It’s never fun to report on a studio closure or game cancellation, but sadly, that’s what was confirmed by Square Enix earlier today. Announced back in 2017, Project Prelude Rune was an RPG being developed by Studio Istolia. It was a new team headed up by Hideo Baba, whom you might know from his work as producer on the Tales series. Sadly, the game and studio have been cancelled and shut down, as reported by Siliconera earlier today.
This comes after the game’s social media pages were taken down across Twitter and Facebook, as well as their official website. Baba also left Square Enix back in March 2019 to “make way for the new generation of talent.”
Project Prelude Rune sounded like it would have been a fun RPG, even though we knew little about it. According to Square Enix:
The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just–and this is their tale.
It’s unclear what will happen with all of the assets and progress made on the canceled title. Sometimes, a new project can emerge from the ashes of the scrapped game, or at the very least, elements of it could be used towards already existing projects.
Here’s what a Square Enix spokesperson had to say:
Following evaluation of various aspects of Project Prelude Rune, development of the title has been canceled. Studio Istolia is no longer in operation and we have been taking appropriate steps to assign studio staff to other projects within the Square Enix Group.
Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like layoffs will be an issue, at least based on the statement above. This all comes after reports that Square Enix has seen a decline in profit, according to financial results.
While we know some of what the company has in the works, their E3 presentation should shine more light on what’s ahead for Square Enix.