AlphaDream, the developer behind the iconic Mario & Luigi RPG series, has filed for bankruptcy, according to Yahoo! Japan. The company struggled with revenue and development costs in recent years, leaving them at least 400 million yen ($3.7 million) in debt as of March 2018.
The company was first founded in May 1991 as a construction company called Mente Tomo. As they shifted their focus toward video games in the early 2000s, they briefly changed their name to AlphaStar Soft before settling on AlphaDream.
Mario & Luigi, their biggest series, first started on the Game Boy Advance in 2003 with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. AlphaDream later went on to develop four more entries in the series, including Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time on DS, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story on DS, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team on 3DS, and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, a crossover between the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario series on 3DS. Superstar Saga and Bowser’s Inside Story eventually saw remakes, also developed by AlphaDream, released as Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions and Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey on 3DS, the latter being the company’s final game.
Aside from Mario & Luigi, the company also developed numerous Japan-only games, in addition to a few Hamtaro games that saw Western releases.
The Mario & Luigi series put a spin on the traditional Super Mario games, allowing players to control Mario and Luigi simultaneously. Through them, players could explore various worlds and battle enemies in RPG-style fights. The games often featured other characters not seen in other Mario games, with plots completely unique to this series.
Now that AlphaDream has filed for bankruptcy, it’s unclear what the future for the Mario & Luigi series is. The most recent game, Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey, released earlier this year, and there has been no word of any other titles beyond this one. These games were generally well-regarded among fans, so it would be a shame to see the series end this way.