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Mario & Luigi RPG developer AlphaDream files for bankruptcy

The team behind the acclaimed Mario & Luigi RPGs has filed for bankruptcy and will close its doors after 19 years.

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In one of the more stunning pices of gaming news to come along in some time, a seemingly-successful development studio is closing its doors. AlphaDream, the developer behind the popular Mario & Luigi series for Nintendo, has officially filed for bankruptcy and will shut down after 19 years.

The story comes out of Yahoo Japan (via GoNintnedo), which notes that the company is over 465 million yen ($4.3 million) in debt. Rising development costs and sluggish revenues have been the key factors in AlphaDream's rising debt and the company has been unable to recover from its snowballing deficits.

Mario & Luigi AlphaDream

Nintendo fans may recognize AlphaDream as the name behind the aforementioned Mario & Luigi series of RPGs on Nintendo's various handhelds. Their first project was 2003's Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga on the Game Boy Advance, a slightly different spin on the Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario formula. In this game, players would use one button to control Mario and another to control Luigi, as they both ran through the Mushroom Kingdom on new adventures. The game's raucous humor and fun takes on the classic Mushroom Kingdom characters made the game a hit, leading to several sequels. The newest chapter from AlphaDream was 2016's Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, which was then followed by 3DS remasters of AlphaDream's previous efforts. The series was so rich in story and humor that Shacknews even thought about how a potential Mario movie could learn from these outstanding efforts.

While Nintendo will undoubtedly have no trouble moving forward with its franchises, AlphaDream's closure is a sad occasion given its contributions to Nintendo lore. The studio's RPG efforts played a great part in giving some of the Mario characters the personalities that they still exhibit to this day, especially Luigi as a cowardly, boisterous younger brother.

No word on how many jobs are expected to be lost by these bankruptcy proceedings.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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