Rune Factory Developer Ceases Operations, Producer Comments on Future

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

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rune factory 4

Neverland Company, the developers behind the Rune Factory and Lufia games, have announced that they will be closing their doors. They will be filing for bankruptcy some time soon. The reasons cited for the close were the last few years of sluggish performances, causing them to simply run out of money.

This news left many fans of the series concerned about the fate of Rune Factory 5, which has been confirmed to currently be in production. This caused the series’ producer, Yoshifumi Hashimoto, to make a statement on his blog to reassure fans that the game was still in production.

“Hello, Hashimoto here.

How are you guys enjoying Rune Factory 4?

I’d like to take this occasion to make a comment about the future.

As of now, it’ll still remain a secret as to what kind of title we’ll be releasing next, but I can say that the staff members are still doing great.

I will leave it at that for now, and I thank you for your continued support.

Producer, Yoshifumi Hashimoto”

At this point, there’s not much we can do beyond waiting to see what happens. Maybe publisher Marvelous AQL will develop future games in-house like with the Harvest Moon games or have a different developer work on the series. We’ll be keeping an ear out to see how this develops.

Source 1, via RollingPirahna. Source 2, via Siliconera.

  • RagunaXL

    well, they had a good run. my favorite rune factory was the first. I enjoyed frontiers as well. I’ve become increasingly uninterested in each new entry in the series. My first Neverland game was Record of Lodoss War for dreamcast, a dungeon crawler that wasn’t great but bridged the gap between Diablo (psx) to Champions of Norrath (ps2.) Their Shining Force games on PS2 were a little better, but still generic. But I felt they finally struck gold when they developed Rune Factory. I bought a DS and almost every game I wanted became vaporware or never hit the west. Rune Factory was one of the first games that really kept me glued to my DS, I started bringing it to work, I’d sneak it in the bathroom, I was hooked. The music, the graphics and colors, the farming and dungeon crawling, I loved it! A lot of people write Rune Factory off as one of the worst Harvest Moon series’ entries. but I found a lot of enjoyment out of it. Neverland is definitely not one of the better developers, but they made one of my favorite games.

  • Oscar Tong

    This makes me really sad. 🙁 The first two Lufia games for the SNES were among my favorite RPGs. Square Enix currently owns the rights to the series, I think (or is it technically still Taito?). I’d like to think they or another developer will make another Lufia game at some point, but my gut feels it’s unlikely.

    • skovacs1

      It’s Square-Enix. Taito has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square-Enix since 2005 apparently so the franchise rights and management would lie with Square-Enix, but you could still say Taito owns them and it wouldn’t make much difference.

      Square Enix has eaten and ceased development of many franchises so I was actually very surprised to see that Curse of the Sinistrals had come to be and I suspect that may have been something Neverland brought about. Neverland worked on all the flagships for the series (Ruins of Lore is considered a gaiden entry). SE released Curse of the SInistrals in 2010, co-developed with Neverland, to mostly favorable reviews, but poor sales so even if Neverland were still going to be around, after Curse “bombed” in sales, the chances of a new Lufia would be slim.

  • Ford

    For me, for future RF games I prefer in-house, but for all other franchises Neverland had worked on I prefer hiring other developers.

  • Thanatos2k

    Well there goes any hope of a properly made Lufia game.