Rumor: Japanese Developer Treasure Could Be Done Making Video Games

guardian heroes 03-23-16-1

We’ve learned of a rumor (via NeoGAF) surrounding independent Japanese developer Treasure.

The developer, known for classic action games like Gunstar Heroes, Guardian Heroes, Mischief Makers, and Ikagura, is reportedly going to cease game development production.

In the podcast (via Giantbomb) Japanese localization company 8-4’s Mark Mcdonald and John Ricciardi said the developer is now essentially a licensing company, re-using their older games and IPs.

According to the 8-4 folks, the company’s president, Masato Maegawa, is “still around,” Treasure still exists and was always essentially run by Maegawa himself, meaning they’re not necessarily in trouble of closing their doors.

They speculate (Editor’s Note: this is pure speculation) that the developer’s latest outing, Gaist Crusher, didn’t perform well and furthered their decision to simply focus on licensing out their IPs for now, saying they could still resurface with a new game in the future.

It’s worth mentioning back in 2014 the developer teased an original PC game, one that they were thinking of developing at the time.

Treasure was founded back in 1992 by former Konami developers. While they’ve employed a few dozen employees over the years, a large majority tend to be independent contractors – with key staff usually only including a handful of people.


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

  1. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    March 23, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Its a smart move if things aren’t going well. Sell some licences, let bigger studios make the games, get some money, bring some attention back to your brand, then try again.

  2. British_Otaku
    March 23, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Gaist Crusher (finished) and Gaist Crusher God (starting sorta) are pretty good even if they aren’t the peak of Treasure’s output.

    First I heard of the team being so small typically, I know they have one primary composer but still.

    I imagine Nintendo and SEGA will give them work again at some point but this seems to be wise enough.

  3. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    March 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Sad how “style over substance” companies like Platinum are the new big deal while developers who genuinely understand about action games are left in dust.

    Guess this is a result of most gamers not caring about gameplay.

  4. orbo
    March 23, 2016 at 10:38 am

    While it’s sad to see the company that made my favorite platformer, Mischief Makers, considering closing their doors, I’m not actually aware of any of the games they’ve made in a long ass time.

  5. alterku
    March 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Gunstar Heroes is the last thing I remember personally from Treasure, and it’s a great game.

  6. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    March 23, 2016 at 11:03 am


  7. Immahnoob
    March 23, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Platinum Games have the best combat… What are you saying, dude?

  8. scemar
    March 23, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Aw man that’s a real shame to hear about.

  9. InfectedAI
    March 23, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Even our resident troll is laughing at this comment.

  10. Immahnoob
    March 23, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Who’s the resident troll?

  11. InfectedAI
    March 23, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Chocolate ISISCream. This is the first time I’ve seen him post anything other than inflammatory comments made just to get people mad. Carlos comment is too much even for him.

    March 23, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    The last decade has been really hard on them. it seems like they’re one of those Japanese companies that didn’t transition well into the modern era. A real shame, because there’s some real talent in that company, but it seems like they perceive the gaming market wants different games than what they outputed in the 90s, so they twist their products until they’re no longer recognizable, instead of just doing exactly what they like. At least that’s my perception of them. I just wish they went crazy again and go balls to the walls arcade-style action.

    Please don’t die Treasure, I know you’re generally not very fond of sequels, but please make Mischief Makers 2.

  13. MusouTensei
    March 23, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    That’s sad, they should have made Mischief Makers 2 though.

  14. Nonscpo
    March 23, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Oh no!

  15. Dawn Blast
    Dawn Blast
    March 23, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Please don’t be true….

  16. Malcolm_Ecks
    March 23, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Fucking hell, just put Gaurdian Heroes on PC please.

  17. Malcolm_Ecks
    March 23, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    There’s Guardian Hereos, also known as the best brawler not called Rivier City Ransom of all time. It was put on the Sega Saturn though so that explains things…

  18. Zombie_Barioth
    March 23, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    What in the world did i just read?

    This post has more holes in it than swiss cheese.XD

  19. Darkrulershadowlord007
    March 23, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I hope they don’t close, nedd another Sin and Punishment in my life.

  20. Thanatos2k
    March 23, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Damn shame if true, but what the heck have they been doing lately? I haven’t played a Treasure game since the excellent Bleach DS fighter.

  21. Edith Reese!
    Edith Reese!
    March 24, 2016 at 6:01 am


  22. Edith Reese!
    Edith Reese!
    March 24, 2016 at 6:05 am

    New fag? -_- I was around in the mid 2000s when I looked up a few of their games online on sites like YouTube. People like you are the reason why our generation is so fucked up right now!

    This and the March 22 attacks are making me wanna go live in a cave for the next 20 years.


    March 24, 2016 at 10:25 am

    That’s a weird thing to say, considering it’s literally their first game.

  24. alterku
    March 24, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I know. I probably wouldn’t comment on an article with someone not weird or important to say. I also realize it might be a weird opinion, which I why I’m seeking others’ opinions on their games, and why they might be memorable.

  25. alterku
    March 24, 2016 at 10:29 am

    True enough. I’ve heard of Guardian Heroes, seen some gameplay; didn’t realize that was Treasure. It was very pretty.

    March 24, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Well, memorable and Treasure unfortunately don’t go hand in hand. Their games always were critically praised but not very popular, at least in mainstream circles. And yes Gunstar Heroes is probably their most popular game.

    If you want Treasure recommendations, depending on your preferences you can try looking at:

    Guardian Heroes
    Mischief Makers
    Dynamite Headdy
    Radiant Silvergun
    Sin and Punishment
    Silhouette Mirage

    They are usually known for their insane over-the-top arcade-style action games, if you’re a fan of that, give them a look, because they’re one of the best at what they do. And if you already know Gunstar Heroes, then that’s a good representative of their style, crazy action, lot’s of explosions, chaos, and they shine the best on bosses.

  27. orbo
    March 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

    lol what the heck? I’m not even sure of what you’re complaining about.
    I said it’s my favorite platformer, not that it’s the only game I know of that they made.

  28. eltonBorges
    March 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Companies like them should keep making smaller games. They know how to be creative, so, they should try to use it to their advantage! And, by the way, re-release their games everywhere. Their creations are fantastic, and it would be great for them, and for the gaming to culture, to see their games, well ported, to more consoles and PCs.

  29. vonSanneck
    March 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    You forgot Alien Soldier, but that is the higher level game you play after getting accustomed to Gunstar Heroes.

    March 27, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I actually got Alien Soldier a few months ago but still haven’t gotten around to hunker down and play it properly.

    I’m looking forward to recommending it as well, since everything about it sounds fucking amazing.

  31. catazxy
    March 28, 2016 at 5:48 am

    i think you mean “Ikaruga” (not”Ikagura”) but I never even heard of any game on that list….

  32. MLG Barroth
    MLG Barroth
    March 30, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    whatd he say????

  33. Budispalm
    June 20, 2016 at 9:28 am

    There was a remaster on XblA, And a lesser well received, inferior squeal on gba.

  34. Budispalm
    June 20, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Nintendo are the ones at this time who have the resources to help these guys out. Nintendo lacks a team with treasures expertise. I think they should forge a partnership. Sin and Punishment and Mischief makers (even though the rights to this game are a messy affair) were really cool examples. Even the wario experiment was pretty interesting, espesially how they tried to use the unique layout of the gc controller. These are the guys who could have done something interesting with the wii u pad. And Ikaruga and the gba game that came from treasure were great. Hope they do not fade away into obscurity.

  35. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Or Sillhouette Mirage 2. Or Dynamite Headdy 2.
    At least we got Gunstar Super Heros, Astro Boy: Omega Factor, and the DS Bleach game.

  36. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    And Code pf Princess for 3DS and PC, which is a pseudo-sequel from the lead gameplay designers and artists of Guardian Heroes.

  37. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Get Code of Princess. From the artists and lead gameplay designers of Guardian Heroes.

  38. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Except Transformers, Revengeance, TMNT, and Star Fox. Probably one of the most overrated devs out there.

  39. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    And Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA), Astro Boy: Omega Factor(“), YuYu Hakusho (Megadrive…go download the english patched ROM now, one of the most innovative fighters ever made), and Bleach (DS).

  40. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    They made an amazing sequel for the GBA.

  41. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I thought the Ronald McDonald game or YuYu Hakusho was?

  42. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Seriously. Four players, different fighting planes (a la Guardian Heroes and Fatal Fury), combos, supers, super cancels…waaaay ahead of its time. And just look at it.

  43. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm


  44. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 12, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Did you ever play their MD Yuyu Hakusho fighter? Supers, cancels, super cancels, multi-plane fighting, four players, combos. All way before any game had those.

  45. Immahnoob
    August 13, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Except none of those besides Star Fox.

  46. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    You liked TMNT? That’s…eh…super for you. I thought the rest were trash too, but I can understand why tge weaboo set and/or fans of the propertes would dig them. Platinum does good stuff when they are working on original IPs. The stuff they do to keep the lights on is usually forgettable and dull.

  47. Malcolm_Ecks
    August 13, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Game isn’t that good. Runs on nothing optimally and is frankly boring.

  48. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 13, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Oh, I loved it to bits!

  49. Immahnoob
    August 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    No, I don’t like it, I was talking about the combat system… You seem to dislike the Platinum Games formula regardless so whatever I say won’t change your mind on the matter even if their combat system works.
    As for Star Fox, the PG formula isn’t there and the game in general is a clunky mess.

  50. Brad Fang
    Brad Fang
    August 14, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I like Bayonetta, the sequel, Vanquish, and Wonderful 101. As I said, their original IPs are/were great. The combat in Devastation and TMNT reminded me of that one “special” kid who I played action figures with as a kid at the playground. He would just belt out the theme songs and bash his figure into mine all spastically, bloodying my knuckles.

  51. Immahnoob
    August 15, 2016 at 3:38 am

    What about Revengeance then? You mentioned that too when the combat is the same.

  52. Thanatos
    August 15, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I played their Bleach fighter on DS. That was pretty good.

  53. Machwulf
    November 23, 2016 at 7:46 am

    I’ve gotten back into Saturn emus JUST for Guardian-Heroes, would gladly buy it for my Steam library- ESPECIALLY w/ graphic upgrades!

  54. Parasitepaladin
    August 28, 2017 at 2:53 am

    So so very sad. :(