Harvest Moon fans got a bit of a jolt today as it was announced that the latest game in the series (known as Bokujo Monogatari in Japan) would not be localized by longtime Western publisher mainstay Natsume, but instead by XSEED. With a new publisher at the helm, the game will be localized with a new title as well—Story of Seasons.
Why the name change? Well, it may have to do with the fact that XSEED is a subsidiary of Marvelous (a move that was made in May 2013 when they were absorbed into parent company Marvelous AQL), which develops the game, so it's more lucrative for the latter to publish games through their own label. However, Natsume likely owns the rights to the "Harvest Moon" name, leading to Marvelous' decision to rebrand the series in the West.
Regardless of the change, fans will be glad to know that longtime series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto is still very much involved with the development of the game. The game itself features trademark series aspects such as farm-building, tending to animals, and building relationships as well as Streetpass connectivity (in which you'll be able to visit other players' farms) and more. You'll also be able to customize your character to a deeper degree than previously, such as choosing gender, hair style, facial features.
Story of Seasons will be released in Winter 2014 for 3DS. Be sure to keep an eye out for more news on it when E3 starts in just a few weeks.
Source: Press Release
Are you excited for Story of Seasons?