Alphadream files for bankruptcy

LeftyGreenMario

Mushroom Kingdom's second greenest plumber
IDK they got a professional tennis player on board with high quality CGI puppet that lost to it. They tried hyping it all right.

Sure spin-off stuff is smaller but they're still profitable enough? Nintendo games do have high production values but it never seems to be quite the same as the so-called tumple argh games. I wish I can get an accurate estimation of production costs for Nintendo games, it'll give me a lot of perspective.
 

YoshiFlutterJump

Shine Sprite
Poll Committee
Let's not play the "this is Miyamoto's fault" game alright? Especially with AlphaDream. The only M&L game not to include "original characters" was Paper Jam and AD themselves flat out said it was their own decision to do that for that game.
I never even understood where all the Miyamoto hate comes from concerning Mario RPGs. Paper Jam had nothing to do with him, and for all we know, neither did Color Splash. What happened with Sticker Star was Miyamoto's remedy to Super Paper Mario's failure to acknowledge its Mario heritage, and while maybe that was a tad overboard, it was also entirely understandable.
 

LeftyGreenMario

Mushroom Kingdom's second greenest plumber
It's easy to blame one thing for a more complex set of problems.

Also it takes two to tango. It's not like Miyamoto has a stranglehold on the IP.
 

Glowsquid

Shine Sprite
Forum Moderator
Wiki Bureaucrat
Core 'Shroom Staff
Look, we also don't know what kind of internal financial management issues AlphaDream had. We can't lay the blame entirely on the 3DS games past Paper Jam alone, because they very well may be the symptoms of an ailing company using desperate, low-cost measures to earn what they lost back. The article itself even mentions management but I can't exactly tell what because of a poor Google translation.
This states they wasted a lot of money and time on the 3D feature of Dream Team: if *that* posed so much problem, I can't see AlphaDream transitioning well to HD development. (the account is a very reliable reporter of niche Japanese gaming industry news so I'm going to assume it's not nonsense). A recent job posting had them asking for people with Switch/PS4 experience so that may be part of the "rising costs" mentioned.

The whole BiS remake situation is just baffling to me. The Superstar Saga remake did low numbers (it topped out at 72k in Japan and while I don't have hard numbers for other territories, it didn't appear to do particularly well in the west either as it never topped NPD's 3DS chart) and while I presume it *could* have eked out some small profits due to the heavy asset reuse and corner cutting, following-it up with a game that had even less reasons to be remade while the Switch was out at the time was just a really stupid move.
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
IDK they got a professional tennis player on board with high quality CGI puppet that lost to it. They tried hyping it all right.

Sure spin-off stuff is smaller but they're still profitable enough? Nintendo games do have high production values but it never seems to be quite the same as the so-called tumple argh games. I wish I can get an accurate estimation of production costs for Nintendo games, it'll give me a lot of perspective.
Well for the sports games Mario Tennis always seemed to be the most well received of the bunch so I'd imagine that factors into it.
 

Baby Luigi Rescuing Mario

*insert Shakira music here*
The whole BiS remake situation is just baffling to me. The Superstar Saga remake did low numbers (it topped out at 72k in Japan and while I don't have hard numbers for other territories, it didn't appear to do particularly well in the west either as it never topped NPD's 3DS chart) and while I presume it *could* have eked out some small profits due to the heavy asset reuse and corner cutting, following-it up with a game that had even less reasons to be remade while the Switch was out at the time was just a really stupid move.
i think they thought that because bowser's inside story is their best-selling game, it would mean that a remake of that game would also copy that success. that's my only speculation why they chose that instead of remaking partners in time.
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
I feel like a new game with recycled assets would have done better for them. Maybe not MUCH better but the longtime fans would have probably picked it up.

Though if their financial troubles were as bad as they apparently are, might not have saved them in the end anyhow.
 

Pokerninja2

Goomba
I have to wonder if AlphaDream knew their days were numbered, and tried remaking what is often considered the best Mario & Luigi game as a sendoff for their fans even if it didn't make them enough profit. If that's the case, then looking at the sales numbers, it must be heartbreaking to them.
 

LeftyGreenMario

Mushroom Kingdom's second greenest plumber
while I presume it *could* have eked out some small profits due to the heavy asset reuse and corner cutting, following-it up with a game that had even less reasons to be remade while the Switch was out at the time was just a really stupid move.
Who knows, it might be just their last breath as well as how they're remaking Superstar Saga (to be fair, that remake generated some buzz and the timing of the second remake was just really bad as well as the oddly skipped Partners in Time). I still don't know what decline they're really going through but the Dream Team's struggle with drawing sprites suited for the 3DS "3D" feature is a piece of the puzzle that makes sense to me.

I feel like a new game with recycled assets would have done better for them. Maybe not MUCH better but the longtime fans would have probably picked it up.

Though if their financial troubles were as bad as they apparently are, might not have saved them in the end anyhow.
Yeah, might not have been worth the effort if they're going to go bankrupt anyway.

Wish we knew they were in a really bad spot financially. I mean, again, we got hints but at least bankruptcy would be more anticipated.

Well for the sports games Mario Tennis always seemed to be the most well received of the bunch so I'd imagine that factors into it.
I was impression it tends to be just as good as golf. In terms of Metacritic scores, Mario Strikers Charged had a respectable 79 score, World Tour has a very similar score of 78, Power Tennis had another very similar 80, Toadstool ditto 81. Aces had 75 (to be fair it was probably judged before the patches); this doesn't match Mario Golf 64 and Mario Tennis 64's spectacular 91 though. Mario Super Sluggers and Mario Sports mix hover around high 60-69 range, which is decent, not bad, but decent. Norm just seems to be high 70s though and I can't say Mario Tennis did way better than Golf or Strikers at least Metacritic wise. Sales, however, might be a different story.
 
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Glowsquid

Shine Sprite
Forum Moderator
Wiki Bureaucrat
Core 'Shroom Staff
One thing I saw pointed out is that AD's last game was not the BiS remake but a mobile game published by a company named ForwardWorks; ForwardWorks was notorious for thoroughsly cocking up the release of a Disgaea mobile game at great cost for its creators (though I don't know the specific) so that might also played a part.
 

Skuchi037

Goomba
Aw, dang it! That's just horrible! AlphaDream has been one of the best things to happen to Nintendo and the Mario series ever. Every Mario and Luigi game they've made is fantastic, and I'll really be sad to see them go. Ever since Dream Team I've been a fan of the series and I find all the games among the best Mario games ever. This is gonna suck to see them go.
 

Mister Wu

King Bowser
Wiki Patroller
Very sad to read this. I bought Superstar Saga when it was released and enjoyed pretty much every bit of it, I also got to play Partners in Time and actually enjoyed it as well even if it didn’t have the strong wackiness and personality of the first (also, I still get the impression that it was meant to all the areas in the present that were cut, limiting the exploration aspect of the game).

I hoped they were able to get back on track and release another wacky and high production value M&L game on Switch to give a new spin to the series, maybe after a different project to refresh them a little (it can be a bit problematic to only develop a single series of game), but at this point the reused assets and the more constrained wackiness of the SSS remake might as well have been the sign of the financial crisis they were experiencing.

I wish the best luck to all the people working at Alphadream, they still did an amazing job all this time as far as I can say!
 

TheSuperStarSaga

Cheep Cheep
I've been trying to refrain from commenting on the Miyamoto topic out of respect to other users because I know it can be annoying to people, but it keeps getting brought up again and again so I guess people are okay with talking about it.

I never even understood where all the Miyamoto hate comes from concerning Mario RPGs. Paper Jam had nothing to do with him, and for all we know, neither did Color Splash. What happened with Sticker Star was Miyamoto's remedy to Super Paper Mario's failure to acknowledge its Mario heritage, and while maybe that was a tad overboard, it was also entirely understandable.
Paper Jam is up to speculation, but to clear things up there is indeed a factual source where Tanabe says Miyamoto told him and the other developers not to include original characters in Color Splash as well.

Does it mean Miyamoto is responsible for the trend of original characters and story getting nerfed? Not necessarily. If anyone else reading this is familiar with me, by now you might be thinking I'm about to unload on Miyamoto, but nowdays I really don't think it's helpful anymore.

To answer your question as to why he gets blamed a lot: I think the reason is because he's seen as the catalyst with Sticker Star, the one who got the ball rolling with the direction of no original characters and less story, even if he wasn't responsible for the change in each game.

I can see both sides.
A: It's Miyamoto's fault. He told Sticker Star and Color Splash not to have original characters and less story.
B: It's not Miyamoto's fault. He didn't tell Paper Jam, MLSS+BM or MLBIS+BJJ to remove original characters. Also the other developers could have incorporated his instructions better.

Both are true, I think both sides have fair points and it would be nice if both sides could respect how each other came to their conclusions even if they disagree with said conclusions.

Over the years, I've come to realize that talking about this with focus and speculation on Miyamoto isn't helpful and goes nowhere. The main issue is the direction the series has taken, regardless of pointing fingers at who's to blame. It's more constructive to focus on the issue itself rather than on Miyamoto.

It's totally justified for fans to be upset that Paper Mario (perhaps Mario & Luigi to a lesser extent) had original characters removed and story nerfed, those elements were a core part of the charm to many people. When a series you love removes a feature that made it enjoyable to you: it's normal to feel sad, disappointed, upset and rant about it or criticize it.
 
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Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
You know, people always lump in colour splash with the no story thing like sticker star.

That's not really true, I mean it doesn't have as much of an emphasis on plot as say TTYD or SPM but it at least has as much of a plot as the first game does.
 

Baby Luigi Rescuing Mario

*insert Shakira music here*
I mean, just because Miyamoto requested to use characters from only the Mario family, he didn't mean "spam Toads" everywhere. There are plenty of existing Mario characters to use by the time Color Splash was out. Hell, they could make Goombas and Koopas friendly again and add sunglasses toting Koopas to distinguish who were the bad guys. I liked the idea of having Mario enemies being on friendly or neutral terms with Mario and I didn't like how there are no friendly NPCs outside of Toads anymore. So, even if they couldn't use stuff like the residents of the Twilight Town, they could still use Piantas, Nokis, Lumas, the Bees, Gearmos, Whittles, and named characters like Toadette, Toadsworth, etc.

And again, this has little to do with AlphaDream and the Mario & Luigi series. It's separate on what happened to Paper Jam. It was AlphaDream's own doing that they decided not to include new characters in a new setting. The remakes had some watered down things and reused many assets from Dream Team such as the Toads in Little Fungitown or the Koopas replacing the aviator ones, but that could have been the result of the company going through severe financial difficulties than a request and it still retained a combination of new designs for characters. Bowser Jr.'s Journey even introduced new original characters.
 

LeftyGreenMario

Mushroom Kingdom's second greenest plumber
We can argue about story and characters but I can't argue it's relevant to AlphaDream's bankruptcy. Dream Team had all that yet it didn't sell as well as Bowser's Inside Story. Why? I can't say for sure but maybe there's a bit of a burnout with Mario & Luigi games, maybe marketing was worse, maybe the DS had a far better install base, maybe the style wasn't too good, maybe playable Bowser was a more attractive gimmick than Dreamy Luigi. Certainly there's a combination of reasons. Developers cited the expenses of developing the Dream Team. The company was on red since March of 2018, just over one year ago, and remaking Superstar Saga to appease nostalgia, an old graphically dated game didn't help, especially when the game evidently cut a lot of corners. This also indicates it went on decline well before revenue turned red.
 

Vivian

Shadow Siren
On the note of SPM apparently not acknowledging Mario heritage sorry but I'm not seeing it. It may have featured original plot and characters more prominently but there were traditional Mario elements and references all over the place. An entire level is a throwback to Super Mario Bros. and there's multiple uses of the 4 characters' SMB1 sprites. Not to mention all the nods to PM and TTYD, not main games sure but previous Paper Mario games. As well as the Sammer Guys in general being full of nods to Mario games of all kinds-- even Mario & Luigi with the one that is obviously a reference to Fawful. Just because it focuses on a new world with new designs doesn't mean it didn't acknowledge its roots enough.

As for Paper Jam, it's true they stated it was an intentional decision of AlphaDream to avoid OCs but I definitely feel like had Paper Mario not set a precedence for that, it wouldn't have been a restriction in a crossover. Like say if Paper Jam had released when there were only 3 Paper Mario games and 3 Mario & Luigi games, absolutely none of them would have a precedence of restricting to only mainline characters so the idea of combining both flavors of characters, different counterparts, etc would probably be more of a focus vs. just having the main cast and their doubles. So Miyamoto didn't make the call for Paper Jam, but his call in Sticker Star indirectly influenced it.

Now that it might be curtains for the M&L series, I wonder two things: will Paper Mario be an RPG again now that it's the only one, and will Nintendo keep the colorful cast from the M&L games alive in the other Mario games now that they have no home? It'd be fitting imo, they were known for their great wacky characters and I'd hate to see them die for good.
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
I think you are jumping to conclusions there my friend.
 

Baby Luigi Rescuing Mario

*insert Shakira music here*
Honestly, this whole Miyamoto indirectly influencing things is connecting dots when there's only a very vague connection between the two. I wouldn't immediately make that conclusion because there's a lot of factors at play here, and that includes recovering the blowback from Dream Team having really expensive graphics, which is one of the few and only information we know of AlphaDream's financial problems. Again, they probably may have just recycled sprites from Sticker Star because it was the cheaper option than redrawing older characters in the style and while I guess you could argue that was also sorta a result of Miyamoto's request, it's still a very weak connection that I wouldn't attribute to him.

I never agreed with "they experimented with Color Splash because there are already two Mario RPGs" bit. It just sounds like a lot of doubling down made-up-on-the-spot PR guff as a result from the backfiring meltdown that was Sticker Star's poor gameplay system that Color Splash somewhat improved but still kept many of the problems from it. And I doubt Nintendo will keep the characters from M&L alive. Many other characters in so many other series are still left in the dust unused, and that even includes characters in the main games, such as Wart, the SMB3 kings, a bunch of named Sunshine characters...good luck seeing something like the Broodals in another Mario game btw. SMRPG characters aside from Geno aren't used at all. I think if M&L aren't resurrected, the characters won't be, and that's just the sad reality.
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
It's not like the M&L games themselves re-used most of the stuff they made apart from like, 3 or 4 specific people so I'm not counting on them to make any future appearances outside of it. Especially since the most popular character to come out of the series really only has a fanbase here in north america.
 

LeftyGreenMario

Mushroom Kingdom's second greenest plumber
As for Paper Jam, it's true they stated it was an intentional decision of AlphaDream to avoid OCs but I definitely feel like had Paper Mario not set a precedence for that, it wouldn't have been a restriction in a crossover. Like say if Paper Jam had released when there were only 3 Paper Mario games and 3 Mario & Luigi games, absolutely none of them would have a precedence of restricting to only mainline characters so the idea of combining both flavors of characters, different counterparts, etc would probably be more of a focus vs. just having the main cast and their doubles. So Miyamoto didn't make the call for Paper Jam, but his call in Sticker Star indirectly influenced it.
I'm not sure myself. I thought AlphaDream wanted to avoid OCs from either series because it'll start being a convoluted mess which would run afoul of elegance that Mario's known for. I can't say what the resource cost will be because in Paper Jam, we're seeing Mario enemies getting new sprites too which would technically be new assets. Either way, Paper Jam seems to be right at that point where AlphaDream's games declined in quality (although people might still argue that Partners in Time just is worse than Dream Team or Paper Jam) and where the company may have been losing revenue, so that could also factor for the lack of OCs rather than some conscious choice to stick to "mainstream" because Miyamoto told Sticker Star to do so. I would argue it's not logical to look at two similar negative aspects of a game (the lack of OC characters) and then argue the two have a direct relationship, that one influenced the other when there could be confounding factors such as the aforementioned revenue problems AlphaDream had, Nintendo didn't like OCs from an even earlier date such as their displeasure with Super Paper Mario (to be fair, that's speculation), and AlphaDream simply didn't want characters cluttering the plot compared to Sticker Star just paring down everything about Paper Mario;and if those two negative aspects are actually similar at all.

As I said, most of this is speculation, however so this is just my two cents. You might be correct, even that it's in tandem with the factors I've listd.
 

TheSuperStarSaga

Cheep Cheep
I mean, just because Miyamoto requested to use characters from only the Mario family, he didn't mean "spam Toads" everywhere. There are plenty of existing Mario characters to use by the time Color Splash was out. Hell, they could make Goombas and Koopas friendly again and add sunglasses toting Koopas to distinguish who were the bad guys. I liked the idea of having Mario enemies being on friendly or neutral terms with Mario and I didn't like how there are no friendly NPCs outside of Toads anymore. So, even if they couldn't use stuff like the residents of the Twilight Town, they could still use Piantas, Nokis, Lumas, the Bees, Gearmos, Whittles, and named characters like Toadette, Toadsworth, etc.
For sure. Like I said, the argument that the other developers could have incorporated his instructions better is fair too.

And again, this has little to do with AlphaDream and the Mario & Luigi series. It's separate on what happened to Paper Jam. It was AlphaDream's own doing that they decided not to include new characters in a new setting. The remakes had some watered down things and reused many assets from Dream Team such as the Toads in Little Fungitown or the Koopas replacing the aviator ones, but that could have been the result of the company going through severe financial difficulties than a request and it still retained a combination of new designs for characters. Bowser Jr.'s Journey even introduced new original characters.
Regarding AlphaDream I only mentioned it because Miyamoto kept being brought up again and again in the thread. The weird thing about the remake using Dream Team/Paper Jam sprites is that they actually weren't. They were made new from the ground up:

Not to say that this was because of Miyamoto. I'm guessing they made new sprites to suit a different camera angle as you can see more of the top of the Toad and Koopa's heads. While they were making them anew I don't know why they couldn't add an aviation suit as well.

We can argue about story and characters but I can't argue it's relevant to AlphaDream's bankruptcy. Dream Team had all that yet it didn't sell as well as Bowser's Inside Story. Why? I can't say for sure but maybe there's a bit of a burnout with Mario & Luigi games, maybe marketing was worse, maybe the DS had a far better install base, maybe the style wasn't too good, maybe playable Bowser was a more attractive gimmick than Dreamy Luigi. Certainly there's a combination of reasons. Developers cited the expenses of developing the Dream Team. The company was on red since March of 2018, just over one year ago, and remaking Superstar Saga to appease nostalgia, an old graphically dated game didn't help, especially when the game evidently cut a lot of corners. This also indicates it went on decline well before revenue turned red.
I agree, there's really no way to speculate on why they went bankrupt unless more information comes out.
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
You'd think they already owned it what with it starring their characters but apparently not.
 

Baby Luigi Rescuing Mario

*insert Shakira music here*
I think the article means that they own the rights to make the game in one of their in-house studios or something. I mean, I assumed Mario & Luigi had always been legally their property, but now, it's solely theirs and they can outsource the IP to whatever dev they want.
 
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