Danganronpa Games Are Being Removed (Probably Temporarily) From PSN

Looks like publisher rights are being shuffled around.

As Spike Chunsoft extends its publishing arm into the west, the Danganronpa games are being removed from the PlayStation Network store, according to the series’ original western publisher NIS America.

The announcement came from the publisher’s blog, which said that the murder mystery visual novel series would be leaving the PlayStation Network periodically, and as such, would no longer be available to download. The phrasing, however, implies that someone is going to taking up the publishing mantle. Specifically this part: “Select Danganronpa titles on the PlayStation™Store will no longer be available for purchase from NIS America.” Given that developer Spike Chunsoft has self-published the series on PC and mobile devices, it stands to reason the company has acquired the same publishing rights for PlayStation systems, as well. The announcement says nothing about when or if these games will be available to download again once the publishing rights are transferred over, but that’s not NIS America’s job in this particular break up.

The schedule for these games delistings reads as follows:

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girl (PS Vita) 08/31/2020
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (PS Vita) 09/4/2020
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PS Vita) 09/4/2020
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS Vita) 09/25/2020
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4™) 09/25/2020

Notably, the PlayStation 4 ports of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair aren’t listed here, as they both were packaged as a collection called Danganronpa 1-2 Reload. Presumably that means that NIS America still has some rights to the bundle, but whatever the case is, the first two Danganronpa games are still going to be available on PS4, even during all this shuffling around behind the scenes.

In other news:

Personally, while I really have enjoyed my time with the first game on mobile devices (the second is coming to phones and tablets on August 20), I think the PS Vita versions of the visual novels are probably the best places to play them because they’ve got real analog sticks, the portable nature makes it easy to pick up and play, and the art doesn’t look great upressed on PS4 and PC. So if you are among the intellectuals who owns that device and are considering playing the Danganronpa games, it might be worth considering jumping on these before they go away.

Comparatively, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is probably worst on Vita. The puzzle shooter (it makes sense in context) definitely plays best on PlayStation 4 and PC, and its art began on an HD platform, so it looks pretty good on those systems.

While these games and the animated series Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School complete the storyline of the series, Spike Chunsoft had a job listing up recently that implies the series could see new life, despite the last game’s non-subtle meta commentary saying the series should end before it becomes a parody of itself. But now that writer Kazutaka Kodaka has left the company, Spike Chunsoft is free to do whatever it wants with the series, I guess.