Rune Factory Series Producer Shares A Brief Message On The Future

By Sato . November 29, 2013 . 4:30pm


Earlier this morning, we received the shocking news that Rune Factory developer Neverland will be ceasing operation due to sluggish performance from recent business environment changes. Rune Factory producer at Marvelous AQL Yoshifumi Hashimoto posted a short message in regard to the series and team on the game’s official blog.


Here’s a look at what Hashimoto posted on the blog:


“Hello, Hashimoto here.


How are you guys enjoying Rune Factory 4?


I’d like to take this occasion to make a comment about the future.


As of now, it’ll still remain a secret as to what kind of title we’ll be releasing next, but I can say that the staff members are still doing great.


I will leave it at that for now, and I thank you for your continued support.


Producer, Yoshifumi Hashimoto”

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  • domonkun

    Wait, so they still have a release or two left in them? If so, then let’s hope it’s something great that’ll save them! :D

    • JonathanisPrimus

      This is someone who works for the publisher speaking. They may have hired another studio to make a new Rune Factory, or perhaps absorbed the Neverland team that made them.

      • Lumi

        Hopefully it’s the latter!

  • TheExile285

    Kind of vague but at least we know we are getting something.

    Still sad that the developers went bankrupt :(

  • Learii

    do this include Harvest Moon? =/

    • JMaster3000

      Marvelous AQL makes Harvest Moon.
      Harvest Moon isn’t in danger u silly :P

      • Learii

        oh good I tho they make harvest moon too

  • There is still hope for Man!.avi

  • Detrimont

    maybe another console RF…(probably not, but i’m allowed to speculate)

  • IS | 桂木

    Glad to see they’re still developing. Let’s hope the Rune Factory and Lufia series’ survive through this ordeal

    • JonathanisPrimus

      Hashimoto works for MarvelousAQL. They own the Rune Factory IP. Square Enix owns Lufia.

      • Derek E Nay

        I was about to say, since when Lufia was still going. The last Lufia game I remembered was on the GBA.

        • Zero_Destiny

          After Ruins of Lore on the GBA, Neverland did a full remake of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals called Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals on the DS:

          They remade it into an action-RPG kinda like Ys 7, I guess I would say. Honestly it took liberties but was pretty darn good once you get over the initial shock of genre change. lol

          Curse of the Sinistrals would be published by Square Enix in Japan since by that time Square Enix had purchased Taito–the original publisher of Lufia. SE is also credited with some of the development of Curse of Sinistrals too. I’d say it’s one of the overlooked gems on the DS.

          • Derek E Nay

            Oh, I had forgotten about the DS game. Thank you.

          • Darn. So that’s what swallowed Lufia up and why we haven’t seen Virtual Console releases or anything. :(

          • Zoozbuh

            The Lufia DS remake was BRILLIANT.. I had never played any of the original Lufia games, but the story and gameplay were awesome. I was actually hoping they’d do a sequel, with that same action-RPG gameplay :/

  • PreyMantis

    I wonder if another company will absorb them.

    • Anthony L.

      Sega saved Atlus so maybe they could do the same for Neverland.

    • FlyingPony

      Nintendo, Sega, or even Sony, please come to the rescue.

      • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

        Sony nope they dont care about niche company

  • Yan Zhao

    How will the sales of these future games affect them? I mean they already filed for bankruptcy right? Either way hope they can still be saved :<

  • PlatinumMad

    There’s still hope.
    I needed this, I was felling a little depressed.

  • negineBIT

    This little appreciation note by Hashimoto is bringing me to tears..

    • I want to tell him I love Rune Factory 4 and I’m counting on him for more games!!

    I for one is one of rune factory fans. i will definetely support this series and you Hashimoto-san :>

  • Dark Zerato

    It’s good to know Marvelous doesn’t abandon their marvelous game.

  • JMaster3000

    Once i heard that RF is dying things that were in my head were: DEATH DESPAIR BURNING VILLAGES
    After i read the article i got some of the hope back.
    Btw i’m pretty sure that’s RF5 lol, they said its in development and they are asking if we are enjoying RF4.
    I don’t think it has to do with Lufia or any other game series than RF :P

  • Kornelious

    Why all the SECRETS! Good to know though :)

  • Pockystix
  • OrkoTheBlackMage

    That’s… not very reassuring.

  • Always so vague, those lovely Japanese people. :) Hope this is good news.

  • Mm. Curious. I wonder what he means by “staff members are still doing great”. Either he means that Marvelous’ internal staff that work on RF (aside from him) are unaffected—which is the more likely scenario—or he’s referring to the Neverland staff and saying they’ll be fine (not as likely).

    I wonder who Rune Factory is going to go to now. There’s certainly no shortage of 3DS developers out in Japan, so it should be interesting to see who ends up taking it. There’s an opportunity to overhaul the series a little right now. RF4 feels a little too much like the Nintendo DS games… just… on a 3DS.

    Of course, Neverland will be missed. They’ve never been technical wizards, but they were good enough that the Rune Factory games never looked ugly or felt unpolished, unlike some of the Harvest Moon games.

    • Peace Legacy

      With Rune Factory usage of both 3D and 2D visual, it helps a lot on the eye-candy department comparing to HM which has gone full 3D and… just become very slow, sluggish, and not very charming comparing to the old 2D counterparts

    • I feel like, most likely, Marvelous is gonna end up taking the RF staff directly under their wing. RF seems to be moderately successful enough that they might try to support the team, or at least try to find a company themselves to take them on.

      Needless to say, the staff will probably continue to work on RF– just not under Neverland.

    • PoweredByHentai

      Is Neverland an independent studio or are they a subsidiary of another company?

      • Yause


        • PoweredByHentai

          Yeah, that would put them in a bind. Thanks!

  • DanielGearSolid

    Quick Sony, buy it! I’ll even chip in $20 bucks

    • dragonknight337

      Why? RF does best on handheld, and we all know the Vita isn’t the best place for pretty much anything. With only one game from the series, I don’t think they are high on the acquisitions chart anyway. I hope Marvelous internalizes the team.

      • DanielGearSolid

        You’re not wrong, they do their “best” on handhelds… But theyre also bankrupt now. Why should they be confined to handhelds? If theres anytime to diversify its now

        • dragonknight337

          Well, the publisher and IP holder (Marvelous) isn’t the one that went bankrupt and made plenty of profit on it where it is, the developer (Neverland) had no say in where it went, they just made the games.

          As for platforms, well, that’s based on where it sells the most, and Japan is handheld country, Oceans/Tides was the worst seller there despite being on two platforms. i wouldn’t mind seeing it on WiiU/PC/whatever, but I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon, it and Harvest Moon both seem to be solidly portable for now.

          • DanielGearSolid

            Correct me if I’m wrong but you’re looking at it in terms of them continuing to make rune factory and or harvest moon games. In which case Marvelous would have to buy them, or atleast hire all the talent.

            Im looking at it as a fresh start. If another company purchases them they can be a part of New IPs and platforms. I think they’re good enough devs to not have to cling to the 3ds

          • dragonknight337

            Yeah, I thought you were thinking they had the IP. I hope that they can get work regardless, whether it’s with Marvelous or making new games with another publisher – they are too good to just fade away.

          • I think they’re good enough devs to not have to cling to the 3ds

            The mistake you’re making is assuming that these games have a home anywhere else other than 3DS. The only other place for them to go is to smartphones, because no other console has the diverse audience that 3DS does.

            MAQL have talked about how the gender divide for Harvest Moon tends to be fairly even between male and female gamers. That’s why the series stays on Nintendo platforms—because the other systems tend to be far more male-oriented.

            The other factor is age. Harvest Moon games sell to a very wide age range, too. People ranging from their teens to their 40s and 50s. Again, the DS/3DS are the systems these gamers are likely to already own.

          • DanielGearSolid

            Not sure if you read my comment but with all due respect I’m not making that mistake. I want a new company to acquire the dev so they can work on New IPs and different platforms. Not continuing to make harvest moon and/or rune factory. Which they don’t own the IP for, as dragonknight brought up

          • Ah, okay. Well, that is an interesting idea, yeah. But sadly as much as I’d like to see Neverland saved, I can’t see anyone chomping at the bit to acquire them. RF is their most high-profile work of late. They haven’t really done much of anything else, and I think that’s giving them trouble now.

            And Sony are an unrealistic choice anyway, IMO. I don’t think Sony care about their Japanese development very much, outside of efforts like Soul Sacrifice and Freedom Wars to help bring the hunting crowd to Vita. You do have the occasional game like Rain or Gravity Rush, but Sony as a company is far more focused on the west.

  • Ladius

    I’m glad to have bought RF4 day one, even if I still have to play it. I hope Neverland’s staff can continue to work on the series one way or another, I think Marvelous realize how important they are for the franchise’ success and survival.

  • kliskur

    Hope fully 3D Rune Factory will a little more character customization. Maybe like Fire Emblem Awakening. You can customize the 3D model as well as the drawn avatar.

  • Khoko

    I can’t wait to find out what it is.

  • Ric Vazquez

    It’s sad that they had to close T.T

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