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Neverland Company Shutting Down

by Kimberly Keller - December 1, 2013, 2:16 am PST
Total comments: 7 Source: Neverland Company, Siliconera, http://www.n-land.co.jp/, http://www.siliconera.com/2013/11/29/rune-factory-...

The developer of Rune Factory closes its doors after 20 years.

Game developer Neverland Company has announced a cease of operations via its official website and has begun the process of filing for bankruptcy.

Neverland explained that the shutdown is due to new changes and sluggish performance in the business environment in recent years. Attempts to raise funds have been unsuccessful, leaving the company no choice but to close its doors after 20 years of operation.

After opening in Japan in 1993, Neverland developed titles such as Lufia & the Fortress of Doom for the SNES and Super Famicom. The company’s latest release, Rune Factory 4 for the 3DS, was a critical success and the fastest selling title in the series. A day after Neverland's announcement, Marvelous AQL, the series’ publisher, confirmed Rune Factory 5 is still on the way.


broodwarsDecember 01, 2013

Well, while it's a shame to see such a longstanding developer go under, I can't say I'm surprised. There was only so long they could keep going spitting out seemingly-identical and incredibly niche Rune Factory games (and only them, year after year).  I feel like Neverland never quite knew what to do with their other properties, and I've never understood why they let the sales of that crappy Lufia 2 DS remake dictate their decision to not support the Virtual Console.  Hopefully whoever picks apart their carcase puts Lufia 2 up on the VC.

AwesomeUnicornDecember 01, 2013

Sad day.  Lufia 2 is one of the few games that I would gladly play on an endless loop, and I really enjoyed the DS game for what it was, but I never sported even a passing interest in Rune Factory.  So I'll have my fingers crossed as well that someone remembers to pull the Lufia franchise out from under whatever wobbly desk it's been propping up.

StratosDecember 01, 2013

Sales of remakes should not dictate the viability of releasing a title on retro services. The pull of nostalgia is it's own sales boost and there are less resources used to re-release a title in it's original state.

I wonder who will carry on the Rune Factory series. All the talk about Nintendo needing to buy studios makes me think they could sweep in and save them. Combining Rune Factory/Harvest Moon style play with Animal Crossing has been on my mind lately.

EnnerDecember 01, 2013

Sad to see the studio going through hard times as their best Rune Factory game only recently was released in North America.

As for the Rune Factory series and Lufia series, I've read that those belong to Marvelous and Square-Enix (?) respectively and that Neverland was doing the legwork for the latest games in those series. Maybe Marvelous can help some of the staff if Rune Factory 5 is planned.

Mop it upDecember 01, 2013

Never tried Lufia but Rune Factory was a good series.

I've never played any of their games, but I did recently buy Rune Factory 4. Given this news, I think I'll be more inclined to play it sooner.

StratosDecember 01, 2013

I played Lufia 1 & 2 on an SNES emulator back in my pirating days. I liked them a lot. But the more recent titles never seemed to get the formula right.

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