Cave general manager Makato Asada has plans to bring the company's frantic shoot-em-ups to a larger audience, one that spans beyond Japanese arcades and a few import enthusiasts. Maybe even to your PC.
While Cave's releases, titles like DoDonPachi, Mushihime-sama and Death Smiles, are readily available in Japan, getting your hands on them in the West isn't always easy. You'd typically need a Japanese PlayStation 2 or Xbox 360 to play them. But that's going to change, first with the region-free release of Mushihime-sama Futari for the Xbox 360 this November.
Asada told Kotaku in an interview that Cave is looking at global releases of its games, full-fledged Xbox Live Arcade titles of certain titles and Valve's Steam service as a means of distribution. None of that is set in stone, mind you, but Asada sounded upbeat about Cave's new opportunities.
"We don't know anything at this point with regards to Xbox Live Arcade," Asada clarified, "but we can say that the person in charge of these ports at Cave and the person in charge of XBLA authorizations for the United States met today on the TGS floor. It depends on where those discussions go in regard to Guwange on XBLA."
Guwange, for those who don't know, is a 1999 shooter with a traditional Japanese theme. It was the Cave game that readers of the company's blog chose as the title they'd like to see come to Xbox Live Arcade.
But before Guwange or any other XBLA ports arrive, Cave has some more disc-based titles planned.
"Right now, we're working on a few titles for localization," Asada said. Again, take caution. "This is currently all in talks. With regards to Death Smiles, we can say that it's currently in progress and hopefully soon we'll be able to give overseas users news about its release."
Asada also hinted at something unannounced, something not based on its previous releases. And something designed with a more global audience in mind.
"Right now at Cave we're working on a new title, and we want it to be worldwide," Asada said. "It's going to have to sell to a worldwide audience, so there might be a possibility that we would tailor it [to Western tastes] in that sense."
Does that mean no insect queens or gothic lolita girls? Well, not exactly.
"If we lost that, we would sort of lose what makes us Cave, so we'll have to keep that," Asada said.
What else does Cave have in its future? Despite Asada's personal preference for playing first-person shooters like Quake, Counter-strike, Halo, and Call of Duty 4 online, the company has no plans to enter that market.
But it's not opposed to venturing into totally new genres.
"Capcom Vs. Cave would be a pretty interesting fighting game," Asada said.
I'm guessing they're going to need to sell a few more copies of Death Smiles before that happens. But, hey, Capcom asked.
Update: Cave reps say that we misunderstood Asada's explanation of the possibility of bringing Muchi Muchi Pork to Xbox Live Arcade, clarifying that it has no plans to bring to the game to the Xbox 360.