In addition to being just incredibly cute, Tomba! has some serious credentials. After an illustrious career at Capcom during which he designed the Ghosts 'n Goblins games and produced the Mega Man series, Tokuro Fujiwara founded his own studio, Whoopee Camp, where he directed Tomba! and its sequel for publisher Sony Computer Entertainment.
"Sony and MonkeyPaw have a good working relationship," MonkeyPaw CEO John Greiner told Joystiq. "I think they appreciate the titles we've brought to the Store. And they value the support we give the games. Having a plethora of Japanese content is a distinct advantage PlayStation has over Xbox. But the games still need to be brought Stateside. So our model helps Sony spread their Japanese edge and we help Japanese developers get their titles to a wider audience. Hence, Sony is willing to work with us on titles that may not have otherwise been licensed out. Support is key."
MonkeyPaw has been working on acquiring the Tomba! rights for a year. "We often have to chase down multiple right holders," Greiner said. "In this case, Sony and Whoopee Camp had rights that needed to be negotiated." The deal didn't necessarily include the sequel, however. "Tomba! 2 is a possibility but we need to really sell Tomba! 1 well before we can extend our relationship," Greiner explained. "It's the first time to work with Fujiwara-san so we're trying to make a good impression. Good sales have a way opening doors a bit wider."