magicaldropRelease:December 26, 2007 - PlayStation 3 (JP)
November 2, 2011 - PlayStation 3 (US)
December 21, 2011 - PlayStation 3 (EU)
Delisting (approx):August 15, 2012 - PlayStation 3 (EU/US)
(Available For: 0y 9m)
Developer:Data East
Publisher:MonkeyPaw Games
Available On:PlayStation 3 (JP)
Links:Game Page on MonkeyPaw Games [Archive]

Delisting

Arcade Hits: Magical Drop was delisted from the US PlayStation Store the week of August 13th, 2012 alongside other MonkeyPaw Games releases: Kyuiin, Yakiniku Bugyou and Magical Drop F. The reason is unclear but MonkeyPaw has stated numerous times on twitter that these games were “delisted by Sony and won’t be coming back” and that the delistings were “permanent” as far as they were concerned.

While all titles were published in Japan by Hamster it doesn’t appear to be a licensing deal or conflict between the two. There are several other Hamster releases currently published by MonkeyPaw that are still available on the PlayStation Store in the US and Europe. Yakiniku Bugyou and Kyuiin were both developed by Media Entertainment, Magical Drop by Data East and Magical Drop F by SAS Sakata, ruling out a complication with a single developer.

Equally unlikely is a technical issue with the ROM image or emulation as all of the titles are still available on the Japanese PlayStation Store. In a 2014 interview with Techno Buffalo, Ryan Olsen, MonkeyPaw PR Manager said “we’ve mostly done imports where we don’t touch the game outside of making sure the emulation process is working smoothly.”

The reason for the mass delisting in August 2012 is uncertain but in the end it is most likely a licensing issue. In the same Techno Buffalo interview Olsen says that licensing “is incredibly tricky to navigate in Japan and you need to be persistent and persistent and persistent until you hear a ‘Yes.’” While they were able to strike deals to release these games the terms may have been less than desirable, resulting in availability between only 9 months and just over 2 years.

About the Game

Magical Drop is a Tetris-inspired puzzle game featuring characters from tarot cards as players. A stack of random colored bubbles descends from the top. Players pull bubbles down, shifting the colors and toss them back up into like-colored bubbles, making the whole chain disappear.

Chains are formed either when a single drop causes a chain reaction or when more than one group of bubbles is destroyed in quick succession. A player is defeated when his bubbles hit the bottom. In two-player mode, you really get the competitive rage going as you fight your friends for bubble supremacy.

“Magical Drop (released in US Arcades as Chain Reaction) is the first in a series of fast-paced puzzle arcade games by Data East. This game got ported to a LOT of home consoles, but never found a release in the US… until the fine people at MonkeyPaw got a hold of it, that is. Now it’s here in all its mid-90s puzzling glory, playable for the first time on your PSP.”

Video Coverage