Prolific Japanese outsourcing studio that's quietly worked on Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil for over 44 years is in trouble due to game cancellations

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Game cancellations and the generally shakey state of the industry is hurting at least one prolific outsourcing studio in Japan.

Tose isn't a studio you're likely familiar with, but stick around and watch the credits for any number of heavyweight games from Japan and you'll be sure catch its name sliding up the screen. Tose have co-developed, supported, and ported countless games from the NES and Game Boy era to the PS5 and Nintendo Switch, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion, and Resident Evil Revelations.

Despite a history spanning literal decades, however, the company is now in murky waters. Tose's financial statement for the period covering September, 2023 to May, 2024 reveal that the studio's net sales fell almost 28% from last year, leading to an operating loss of 599 million yen ($3.7 million), based on translations from Automaton.

Tose reportedly blames the losses on various game cancellations across the industry. Mass layoffs aren't happening at Japanese publishers nearly as much as they are elsewhere, partly because of worker protection laws rather than executive kindness, but multiple companies are still feeling the post-pandemic blues. Square Enix, a frequent Tose collaborator, as an example, recently announced that it had cancelled several unannounced games and accrued around $140 million in "content abandonment loses." Bandai Namco, another publisher that would often use Tose's workforce, similarly announced that at least five games that were once in development had also been scrapped due to a loss in profits last year.

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Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.