Believe it or not, Corpse Party has actually existed since 1996!
The very first appearance of Corpse Party was as an independently-developed freeware game for the popular Japanese NEC PC-9800 series of computers, created by a small software startup who call themselves "Team GrisGris." The title was put together using the popular game creation software RPG Maker (specifically, a PC98 adaption of it called RPG Tsukuuru Dante98), and billed itself as a no-holds-barred horror adventure reminiscent of Japanese 8- and 16-bit classics such as Capcom's Sweet Home and Human's Clock Tower.
Gamers took notice of Corpse Party after it won first prize in the 2nd ASCII Entertainment Software Contest the same year, and this little home-brewed horror game became something of an underground success for Team GrisGris. While no official sequels, remakes or adaptations would be made for an astonishing twelve years, this one title spawned a fanbase dedicated enough to create their own complementary work in RPG Maker titled Corpse Party Zero, which chronicled the events of previously unnamed side characters who were mentioned only in passing during the original game.
In 2008, perhaps spurred by the runaway success of similarly-themed horror titles like Higurashi: When They Cry, Team GrisGris released a Windows-based reimagining of their original opus titled Corpse Party: BloodCovered. This was not a mere port, but an upgrade in every sense: the graphics, the music, the gameplay and even the story itself were all changed, improved and expanded upon (and the initially unnamed side characters who later starred in Corpse Party Zero had their names retroactively applied to them, as a nod to the dedicated fans who kept the series alive during Team GrisGris' long hiatus). The title was split into five chapters which were sold episodically at conventions, fan events and through an online store. This updated remake was also ported to cell phones, allowing Japanese gamers to horrify themselves on the go.
It didn't stop there, either. A Corpse Party: BloodCovered manga series was also introduced the following year, telling essentially the same story as the remade game, but offering a new perspective on the events that unfolded within it. A second manga series titled Corpse Party: Musume (the Japanese word for "daughter") followed shortly thereafter.
Corpse Party was officially a hit. Novels, drama CDs and soundtrack albums were released one after another. Then, in 2010, popular Japanese visual novel publisher 5pb took notice and Corpse Party: BloodCovered: ...Repeated Fear was born. This PSP title is an enhanced remake of Corpse Party: BloodCovered featuring further updated graphics and music, additional story elements and full voice-acting recorded via binaural audio technology for simulated three-dimensional surround sound.
XSEED Games fell in love with Corpse Party: BloodCovered: ...Repeated Fear just after Halloween 2010, and negotiated a license with 5pb to release it in the English-speaking world. Since no other version of the game has ever been officially published outside of Japan, we felt it prudent to drop the dual subtitles and release this game under the name that started it all: Corpse Party. Short, simple and catchy! It is, after all, the beginning of the story.
But it's certainly not the end! More Corpse Party games, manga, novels, drama CDs and soundtrack albums have already been published in Japan since this game's release, and still more are on the way at the time of this writing. Corpse Party is a veritable franchise now, and we couldn't be more thrilled at the chance to bring such a terrifying tale to western shores. So, will we be able to bring more gory goodness to English-speakers in the months and years to come?
Who knows? This could be the start of something truly...mortifying...