Net village Co., Ltd were a Japanese development and publishing studio they are still active but don’t develop or publish game software instead they are currently focused on operating as telecommunication content providers. They were established on the 3rd of March 1997 and based in the Shibuya-ku district of Tokyo, Japan. They had a subsidiary company named Shanghai Net Village Expert Technology Co., Ltd based in China. In March of 2000 they set up an affiliate company Net Village.Inc based in Berkley California, USA. Net Village’s Official archive site lists their primary business concern as mobile business solutions.
Around the turn of the millennium the company seems to have split into two distinct entity’s Net Village transitioned into a wholly mobile Internet application developer & service provider. The consumer game division was renamed Game Village Co., Ltd and continued to publish a variety of titles. In October 2006 the company transitioned into Fonfun Inc. Neither the company’s official archive site or their current homepage make any mention of Game Village in any capacity and their current official site makes no mention of them ever have being involved with game software development or publishing.
Net Village in both its incarnations released two titles for the Dreamcast. The first title released under the Net Village banner was 棋太平GOL D or Kitahei GOLD which was released on the 18th of November 1999 and retailed for ¥9,800 this made it the most expensive Dreamcast game released at that time. Kitahei GOLD is a Shogi game that was ported from a Japanese PC game developed by SPS Co., Ltd. Below is the Kitahei GOLD’s official dircas page with some basic information about the game. ©Net Village Co., Ltd
Being that the Kitahei GOLD is a Shogi game and I’m unfamiliar with the rules I’ve not played the game. I’ve linked to NetVillage’s official archive site for the game which it shares with the Window’s version so you can get more information about the title. ©Net Village Co., Ltd
The main selling point was the fact that Kitahei GOLD supported cross-platform online play between the Window’s version and the Dreamcast edition. Bizarrely the games online mode was supported better than most other early Dreamcast titles as of March 2003 the network service was still running for the game. I’m unsure when exactly the network service was terminated for the game but it was operational for well over four years.
I can’t find much more information on the game and since I can’t say if Kitahei GOLD is a competent version of Shogi or not the only other information I can confirm is the games sales figures. These were published in a book published by Famtisu that had compiled every Dreamcast game estimated sales up until that point in 2001. The game had managed to sell just over 500 copies since its release three years earlier.
Point to note that most Japanese Dreamcast titles generally sold in staggeringly poor numbers and there are highly rated well-known titles that didn’t fare much better at retail so it’s not indicative of the games quality just the general reception of the Dreamcast software at Japanese retail. I’ve added the games official Sega Dreamcast catalogue page below to get a summary about the game. © 1995-1999 SPS Co., Ltd. © 1999 NetVillage Co., Ltd.
The second and last title that Net village published on the Dreamcast was EVE ZERO 完全版 -ark of the matter- better known as EVE Zero -Ark of the Matter- which was released on the 22nd of March 2001 and retailing for ¥ 7,800. You’ll find the games official Sega Dreamcast catalogue entry linked below. © 2000 ,2001 C’s ware All Rights Reserved.
The earliest mention of the title i can find is from an online report from Softbank Games announcing the game was headed to the Dreamcast on the 10th of November 2000. The article gave the release date and a list of enhancements that had been made to the Dreamcast edition of the game. The Softbank article is linked to below. (C) 2001 C’s ware All Rights Reserved Copyright (c) 2000 by Softbank Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.
EVE Zero 完全版 -Ark of the Matter- by all accounts is a prequel in the long running EVE franchise. I’ve not personally played this title or any in the EVE series i’m not sure where to start as the games seem to have the same returning characters and be almost episodic in nature. The games official dricas site has been archived and is linked to below which details in depth the characters, story & game-systems . ©2000,2001 C’s ware All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2001 NetVillage Co., Ltd.
The official dricas site goes into some depth about the BEAM FORCE VMU downloadable game and the instructions on how to play it. Luckily it still has a working link to directly download it to your VMU you’ll need 24 free blocks in order to download it.
The Dreamcast version of EVE Zero 完全版 -Ark of the Matter- comes in a double jewel-case which is bound in a metallic gold slipcover. It also comes with an exclusive EVE encyclopaedia to get you up to speed about the EVE series in general.
T-39801M KITAHEI GOLD
T-39802M EVE Zero: The Ark of the Matter Perfect Edition
Sample T-39801M KITAHEI GOLD
SAMPLE T-39802M Eve Zero: The Ark of the Matter
(NOT FOR SALE) 非売品 discs & other media
I’m unaware of any individual 非売品 discs for either of Net Village’s titles. I’m not convinced that content relating to them even features on a compilation disc like Dreamcast Express, Dream Preview & Dreamcast Magazine but i’ll need to catalogue their contents to make sure & i’ll update this section once i have.
For Kitahei GOLD i’ve been unable to find any media relating to the Dreamcast version of the game. Apart from the Window’s version of the game i’ve not found anything relating to the title at all.
EVE Zero: The Ark of the Matter fares a little better the game does have at least one official guidebook that i’ve managed to find. EVE ZERO(イヴ・ゼロ)公式設定資料集 or EVE ZERO official setting material collection.
Published by Softbank Publishing in June 2000. Its ISBN catalogue codes are ISBN-10: 4797313528 & ISBN-13: 978-4797313529.
The game also has an original soundtrack entitled EVE ZERO オリジナルサウンドトラック&FM-EVE or EVE ZERO original soundtrack & FM-EVE. I’ve been unable to find an official picture of this soundtrack but it has 31 tracks over two CD’s and the FM-EVE radio drama included. It was published by C’s Ware in March 2000 and retailed for ¥3,990. The soundtrack’s catalogue number is NV001.
Eve Zero: The Ark of the Matter does have at least one retailer pre-order telephone card. Unfortunately, i can’t confirm which retailer or have a picture of the phone card itself. I’ll update this section once i’ve added it to the collection.
Thank you for taking the time to read this entry on Net Village and their two Dreamcast titles. If you can help with any information i’ve missed or with a picture of the soundtrack or retailer exclusive phone card please get in touch either through the site or on Twitter @dreamcastcollector