Tales Studio Near Bankruptcy – Tales Series Doomed?


Tales Studio, the Namco Bandai subsidiary responsible for the long running Tales series of RPGs, has been revealed to be in dire financial straits.

The company is 100% privately held by Namco Bandai, so its public reporting of accounts is limited, but what it has published recently is none too promising:


These figures essentially show an annual loss of 1 million dollars and an accumulated debt of 21 million dollars, exceeding their total assets – the company will either go bankrupt, “restructure,” or go cap in hand to Bandai bosses begging for more cash based on promises of future success – which may be problematic considering the size of the loss they are dealing with themselves.

An alternative might be a re-absorption into Namco Bandai, although this would not guarantee any success in actually tackling the decline of the franchise.

Even amongst Japanese RPGs the Tales series stands out as being devoid of innovation and consisting of little more than an interminable series of rehashes, remakes and spin-offs. Whether the company’s decline can be arrested before bankruptcy or dissolution seems doubtful considering its parent company is hardly managed any better.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    22:42 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "release" Vesperia!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:05 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This makes me really sad. I love the tales games and I wish they released the DS tales games outside Japan at the very least. Both tales of hearts and Tales of Innocence are decent games, and while they might not hold up to some of the previous tales games I've enjoyed the little I've played of them before getting lost because I don't read Japanese myself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:17 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only one thing left for them to do, release ToV on PS3 in North America. Who knows, maybe this will be a reason for them to do it. Of course it could also be a big reason not to, siting financial woes, but lets hope not. =(

    Avatar of darknetwork
    Comment by darknetwork
    21:42 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    there might be an acquisition with other company. tales series has a lot of fans, and they won't miss that chance

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    03:29 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They're not a public company to buy stock for, so that won't happen.

    If anything the veteran employees would go to tri-ace

    Avatar of Abel Liegod
    Comment by Abel Liegod
    21:47 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's what they get for not releasing Tales of Innocencet, Hearts, and Vesperia in USA!

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:04 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe they could make some money if they, you know, released half the games here.

    "Even amongst Japanese RPGs the Tales series stands out as being devoid of innovation and consisting of little more than an interminable series of rehashes, remakes and spin-offs."

    Since when?

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    03:28 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    yeah that is a stupid statement. Maybe if you're talking about the 3D games that's true, but all the 2D ones are completely different.

    Sankaku has some stupid comments like that sometimes, though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:27 22/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The 2D ones are not completely different from one another -- they all pretty much used the same battle system with some minor differences. Otherwise, it's the same thing over and over with different characters and some other save the world storyline.

    Anyway, the statement was probably made by someone who's not a fan of the series. Or used to be a fan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:51 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's what they get for being the minori of RPGs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:19 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    NOOOOOOO!! Tales series are great, this can´t happen, this is because of the pussies that only play MMORPG or the new western craps being called RPG (more like action/adventure)

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    17:26 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)


    Another great Tales game we're not getting due to Namco's absolutely failure at basically everything they ever do.

    Thanks, Namco.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:41 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is this the end of Kousuke Fujishima's very own Tales series and the end of Bandai Namco RPG, NO!!!!

    Avatar of Persona
    Comment by Persona
    16:01 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They probably lost a truck load of money on the 360 with Vesperia since rarely anyone bought that game. Should have released the game on the ps3 where the fan base is at.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:15 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is what happens when you release Tales of Vesperia on Xbox first. Can't expect PS3 fans to make it up in sales if they have to wait a year.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:04 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Psht, only 21 million in the hole? SquareEnix bleeds more than that every year. Although they've actually got a very successful anime and manga publishing to keep them in business...

    Avatar of Kiseiru
    Comment by Kiseiru
    02:51 22/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What a sad news .... I love tales series game ....

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:08 22/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    PS3 fans are pissed.
    Xbox fans are pissed.

    Congratulations Tales, you've managed to piss everyone off.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:37 24/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    that's what they get for getting vesperia available in xbox360. its been pirated to death.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    18:10 26/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "You reap what you sow" would be the proper phase to address scamco here and you'll get no sympathy from me. This is what they get for bad marketing, not advertising better and most of all, NOT OUTSOURCING/LOCALIZING MORE. Really, there is absolutely no excuse for games like ToDR, rebirth, destiny 2 and the like not reaching other parts of the world while allowing some entries to go without a hitch. As far as I'm concerned they can go under for all I care. Hopefully some other company will buy the rights off of them and actually DO something with it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:24 05/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is bittersweet for me. The Tales series is great, but I have two words for these guys......................BAD MARKETING!!!!! I want to see the series continue, but it needs to be in the hands of people who can not only create fantastic games, but also use proper marketing strategies to get the games "out there" like they should be. Advertising would be a start. DUH! The lack of localizations didn't help their wallets either. Their talent for making games is useless if they don't make profit, but the Tales series is obviously not why they're failing. This is the result of top notch stupidity on their part. If the continue to hold on to the rights for the series, then it's doomed. Give up the rights. You guys don't deserve the rights after sinking into such a deep unacceptable financial hole. It's a disgrace. We want Tales games and we want them localized as well. I am keeping my fingers crossed that someone else takes over the Tales projects and soon. These guys are clearly done. What a shame.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:50 12/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Step 1: Hire translator team for all previous Japan-exclusive mothership titles. And spin-offs. And don't bother re-voicing everything.
    Step 2: Sell games outside of Japan.
    Step 3: ???
    Step 4: Profit.

    Avatar of cupcake_deluxe
    Comment by cupcake_deluxe
    06:40 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hmm. You know what would be awesome? If they made a MMO with a battle system like Tales of Vesperia. You could party with a number of people online, beat shit up together in real time, do quests and storylines, get outfits, maybe limited timed offers for costumes from characters in the official games. They could provide a cashshop for ingame items, like Maple Story, Mabinogi and other MMOs do. I can only dream...

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    09:44 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, it would be pretty awful actually. MMOs have way too many gimmicks they would try out. Which is exactly why Tales of Eternia online was bad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:04 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's their own fault for running the series into the ground. The series used to have good quality... And then they started releasing the games once a year.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:27 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good, I hope they fall.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:27 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just when I was almost a 100% sure that I wanted a PS3 for my birthday.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:04 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Noooo! D:

    I hope Tales Studio manages to get over it... Work on more original storylines and innovative gameplay, and stop making those fucking spin-offs and Phantasia remakes/ports D8

    Avatar of Rehceel
    Comment by Rehceel
    02:47 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've never really minded that they were rehashes, but it really is getting old by now. They need to stop hogging the games that would sell well outside of Japan, though....

    Avatar of Miriandandes
    Comment by Miriandandes
    02:54 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    A shame.
    Granted, their latest 'Tales' titles have been most trash.
    Abyss was actually pretty good, and spawned an entertaining anime, but other than that I haven't fully enjoyed a Tales game since Destiny.

    Edit: With Tales Studio in such dire times, I wonder how a studio like, say, KOEI, is doing.
    They've been rehashing the same shit for 2 decades now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:23 22/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is why I am incredibly happy to see that Koei has smarted up! Although Strikeforce is weird looking with weird transforming characters, it no longer plays like ye olde Dynasty Warriors 3 - 6 and is genuinely fresh.

    It is, however, still possible that you're pretty much doing the same thing over and over throughout the entire game though. XD

    The problem now is that once Koei finds something they're comfortable with and the fans are comfortable with, they'll sit on the same gameplay and design for the next 5 games or so. =_______=;

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:52 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    but KOEI is good at rehashing shit <_< just come on mowing down people senselessly like your a one man army for the DW series

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    09:51 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No they aren't, it's just that they use the exact same engine they have for every game they release per generation that the production cost is incredibly low. Plus they picked some great series to cross over with, like Gundam and Hokuto no Ken.

    Comment by Tenno Seremel
    02:46 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's what you get for making the same game every time. Some companies are capable to pull it off though.

    Avatar of Niwa
    Comment by Niwa
    02:03 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh Noes!
    and I love the tales series Dx

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    03:39 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    By the time I finished reading this, they probably announced another remake of Tales of Phantasia.

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    08:36 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    correction: port.

    If they made a full-blown remake of Phantasia it would easily be the best game in the series, if they gave it a real, non-full 3D battle system.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:53 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    they do Tales of Phantasia:X and it uses the Tales of Destiny remake engine then there's another Narikiri Dungeon coming up

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    17:17 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You have your info wrong man. The new game coming out is called Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X. What it is, is a remake of the sequel to Tales of Phantasia; Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon which was for GBC. The game also includes another enhanced port of Phantasia, which is just Phantasia Full Voice Edition with a fixed up battle system and some new sprites here and there. So basically still not a proper remake at all.

    Avatar of Recupel
    Comment by Recupel
    21:01 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No freezing during casts, more normal attacks...
    What do you need to call this a remake?
    You need a ToDR like battle system?

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    03:39 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I and everyone else call a remake a full blown remake. Everything but basic design is scrapped for a whole newly done game. Because that IS what a remake is. All it is is an enhanced port, otherwise you could argue that Full Voice Edition was a remake, which it most certainly was not. The only 2 remakes of Phantasia there are are the PSX version and the GBA version.

    Comment by Guumii
    05:15 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's they're punishment for only release less than half of the games franchise outside of Japan.

    It serves them right.

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    05:19 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    After Tales of Symphonia, everything else wasn't that great...

    Except Tales of the Abyss just for the fact that you get to kill a certain pink-haired loli and a green-haired shota...

    I blame Anise Tatlin for this...You shouldn't have upsetted the fans of that pink-haired loli by killing her...

    And has anyone noticed that there' always a cute little girl/boy/jailbait getting killed in every Tales game starting with Symphonia..?

    I'm beginning to suspect Namco's a closet gurofiend...

    Avatar of Recupel
    Comment by Recupel
    21:03 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can you remember me ToV plz?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:04 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Abyss was better than symphonia but the rest of the tales games afterword were crap

    Avatar of cax
    Comment by cax
    03:36 21/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Arietta was literally the most annoying character in that game.

    And don't mix Team Symphonia's fetishes with Team Destiny's. It took them 7 years to realize they need to put text skip in their games.

    Avatar of PrinceHeir
    Comment by PrinceHeir
    05:02 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    come on namco let them release PS3 vesperia here at the same time make a God Eater console version that would definitely boost up your sales ^^

    Avatar of RaspberryKisses
    Comment by RaspberryKisses
    04:33 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    =( i like tales series but i'm angry at them for releasing PAL xbox version of ToV a year later( and not releasing eng PS3 version at all. But still very sad news.

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    03:43 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh them....

    Just give me a call guys, I'll write a story for your next RPG that'll make it absolute hit.

    Avatar of IIRawkII
    Comment by IIRawkII
    04:17 20/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think they'll go bankrupt. They have too large of a fanbase to let this happen. Hopefully they'll pull through this.

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