd. (C) 2001 Omiya Soft (Supported by Marigul)
Culdcept 2nd was the first in the series to support online multiplayer to support this Culdcept 2nd online network features were available to use and play online for free from the games launch untill the 31st of July 2001. After the initial free to play period had expired you were required to purchase a subscription in addition to normal call charges to play the game online. Culdcept 2nd used the familiar Dreamcast method to pay for its online subscription fees you could either choose 400 dream for 30 days play or a 1,000 dream for 90 days. As with most Dreamcast online titles this could be paid for by either credit card or Web Money. If you’re not aware of how Sega handled payment for its Dreamcast online services i’ll link to the official Dream webpage which explains far more eloquently than i could manage how the system worked.
Through the official ISAO.net dricas network service list i found that Culdcept 2nd’s network service was scheduled to end on the 31st of March 2003.
The game was also well supported by tournaments that were organised by Media Factory & Omiya Soft either through the games network mode or traditional face to face competition. Beginning on the 17th of October 2001 Media Factory announced Culdcept 2nd Release Commemoration the 3rd Official National Convention ALL JAPAN CEPTER’S CUP 2001. The previous two entries in the CEPTER’S CUP had been for the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation iterations respectively. The official OmiyaSoft website has detailed information on all the heats plus eventual winners i’ve linked to the official archive site of the ALL JAPAN CEPTER’S CUP 2001 below where you can find much more in depth information on the CEPTER’S CUP 2001 matches results and Culdcept 2nd in general. Copyright © Omiya Soft all rights reserved.
On the 28th of February 2002 Enterbrain, Inc issued a commemorative DVD of the ALL JAPAN CEPTER’S CUP 2001 including the grand finals. This also included a exclusive card ‘light craft‘ which sadly i’ve been unable to locate a picture relating to the card. The DVD of the ALL JAPAN CEPTER’S CUP 2001 is included in the media section below.
The best place to find information about Culdcept 2nd is Omiya Soft’s official Culdcept site which is a repository for everything related to the Culdcept series. They maintain an entry for the Dreamcast iteration of Culdcept 2nd which i’ll link to below. Copyright © Omiya Soft all rights reserved.
T-43903M Culdcept II
SAMPLE T-43903M Culdcept II
(NOT FOR SALE) 非売品 discs & other media
I don’t have an individual 非売品 disc for Culdcept 2nd and surprisingly i’ve never seen one. I would’ve thought that one would exist as the Culdcept series is held in a high regard and could quite easily imagine one existing. It’s of course possible that a disc relating to Culdcept 2nd does exist and i’m just not aware of its existence.
Culdcept 2nd has a large amount of official media i’ll start with the books. The first book is カルドセプトセカンド 公式ガイドブックwhich is the Culdcept 2nd official guide book. The Culdcept 2nd official guide book comes with a limited edition physical ‘Gladiator’ card as a bonus.
‘Gladiator’ exclusive card.
It was published by Enterbrain under their Famitsu books label and it was released on the 12th of July 2001 retailing for ¥1,300. The Culdcept 2nd official guide books ISBN codes are ISBN 4-8401-0339-9, ISBN-13: 9784840103398 & ISBN-10: 4840103399
The next book is the カルドセプトセカンド公式完全ガイド or Culdcept 2nd official complete guide unfortunately this book doesn’t contain an exclusive card.
It was again published by Enterbrain under their Famitsu books label and it was released on the 6th of september 2001 and retailed for ¥1,600. The Culdcept 2nd official complete guide ISBN codes are ISBN-13: 978-4757705845 & ISBN-10: 4757705840
SME Visual Works,Inc through Sony Music Entertainment released an official Culdcept 2nd two disc soundtrack CD that retailed for ¥3,059 and its catalog number is SVWC 7083-4 (2CD set). The soundtrack also came with an exclusive ‘Lilith‘ card for the first print.
A Gamespot Japan press release about the exclusive ‘Lilith‘ card is linked to below. Copyright (c) 2001 by Softbank Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.
‘Lilith‘ exclusive card.
‘Lilith’ (C) Naoyuki Kato (C) Media Factory Co., Ltd (C) 2001 Omiya Soft (Supported by Marigul)
Enterbrain,Inc in association with Omiya Soft released a DVD of the ALL JAPAN CEPTER’S CUP 2001 on the 28th of February 2002.
Which retailed for ¥4,500 and came yet again with another exclusive card ‘light craft‘ first print pre-orders also came with a poster.
Thanks for taking the time to read this entry on Media Factory & Culdcept 2nd hopefully you’ve found it interesting. If you can help with any information about either of the two unreleased titles Alexander Senki & The World Five Minutes After or about Culdcept 2nd that i’ve missed please get in contact either through the site or on Twitter @dreamcastcollector