Vib-Ribbon's return began with an attempt at stage cred

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Vib-Ribbon's return began with an attempt at stage cred
When president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America Shawn Layden praised Vib-Ribbon's outside-the-box concept during this year's E3, he hoped it would show his legitimacy as a nerd worthy of standing beside better-recognized faces of PlayStation like Adam Boyes or Shu Yoshida, according to a report from Wired. Excited fans flooded social media in response, but their joy turned to rage when Layden took a sharp turn from his fond remembrance to introduce the gameplay debut of Mortal Kombat X.

As he was drinking in the backlash the following morning, Layden remembered that Vib-Ribbon was never actually released in North America. Instead of finding common ground with fans of the cult classic, he had reminded part of his audience of what they had never had a chance to play.

That same day, he tracked down Sony's director of international game development, David Thach, and requested a release of Vib-Ribbon. They obtained the rights for a PlayStation 3 and Vita version a few weeks later, and after resolving a few technical issues, Vib-Ribbon had its first North American launch, almost 15 years after its Japanese debut.

"And I thought, gee, sometimes it's convenient to be the president," Layden told Wired. "Because you can make a call like that, and no one's going to say, did you run the [return on investment] on that? Nope: I want it done and I want it done now."

Layden added that Vib-Ribbon's sales have been "pretty good," but joked that he wouldn't mind if more people from the initial chorus of outrage purchased a copy. As for Parappa the Rapper, another PlayStation rhythm classic from Vib-Ribbon developer NanaOn-Sha, Layden said that SCEA is "looking" at it, but noted that its rights package is more complex.
[Image: PlayStation]
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