The group that would soon be known as Dangen Entertainment sat around Ben Judd’s house this past April, making plans and bouncing ideas off each other over pizza and drinks. Judd had an idea to start an independent game-publishing company in Japan and had reached out to five others in the industry. Like Judd, they were longtime foreign residents of Japan, each with an intimate knowledge in a different section of the industry.

So in April, they came together — five in person and the sixth Skyping in from Tokyo — to hammer out the salient details. They had a name (a portmanteau of what they’d originally come up with, Dandy Gentlemen, shortened so as not to prevent women from joining the team) and a vision for helping Western developers break into the difficult-to-crack Japanese market, and working in the opposite direction as well.

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