Imageepoch has Declared Bankruptcy

stella glow 03-13-15-1

We’ve learned (via Hachima Kikou) that all of the bad rumors surrounding Imageepoch turned out to be true – the company has declared bankruptcy.

The Japanese developer and their affiliate Smile Online Game have declared bankruptcy, with a debt of roughly 1.1 billion yen (about $11 million) and 3 million yen ($30,000), respectively. The report says that Imageepoch owes debt to 43 creditors, while Smile Online Game is only indebted to 5.

In 2011, Imageepoch brought in roughly 1.751 billion yen (about $17.5 million) in regular income. However, this number plummeted to 410 million yen (about $4.1 million) in 2013, and the company went into debt because of their game development costs, and missing their sales targets. As the situation grew dire, the company stopped operations as of November of last year.

Despite this, Stella Glow, which is possibly the last game from the developer, was picked up by SEGA to be published in Japan next month – as well as Atlus for a North American release later this year.

Imageepoch’s CEO, Ryoei Mikage, is still missing.

Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

  1. Wolfe
    May 13, 2015 at 12:21 am

    The self-proclaimed savior of the JRPG.

  2. Siveon
    May 13, 2015 at 12:23 am


  3. NovaSe7en
    May 13, 2015 at 12:25 am

    I am fearing the worst for the CEO. We’ll see a headline later that reads: “Ryoei Mikage found dead at Aokigahara (suicide forest)”

  4. Nonscpo
    May 13, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Folks dont forget to download Black Rock Shooter from the PSN store before it’s too late!

  5. dsadsada
    May 13, 2015 at 12:45 am

    While I’m still worried about the CEO, I’m thinking his sudden disappearance is making sense now given this news. While there are two possibilities I can think of, I find myself prefering the possibility where he ran off to escape the debts over the one involving loan sharks.

  6. Mr.Calavera
    May 13, 2015 at 12:50 am

    That’s sad to see a business going down hill because they probably fire their employers.

  7. Domhnall
    May 13, 2015 at 1:00 am

    The creators of Criminal Girls, among a few other titles (but the only one that really stuck out to me was Criminal Girls).

    I had to Google them myself.

  8. Zizal
    May 13, 2015 at 1:25 am

    One of my favorite developers. I hope the staff will join another studio.

  9. Turt
    May 13, 2015 at 2:23 am


  10. landlock
    May 13, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Luminous Arc, Arc Rise Fantasia.

  11. landlock
    May 13, 2015 at 2:46 am

    They started off well but most of there recent games that have come west have been average at best IMO.

  12. Hagane-Cosplay.tumblr.com
    May 13, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Can someone list a bunch of titles we should maybe snap up, in case they “disappear” off the usual online stores?

  13. daggot △
    daggot △
    May 13, 2015 at 5:53 am

    I really loved Fate/Extra

  14. kate bate mate
    kate bate mate
    May 13, 2015 at 6:20 am

    This is upsetting.

    Their stuff was always the PSP-era era stuff I was WAITING AND PLEADING FOR exports of. They seemed like one of the last great bastions of the JRPG genre.

    RIP. Hope someone buys you and exports your games.

  15. kate bate mate
    kate bate mate
    May 13, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Time and Eternity. Arc Rise Fantasia. Criminal Girls.

    Fate/Extra, Black Rock Shooter.

    A lot of Japan-only PSP JRPGs.


  16. Carl B.
    Carl B.
    May 13, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Guess we’ll never see 7th Dragon Saga come stateside then. Shame, because I always wanted that most of all.

    Arc Rise Fantasia was highly underrated IMO.

  17. daggot △
    daggot △
    May 13, 2015 at 8:19 am

    We already have a 7th dragon english patch and we’ll probably see 7th dragon 2020 English patch eventually but i don’t think we’ll ever see 2020-II translated.

  18. Random45
    May 13, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Time and Eternity eh? No wonder they’re bankrupt.

  19. chaoguy
    May 13, 2015 at 10:13 am

    So, who gets the money from the game sales now? Does it go straight to the creditors?

  20. pekikuubik
    May 13, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    R.I.P. JRPGs.

  21. InfectedAI
    May 13, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Looked up Aokigahara. That was depressing and interesting.

  22. Nin
    May 13, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Well, if it makes anyone feel better, the Pokemon JRPG will probably never die.

    Even if they run out of Pokemon ideas, the rerererereremake of Red and Blue will sell bucket loads.

  23. sanic
    May 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Thats a real bummer, why couldn’t it be someone that sucks like doublefine.

  24. Gillman
    May 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Half of Japan is depressing and interesting.

  25. Alistair
    May 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Well how ironic it look like censorship has bankruptcy a DEV.

    Despite what NISA said that CG sold very well bankruptcy is the price for
    censoring the game Nippon ichi can worry too.

  26. Zizal
    May 13, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    They had some japan only games underperformed.

  27. メタラーにゃあ~
    May 13, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Almost forgot about that game. Is it good?

  28. TheCynicalReaper
    May 13, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Maybe someone can freely get the rights to Fate/EXTRA CCC if they go under?
    I don’t know. Just trying to make the best of a bad situation

  29. Barret Somerville
    Barret Somerville
    May 13, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Oh fuck that really sucks, I guess that means there will never be a localization of fate/extra ccc. This really bum’s me out, it it’s never good to see a developer go bankrupt.

  30. Thanatos2k
    May 13, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    They used to make good games, lately have made just terrible games.

  31. Thanatos2k
    May 13, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Sigh, that is NOT what bankrupted them. At all. Seriously.

  32. Thanatos2k
    May 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Going by the THQ bankruptcy – yes.

  33. Thanatos2k
    May 14, 2015 at 12:00 am

    If only they actually released good JRPGs after claiming that. Unfortunately…..

  34. Siveon
    May 14, 2015 at 6:00 am

    That’s kind of, terrible. No doubt it stuck out because of recent news, but Criminal Girls? Bleh.

  35. Siveon
    May 14, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Doesn’t really ring a bell, but okay.

  36. Siveon
    May 14, 2015 at 6:01 am

    I’ll just take your word for it.

  37. Zizal
    May 14, 2015 at 6:14 am

    I loved their toshin toshi remake. It’s one of the best rpgs on the 3ds.

  38. landlock
    May 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Are you a JRPG fan?

  39. Siveon
    May 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Oh, that one. Never tried it but I know people didn’t like it.

  40. Siveon
    May 14, 2015 at 11:50 am


  41. landlock
    May 14, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Your not really that deluded right?

  42. landlock
    May 14, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Depends who own the rights. 7th Dragon carry on without ImageEpoch just like Luminous Arc.

  43. landlock
    May 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    None because all there games were released by someone in the west.

  44. landlock
    May 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Problem is they were just not very good. Average at best.

  45. Alistair
    May 14, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    I’m not deluded lost of sell also can play a part of companies going bankruptcy.

    Now many things can happen to trigger bankruptcy & people not buy stuff because of censorship is one of them.

    Do you know how many copies CG was sold?

    I hear monpiece sold well even though it was butcheded.

  46. landlock
    May 15, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Nippon Ichi paid ImageEpoch to make the game in Japan. NISA licensed the game from Nippon Ichi Japan. The US release doesn’t have any bearing on ImageEpoch.

    Don’t think they get anything from the US release moneywise for sales.

  47. chaoguy
    May 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Give it time…

  48. sanic
    May 16, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    We can only hope.