After suffering millions in losses, employees heading to other companies, and last month’s disappearance of their CEO, Imageepoch will be filing for bankruptcy.
Founded in 2005, Imageepoch enjoyed moderate success as a JRPG developer. Some hardcore SEGA fans may know them through their work on the DS’s Sands of Destruction. They also developed the 7th Dragon series, which was produced by Skies of Arcadia and Phantasy Star creator Reiko Kodama and published by SEGA. The company was set to celebrate their 10th anniversary next month with the release of the SEGA-published 3DS JRPG Stella Glow.
The company was doing well through September 2011, when they reported 1.7 billion yen in profit. Unfortunately, not long after the company announced they would start self-publishing some of their games, they began to run into problems. Just two years later, the company reported a mere 400 million yen in profits. Many of their self-published games were met with mediocre reviews and sold poorly. Now, the company has 1.1 billion yen in debt owed to 43 creditors, with an additional 3 million owed to five creditors through affiliate company Smile Online.
According to Siliconera, this bankruptcy won’t affect the release of Stella Glow, which has been completed for some time. Stella Glow was originally announced as a self-published title, before SEGA picked up publishing duties in mid-March.
If you want an in-depth look at the fall of Imageepoch, you might want to take a look at this article. I’m not familiar with the website, but a lot of the information inside it seems to check out with what I’ve read elsewhere.
Stella Glow will be released by SEGA on June 4. It’s set to be localized by Atlus later this year.