JRPG developer Imageepoch were supposed to celebrate their 10th anniversary with the release of Stella Glow later this year, but things might not be going too well for the company. Following rumours that the studio is on the verge of shutting down, CEO Ryoei Mikage, appears to have gone missing.
Imageepoch was founded in 2005, and starting with their PSP title, Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari (Story of the Last Promise), they’ve become known for their work on other titles such as Luminous Arc, Black Rock Shooter: The Game, and Arc Rise Fantasia.
While this was meant to be the year Imageepoch celebrated their 10th anniversary with Stella Glow, things seem have changed since January, and not for the better. According to Otapol, a former employee reportedly posted quotes to a job website, stating: “In 2014, the company’s development line went from two to one” and “talented individuals immediately left their jobs, and the development talent had remarkably fallen.”
Otapol attempted to contact the company regarding the rumor, but never received a response. During this time, Otapol were also able to confirm upon checking the company’s office floor that it was vacated, and there was an ad looking seeking new tenants for the space on a real estate website.
Furthermore, the notice stated that new occupants could move in starting this June, which prompted the question of whether Imageepoch already had plans to move out. When the Otapol reporter visited their office, they noticed that the entrance still had the Imageepoch name on it, but there wasn’t a single person to be found in the office.
The Otapol report was published in February, and at the time, they didn’t rule out the possibility that Imageepoch had simply decided to relocate, considering that they hadn’t left any notices on the official website. However, things have became more worrisome now, as a tweet from a Japanese game developer suggests that Imageepoch president and CEO Ryoei Mikage cannot be contacted.
“I can’t get in contact with Imageepoch’s president Mikage,” Compile Heart president and representative director of Idea Factory Yoshiteru Sato tweeted. “Out of necessity, I will attempt to contact him from [Twitter].”
“If there is anyone that is able to contact president Mikage, please let him know that Sato is attempting to get a hold of him, regarding advertising matters for Destroyer Trillion,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Imageepoch’s official website has been down for the past couple of days, along with the other website for their JRPG label. This was previously reported by Game Jouhou prior to the news regarding the disappearance of president and CEO Ryoei Mikage.
Furthermore, multimedia company ILCA tweeted that Hideyuki Mizutani, who holds a producer’s position in their company, is featured in this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine to talk about Stella Glow. Mizutani was the producer for Stella Glow, so it appears that he’s already found himself a new job with a different company.
For those of you worried about whether this means we won’t be getting Stella Glow, development has been complete for a while now, and it will be published by Sega in Japan. Stella Glow will also release in North America later this year courtesy Atlus USA.
While the future of Imageepoch and the whereabouts of CEO Mikage are uncertain for the time being, Siliconera will keep track of the story, and will update as necessary.