Tales Studio shut down by Namco Bandai

Staff to be re-absorbed by parent company; games safe for now

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Tales Studio, the independent developer responsible for the Tales series of RPGs since 1995's Tales of Phantasia, has been closed by parent company Namco Bandai. But Tales fans can take comfort in the fact that upcoming titles in the series haven't been cancelled – however, with the 25-year-old studio absorbed by Namco Bandai, the future of the series is for now in-house.

Namco Bandai hasn't given a reason for the closure, which will be finalized at the company's board meeting later in the month. However, Tales Studio has been facing financial strife for some time, with rumors of bankruptcy hovering throughout 2011. If anything, this move actually secures the series' future by assuring that the studio doesn't have to shut down due to financial problems.

Above: Tales of Xillia, which you'll still see one day (probably)

The studio, founded in 1986 as Wolf Team, debuted its signature series on the SNES in the mid-90s, later expanding onto the GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox families. After renaming itself Tales Studio following acquisition by Namco in 2003, the studio increased its multimedia output, releasing anime adaptations of Tales of Phantasia, Symphonia, Vesperia, and The Abyss.

Namco Bandai still has future Tales games in the pipeline: US players are yet to see PS3 titles Tales of Grace F and Tales of Xillia, as well as a 3DS port of the PS2's Tales of the Abyss. The possibility of the games' cancellation hasn't been raised yet; the 3DS title in particular may actually see healthier prospects now, with its release delays having coincided with the worsening of Tales Studio's financial woes.

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