Simple (video game series)

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The Chikyuu Boueigun 2.jpg
Cover art of The Chikyū Bōeigun 2, a Simple 2000 Series game
Publisher(s)D3 Publisher
Platform(s)PlayStation, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Mobile phone, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, PlayStation 4
First releaseSimple 1500 Series Vol. 1: The Mahjong
October 22, 1998
Latest releaseFamily Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
November 30, 2012

The Simple Series[a][b] is a line of budget-priced video games published by Japanese company D3 Publisher, a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Entertainment.[1] Games in the series have been developed by several different companies, including Sandlot, Success, Irem, and Taito. It was introduced in 1998 for the PlayStation, and has been released for platforms such as the PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and mobile phones.

Early Simple games were generic interpretations of other common video game themes, including tennis, racing, and video board games such as mahjong.[2][3] Beginning with the PlayStation 2, Simple games began using larger genres such as scrolling shooters and role-playing games, in addition to original ideas and concepts. As the games were sold at a low price point and required little development time, developers were able to experiment with gameplay concepts and mechanics.[2] A few entries in the series were released outside Japan by other companies without the brand. After releasing two Simple games for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013,[4] D3 has chosen to remove the Simple name from its budget titles for systems such as the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

The Simple series and several of its games, including Demolition Girl, The Maid Clothes and Machine Gun, and the Earth Defense Force series, have garnered notoriety outside Japan for their usually outlandish and bizarre nature.[5][6] Publications have identified the series as being of considerably better quality than similar budget title ranges, with gameplay ideas they consider unique and interesting.[2] As of 2007, the Simple series has sold over 20 million units across all platforms.[7]


D3 Publisher employs a number of external developers for the series, some of the most prolific being Tamsoft (of Battle Arena Toshinden fame) 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 Japan for various reasons, either gameplay quality or a particularly unique idea - these include The OneeChanbara and its sequels, as well as Sandlot's Monster Attack 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 (OneChanbara 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 games in the Simple series to gain a North American release are The Bass Fishing (as Fisherman's Bass Club), The Genshijin (as The Adventures of Darwin) and OneChanbara for the Xbox 360 and Wii. Simple Series for Wii U Vol.1: The Family Party was released internationally as Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade.

See also[edit]

  • Success, another Japanese publisher whose SuperLite series is very similar to D3's Simple series.
  • Sega Ages, a Sega franchise which the Sega Ages 2500 series is also very similar to this series.


  1. ^ Japanese: シンプルシリーズ, Hepburn: Shinpuru Shirīzu
  2. ^ Stylized as SIMPLE Series


  1. ^ Glasser, AJ. "By The Way, Namco Bandai Owns (Most Of) D3". Kotaku. Univision Communications. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Eisenbeis, Richard (11 November 2014). "Japanese PS2 Budget Games Were an Outlet for Pure Insanity". Kotaku. Univision Communications. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  3. ^ Byford, Sam (9 April 2019). "How Earth Defense Force went from bargain bin to blockbuster". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  4. ^ Siliconera Staff (20 July 2013). "D3 Publisher's Simple Series Is Going Back In Stores". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  5. ^ Siliconera Staff (30 April 2014). "D3 Publisher's Wacky Simple Series Games Come To Vita Today". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  6. ^ Fahey, Mike (11 December 2018). "Stupidity Escalates Exquisitely In Earth Defense Force 5". Kotaku. G/O Media. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  7. ^ Fletcher, JC (3 December 2007). "Celebrating Simple series sales". Engadget. Verizon Media. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.

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