The maker of Luminous Arc is gone forever.
Japanese game developer Imageepoch and affiliate company Smile Online Games have begun bankruptcy procedures in Tokyo this week following a stretch of declining sales. Research provider Teikoku Databank reports (via Siliconera) that Imageepoch has a debt of $9.2 million (1.1 billion yen) owed to 43 different creditors. This closure comes just before the studio’s 10th anniversary, and it’s a sign of the times for the shrinking worldwide retail games market as consumer tastes shift toward digital delivery and mobile platforms.
The developer was best known for its Luminous Arc strategy game series for Nintendo DS, and it most recently co-developed Nintendo’s Yoshi’s New Island for the Nintendo 3DS along with developer Arzest.
Despite these troubles, its latest, Nintendo 3DS strategy role-playing game Stella Glow, is still on track, slated for a June release in Japan. Atlus confirmed to GamesBeat that Stella Glow is still set for a Western release later this year and that Imageepoch’s status will have no impact on the its localization.
Imageepoch president Ryoei Mikage still appears to be missing. He was first noted as absent in April, and the company’s websites and office went offline at about the same time. Japanese developer Idea Factory unsuccessfully took to social networks to try to contact the exec on pressing business matters early last month. Mysteriously, Mikage’s Twitter account was deleted last week.