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.