Stella Glow developer Imageepoch files for bankruptcy

stella glow

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.

[Via: Siliconera]

Cavespeak releases a English patch for 7th Dragon

SEGA released 7th Dragon way back in March 5th, 2009 in Japan on the Nintendo DS. The game flew under most people’s radar, but not for me. I kept my eye on this one just because it was produced by legendary SEGA designer Rieko Kodama (Phantasy Star series and Skies of Arcadia).

That wasn’t the only big name SEGA star on the project, famous SEGA composer Yuzo Koshiro (Streets of Rage series, Shinobi series) joined the team.

Want the patch? Head over here.

Not sure if it means much but Famitsu scored the game a 9/8/8/8 (33 out of 40).  

7th Dragon 2020 – More Gameplay

Sega have released another gameplay clip of 7th Dragon 2020 on the 7th Dragon youtube channel. This clip shows off another random battle segment. I quite liked that one move with the demonic eyeballs! I’m a sucker for old-school style JRPGs so I’ll be keeping my giant demonic eye on this one.

7th Dragon 2020 – First Gameplay

Here is the first gameplay clips of 7th Dragon 2020 for the PSP. 7th Dragon 2020 is a the sequel to 7th Dragon which was released on the Nintendo DS last year. Unlike 7th Dragon, 7th Dragon 2020 is fully animated in 3D and it looks a lot better for it.

Whilst the first game was set in a semi-present sort of otherworldly universe 2020 will be set in the near future, the year 2020 to be precise! The aim of the game is simple, explore a large open world map, find and kill all 7 dragons that inhabit it… Of course it’s always easier said then done.

The 7th Dragon games are being produced by Rieko Kodama who has worked on a number of great Sega JRPGs including Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia.

Hit the jump for the character creation video.

7th Dragon 2020 – Theme Song Featuring Hatsune Miku

Here is the theme song to the next game in the 7th Dragon series, directed by the first lady of RPGs Rieko Kodama (Phantasy Star, Skies of Arcadia) The game will feature Hatsune Miku as one of the characters and she also sings the theme song ‘SeventH-Heaven’ by sasakure.UK

Most interesting for me at least is that the video shows clips of the game play, which looks quite cool, check it out!

7th Dragon 2020 Trailer – Kill All Dragons or Die

Check out this trailer for 7th Dragon 2020. The original 7th Dragon on the DS was quite a fun little game. In traditional old school JRPG style you had to travel the land with a party of warriors killing the seven dragons which ruled it. Of course that’s a very simplified version of the tale as I don’t speak/read a lick of Japanese.

The game was headed by Rieko Kodama (Also credited as Phoenix Rie, or Phoenix in some of her early work.) Kodama has worked on many JRPGs including Phantasy Star and my personal favourite, Skies of Arcadia.

7th Dragon 2020 is heading to the PSP in Japan this year.

SEGA developing 7th Dragon sequel, this one on PSP

1up reports, via Famitsu, that Imagepoch is developing a sequel to the DS RPG 7th Dragon, which never saw release in North America. Called 7th Dragon 2020, the follow-up is looking to take place in a futuristic version of Tokyo, a contrast to the original game’s more medieval style. The game is said to feature a revamp in art direction and character design, and will supposedly release this year.

SEGA will once again be publishing it, though since they never localized the first 7th Dragon, chances of the West getting this one seem pretty slim.

Check out the official site.


7th Dragon developer teaming up with SEGA again

[Teaser image for upcoming game]

Imageepoch Inc. had a huge conference in Japan where they announced a bunch of titles. How many is a bunch? Like 8 titles, not including the SEGA published one. Now that is a ton of work. They also announced they are ‘publishing’ titles now. But just because they are publisher, they aren’t a developer for hire.
If you remember 7th Dragon, a DS RPG that never made it to America, released in 2009. Well, they developed it. They announced they have another RPG to announce and SEGA will be publishing. The game should be out in the middle of 2011 (So spring/summer?). When the announcement was made, the over world theme of 7th Dragon was playing, could this be a possible sequel?

Most likely the title will be announced for Nintendo’s 3DS platform, since SEGA said they had 6 3DS titles planned for 2011. Will we get this one in America? Maybe.

[Via: The Forums]