Mario & Luigi RPG developer AlphaDream has gone bankrupt

The creator of Bowser’s Inside Story and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. has filed for bankruptcy, citing slow sales and high costs.

In sad news, Japanese developer AlphaDream has filed for bankruptcy, potentially bringing an end to the Mario & Luigi series of role-playing games.

According to Japanese reports, as translated by Gematsu, the company had suffered ‘sluggish income’ and a ‘heavier burden of development costs’, leading to debts of around ¥465 million (£3.5m) by the end of March 2018.

It’s unclear whether key staff would be able to resurrect the company in any way, or whether Nintendo – who has published many of their most recent games – might step in to the help them.

Although that’s generally not something they do, as evidenced by the fate of Hotel Dusk developer CiNG in 2010.

While AlphaDream did have some success with Japanese-only titles such as Tomato Adventure, and worked on the Hamtaro series for Nintendo, they’re best known as the developer of the Mario & Luigi series of portable role-playing games.

A spin-off from the Paper Mario series, the games varied in quality, but Bowser’s Inside Story is widely regarded as one of the best games on the Nintendo DS.

Superstar Saga, the first game in the series, and Bower’s Inside Story were both recently remastered for the 3DS but despite that it doesn’t seem to have been enough to solve AlphaDream’s financial problems.

Whether Nintendo would continue the series without AlphaDream is unclear but there hasn’t been a brand-new entry since 2015 Paper Mario crossover Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. on 3DS.

For that matter, there hasn’t been a standalone Paper Mario game since the disappointing Paper Mario: Color Splash on Wii U, which is one of the few Wii U exclusives not to be ported to the Switch.

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