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Wolf Team

A former game developer and former subsidiary of Telenet Japan, now known as Namco Tales Studio

Wolf Team

Wolfteam started out as an internal development team under Telenet Japan in 1986 and created Valis - Telnet's first successful series - as well as Final Zone. In March 1987 Masahiro Akishino moved to establish the team as an independent company which then created Arcus and Zan as well as releasing a number of soundtracks.

Come July 1990, Telenet folded Wolfteam back in as an internal development team and was merged with another team, Laser Soft, later in January, 1991. In late 1993 Telenet combined all of their development teams which resulted in the departure of Masahiro Akishino and director/producer Masaaki Uno as well as a number of other staff members.1

There was a huge mess during the development of Tales of Phantasia - which began with Wolf Team seeking an external publisher to handle the title (mostly due to poor sales of previous releases by Telenet). Wolf Team approached a number of companies including Enix and ended up finding Namco. Yoshiharu Gotanda had created an unpublished novel, Tale Phantasia which the game was based on, and Namco insisted on a sizable number of edits. These included renaming the title to Tales of Phantasia, a large chunk of backstory was removed, characters were renamed and original character designs were scrapped. Director Joe Asanuma was removed and game designer Masaki Norimoto was also displeased - these changes led to a nearly year-long development delay.

This situation ended up seeing Gotanda, Norimoto and Asanuma leaving the company to found tri-Ace and had a number of other staff join them including sound director Hiroya Hatsushiba (who later formed tri-Crescendo in 1999). Motoi Sakuraba also left to become a freelance composer picking up work from tri-Ace and Camelot as well as continuing to work for Telenet.

Wolf Team as an entity continued to exist and was re-staffed to continue developing the majority of all subsequent titles in the Tales series until being renamed Namco Tales Studio in early 2003, where Namco became the majority owner with a 60% stake, Telenet having 34% and Tales series director Eiji Kikuchi owned 6%. On April 1, 2006, Namco merged and became Namco Bandai. The newly formed company acquired the stake that Telenet had in the studio.

In October 2007, Telenet filed for bankruptcy and shutdown all operations.

Acquired by Namco, and renamed as Namco Tales Studio
Masahiro Akishino (Made company independent in 1987)
Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Masahiro Akishino (Executive Producer)
Yoshiharu Gotanda (Programmer)
Masaki Norimoto (Game Director)
Joe Asanuma (Game Director)
Masaaki Uno (Composer, Game Director and Producer)
Yoshiaki Inagaki (Graphic Artist)
Motoi Sakuraba (Music Composer)
Ryota Furuya (Sound Effect Designer)
Hiroya Hatsushiba (Sound Director)
Major Titles
Tales of Phantasia

  1. Motoi Sakuraba & the Wolfteam/Telenet Legacy

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