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Hard times force Cave to refocus on social games

New direction for shmup specialists.

Cave, the Japanese studio behind acclaimed bullet hell shoot 'em ups such as DoDonPachi, Espgaluda and DeathSmiles, is refocusing development resources on social games following a disappointing six months of trading.

As reported by Andriasang, the company expects sales of ¥1.3 billion for the period 1st June to 30th November 2011, down from the ¥1.4 billion it forecast back in July. It anticipates that shortfall will contribute to an operating loss of ¥31 million, whereas it had expected profits of ¥10 million.

As a result, it has decided to devote more of its resources to social games. Development on a number of other (undisclosed) projects has apparently been put on hold.

The studio blamed its predicament on the tough economic climate, stating that retailers are reluctant to buy in titles resulting in new releases failing to meet expected targets.

There's no word on whether its next planned Western release, Akai Katana on Xbox 360, is affected. Rising Star Games is signed on to publish in early 2012.

The last Cave title to reach these shores was DoDonPachi Resurrection on Xbox 360 late last year.

"That Cave continues to flourish in a shifting industry and to evolve a sub-genre they helped define, is testament to the studio's strategic nous - in-game and out," wrote simon Parkin in his 8/10 review.

"DoDonPachi Resurrection shows just how much poorer we would be without them."