Victor Ireland, head of veteran U.S. import-game publisher Working Designs, has announced on his site's messageboards that the company, originally formed in 1986, and former U.S. publisher of a number of notable RPGs such as the Lunar
series, is closing its doors. The company's last published game was the Growlanser Generations
box for PlayStation 2, released in late 2004.
Ireland commented on his site: "Working Designs is gone. All the staff has been laid off and the office is closed and has been for some time." He also revealed that the final Working Designs title in development for the U.S. market, a translation of Konami's latest Goemon
) adventure game for the PlayStation 2, will not be released in North America, apparently due to issues with Sony approval, though this is not specifically stated.
Ireland said regarding Working Designs' final release: "Though almost finished and substantially improved from the Japanese release, Goemon
is dead for the US, and that was really the final straw. If I can't guarantee that the games I personally choose for us to release in the US can actually get approved and come out, there's no business to be done."
Ending things on a brighter note, Ireland mentioned that he hopes to continue to work to localize games for other entities, suggesting: "I have been in touch with a number of other publishers and manufacturers and I will be working with some of the WD staff to do games for other publishers for the time being, but not as Working Designs. One thing that holds a ton of promise is Xbox 360 RPGs, and I've contacted Microsoft about getting what's underway in Japan out in the US and helping to get more done worldwide."