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Wolf Team

Overview

This Telenet Japan subsidiary was founded in 1987, and initially headed by Masahiro Akishino. It went independent for 2 years, then got folded back in. It is known for its work with Japanese PCs, the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis), and the Super Famicom (SNES). They developed Zan, Arcus, and Hiōden games.

In 1993, it was restructured, as part of a Telenet Japan initiative to reduce costs. Some staff resisted the change, including Wolf Team head, Masahiro Akishino, producer Masaaki Uno (went to Camelot Software), Sega Genesis programmers Toshio Toyota and Yukihiko Tani (aka bugtaro) (both co-founded Gau Entertainment ).

Wolf Team producer Joe Asanuma took the helm at this time. Due to the poor sales of their games, they needed to seek an outside financier to publish and market their next game, based on the novel Tale Phantasia, written by Yoshiharu Gotanda. After seeing bids from some companies, such as Enix and Namco, they signed on with the agreement made by Namco. Namco made many marketing changes to the game, which struck a protest from Yoshiharu Gotanda, and Masaki Norimoto. Many people on the team supported them, and these protests saw Joe Asanuma get ousted for his lack of ability to solve these protests, so they brought in Eiji Kikuchi to direct the game. This brought up the idea for the protesters to start up their own company.

After Tales of Phantasia was released, most of the development staff left Wolf Team. Most of this development staff went to participate in the founding of Tri-Ace. Only Motoi Sakuraba, Shinji Tamura and Eiji Kikuchi remained with Wolf Team after this breakup. Wolf Team kept developing the Tales games for Namco, and did some sports games on the side for Telenet Japan.

In 2003, the remains of Wolf Team were dissolved, and the remaining staff were transferred into a new subsidiary known as Namco Tales Studio, and develops the series for its financier and publisher, Namco.

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