News Article

Rune Factory Developer Neverland Closes Its Doors

Posted by Liam Doolan

Where now for Rune Factory 5?

After a sluggish financial performance due to business changes, Rune Factory developer Neverland has announced it will be closing its doors.

The Japanese company made the announcement via its official website, explaining that its financial status had deteriorated considerably in recent times. After failing to raise the necessary amount of funds needed to continue operations, the only remaining option was to shut down immediately and begin proceedings for bankruptcy.

Neverland was founded in 1993 and is best known for the long-running Lufia series, and developing Marvelous ALQ’s Rune Factory series (a spin-off of Harvest Moon). Whilst Rune Factory 4 for the 3DS was the fastest-selling title in the Rune Factory franchise, it appears to have been unsuccessful in saving Neverland from its financial troubles.

The only question left is what will come of Rune Factory 5? According to Rune Factory producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto, the fourth game’s reception was good enough to green light a sequel. Will it still happen? Naturally our thoughts are also with those affected by Neverland's closure.

[via siliconera.com]

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User Comments (47)

cyrus_zuo

#5

cyrus_zuo said:

So, so sad.
Rune Factory is on my short list of games I always buy on day 1 (Mario Kart, Zelda, and 3D Mario games complete the list).
This series is so, so good. It's a real shame more people haven't played it :(.

Morph

#6

Morph said:

Such a shame when a niche japanese developer closes, I still miss Cing

Ash_Anne

#7

Ash_Anne said:

That's a shame. Rune Factory 4 was my first Rune Factory and its amazing. I hope 5 will still be made.

Windy

#8

Windy said:

I'm not a fan of Runefactory but what a huge bummer for those who are fans and those who worked at Neverland. Hopefully Natsume can just pick all that talent up and just do the Runefactory series right out of their operation

YT-SutibunDatsW

#9

YT-SutibunDatsW said:

I'm going to miss them ;_;
Unless, Atlus could buy them 0.0. Nvm, last time they competed for Rune Factory 4 i went straight then Etrian Oddysey Untold :-P

gregrout

#12

gregrout said:

This is crushing news. My daughter is going to be very upset over this. She absolutely loves Rune Factory 4.

Jampie

#13

Jampie said:

:( It's so sad when Japanese game developers close down! :( Well, any developer closing down really. Sigh. :'(

Klinny

#15

Klinny said:

This is really disappointing news. Rune Factory is one of my favorite franchises. The newest installment is by-far my favorite, and it's heartbreaking to see such talented people out of work now.

WaLzgiStaff

#16

WaLzgi said:

Great. I start enjoying a series and now its developer closes its doors. I need to stop liking new games :$

NavySpheal

#17

NavySpheal said:

It's always a sad time when ANY developer closes it's doors, and I've always wanted to try a Rune Factory game. I'm going to pick up 4 today, although I'm not sure that would help the matters. I hope all their developers get new jobs at good companies and prosper.

Specters

#19

Specters said:

Been into Rune Factory since the original and gotten almost everyone of them for the DS and Wii. I was actually going to go get Rune Factory 4 today. Also I was really hoping for one on the Wii U eventually. Maybe Nintendo or some other studio could buy the IP and produce something equally as good.

Spuratis

#20

Spuratis said:

Man. This sucks. I'll be getting Rune Factory 4 here shortly and even though I haven't played it yet.. I know it will be great, because it's Rune Factory. One of the best handheld series ever to grace the DS/3DS. It's a real shame to see these guys go under. I hope that Nintendo helps them out or they get a kickstarter rolling. I was really looking forward to seeing one come out on the Wii U, however unlikely that may have been. Here's hoping that this IP does not die and it lands in some caring hands, IE Atlus or Nintendo.

Spuratis

#22

Spuratis said:

@DarkwingLz Actually, that's the best option. Also the most likely like you said, I've always considered Rune Factory to be a Natsume game anyway..

CaviarMeths

#23

CaviarMeths said:

Honestly, Rune Factory was about the only good thing this company did in my opinion, and even those were hit or miss (thought 4 was a huge hit, I love it, one of the best games for 3DS). Having to shop for another studio to do Rune Factory 5 is hardly going to be a speed bump. There's plenty of talent that can take over without even losing stride.

theblackdragonAdmin

#25

theblackdragon said:

Get the hell out, no way! I'm loving RF4, I hope someone big snags their IPs up so that they'll still have jobs and RF5 will still be in play :(

GuardianKing

#28

GuardianKing said:

I might be wrong on this, but I'm convinced Natsume has partial ownership (if not full ownership) on the RF IP itself. After all, it was marketed as a "fantasy Harvest Moon" for 2/3 of the series...

Ralizah

#30

Ralizah said:

Better pick up RF4 before it becomes hard to find.

This was a depressing bit of news. :(

zipmonStaff

#31

zipmon said:

Oh man, that's such a shame :( Rune Factory 4 is a masterpiece, and it's a rare thing to find a developer who pours so much heart into their games. I hope we get to see more from them in future somehow!

hamsterfactor

#32

hamsterfactor said:

What I shame :( Let's hope RF4 is still coming to the EU regardless, as I was planning to buy it (as my first Rune Factory).

R_Champ

#33

R_Champ said:

@Ralizah

O_O, I know. I put RF4 on the back burner because I didn't have the $$. I better start turning in cans or I may never get it!

I was also a huge fan of Lufia...such a shame to see one of my favorite small developers go under...but I'm probably going to have to get used to it this gen...

mch

#34

mch said:

Very sad to read. I never played One of their Games yet, but I was also going to get RF 4 as soon it gets released in Europe ..once read it should be released in Feburary 2014, does anyone know if it's still coming?

Zombie_Barioth

#39

Zombie_Barioth said:

Well, this is a huge bummer, and right after Thanksgiving too.:(
Hopefully Marvelous AQL will buy them out or something since they're the one who owns the rights to the series, not Natsume. If Marvelous doesn't have anyone else to handle the series they very well may have to, and with the series on a roll that would be a good move regardless.

ilovegaming

#40

ilovegaming said:

A sad day in gamingland... :( At least RF4 will come out in Europe (finally) so I'll be able to play and enjoy it!

Zaphod_Beeblebrox

#41

Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

If the Rune Factory series is dead, I'm going to have to buy a Wii U so I can replay Frontier and Tides. The disc drive laser in my Wii is dead and it isn't worth repairing.

DudeSean

#43

DudeSean said:

Rune Factory is a series I've always been interested in, but never got around to buying any of them.

AlbertoC

#44

AlbertoC said:

Rune Factory 4... So much detail, so much content, so much personality... The perfect blend between Harvest Moon and Final Fantasy gameplay. Even when the graphics failed to deliver, the game itself is a true masterpiece. I really mourn this news: Rune Factory as we know it is now in question, even when another sequel is (JUST) possible.

I really hope someone will pick up their franchises. Natsume sounds like a good candidate since they also make Harvest Moon.

...Damn.

HandheldGuru97

#45

HandheldGuru97 said:

Well that is a shame still haven't gotten Rune Factory 4 yet I'll be needing to do that soon I'd suppose...I hope 5 something still makes it out

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