Cing File For Bankruptcy

By Ishaan . March 7, 2010 . 4:11pm


Suffering liabilities of 256 million yen ($2.8 million U.S. dollars), Cing Inc., developers of Hotel Dusk have filed for bankruptcy, Japanese blog My Game News Flash reported earlier today.


The company began preparations for the filing on March 1, 2010. Originally founded in 1999, Cing’s first project was Glass Rose, a Playstation 2 suspense adventure game published by Capcom. 2005 marked the developer’s first collaboration with Nintendo in the form of Trace Memory on the Nintendo DS. Expanding the same universe, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 released in 2007 and quickly went on to become a niche favourite among DS owners.


In 2009, Cing collaborated with Marvelous Entertainment and TownFactory to develop the critically-acclaimed Little King’s Story for the Nintendo Wii. The company’s last project was Last Window: Midnight Promise, the latest in the Trace Memory / Hotel Dusk line of games. Again: Eye of Providence, another Nintendo DS game, will make its debut North America later this month. It’s terribly unfortunate to see such a talented team burdened by a financial crisis when every product they’ve put out in recent years has ranged from good to absolutely spectacular. We wish them the very best of luck.


On a slightly brighter note, there are ways for the firm to continue operating despite its legal troubles. One option is to file for court protection from creditors under the Civil Rehabilitation Law, similar to Chapter 11 in the U.S., which would allow existing management to reconstruct the company.

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  • kylehyde

    This are really bad news, Cing is a studio with so much talent that could make really awesome things, I hope that they can recover.

  • it really is a sad news, but i hope nintendo use them to recreate team shikamaru from the former R&D1 led by yo9shio sakamoto and finally they give a phoenix down to famicom detective club

  • Joanna

    This is really regrettable and shocking. Ishaan did the blog say why Cing was having these financial difficulties? Their games are great, so did all their games really do that bad? I hope they recover somehow, or someone buys them out.

    • No, it doesn’t really say anything concrete. Although, it’s safe to say Little King’s Story didn’t exactly help… :(

      • LKS sold at least 130K WW so far, and that number as from months ago! MMV confirmed this in a .pdf file on their site I think it was? Along with sales of their other titles. Look for this in articles about how they (at the time) only made money off of 3 out of four addressed Wii games and made money on most of their PSP games or whatever.

        Muramasa’s clearly gone from not, to being a profit since, as Shane from Ignition confirmed that they (Ignition) already made back their money from the game, and the game started off at 8K with its just out budget release (number from Famitsu), so Muramasa’s doing mighty well now! :D

        Back to CING, Surely LKS is their best selling game since 2007.

        • Joanna

          Which is why I found it so shocking. I thought most of Cing’s games did at least decently well in sales worldwide. But maybe they don’t get the money from game sales outside Japan? That would explain their situation better (although it wouldn’t make a lot of sense because I’m sure most developers get some kind of percentage from all game sales. But maybe I’m wrong in applying the licensing model from other areas to gaming???)

        • I don’t think it’s necessarily a question of whether or not the games sold well. For instance, I don’t entirely see how Hotel Dusk or Trace Memory could be behind this, since they were projects for an external publisher who probably agreed to pay Cing a fixed amount of money to have the games done by a certain time.

          One theory is that Cing overshot their deadlines and obviously, the amount of money Nintendo were contracted to pay wasn’t going to increase proportionately to that. This could mean they encountered a GRIN-like situation where they weren’t completing stuff on time, getting paid late and had to take loans to keep operating and paying their staff.

          • Kris

            That would be terrible. I’d hate to see Cing go the way of my beloved GRiN.

        • malek86

          Actually, it was the opposite: 3 out of 4 Wii games lost them money. Although maybe things got better with time. Still, they didn’t specify which title was the profitable one.

          • jarrodand

            Wait… what were Cing’s 4 Wii games? All I know of are Another Code: R and Little King’s Story?

          • malek86

            I believe he was talking about Marvelous.

          • jarrodand

            Ack! My mistake!

  • badmoogle

    Very sad and disheartening news.

    It seems that developers who strive for quality and originality with more “quiet and subtle” themes for their games are doomed in today’s shooter-based market.
    We still have a long way to mature as consumers and start supporting diversity and variety in the industry when we’re compared to fans of other forms of entertainment (like movies or music.)

    Anyway… i hope they manage to get back on their feet soon.

    • Mazen

      Movies or music industries are in much worse shape especially in the US.

      • Music yes, movies LOL. Movies (both theater & dvd/blu ray) are still selling. Movie theater attendance has gotten a much needed upswing also.

        • Mazen

          He is not talking about selling, more about varied tastes, also many Holyood studios are transferring their studio to other places in the world (like Canada)from Holyood (while leaving the Holyood name since its popular) to reduce costs at least there is still a trouble there. still this is not the point we are talking about.

          • badmoogle

            Yes i’m talking about a consumer’s varied taste and sadly,to my knoweledge, music and movie consumers are much more open minded in general than most gamers are.
            All the people i know they listen to a wide range of music and also to a wide variety of movie genres.

            Unfortunately i can’t say the same for the majority of gamers that i either know personally or from the internet.

          • malek86

            The movies and music industries have existed for several decades. In comparison, videogames are relatively young. Especially since the market was actually expanded for the first time with the PSX, and those are the “gamers” we are talking about (excluding the new wave of occasional players the Wii attracted, but even those will matter). Give it some time, tastes tend to change after a while.

            Even music and movies have had phases where their range was greatly limited.

  • Stories like this make me hate gamers.

  • alastor3

    I wish I was millionair so I can help them!

  • SoulCaster

    Argh… this is possible is the worst news I’ve seen this year… I really hope they pull out of this situation because I really want to play Last Window.


  • kupomogli

    The games have sold fairly well, so how does the company get 2.8 million dollars in debt? Just like every other company that goes bankrupt. Instead of paying their CEOs and higher ups massive amounts of bonus’ for doing nothing they should pay their development teams, put money back into funding, then do whatever the hell with the rest.

    I mean how do most of these companies have higher ups that make upwards of a million plus a year not including bonus’ and then they go bankrupt for a million to 100 million(varies.) Doesn’t that tell you they need to restructure how much money people are being paid?

    And people wonder why the economy is the way it is.

  • JeremyR

    Nintendo should buy them. They won’t. But they should.

  • Vino (Tim N)

    I hope someone picks them up, or merge with another company. Really don’t know how it works, but I hope they don’t disband and not get a chance to make their style of games anymore.

  • jj984jj

    I doubt the prolonged development cycles for Again and Little King’s Story helped, or the low sales for those games as well as their Monster Rancher DS games. Don’t forget their sequels to Another Code and Wish Room/Hotel Dusk didn’t set the charts on fire either, even though Last Window was on the DS it clearly won’t ever reach 200k in Japan like Wish Room did. I wish Rika Suzuki and the rest of them the best and hope they’ll find a more stable way to continue making games.

    • Joanna

      You’re probably right about the prolonged development cycles for Again and LKS sealing Cing’s fate. It’s really unfortunate because it’s rare to find companies trying to make the best product they can anymore. The economy probably also hit one of the many nails on the coffin for them. :(

  • Trotmeister


  • malek86

    Well that sucks. It would be cool if they got bought, at least for the sake of the employees. But I wouldn’t especially care: for some reason, whenever a company is bought out, they become a shadow of their former selves.

  • Zefiro Torna

    What a horrible way to start a week. With Again coming soon it will no doubt be quite a somber purchase for me, something I’d never thought would be attached to a release which I am STILL looking forward to.

    Here’s to hoping for the best. Long live Cing.

  • This is sad =( At least they put out a Hotel Dusk sequel before they went out. I really enjoy their games… *sigh*

  • MisterNiwa


  • This is some pretty bad news to start the week off. I really like Cing. I hope everything works out. Hopefully the final releases in the US will sell exceptionally well, though that’s probably just stuff of dreams at this point.

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