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Game Developers and Publishers
Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:15 am
While browsing the wiki, I've come up with some theories regarding the developers and publishers of a few games. Do the following changes seem reasonable? Can anyone provide any more evidence, for or against?

Operation Wolf

Developed by:   Taito                   =>      Developed by:   Taito
Published by:   Sega                            Published by:   Taito

The box design is very similar to other Taito-published games, for example (Taito) Chase H.Q. and Rastan.

The NewZealand Story

Developed by:   Taito                          Developed by:   TecMagik
                                        =>     Originally by:  Taito
Published by:   TecMagik                       Published by:   TecMagik

The game credits Simon Freeman, whom we know worked for TecMagik. Also, it seems unlikely that in this single case, Taito developed a game and then handed it to another third-party developer to publish.

Andre Agassi Tennis

Developed by:   Epyx, Inc.              =>      Developed by:   TecMagik
Published by:   TecMagik, Tec Toy (BR)          Published by:   TecMagik, Tec Toy (BR)

Also credits Simon Freeman, plus Muffy Vasale, whom also probably worked for TecMagik.
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Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:45 am
Yeah, Andre Agassi Tennis was by TecMagik. Some people from Epyx just happened to work on it. This article says Kevin Furry ("Fuzzy Furry") was manager of product development at TecMagik.
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Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 12:25 pm
Operation Wolf being published by Taito is definitively correct, as seen as the Taito logo on the box. I fixed the mistake now.

May want to clarifiy the developer on Andre Agassi, maybe add both?
I'll let you do the other changes. Thanks!
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Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:29 pm
The barcode should be the ultimate source of publisher information, I think.
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Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:29 pm
Considering Simon Freeman and Dan Duncalf did the programming on Populous ( http://www.mobygames.com/game/sega-master-system/populous ) and this game was published by TecMagic, I think it's safe to say it was also developed by TecMagic.

I have been doing my own research for a lot of games, as I am currently adding game developers here: http://www.retrocopy.com/games.aspx and I have noticed that there are a lot of small errors here and there in the SMSPower wiki. Comparing SMSPower with gdri.smspower.org (which is excellent btw!) there are quite a few differences.
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Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:06 pm
Well please point out errors so they can be fixed, I'm sure there's lots of Developer/Publisher errors in Games/ but information have to be backed up logically and documented possibly on the forum.

But I want to stress out that anything in the Games-Releases/ section (the per region listing with media type and localized title) shouldn't be edited lightly. I'm creating those data based on looking at real boxes and variations and not using any data from the internet since most DB are incorrect.
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Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:18 pm
Operation Wolf, Chase HQ and Rastan are all have Taito markings but were published by Sega - the barcode is Sega's. I don't see any other publisher without their own barcode.
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Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:49 pm
I'm not sure here, how does a barcode with a Sega marker guarantee correctness more than a logo on front? What does Publisher stands for in the first place is quite grey area, it would be a mix of: who is funding the game, who is funding cartridge production, who is marketing and distributing the game?
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Post Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:12 am
It makes me think it was more of a second-party arrangement. However, it could equally just be that Taito did everything except printing and distribution. These were some of the first possible third-party games, with the exception of the Salio games, and it is a Japanese company, so things could be different.

Perhaps I should amend my thinking to say that a third-party barcode shows a third-party publisher but the lack of one is less conclusive?
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Post Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:25 am
CRV wrote
Yeah, Andre Agassi Tennis was by TecMagik. Some people from Epyx just happened to work on it. This article says Kevin Furry ("Fuzzy Furry") was manager of product development at TecMagik.

Do you think the page for Andre Agassi Tennis should say "developed by" both TecMagik and Epyx, or TecMagik alone?
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Post Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:23 am
Maxim wrote
Perhaps I should amend my thinking to say that a third-party barcode shows a third-party publisher but the lack of one is less conclusive?


Don't they have Sega item numbers?

Paul Baker wrote
Do you think the page for Andre Agassi Tennis should say "developed by" both TecMagik and Epyx, or TecMagik alone?


Just TecMagik. Former Epyx staff, I should have said.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:39 am
tommy1983 wrote
Considering Simon Freeman and Dan Duncalf did the programming on Populous ( http://www.mobygames.com/game/sega-master-system/populous ) and this game was published by TecMagic, I think it's safe to say it was also developed by TecMagic.

Thanks for the link to the credits. I've added them here and updated the developer here.

CRV wrote
Paul Baker wrote
Do you think the page for Andre Agassi Tennis should say "developed by" both TecMagik and Epyx, or TecMagik alone?

Just TecMagik.

Done. I notice that the GG version also has "A conversion by Spidersoft" in its attract sequence.
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:51 am
Paul Baker wrote
The NewZealand Story

Developed by:   Taito                          Developed by:   TecMagik
                                        =>     Originally by:  Taito
Published by:   TecMagik                       Published by:   TecMagik

Done. The credits in the manual (Thanks Bock!) prove this to be correct.
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:27 pm
Paul Baker wrote
Thanks for the link to the credits. I've added them here and updated the developer here


Hm, this calls for some more investigation. When I linked the credits I didn't notice it said a company called "C0DE T0 G0" programmed the game, I just noticed the programmers were the same as the ones who worked on several other TecMagic games. Could it be that TecMagic didn't develop all of these after all, and that C0DE T0 G0 was responsible?

First of all, the in-game credits in Populous says that Simon Freeman and Dan Duncalf programmed the game, and that they worked for C0DE T0 G0, while the manual just says that Simon Freeman, Dan Duncalf, Muffy Vashele and Suzie Greene converted the game, without mentioning C0DE T0 G0. I don't know what roles Muffy Vashele and Suzie Greene had, but I see that Muffy Vasale (most likely same person) did "art" for Andre Agassi Tennis. I assume if they worked for C0DE T0 G0 they would have been mentioned in the in-game credits, so I assume it was just Simon Freeman and Dan Duncalf who worked for C0DE T0 G0, and that these other people perhaps worked for TecMagic and did other things, perhaps not even directly linked to the game. "Art" could mean doing graphics for the game, but it could also mean drawing the box cover, couldn't it?

I guess the best way to know if TecMagic helped develop the game or if it was just C0DE T0 G0, would be to ask one of the programmers, and its unbelievable what you can find by doing a Google search. Dan Duncalfs homepage showed up ( http://www.duncalf.com/dan/code.html - beware of some spooky X-Files music ) telling about how he started C0DE TO G0 (note that he calls it "TO" instead of "T0") in 1989. He doesn't mention any of the Master System games though, but perhaps someone would like to send him an e-mail? Of course I can also do it myself...

I guess the big questin is if C0DE TO G0 did any other games for the Master System than Populous. Dan Duncalf has also been credited for programming Pac-Mania, so I guess C0DE TO G0 was involved in that game as well... And if Simon Freeman worked for C0DE TO G0 as well, it could be that several of the TecMagic games were programmed by C0DE TO G0. Perhaps all of them...
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:41 pm
This is an interesting topic for me, as I work for a games database myself and always have to look into developers/publishers myself. Sadly, Sega never was very open on this matter on the box, and developers were listed in the credits after game at best.

Just to give my two cents about this:

I have strong doubts about Taito being active as a publisher on the SMS. Remember the unforgiving contracts Ni****do licensees had to sign? Taito was definitely a Ni****do-licensee, so it is highly unlikely they could have published anything for Sega systems. For all I know Taito did not even have a European branch, and when the contract conditions from Ni****do were deemed illegitimate and Taitocould have published something there was no SMS market in the US anymore.

It was not unusual for Sega to work around such issues by simply licensing the games from a company, and port them themselves (or have them ported by a sub-contractor). See early Mega Drive games such as Ghouls' n Ghosts or Mercs, or other SMS games like Ninja Gaiden and Renegade. Atari actually did that too, they licensed games from Tecmo to release on the Lynx, and later licensed games like Mortal Kombat 3 to port and publish themselves for the Jaguar system.

The Taito-name on the box is likely just a contractual obligation, Taito probably wanted their logo on it as a bit of brand recognition.
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