Namco Tales Studio Ltd. (株式会社ナムコ・テイルズスタジオ Kabushiki-gaisha Namuko Teiruzu Sutajio ), formerly Wolf Team ((株)ウルフチーム Urufu Chīmu ), is a Japanese video game development company founded in 1986. The company was renamed in 2003 when Telenet Japan sold part of its stake and made Namco the majority shareholder. Namco Tales Studio continues to be the primary developer of the Tales RPG series, as they had been since the series' beginning.
Originally headed by Masahiro Akishino, Wolfteam became independent from Telenet in 1987, was reintegrated in 1990 and got merged with another Telenet subsidiary called Lasersoft, then was completely absorbed in an internal restructuring at Telenet in 1993 at which point most of the staff left together with Akishino.
The remaining staff were the then-very-young programmer Yoshiharu Gotanda, designer Masaki Norimoto, director Joe Asanuma, graphic artist Yoshiaki Inagaki, sound composer Motoi Sakuraba, and sound effect designer Ryota Furuya. Wolfteam went on to create games such as Sol Feace and Hiouden: Mamono-tachi tono Chikai, which faced weak sales due to Telenet's bad reputation. For Tale Phantasia, a game concept by Gotanda, they looked for an outside publisher with a better reputation. After approaching Enix, Telenet struck a contract with Namco.
Namco, however, insisted upon many changes to the game, including renaming the title to Tales of Phantasia. The conflict over these changes pushed the game's release from 1994 into late 1995. Most of the initial staff left during this dispute and founded tri-Ace in early 1995.
To continue the lucrative arrangement with Namco to develop the Tales series, Telenet re-staffed Wolf Team and retained some other staff, such as Motoi Sakuraba on a freelance basis. They developed or co-developed nearly every game in the series until Wolf Team was renamed to Namco Tales Studio in early 2003, and Namco assumed majority ownership. In October 2007, Telenet filed for bankruptcy, and closed its doors, likely putting an end to the Wolf Team name.
Wolf Team was also notable for porting laserdisc video games to the Sega Mega-CD, including some Japan-only arcades like Time Gal and Ninja Hayate (released as Revenge of the Ninja for the Sega Mega-CD outside of Japan).
At the time of its renaming Namco owned 60% of this venture, Telenet Japan/Kazuyuki Fukushima retained 34%, and Tales series director Eiji Kikuchi received 6%. (Kikuchi, who was the head of Telenet's game development department for 10 years, left Telenet to head the new team full-time.) Effective on April 1, 2006, the then-newly merged Namco Bandai Holdings bought the remaining shares from Telenet Japan, cutting the last link to the developers' former employer and increasing its stockholding majority to 94%. Currently Namco Bandai now owns 100% of the company.
Namco Tales Studios remains the primary developer of the so-called Mothership titles of the Tales series, with the exception of Tales of Legendia and Tales of Innocence. Legendia was developed by an internal Namco development team called Team Melfes, featuring a unique battle system developed by some of the creators of the Soul Calibur series (also a Namco property), which is why it is so different from the others. Innocence was developed by an independent developer, Alfa System, which also developed various spinoff games in the Tales series.
|Game Title||Release Date||Platform|
|Tales of Phantasia||2003||Game Boy Advance|
|Tales of Symphonia||2003/2004||Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2|
|Tales of Rebirth||2004/2008||PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable|
|Tales of Eternia||2005||PlayStation Portable|
|Tales of the Abyss||2005||PlayStation 2|
|Tales of the TempestTemplate:Ref label||2006||Nintendo DS|
|Tales of Destiny 2||2007||PlayStation Portable|
|Tales of Destiny (Director's Cut)||2006/2008||PlayStation 2|
|Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World||2008||Wii|
|Tales of Vesperia||2008/2009||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3|
|Tales of Hearts||2008||Nintendo DS|
|Tales of Graces||2009||Wii|
|Keroro RPG: Kishi to Musha to Densetsu no Kaizoku||2010||Nintendo DS|
|Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X||2010||PlayStation Portable|
|Tales of Graces F||2010||PlayStation 3|
|Next Tales of||TBA||PlayStation 3|
Template:Note label Tales Studio sound staff only
As Wolf Team
- Aisle Lord
- Arcus Odyssey
- Earnest Evans
- El Viento
- Anetto Futatabi
- Time Gal
- Cobra Command
- Dino Land
- Final Zone
- Road Avenger
- Sol Feace
- Fhey Area
|Tales of... - Phantasia - Destiny - Eternia - Destiny 2 - Symphonia - Rebirth - Legendia|
the Abyss - Innocence - Vesperia - Hearts - Graces - Xillia (2) - Zestiria - Berseria
|Spinoffs and related games|
|Tales of... - Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon - Fandom - the World: Narikiri Dungeon 2 - the World: Summoner's Lineage|
Tactics - the World: Narikiri Dungeon 3 - the Tempest - Eternia Online