One Japanese developer’s hamster games have sold so well they established a hamster department

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-05-12 14:41 JST)

Japanese game company Success has established an internal “Hamster Department” focused on developing hamster-themed games and content. The company says this is due to the favorable sales reception their hamster games have received.

Success is a long-standing game company that was founded in 1978. Even now, the company runs as both a contract game developer and publisher. Recent titles they’ve worked on include 3D motion design for The Caligula Effect 2 and a number of minigames for The Pegasus Dream Tour. They also published Cotton Rock ‘n’ Roll, which is set to launch outside of Japan as Cotton Fantasy through publisher ININ Games. On top of that, they are working on a new Metal Saga title. And while the company has been involved in a wide variety of gaming endeavors, on May 10, they added their new Hamster Department.

The Hamster Department is made up of hamster-loving staff that will focus on offering hamster-themed games and content. Success’s mascot character Takuwan, a white dwarf hamster, will also be active promoting this new department.

But just what brought about the establishment of this new department? We reached out to Success to learn more.

First, the Hamster Department isn’t an actual department as far as corporate structure, but more of an internal club within the company. However, the aim is for it to grow into a legitimate department in the future. Currently, the Hamster Department is made up of 18 members across a wide age range of members in their 20s through their 50s. Success has a lot of animal lovers among its staff, with the Youkoso Hitsuji-Mura (Welcome to Sheep Village) team even having gone to a zoo together.

Company president Takato Yoshinari, born in 1949 and currently 73 years old. President Yoshinari is also an animal lover and has been raising chinchillas for a long time. This image was taken from the Success official website.

As for why the company established the Hamster Department, they said it’s due to the positive reception of their hamster titles. Especially the hamster raising game Tales of Djungarian Hamster for the Nintendo Switch, which has earned tens of millions of yen according to the company. The digital version of the game is available for $9.99, and the physical version is available in Japan for 2,500 yen (roughly $19.45) so it sounds like the game has sold a considerable number of copies. The company explains that it has sold better than other raising simulation games and that sales of the digital version are steadily coming in even now.

Success has also released a hamster raising game for iOS and Android called Namaham. Despite not receiving promotion outside of gaming events and being developed to test the waters of hamster content, the game has been successful. According to Success, it’s been downloaded over 450,000 times. They also have another game in development for iOS and Android called Hamster Valley, featuring designs and graphics from hamster artist GOTTE. The company’s goal is for downloads of the game to exceed those of Namaham.

While not an organization within the corporate structure, it’s interesting to see a department specializing in animals at a game company. With sales of Tales of Djungarian Hamster for the Nintendo Switch being enjoyed by those beyond their initial target audience, Success says that depending on the content, they are eyeing developing more games for consoles. This sounds like good news for hamster-loving gamers out there.