Sad news today for fans of Rune Factory, Shining Force and Lufia as developer Neverland has announce that they've ceased all operations and filed for bankruptcy. Loosely translated, the company revealed today in a statement released on their website that sales have been sluggish in recent years. Attempts to raise further investment funding had proved unsuccessful as well, thus resulting in the company's closure.
Rune Factory 4 had only just been released in North America and was found to be the fastest selling title in the franchise yet. Though to be fair, the game was released in July, 2012 in Japan and it's unlikely XSEED's localization would have little effect on the company's financial woes. As for Rune Factory 5, which Japan publisher Marvelous AQL had confirmed was in development, it's likely the game will never see the light of day... unless another studio has picked up the franchise.
We wish all of the staff at Neverland a speedy turnaround. Hopefully each of you will be back working on a project you love soon. Fans will fondly remember everyone's work on Rune Factory, Lufia and Shining Force, in addition to all the other great games from Neverland.