Earlier today, The Embracer Group announced a string of new acquisitions, including the likes of Limited Run Games, Tripwire Interactive, and the IP rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
In additon, it also announced the formation of its 11th operating group known as Embracer Freemode, led by CEO Lee Guinchard, with a view to provide operational and financial support to small – mid tier game developers. To support this, Embracer announced the acquisition of several entities, including Japanese studio Tatsujin, Swedish studio Bitwave Games, and the accessory brand Gioteck.
In acquiring Tatsujin, which itself now owns the rights to Toaplan games like Snow Bros and Flying Shark, Embracer Freemode will be looking to bring these classic title to modern platforms and new audiences.
Perhaps most interestingly, however, Embracer announced that Bitwave Games will be looking to bring the classic NES/Famicom platformer Gimmick! to the west on modern platforms. It will mark the first instance the notoriously difficult game will be made officially available in North America. Previously, it was only available in Japan in 1992 before making its way to countries in the Scandinavian region in 1993, where it was known as ‘Mr. Gimmick’. It was re-released in Japan in 2002 for the PlayStation, before getting a remake for the exA-Arcadia arcade system in 2020.
Gimmick! originally released to little fanfare, with critics claiming the game would be far too difficult for younger audiences to appreciate. In more recent years, however, retrospective analysis has deemed the title to be incredibly underrated, with many praising its graphics and unique level design. You can check out a playthrough of the original title in the YouTube video below.
It’s currently not known exactly when Gimmick! will launch for modern platforms, but Sunsoft – the original publisher of Gimmick! – is showcasing a digital event later today, so we may find out more there.
Are you excited at the prospect of a previously unavailable NES title finally getting an official western release? Have you played Gimmick! before? Let us know with a comment.