Rune Factory Developer Declares Bankruptcy

Rune Factory Developer Declares Bankruptcy

Rune Factory 4 - Main

Neverland Co., the developer behind the Rune Factory franchise, has closed its doors and will begin bankruptcy proceedings soon.

Last year, shortly after the release of Rune Factory 4, Yoshifumi Hashimoto, the game's producer, announced that Rune Factory 5 had already been given the green light. Unfortunately, it's starting to look like another Rune Factory sequel just isn't in the cards.

Yesterday, Neverland Co., the developer behind the Rune Factory franchise, announced that it would be shuttering its windows. According to the Neverland website, the developer was having a difficult time finding its footing in the evolving videogame market and will begin bankruptcy proceedings soon.

This is a depressing surprise for fans of the Harvest Moon franchise. When Rune Factory was released in 2006, JRPG fans quickly endorsed the Harvest Moon spin-off. In fact, many players will probably tell you that Rune Factory is the superior series.

Sadly, bankruptcy is a common problem for videogame developers, even if their games are popular. Neverland Co. has churned out six Rune Factory titles since 2006, and the latest iteration, Rune Factory 4, was among the most successful. But Neverland has been around since 1993, and a lot has changed since the Super Nintendo was everyone's favorite console.

Hopefully, Rune Factory (and all of Neverland's other IPs) won't simply fade away, but I'm certainly not crossing my fingers.

Source: Siliconera

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Damn that really sucks, 4 was probably the best Rune factory hand-held game to. I guess something was up when they kept failing the nintendo approval process to get released. I guess many niche titles won't be lasting much longer in the new DLC season pass generation.

Damm, that sucks for the fans of this particular developer.

Eve Charm:
I guess many niche titles won't be lasting much longer in the new DLC season pass generation.

True, that's why I'm betting heavily on various Kickstarter projects for my niche needs.

I'm genuinely saddened by this news.

Like really sad. Rune Factory is buckets of fun.

Guess I should go get 4 now while the gettin's good.

That's too bad. I would have loved to play Rune Factory on my vita (I remember controls being pretty shit in DS).

The only one I played, was the Tides of Destiny one released on PS3.

It sucked.

So while I will say I feel for the individuals actually (possibly) losing their job, I couldn't care less for the franchise.

It's always sad to hear a studio closing down and one which, from what I hear, makes an innocent and upbeat franchise like this even more so. Here's hoping that Rune Factory and its creators find a new and stable future.

Such a shame, I feel they were really nailing things down with their latest Rune Factory. I've played the heck out of it on my 3DS. Wonderfully done. I was excited to see where they took it from here. :\

Damnit. I guess now I need to pick up RF4 ASAP before it goes up to $100 used. Sucks to see the people behind such a unique franchise get the short end of the stick like this.

And yet COD/every first person shooter in the last 5 years with few exceptions is still going on, huh?

Sad.

But is it coming to AUSTRALIA???

Well this is news I didn't want to wake up to. The wait for Rune Factory 4 was one of happy anticipation, and now it looks like there won't be another! Well, I think I will just have to enjoy the heck out of RF4 just a little bit more now, as it will be my last sampling of it for a long long while.

That's rather sad to hear. I'm surprised they didn't make a desperation move and try to make another Lufia/Estopolis - One that continues the story, not a remake of the last several games.

Although, maybe the Lufia series will end up in Camelot's hands? Camelot certainly has made a spiritual successor to Lufia with the Golden Sun series...

image
Wait, didn't they also make the Harvest Moon games?
Shit...

Objectable:
image
Wait, didn't they also make the Harvest Moon games?
Shit...

no it is marvelous that do HM

Actually its six Rune factory games, 1-4 and then Frontier and tides of destiny. I liked the concept and I do hope that the artists, designers, programmers and everyone else involved finds employment soon. Perhaps while the rune factory franchise may be lost, the mechanics and design are open to be used for a new series, either to be used by those who buy the company or perhaps even kick starter. Either way, a shame.

HA!! Good, let them die, they deserve it for creating such a shitty game series as Rune Factory.

This is music to my ears. A game with so much potential yet none of it was realized, it deserves to die.

You really deserve this as a company when you don't learn from your mistakes and just keep making the same shitty game over and over with the same mistakes in it every time.

Except that the company that owns the Harvest moon/Rune Factory rights (natsume, I believe) still holds the rights. There's no way they'd announce RF5 and not have seen their bankruptcy coming. Natsume's probably going to just hand over the series to another developer. Also, given how well RF4 apparently sold (for its genre, anyway), it's unlikely that RF4 will be the last in the series.

Yeah, I'm sad Neverland went under but I don't think this is the end of Rune Factory.

Arqus_Zed:
The only one I played, was the Tides of Destiny one released on PS3.

It sucked.

RF4 was/is incredible though. I'm loving the hell out of it.

anybody play 3 or 4? I played 3, and it wasn't shitty...4 also sounds cool

getting real tired of people slamming games they haven't actually played

I'm sad now...i'm gonna go buy Rune Factory 4 in honor of their memory...

Josh Engen:

Hopefully, Rune Factory (and all of Neverland's other IPs) won't simply fade away, but I'm certainly not crossing my fingers.

Why...? Do you have something against the series?

Valderis:
HA!! Good, let them die, they deserve it for creating such a shitty game series as Rune Factory.

This is music to my ears. A game with so much potential yet none of it was realized, it deserves to die.

You really deserve this as a company when you don't learn from your mistakes and just keep making the same shitty game over and over with the same mistakes in it every time.

That's an extremely harsh statement, considering you failed to explain what said failed potential and/or mistakes were. Care to be a little more specific?

I should also note it's kind of amusing how your avatar fits very nicely with the overall nasty tone of your statement :)

OT: I've had mixed results with the Rune Factory/Harvest Moon games (although they were certainly fun, the DS version glitched out on me, replacing supposedly new content with copy/pasted old content, as well as infrequently corrupting save data), but even though I haven't played any of them for years, it's not a franchise I'd have wanted to see die. Oh well, I guess there's always Harvest moon to fill that niche.

This is absolutely heart breaking news. Hopefully we won't be deprived of the game series. It seemed like it was picking up steam, and was fairly unique. tides of Destiny is certainly kinda fun.

Draconalis:

Josh Engen:

Hopefully, Rune Factory (and all of Neverland's other IPs) won't simply fade away, but I'm certainly not crossing my fingers.

Why...? Do you have something against the series?

Not at all. I just know that when developers go bankrupt, IPs often get lost. I certainly don't want Rune Factory to die, but if the series wasn't popular enough to keep Neverland's head above water, it might be hard to convince another dev to take the reigns.

So, isn't escapist going to talk about how the JPs are calling the 3DS the third-party killer?

Also, it's the developer company that declared bankruptcy. Marvelous still owns the RF IP as far as I know.

Infernal Lawyer:

That's an extremely harsh statement, considering you failed to explain what said failed potential and/or mistakes were. Care to be a little more specific?

I should also note it's kind of amusing how your avatar fits very nicely with the overall nasty tone of your statement :)

OT: I've had mixed results with the Rune Factory/Harvest Moon games (although they were certainly fun, the DS version glitched out on me, replacing supposedly new content with copy/pasted old content, as well as infrequently corrupting save data), but even though I haven't played any of them for years, it's not a franchise I'd have wanted to see die. Oh well, I guess there's always Harvest moon to fill that niche.

I did not fail anything, I choose not to because the list is so goddamn long.

But now you've asked for it, so I'll oblige you and name a few things that I can still remember.

The most important complaint about this series is the complete and utter lack of imagination this series creators have, it is truly stunning.
-It is supposed to be a fantasy game, so you'd expect fantastic elements right? Well Rune Factory doesn't really have any.
-All the plants you can grow are boring and plain and they hardly have any real use other then selling them for profit.
-There is no way to enhance/enchant the ordinary things you do in this game. There is no use of magic to help you grow crops or mine metals. Magic in combat is actually a disadvantage. It has no way of altering the weather or the passage of time or anything useful.
-The monster design is so damn piss poor and uninspired and downright pathetic. I just can't say anything good about them because its impossible. There is not a single monster in this game that makes me go "man I can't wait to fight that one!"
-The world design is the same, there is nothing here to wow you, nothing you see in this game fills you with a sense of wonder or a lust to explore further. Plus it is small, ridiculously small. Its just boring.
-While there is a good amount of items that can be crafted its mostly just a pain in the ass to do. Plus there are no cool abilities to be had in this game on any of the items. You basically just make them just so you can hit harder or get hit less.

Then there is the problem with how the game looks and feels.
-Its 3D models on the DS, which means the game looks like shit, at least the characters do.
-While you have a lot of items you can craft none of them really carry over to the look of your character in the game. (except for the weapons I think) So there is no real reward for making any of them, it ultimately is just a bigger number to hit monsters with.
-Combat is so damn boring because there is basically only one thing you can do, hit things until they die.
-Yes there is magic but it has the same problem as just hitting things, its so damn boring. It just doesn't feel satisfying to hit/blast monsters.

And then there are the problems with the gameplay, oh god does it have problems.
-Combat is utterly boring, I cannot stress this enough. They wanted to create a Harvest Moon but with RPG elements, but they just don't seem to know what a good combat system is. There is basically nothing you can do but hit a monster until it dies, thats all you do. There is magic in the game but its pretty useless, plus it takes an even greater toll on your stamina then just basic attacks so its even more worthless. There are no special abilities or skills or tactics or anything to liven things up and make combat interesting. They truly succeeded in making combat as soul crushingly boring as everything else in this game.
-Combat is broken. Every swing of your sword costs you stamina, if you run out of stamina anything you do will cost you hitpoints. You fight your own stamina bar more then you do anything else in this game. This is especially frustrating against boss monsters who can take enormous punishment to the point you are just killing yourself rather then them. What is worse is that its impossible to increase your stamina bar, at all, there is nothing you can do about it. (there are ways to refill lost stamina but there is nothing you can do about the bar itself, its a constant ball and chain weighing you down)
-You are on a constant timer that never ever stops ticking and only brings penalties, in multiple ways. First is the time of day. From the moment you are given control to move around the clock starts ticking and never stops no matter where you are or what you do. If you want to make the most out of your day then you better hurry because if you take to long before going back to bed you are penalized for it by not fully regaining your stamina and health which in turn leads to even further lost productivity. (as if being on a clock and having a limited number of actions in a day wasn't bad enough). Plus the shops in the game are only open for a limited amount of time each day, better be on time or your wasting it.
-But the clock doesn't stop fucking with you there. There are numerous time limits in this game and just as the time during the day doesn't ever stop so to do the days go by without your consent or ability to influence. There are many contests and shopping opportunities that only come by once a year and if you miss them you'll have to wait for a long time because there's no speeding this up either. Days go by fast and years go by slow. But thats not all you can mess up because there are many character interactions you can miss out on because you where not there at the right time on the right day at the right place to talk to the right person.
-All this leads to a game where you don't have a single moment of peace to just relax and enjoy anything in the game. Not that you would if you could.
-This game also has no way to automate or simplify anything. You can't hire a character to help you out on the farm who you can set to do simple tasks that have become monotonous for you as a player. You can't buy any crafting materials.
-Its possible to throw away valuable items accidentally. You can lose an item while attempting you use some of the kitchen appliances, if you throw the item in the wrong appliance then its completely lost. If you miss with throwing a item in the chest outside your home to sell items then they are completely lost. If you hold a item in your hands and you push the wrong button then you can lose that item either by eating it or throwing it away. If you misplace sowing seeds you can lose a lot of production. If you misplace using a tool you waste stamina. You can swing your sword in places where no combat can take place wasting stamina. There is so much you can do wrong and the game just lets you waste it all.

And then there is the huge list of missed opportunities, to many to name really, so much potential yet nothing realized. I'll just name the most obvious ones.
-You can't play as a girl and there are only females to romance. For a game that basically has two main quests, one is to clear out all the caves and the other is to get married, you'd think there would be more options. Its such a simple thing to do too but they just can't be bothered to do it.
-They wanted to add RPG/fighting elements to a Harvest Moon game but everything they added both sucked and worked against the core of a Harvest Moon type game. Instead of making a Harvest Moon game with combat, they should have make a kickass RPG with Harvest Moon elements where the adventuring you do adds to the things you can do on your farm and the things you produce on your farm help you in your adventures. Or they could have made a Harvest Moon game with combat that was interesting, such as periodical attacks on your farm that you have to fend off turn-based RPG style where the layout of your farm/crops/defenses/units is important. Both directions would make for excellent games that put a new spin on their kind of game.

All of that is just off the top of my head, there is so much more wrong with this game and there are so many lost opportunities. I really hate this game, I hate this series, I just can't stand the developers who have a property in their hands that can absolutely be a great new IP(s) with incredible potential to be a truly great game and even a great series. But they fucked it up, they fucked it up so many times, they deserve bankruptcy.

Valderis:
snip

Thats a lot of anger and vitriol, although I'm not amazed since this is the internet.
But I mean honestly, this is the Escapist, can't we save that sort of fervor for Youtube comments? Read the mood a bit, your comments have no place here.

I know someone went out of their way to actually ask you to explain your original statement, but don't read too much into it, they really didn't care what your reasoning was, nor did anyone.

But hey, I found a nice Youtube video for you to post in, here ya go sport:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_lFbcjCYpg
Knock yourself out, just not here.

Valderis:

Infernal Lawyer:

That's an extremely harsh statement, considering you failed to explain what said failed potential and/or mistakes were. Care to be a little more specific?

Snip

Well, thanks for that I suppose. You've reminded me of some of the problems I had with the first game. Having to wait an entire season just to get a bloody cupboard pissed me off to no end.

I don't agree with some of your points though, especially the "you can't hire anyone to help you out" seeing as I remember getting elves in HM or the monsters in RF to help you out. Also, couldn't you leach mana off plants that you grew in the caves?

But I don't think I want to argue over a game I haven't touched for a long time, so I'm just going to leave this comment as a hit-and-run. Thanks for your time.

Oh and to the Escapist staff, and can you please stop it with the advertisement captchas? At the very fucking least give me an idea of what the obscure brands are supposed to be trying to sell to me.

Just for the sake of argument!

Valderis:
-It is supposed to be a fantasy game, so you'd expect fantastic elements right? Well Rune Factory doesn't really have any.

It's hard to argue what is and isn't fantastical, but stuff like growing a travelling plant guardian from a seed *seems* to fit the bill.

Valderis:
-All the plants you can grow are boring and plain and they hardly have any real use other then selling them for profit.

Nothing says boring like a giant pumpkin made of gold. But I'd suggest cooking the vegetables into food for a hefty increase in max health, max stamina ('rune points'), and basic stats (strength, vitality, intelligence). Some may also provide status ailment resistance, which can be handy in a pinch.

Valderis:
-There is no way to enhance/enchant the ordinary things you do in this game. There is no use of magic to help you grow crops or mine metals. Magic in combat is actually a disadvantage. It has no way of altering the weather or the passage of time or anything useful.

While there is no magic to grow crops you could always try using the various fertilizers available. In RF4 for instance, you can use formulas to enhance the growth rate of your field (not the crop specifically growing) up to 5x. The field will then only slowly degrade by 0.1x per day until it normalizes at 1.0x speed.

Valderis:
-While there is a good amount of items that can be crafted its mostly just a pain in the ass to do. Plus there are no cool abilities to be had in this game on any of the items. You basically just make them just so you can hit harder or get hit less.

This is admittedly subjective, so I can't really fault your opinion. I'd just say that I enjoy the gloves I crafted which have a chance of inflicting paralysis, sleep, silence, and poison.

Valderis:
-While you have a lot of items you can craft none of them really carry over to the look of your character in the game. (except for the weapons I think) So there is no real reward for making any of them, it ultimately is just a bigger number to hit monsters with.

Headgear is visible, and I think accessories are visible on at least the PS3 version, although the hats are oddly tiny I'll grant you. They cling to your head like a brainslug.

Valderis:
-Combat is so damn boring because there is basically only one thing you can do, hit things until they die.
...
There are no special abilities or skills or tactics or anything to liven things up and make combat interesting.

While it may or may not qualify as interesting there are special weapon attacks as well as 'rune abilities'. For instance allowing your weapon to throw out a shockwave or using your spear to pole vault over enemy projectiles so you can kick annoying mages in the face.

Valderis:
-Combat is broken. Every swing of your sword costs you stamina, if you run out of stamina anything you do will cost you hitpoints. You fight your own stamina bar more then you do anything else in this game. This is especially frustrating against boss monsters who can take enormous punishment to the point you are just killing yourself rather then them. What is worse is that its impossible to increase your stamina bar, at all, there is nothing you can do about it. (there are ways to refill lost stamina but there is nothing you can do about the bar itself, its a constant ball and chain weighing you down).

It's highly possible to increase stamina, both permanently and temporarily. Food items (like the ones crafted with plants) can regenerate it as well as boost the maximum. Every skill in the game also increases your max stamina, and there are some ridiculous ones like eating, sleeping, walking, and bathing. Essentially everything you do in the game increases your stamina.

Valderis:
But thats not all you can mess up because there are many character interactions you can miss out on because you where not there at the right time on the right day at the right place to talk to the right person.

In my experience you can always catch them next time. NPCs operate on a weekly schedule, if I'm not mistaken.

Valderis:
-This game also has no way to automate or simplify anything. You can't hire a character to help you out on the farm who you can set to do simple tasks that have become monotonous for you as a player. You can't buy any crafting materials.

It's quite possible to tame monsters, mostly by either brushing them or throwing gifts at them (depending on which game you're playing in the series). Actually the PS3 Rune Factory took this to an extreme by almost completely automating the farm work; all the player has to do is bless the earth with their magic fairy staff and the monsters will come along planting, watering, and harvesting crops which they leave for you in a chest to pick up. As for RF4, you can buy crafting materials from a variety of sources. Off-hand I can think of three NPCs which sell random enemy drops (ie. monster bits, horns, claws, etc), as well as ores and gems. Their inventory is randomized on a daily basis. For the record, the NPCs would be Arthur, Random Ore Merchant, and Raven.

Valderis:
-Its possible to throw away valuable items accidentally. You can lose an item while attempting you use some of the kitchen appliances, if you throw the item in the wrong appliance then its completely lost. If you miss with throwing a item in the chest outside your home to sell items then they are completely lost. If you hold a item in your hands and you push the wrong button then you can lose that item either by eating it or throwing it away. If you misplace sowing seeds you can lose a lot of production. If you misplace using a tool you waste stamina. You can swing your sword in places where no combat can take place wasting stamina. There is so much you can do wrong and the game just lets you waste it all.

Well... Don't eat valuable things. As for other, non-edible items, a maximum of about 10-12 items can be on screen at once and they start disappearing in the order they were dropped, so unless you didn't notice your item bouncing around on the ground and just left it there to rot, or you threw about a dozen things on the ground by mistake, this shouldn't be a problem. Moreover it isn't an instantaneous process; the item starts to flash a bit before it poofs away. I'm not certain, but I do believe that if nothing else is dropped items will persist on the ground indefinitely even if the screen is left. Also, really valuable quest items will be dropped off at your house by friendly NPCs (or so I hear, I haven't lost anything myself).

Valderis:
-You can't play as a girl and there are only females to romance. For a game that basically has two main quests, one is to clear out all the caves and the other is to get married, you'd think there would be more options. Its such a simple thing to do too but they just can't be bothered to do it.

The last two games in the series have featured an optional female main character with a list of male characters to romance. Albeit the PS3 version made this super awkward by forcing you to play the main quest as the male character before giving you the option to switch protagonists and magically take your skills with you, the latest game, RF4, did this correctly by allowing you to make the choice from the start.

Valderis:
But they fucked it up, they fucked it up so many times, they deserve bankruptcy.

Harsh, man.

Pastrymancer:
...

I'm not going into an argument over this, I just listed some of the complaints I had that I could still remember because some guy asked for them, thats all.

Sorry if you wasted your time.

Josh Engen:
snip

I think the expression you were looking for is "I wont be holding my breath"

That's more in line with, "Chances are it wont happen." "Not keeping your fingers crossed," implies you don't even have desire for a revival.

Valderis:
HA!! Good, let them die, they deserve it for creating such a shitty game series as Rune Factory.

This is music to my ears. A game with so much potential yet none of it was realized, it deserves to die.

You really deserve this as a company when you don't learn from your mistakes and just keep making the same shitty game over and over with the same mistakes in it every time.

Quoting this post and not your second one because I have no issue with you or your reasons for disliking the game. I DO take issue with you trashing a game that many people obviously liked and are sad to see dying and crowing about their disappointment.

Valderis:
snip

Let me assure you that it was not your opinions that were called out, but your post itself.
But I'm not really judging you, this is the internet after all, while the Escapist website was one of the few remaining bastions of mature conversations, the inevitable encroachment of such outbursts should not come as a surprise to anyone.

I do ask, as a personal favor, that you hold off on posting in such a way in the future, if just for a few days we can keep the semblance of maturity here.

 

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