If you’ve been playing games since the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo days, you probably share the memories I had spending countless hours in front of the family TV playing games such as Final Fantasy, Lufia, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, and Terranigma. During the era of Nintendo, we saw many great games by many great studios, many of whom still exist to this day.
However, after just over 20 years in operation, we are about to lose one of those game studios. Neverland CO., LTD. announced last Friday, November 29th, 2013, that they are to close their doors forever. Posted on their official website, the Japanese video game developer cited poorly suited market conditions and a changing industry as reasons for the closure and mentioned that they would be filing for bankruptcy despite the success of their most recent game, Rune Factory 4 for the Nintendo 3DS.
The closure came as a shock to many. Attempts to raise funds outside of normal company operation to prevent the closure proved unsuccessful. Additionally the bankruptcy begs the question on what will happen to the Neverland’s assets and properties, of which only time will tell.
And it is with great sadness, the JRPG-loving community bids farewell to a piece of great gaming history. Yet still there exists a light at the end of the tunnel. Just hours after the announcement by Neverland, Yoshifumi Hashimoto – the Producer for Rune Factory – posted on the game’s official blog that the “staff members are doing great” and are working on a new secret project regardless of the company’s closure. Perhaps one day we’ll see a brand new Neverland Co. rise out of the ashes to make great games once again!