AIA, a new game company founded by videogame industry veteran Yoshiaki Kanazawa, is preparing an Akira videogame for the Sony Playstation 2. The Akira game will be out in August, just a few weeks after the release of the remastered Akira video and DVD (see 'Akira DVD Packaged in Collector's Tin'). Other Akira merchandise includes the McFarlane Toys second series of Anime toys, featuring Akira (see, 'McFarlane Fields Diverse Lineup'), shipping to retailers in September. And Dark Horse will have three volumes of the English version of the original manga series (see 'Dark Horse Retro Manga Boffo') out by the time the Akira video hits the shelves on July 24th.
The Akira videogame is said to take full advantage of the three-dimensional potential of the Playstation 2 format. The Akira offering will be only the second game created by AIA, whose first offering is the popular Illbleed game for the Sega Dreamcast platform. Yoshiaki Kanazawa, the founder of AIA, founded, owned, and operated Jaleco Co. Ltd. one of Japan's leading game developers. Mr. Kanazawa recently sold Jaleco and its U.S. subsidiary, Jaleco USA, and reentered the game market with AIA, which opened its doors on April 1st of this year.
Although many pop culture retailers do not normally carry videogames, the demographic crossover between pop culture fans and videogame players is very strong. Titles with a special appeal to the market, such as the Akira game, are a good place to start. AIA is interested in making their Akira game available to pop culture stores through their videogame distributors (look for an AIA profile with distributor contact information to be posted on the ICv2 site in the near future). One clear benefit of carrying videogames is the enormous amount of advertising done by the videogame manufacturers (many of whom advertise in comics and other pop culture venues).