Shadowverse Collaboration: What does it tell us?

Writer: Producer

Editor: Leonidas

Shadowverse has just announced two collaborations during their World Grand Prix and a tournament event that occurs at the end of the year where Shadowverse players can compete to win a huge prize of one million dollars (USD). In addition, announcements were made using this huge event as a platform to advertise. The specific announcement that caught my attention was the declaration that there would be a collaboration event taking place in the foreseeable future.

The two major events that were announced were the Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls collaboration and the Nier: Automata collaboration. 

Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Collaboration around Spring 2020
NieR:Automata Collaboration around Summer 2020

The Nier:Automata collaboration initially feels very random as there’s no particular collaboration of similar nature in any of Cygames other games. It is very likely that Shadowverse may begin to have more standalone collaborations following the One Punch Man and Haruhi collaborations. Because of this, surprise collaborations for the players may occur in the future. Although the Nier:Automata collaboration is an interesting collaboration, I took heavy heed to the upcoming Cinderella Girls collaboration. But, why exactly?

Well for starters, Cinderella Girls is owned by both Cygames and Bandai Namco. During the early days of Cygames’ projects, there were numerous collaborations with Cinderella Girls in the original Princess Connect, Granblue Fantasy and even Rage of Bahamut. However, after some time, there were no reruns or any activities that would indicate a rerun of these events; just complete and utter silence from both developers. Many speculate that there may have been internal conflicts which halted the distribution of reruns involving Idolm@ster or that there may have been issues involving their licencing contract. While I am not an expert in collaboration politics, I would personally leave the speculations as speculations. Originally, for the Cinderella Girls collaboration, they had a promotional event where sleeves were given out to players. However, the event was exclusively for Japanese players. The only way for an international player to receive the gift was to switch their language region on Steam to Japanese. Despite this, switching back to the original region does not preserve the Cinderella Girls sleeve in your local game and it is instead replaced with the default sleeve.

While there is no exact confirmation as to why such a function was made, it became extremely worrisome to many that Idolm@ster the franchise might ultimately be region-locked from western audiences similar to Touken Ranbu which suddenly required a Japanese IP address to play despite knowing that a western fanbase exists especially during the airing of the anime (which was animated by the highly recognizable studio, Ufotable) at a panel in AnimeExpo. Other simpler concerns are whether Idolm@ster collaborations will even be successful with western audiences, as noted by TEKKEN’s creator, also published by Bandai Namco, Katsuhiro Harada’s response to someone’s tweet requesting Idolm@ster character, Iori Minase, to appear as a guest in the TEKKEN franchise which is also owned by Bandai Namco. Despite Harada’s dedication, such as changing his twitter into Iori Minase on her birthday, he still upholds a reasonable business standpoint.

Edit (5/7/2020) – Unfortunately Harada did not change his twitter into Iori this year (5/5/2020-5/6/2020)

Harada changing his twitter profile and banner on the day of Iori’s birthday (May 5th)
Harada responding to a user’s response in Harada’s question of potential Tekken DLC characters

This surprise announcement involving a complete collaboration, containing content such as new cosmetic leaders and card skins, gives a slight hope to those who know and love the Idolm@ster franchise. It may just be that the higher-ups for Cygames and Bandai Namco have either resolved their issues or that they’ve just simply decided to finally bring back their older IPs in collaboration with newer ones. Either way, this Idolm@ster collaboration brings back the possibility that the series may once again begin running collaborations with other Cygames’ IPs along with the possibility that the series may have rerun collaborations with older games like Granblue Fantasy or Princess Connect.

Shadowverse x Nier:Automata Collaboration
Shadowverse x Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Collaboration
Shadowverse Esports Information
Priconne (OG) x Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls
Granblue x Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Wiki Resource
Information in regards to the initial Shadowverse x Cinderella Girls Collaboration Promotion
Information #2
Katsuhiro Harada’s Tweet in response to Iori Minsae as a possible Guest Character in Tekken
Camalange’s Tweet mentioning Harada’s yearly tradition

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