Cing, the independent Japanese developer behind Little King's Story
and the Hotel Dusk
series, filed for bankruptcy last week as it faces liabilities of some ¥256 million yen ($2.83 million).
Founded in April 1999, the Fukuoka-based company employs 29 workers. The small studio is best known for its Nintendo-published Hotel Dusk
adventure series with its unique sketch-based art style. The first Hotel Dusk
game released in 2007 for Nintendo DS, while its sequel Last Window
shipped in Japan earlier this year and is awaiting a Western localization.
The company began its close relationship with Nintendo with the release of Trace Memory
, or Another Code
as it is known in other territories, for DS in 2005. The platform holder published Trace Memory
in the U.S., but chose to release its 2009 follow-up, Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories
, only in Japan and Europe.
Cing also co-developed Little King's Story
, a simulation RPG for Wii, with Japanese developer Town Factory. Though the game was well received by critics, it sold poorly in Japan and Europe. Its other titles include Capcom's Glass Rose
for PS2, the Monster Rancher DS
series (the first game releases in the U.S. this March under Tecmo Koei), and several Japan-only mobile releases.
The studio's next game releasing in the States is Again
, an adventure title for DS following an FBI agent as he investigates a serial killer; Tecmo intends to ship the title this March. Neither Nintendo or Cing have given indication if the developer's bankruptcy filing will affect any plans for a possible Last Window
While it may be going through bankruptcy, Cing could still continue operating and restructure itself if the company decides to ask for court protection from creditors under Japan's Civil Rehabilitation Law (similar to Chapter 11 in the U.S.), according to
Siliconera, which translated a report on the filing
from Japanese news blog My Game News Flash.