That's a bummer. Nintendo is pretty cold for not throwing them a life raft since they went bankrupt developing games for them. I know the series probably hasn't been selling as great as it did in the past, but it would be nice if that meant that AlphaDream got a chance to try something new (maybe even with another Nintendo IP) rather than just dying.
Personally, I'm going to be okay. I played the original and thought it was pretty okay, but I never felt compelled to play it or any of its sequels again.
@Hinph This is what I was thinking too, I wonder what their situation is with Nintendo that they could just go bankrupt making Mario games. Half surprised Nintendo didn't just acquire them straight up.
This sucks. I would've loved to see what they could've done with the Switch.
@Hinph I don't think that you CAN go bankrupt making Mario games. The way I understand the compensation scheme for making video games, you get paid for hitting each milestone. You might get a bonus, based on sales, but, if you're continuously working, you should be okay. It's when stuff gets cancelled that you get in trouble.
So I think something else was going on here. What was the last original game they made? Paper Jam? Or was that Intelligent Systems? Maybe the key staff had already left. Or maybe they wanted to erase their debts and start a new company? DreamAlpha? I dunno.
I believe every Mario and Luigi game has been at least a million seller (and several far, far more than that). I do not expect it was due to game sales. In the official reports it spoke of HD development being the main killing blow, as development cost skyrockets when you go from the simple DS games to Switch ones. It's not easy at all.
That said, something business-wise must have gone awry as well because many million-plus sellers in a row should not result in bankruptcy without serious mismanagement of funds. We may never know for sure.
Definitely. I mean, as we know from developing games, it isn't so clear cut as "You sold a million copies? WOW YOU MADE $30,000,000!" Waaaay more complicated than that when you break it all down. As you say, though, something doesn't quite add up. If I had to guess, and it would be a total guess, I would say it is a case of hiring too many people and expecting the good times to keep rolling. It happens a ton to game devs in our modern age. Grow too fast and then become unsustainable. Hard, hard stuff.
@J.K. Riki Looking it up, the latest game, Paper Jam, isn't listed as a million-seller. The two remakes also didn't cross a million, though I'm not sure those had very high expectations being not only remakes but released so late on 3DS. Since Nintendo usually lists only games which sell a million or more, the exact sales of these three games are unknown.
The Japanese report appears to mention both rising dev costs and a growing debt as the main reasons. The rumor is that they were hiring for a project to be released on Switch and PS4, which if true means Nintendo weren't involved. That makes me wonder if Nintendo weren't offering them any projects. Like you say though, we'll likely never know the full story as the inner workings of these companies isn't meant to be public.