As 2011 Comes to a Close…

Though the initial momentum cooled off some time ago (and due to complications in Japan regarding distribution partners for the album), those of us who coordinated Play For Japan’s campaign would like to thank everyone who participated, purchased, bid, cheered-on, Retweeted, Reposted, Shared, commented, or just generally showed some kind of support for this massive effort.

Thanks to your help and assistance, the Play For Japan campaign raised over $129,000 in auctions alone to go to charities that assisted in disaster relief.

The nation of Japan is still recovering in many regards, and some of the issues will linger long after our efforts have been utilized to the fullest. But when disaster struck, you were there to help. We couldn’t have done this without you.

Special thanks goes to:

  • William Haley
  • Aileen Viray
  • The Staff at Game Informer
  • Tim Rice
  • Tim Schafer
  • Anna Kipnis
  • Steven Kent
  • Darren Gladstone
  • Anthony Parisi
  • Andrew Vestal
  • Christina C. Palacios
  • Eric Neustadter
  • Sam Kennedy
  • Robert Bowling
  • Joseph Holley
  • Chris Charla
  • Alex Fraioli
  • Thu Nguyen
  • Garnett Lee
  • Kimberly Matsuzaki
  • Karl Stewart
  • Brian Crecente
  • David Ellis
  • Alison Stroll
  • Tom Slattery
  • Stephen Kleckner
  • Miles Jacobson
  • Filippo Facchetti
  • Travis Chen
  • Victor Lucas
  • Veronica Belmont
  • Thierry Nguyen
  • John Davis
  • Takako Davis
  • Akira Yamaoka
  • Dustin Clingman
  • James Spafford
  • Siobhan Reddy
  • Nick Ahrens
  • Ariel Angelotti
  • Reuben Tilly
  • Devin Monnens
  • James Stevenson
  • Ryan Schneider
  • Alex Aniel
  • Xav de Matos
  • Josh Olin
  • Rob Semsey
  • Joona Pulliainen
  • SUDA51
  • Alessandro Mazzega
  • Tina Kowalewski
  • Ryan Lockhart
  • Gabe Graziani

As well as the numerous behind-the-scenes people at various publishers and development studios whose names we don’t know, but whose generosity echoed through the campaign.

  • Capcom
  • Sega
  • PlayFish
  • CCP
  • Aksys
  • Bungie
  • Zynga
  • Nexon
  • PopCap Games
  • Konami
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Hi-Rez Studios
  • Double Fine
  • Microsoft
  • Infinity Ward
  • Sega of America
  • Square-Enix
  • Telltale Games
  • Valve Corporation
  • 343 Industries
  • MAGFest
  • iPLAYWINNER
  • Level | Up Series
  • The Etrium
  • Greedy Productions
  • Revision 3
  • Grasshopper Manufacture
  • Turtle Beach
  • iam8bit
  • Q Games
  • Insomniac Games
  • CAVE
  • Irrational Games
  • Treyarch
  • EA Sports
  • Remedy Entertainment
  • Sony Santa Monica Studio
  • Frag Dolls
  • Machinima.com
  • Ubisoft Montreal

Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you again for all of your efforts earlier this year. You’ve inspired all of us in so many ways.

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Update on Play For Japan: The Album

Some of you may have recently attempted to purchase “Play For Japan: The Album” from iTunes, only to find nothing from your searches.

Although the PFJ Album was scheduled to officially launch worldwide yesterday via iTunes, we have encountered some problems, and we regret to inform you that the album is not available at this time. We will update you as soon as we have more information.

The album will be available later this month in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand on iTunes. If you’re located in the US, it is available for purchase through Amazon’s MP3 Store.

We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Trust us, we’re just as disappointed.

Update: Due to complications involving its distributors, Play For Japan: The Album has been pulled indefinitely from iTunes and Amazon. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

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Play For Japan: The Album is now available!

Sorry it took us longer than expected, but the wait is worth it! PFJ: The Album is now available on the iTunes store in the United States, UK, and Canada, and will see a worldwide release on iTunes and Amazon on July 15th.

Our sincerest thanks to everyone who participated in making this happen, as all proceeds from album/song sales will go to the Japanese Red Cross. We hope you enjoy!

(And just a heads-up, Koji Kondo’s “Super Mario Medley On Two Pianos” will only be available via iTunes.)

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Nihongo Ga Hanasemasu Ka?: Localizing Play For Japan

The Play For Japan Campaign provided its coordinators with truly invaluable experiences. Few of us had experience in organizing a massive relief effort, let alone one that involved working alongside so many concerned parties. For our English-speaking audience, the localization of the site may seem like an afterthought, but it was thanks to the efforts of several volunteers from around the world that we were able to spread the message globally to other gamers.

PFJ co-committee member Elisa Di Fiore has documented the process of coordinating a massive localization project for her translation team’s blog.

The experience was a wild ride that affected my work productivity and my sleeping patterns, but most certainly one well worth taking. I’ve never felt so proud of something I helped create — I’ve never felt so driven by something that transcended my ordinary, everyday life.

Along with the load of voluntary work came divisions of tasks and daily duties. Each one of the initial founders of the project took on a different role, from graphic design to social media management and public relations. Since we had received the interest of several industry representatives in Japan, I was, of course, tasked with localizing the Play For Japan website into as many languages as possible. It was a significant challenge: though I’ve worked in the gaming industry for nine years in different roles, I didn’t have much experience with project management, especially with those many languages at once. But it was a challenge I was more than willing to take on.

If you’re interested in learning more about the process of translating PFJ, read her blog post.

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New Details on Play For Japan: The Album!

Just as game developers, publishers, and press worked together to hold auctions for the last couple months, a collection of the game industry’s finest music composers have joined together to create a relief benefit album featuring original compositions.

(original album artwork by Yoshitaka Amano)

Today, we are extremely happy to announce the first details for Play For Japan: The Album. Set for release in early June on the iTunes Store, PFJ: The Album features the following composers and their original songs:

  • Akira Yamaoka (Shadows of the Damned) | “Ex Animo”
  • Arthur Inasi (Harmonix) | “We Are One”
  • Bear McCreary (SOCOM 4) | “Maverick Regeneration”
  • Chance Thomas (Lord of the Rings Online) | “Rise Up”
  • Hip Tanaka.β (Metroid) | “HVC-1384”
  • Inon Zur feat. The Lyris Quartet (Dragon Age) | “Remember
  • Jason Graves (Dead Space) | “Necromancer”
  • Koji Kondo (Super Mario Bros.) | “Super Mario Medley On Two Pianos”
  • Laura Karpman (Everquest II) w/Lisbeth Scott | “Pine Wind Sound
  • Laura Shigihara (Plants vs. Zombies) | “Jump
  • Mitsuto Suzuki (The 3rd Birthday) |Play for You”
  • Nobuko Toda (Metal Gear Solid 4) | “Reminiscence”
  • Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) | “Every New Morning
  • Penka Kouneva (Prince of Persia) | “White Cloud”
  • Sean Murray (Call of Duty) |The Temple Stone”
  • Tommy Tallarico (Advent Rising) | “Greater Lights
  • Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption) | “Moshi Moshi”
  • Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger) | “Dimension Break”

100% of the proceeds generated by Play For Japan: The Album will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross. Please take a moment to watch the above message from album coordinator Akira Yamaoka (with special thanks to Area5), and be sure to peruse the artists page for more information on our gracious and talented contributors.

Check back with us soon for a specific release date…

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Auction: The Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed Shop Now Open!

Calling all assassins! Ubisoft has just opened up an absolutely incredible amount of Assassin’s Creed signed memorabilia and games on eBay. So incredible, in fact, I might shank a few people to get these items!

The Ubisoft Store is now open and includes such items as a highly limited edition Ezio Statue sculpted by Attakus, as well as autographed Assassin’s Creed complete libraries with some amazing extras. Pick your flavor, whether it’s the Ultimate Master Assassin package for Xbox 360, the Prestige Trilogy for PS3, the Elite Trilogy for Xbox 360, the Recent Memories Signature Pack for PS3, or the PC Signature Pack. Ubisoft has everyone covered.

The auctions end May 25, 2011. All proceeds from the auction will benefit Global Giving.

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PR: Grasshopper Manufacture Helps Raise over $80,000 for Earthquake and Tsunami Relief

May 19, 2011 – Tokyo, Japan – Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. is pleased to announce it has raised over $80,000 dollars for Japanese earthquake and tsunami aid.  The earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis that struck Japan on March 11th, 2011 left behind a storm of destruction. Thousands were lost in the disaster, and the survivors watched helplessly as their homes, businesses, and lives were swept away.  To help with the relief efforts, Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. launched a campaign that included a fundraising event, a charity app, and special auctions to raise money and awareness for the people in the affected areas.

At the Grasstream 2 UStream charity event, the developer announced the release of their first iOS app, Frog Minutes. The tranquil and scenic app about catching frogs offered a stark contrast to the destruction left by the tsunamis.  100% of the sales of Frog Minutes have gone to benefit victims of the tsunamis and quakes.  Frog Minutes jumped to the top ten of the Japanese iTunes charts shortly after being release and was later featured on the front page of the US app store home page.  To date, the app has raised over $20,000 dollars in aid.

Grasshopper also teamed up with Play For Japan, a grassroots organization of industry media professions, developers, and fans dedicated to raising relief money through auctions on eBay. Under the Play for Japan umbrella, Grasshopper started auctions for two one of a kind items.  The first auction, the guitar used to compose the scores of the Silent Hill series, was donated by Grasshopper’s Chief Sound Designer and former Silent Hill producer/sound designer, Akira Yamaoka.  The second auction, a 1/1 replica of the beam katana from the No More Heroes, was used as an artist’s reference during development and in numerous promotional events.  The auctions generated tremendous interest and managed to raise almost $10,000 dollars.

Finally, Electronic Arts Partners, publisher of Grasshopper Manufacture’s latest game Shadows of the Damned, donated $50,000 to the Red Cross on behalf of Grasshopper Manufacture in recognition of the company’s fund raising efforts.

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