Some of the best Mario games ever made have not been the platformers, but the RPG spinoffs like Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, and the titles in the Mario & Luigi series. Today, some unfortunate news comes out regarding the state of one of the major studios still making that niche type of Mario RPG.
AlphaDream, the studio that created and developed the Mario & Luigi games, has filed for bankruptcy. This news came out of Yahoo! Japan (via IGN), citing high development costs as the reason for AlphaDream's debt. Apparently, revenue had been down and the cost of development had been especially high at AlphaDream in recent years. Reports said the company was 400 million yen ($3.7 million) in debt as of March 2018.
AlphaDream broke out in 2003 with the release of the GBA classic Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. The company was best known in the US for the humorous writing and innovative use of Nintendo handheld features. The latest entry was Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, a crossover between the franchise and the Paper Mario series of RPGs.
Money is drastically shifting hands in the games industry and bankruptcies and company closures like these are becoming more common. In August, gaming and nerd culture gear shipping company Loot Crate went bankrupt and laid off most its employees. After defaulting on a $21 million loan from 2017, the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and downsized to 60 employees, leaving the company currently in limbo.
This is all happening over the backdrop of the death of GameStop. The games retailer has continually pivoted to try and fit the market to no avail, and it has faced many layoffs and store closures over the past 18 months. The GameStop financial situation also led to layoffs at Game Informer in August as well.
It's currently unknown the exact details of the bankruptcy filed by AlphaDream. The company could completely shut down or just remain inactive for a number of years before the money runs out or a new buyers swoops in. Either way, expect major layoffs in the near future and accept the fact that there won't be a Mario & Luigi game coming to Switch any time soon.