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Picross dev says it’s ‘getting harder’ to convince Nintendo to do collaborations

Picross developer Jupiter has said it’s getting harder to convince Nintendo to agree to official collaborations using its IP.

The last time the two companies worked together on a full retail release was Picross DS back in 2007.

Since then, the studio has released Pokémon Picross (2015) in collaboration with The Pokémon Company, as well as a Zelda: Twilight Princess version of Picross (2016) for My Nintendo members.

The vast majority of Picross titles, however, are developed and published solely by Jupiter, with no input from Nintendo.

In an exclusive interview with VGC, Jupiter’s managing director Norichika Meguro explained that getting the company to agree to collaboration pitches was getting more difficult, but that it hopes it’ll agree to one for the series’ upcoming 30th anniversary.

“We’re eager to make these collaborations happen,” Meguro explained, “but it’s pretty much down to Nintendo’s judgement, and the final say is on their side, not ours. We want to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Picross in 2025, and we’ve been pitching Nintendo for this, but it’s been really hard to get them to say yes.”

Picross dev says it’s ‘getting harder’ to convince Nintendo to do collaborations
The latest collaboration was with Sega to make Picross Mega Drive & Master System, which is available now on Switch

There are currently 12 Picross games on the Switch eShop, including the eight entries in the main Picross S series. None of these are Nintendo collaborations.

Meguro explained that it’s easier this way, because Nintendo is far more willing to let Jupiter put out its own Picross games. While the systems behind the puzzle games are the property of Jupiter, Nintendo owns the ‘Picross’ name.

“Going through their approval process has become more difficult than ever, so the easier way to work with Nintendo is to publish something with our own IP, not the other way round where a developer pitches Nintendo and waits for Nintendo to provide the IP to make the collaboration happen,” he said.

Regardless of whether it can get Nintendo to agree to a collaboration, Meguro stressed that the studio would continue to release Picross titles on Nintendo’s next console, whenever it arrives.

Concluding the interview, he said: “Our last message to the fans is to thank you very much for picking up and playing Picross. The series will certainly be coming to the new hardware down the road, so please look forward to it.”

He added: “Especially as we make the Picross S series, the internet allows us to get direct feedback from users, which certainly helps us evolve the series in a faster way. So we really appreciate the feedback from the fanbase.”