This article is outdated. Take the information presented at your own risk. I thought I’d make this clear as the article has been getting quite the amount of views. [October 2011]
Tales Studio, the Namco Bandai subsidiary responsible for the long running Tales series of RPGs, has been revealed to be in dire financial straits.
The company is 100% privately held by Namco Bandai, so its public reporting of accounts is limited, but what it has published recently is none too promising:
These figures essentially show an annual loss of 1 million dollars and an accumulated debt of 21 million dollars, exceeding their total assets – the company will either go bankrupt, “restructure,” or go cap in hand to Bandai bosses begging for more cash based on promises of future success – which may be problematic considering the size of the loss they are dealing with themselves.
An alternative might be a re-absorption into Namco Bandai, although this would notBankruptcy guarantee any success in actually tackling the decline of the franchise.
Even amongst Japanese RPGs the Tales series stands out as being devoid of innovation and consisting of little more than an interminable series of rehashes, remakes and spin-offs. Whether the company’s decline can be arrested before bankruptcy or dissolution seems doubtful considering its parent company is hardly managed any better.
To start off the Tales series is my favorite series in the RPG genre. I fell in love with the series with my first game of it being Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube. So of course seeing news like this makes me rather nervous. Jrpgs have been in decline in Japan and with that said, way more in america obviously.
While the game series follows the same route with every game. IE the storyline follows the characters finding some source of evil, pursing it and at the end brining peace back to the world. While it may be the same to a point, each game has it’s own unique characters, development, and even how it leads up to the points followed in each game.
This is something I will indeed be keeping an eye on. If the series really ends up in a position where no more tales series will be created, it will really be a day of despair for people who love the RPG series.