Japanese startup MUGENUP announced the forming of a business partnership with the Toyo Institute of Art & Design on May 24. MUGENUP which was founded in June 2011, describes itself as a “social game illustration studio” and operates Crowd Creative Studio — a platform which uses crowd sourced talent to establish a global network of illustrators. The company says that it hopes to create a new form of entertainment through its service.
Japanese comics have an extremely popular following not only at home but all over the world and those who are particularly obsessed are labeled as “otaku”. However, the demand for illustration in Japan is rising fast not only because of this subculture but also due to a lack of illustrators in the Japanese social gaming industry. MUGENUP has divided the process of illustration such as character design, line drawing and coloring into separate parts and crowd sources each process.
As the name indicates, Cloud Creative Studio uses a cloud-based platform to decrease the time it takes to create illustrations compared to when done by an individual artist. Using crowd sourced talent also allows the company to produce various genres of illustrations such as manga, anime and game line art. The network also allows a wide range of orders to be filled at one time. A director oversees the entire process to ensure quality and delivery of the project.
The Toyo Institute of Art & Design is a top design and illustration educational institute based in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The press release from the company stated that the purpose of the partnership is to produce more creators by offering a curriculum with collaborative projects which focus on illustration in the gaming industry.
Vice Principal of the institue Daisuke Nakagome commented on the partnership,
“Japanese illustration has many fans worldwide. With the rise of Japanese social gaming industry, those fans in abroad would be more familiar with Japanese illustration. Our mission is to deliver the illustration created by our students and making this partnership with MUGENUP, which holds unique know-how in producing illustration contents, is the most effective way of accomplishing it.” [sic]
MUGENUP CEO, Ryota Ichioka said he was pleased with the result,
“Based on our motto of “Providing Illustrations scientifically”, we create illustration by creating a team on cloud sourcing. I’m delighted to have opportunity of bringing up next creators in social gaming industry with proven educational institute with long history.” [sic]
You can find out more information about MUGENUP on their website.