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Interview: Eli Galindo, Piko Interactive

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If you haven’t heard of Piko Interactive before, now’s the time to start paying attention. The company has recently unleashed a barrage of new games for pre-order on classic consoles, covering a mixture of homebrew, localised Chinese originals and officially-sanctioned reissues of older games.
The new releases include Smart Mouse, Sumo Slam and Generals Of The Yang Family for the Mega Drive, Snakky for the NES, Legend and Iron Commando for the SNES and Custodian for the Jaguar. Prices range from $34.99 to $74.99 – to find out more or preorder, visit the Piko Interactive website.
To find out more about the new releases and future plans for the company, we spoke to Piko Interactive founder Eli Galindo.
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How long has Piko Interactive been producing games for classic consoles?
We launched the company with a Kickstarter campaign in early 2013. Since then we have not stopped releasing new games!
How do you manage to acquire the rights for Chinese original developments like Smart Mouse and Generals Of The Yang Family?
The company Super Fighter Team, which has been releasing old games and translations officially longer than us, had concentrated on acquiring the rights of Taiwan exclusives. We acquired those titles from them and a few more.
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Who handles the translation and programming work required to localise such games?
We hire people that have worked on fan translations or actual official translations and localization of games; we then dump the script and of they go in a translating spree!

How do reprint products such as Legend differ from the original releases?
We acquire the rights from the original developers, in the case of Legend it was Arcade Zone, although they are Hyperdev Box now =D.
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Custodian is Piko Interactive’s first game for the Atari Jaguar. What drove the decision to enter the market for this platform over others?
Custodian was the only game we had licensed that had no immediate cart release project. So it was chosen to be ported to Jaguar for that reason.

The $74.99 price of Custodian is higher than that of your NES, SNES and Genesis games. Why is that?
Since it is our first release, there is a lot of initial investment like designing a PCB, porting the game, etc. that drives up the price. However to offset that we will include a $10 off coupon for our store inside the first 150 Custodians, and $5 off on the next $50. Later Jaguar releases will not be priced as high because by then that initial investment would be partly recouped.
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The blog announcing these pre-orders noted that complete versions of Snakky and Sumo Slam are expected to run to 200-250 units, with no reprint runs. Is this sort of print run typical for Piko’s games? What determines if a reprint run will or won’t be made available?
For games that are smaller scale titles or what some people call “homebrew” yes, we don’t do anything over 250. I think Snakky will stay at 100-150 and Sumo Slam 200-250. The caliber of the game determines the print run (sometimes genre too) smaller scale, less copies, also if it is a popular genre it may help to get more copies done.
What does Piko Interactive have planned beyond this set of releases?

For 2017 if all goes well, we plan more Jaguar releases like Switchblade and Indigo. A massive Crowdfunding campaign for Jim Power which will involve a production run of probably every retro console out there (New NES version developed from Scratch, Unreleased Genesis version, Re-polished SNES version, US Turbografx Version, New Jaguar Version, Re-Worked CD32 Version, I feel like I am missing one or two more platforms). More Genesis games translations from Taiwan exclusives as well as new developments, SNES unreleased games, Tyrannosaurus Tex for the GBC, man I think 2017 will be too short to fit all of these!

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