Color us confused.
White Cat Project developer, Colopl, has announced that the mobile action RPG – also known as Shiro Neko Project – will be making its way to the Nintendo Switch in 2020. The confusing part? Colopl is the same company that Nintendo filed a lawsuit against in January of this year, citing five potential patent infringements.
The announcement from Colopl came during the game’s 4th anniversary live stream, which raised eyebrows considering the impending lawsuit. However, according to an official statement from Nintendo, "[Colopl's] game software sales and the lawsuit are completely separate matters."
So while legal issues hover over the relationship of two companies, it appears that (for now) they will have to play nice, given the future investment each company has in the other.
Thus far, Colopl has maintained the position that the infringement assertions are unfair. The case has moved on to a third round of trials, which makes it pretty clear that the case will not be coming to a close any time soon.
At the very least, Colopl will likely strictly adhere to every guideline necessary to prevent another infringement with the Switch release, which is tentatively titled Shironeko New Project.
White Cat Project is a casual hack-and-slash JRPG that is available for Android and iOS devices, having originally launched in Japan in July 2014. Players only need to use their thumb to control the numerous 3D chibi characters while completing various tasks, such as combat, collecting, and building/growing their simple village into a thriving community. The title current sits at a middle-of-the-road rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars on the iTunes Japan App Store, but has a more favorable 3.8 stars on Google Play. White Cat Project was also previously released in Western markets as Rune Story, but ceased to exist in 2016, due to the lack of a strong player base.
White Cat Project seems like an obvious title to be added to the Switch’s library of games. It will certainly be interesting to watch how the infringement lawsuit unfolds, but maybe more so to see if the case has any effect – positive or negative – on the planned release for the Switch remake.