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The Simple series are a number of series of budget-priced console games, published by Japanese company D3 Publisher and developed by a variety of companies, covering many systems. The price of the games in yen (not including tax) is included in the title of the series - for example Simple 2000 is about 2000¥.
The games are usually characterised by their distinctive package design featuring artwork surrounded by a black border, with the game's title (usually prefixed by "The" in English) in a plain white font. The series name and volume are also displayed prominently.
The early games in the PlayStation Simple 1500 series were generic interpretations of common video game themes, such as mahjong, tennis or racing. However the various series now cover many more original and unusual titles in addition to those based on concepts. Since the games are almost universally created on a low budget with a short development time, developers are able to experiment to some extent with titles such as The Daibijin, which has attracted attention largely due to its central premise of a giant bikini-clad woman attacking a city, rather than any gameplay or graphical merits.
A producer at D3 Publisher has stated that the company will not be able to continue the Simple series on what was then "next-gen" systems (i.e. seventh generation). The Simple Wii Series dedicated to the Wii console was recently created, however.
D3 employs a number of external developers for the series, some of the most prolific being Tamsoft and HuneX - most are smaller or little-known companies, although several games have been licensed from Taito for a (usually enhanced) re-release.
Certain Simple series titles have attracted considerable interest outside of Japan for various reasons, either gameplay quality or a particularly unique idea - these include The Oneechanbara and its sequels, as well as Sandlot's The Chikyuu Boueigun and Global Defence Force, which were based on their Gigantic Drive engine and were of considerably higher quality than most games in the series. Both of these series' have had sequels for the Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console, although they were originally labelled under an 'X' moniker (Oneechanbara X and Earth Defense Force X) rather than a 'Simple' one.
Many of the PlayStation 2 Simple 2000 games have been released in PAL regions as budget titles by Midas Interactive Entertainment, Agetec or 505 GameStreet, usually under different titles and with new cover art; recently D3 Publisher of Europe has released several titles itself under the "Essential Games" brand. Additionally, several of the PlayStation Simple 1500 games were released in the US (by Agetec) and Europe (by Midas and Phoenix Games). Despite the recent establishment of D3 Publisher of America, the only game in the Simple 2000 series to gain a North American release was The Bass Fishing (as Fisherman's Bass Club); this is believed to be due to SCEA's more restrictive licensing policy, however this may be relaxed following the release of the PlayStation 3, therefore allowing Simple 2000 games to be released towards the end of the console's lifespan, as the Simple 1500 games were for the original PlayStation.
List of Simple series games
- Success (company), another Japanese publisher whose "SuperLite" series is very similar to D3's Simple series.
- D3 Publisher
- 505 GameStreet
- Simple series list (includes developer and localisation information)
- Simple 2000 article and reviews from got-next
- Simple series reviews from the_game_database
- Simple Series message board