Following the reports about extensive layoffs happened at Sekai Project’s Los Angeles offices, the publisher’s CEO Christopher Ling provided a comment on the Kickstarter page of the virtual reality visual novel Tokyo Chronos.
According to Ling, the layoffs were executed as a “difficult and unfortunate” decision due to the necessity of restructuring the company to adapt to the changes of the market.
That being said, Tokyo Chronos won’t be affected. The majority of the Kickstarter funding is going directly to the developers at studio MyDearest, and none of the staff laid off was directly involved with the project. Tokyo Otaku Mode, which will take care of Kickstarter fulfillment is also unaffected.
Ling also promises to reform Sekai Project to continue bringing exciting projects to the fans and “bounce back better than before.”
Below you can read the full comment:
“As some of you may or may not already know, we at Sekai Project had to make the difficult and unfortunate decision to layoff some of our staff at the company. Due to the necessity of restructuring the company to better take on the changes in the market, these layoffs were an unfortunate consequence. This was not a decision that came easily and we sincerely thank them for their commitment and time with us.
So how does this affect the status of TOKYO CHRONOS? Essentially, there will be nothing that will affect this campaign. The majority of the funds raised in the campaign is going to the developer who is unaffected by the restructuring that’s taking place at Sekai Project. Also, none of the staff that were let go are involved with the development, localization, or production of this project. Fulfillment is also being handled by Tokyo Otaku Mode which also will be unaffected by anything that has occurred. Please rest assured that we will see this project to the end and are committed to working with MyDearest, Tokyo Otaku Mode and Limited Run Games to bring you this fantastic game.
At the same time, we are also committed to instituting the proper reforms to Sekai Project so that we can continue to bring exciting projects like TOKYO CHRONOS to the masses. We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received from our backers and we’d like to assure everyone that Sekai Project will bounce back better than before.”
As always, our hearts are with those affected by the layoffs, and we hope that they’ll manage to land on their feet.
Tokyo Chronos is currently six days away from the end of its Kickstarter campaign. At the moment of this writing, it gathered $57,075 in pledges of its $75,000 goal.
Recently, we heard that the game’s backers will have access to physical PS4 copies courtesy of Limited Run Games. Tokyo Chronos attracted the attention and enthusiasm of veterans of the industry like Muv-Luv creator Koki Yoshimune.
Update: Sekai Project provided a further official statement on its official website, mentioning that most of the staff laid off was part of the marketing team, and that the rest of the staff is still hard at work on current projects.
“Most of the staff that was let go over the course of the year was in marketing, whereas translation, programming, editing and QC are still diligently working on current and future projects. In the coming days, the company will be going through a restructure so we can be more nimble, focused, proactive and more like the company we were when we first started.”
We also get a detailed update about said projects.
- We just submitted all the necessary paperwork for the EU release of Root Double: Before Crime * After Days and once we get approval from SIE, it can then be scheduled for release.
- Project LUX has just been submitted for FQA to Sony. Once that’s been cleared we can begin the process of getting it ready for release on Playstation VR
- Console port for fault – milestone one is in progress with a technology demo showcased here.
- Fatal Twelve fulfillment is still scheduled to proceed at the end of the month. Please remember to update your shipping addresses if you are expecting physical rewards.
- Designs for A Light in the Dark goods have been finalized and will be printed at the end of the month.
- Translation checks and re-editing of Hoshizora Memoria is in progress.
- Canvas Garden, Love’s Sweet Garnish, is almost done with QA and will be ready for release this month, pending Valve approval.
- E.N.Nach’s, CyberRebeat -The Fifth Domain of Warfare-, is almost done with QA and will be ready for release this month.
- Regarding Gate Vol. 2, this addressed previously here.
- My Girlfriend is a Mermaid!? translation is still in progress. Developer updates will be posted to the Kickstarter campaign as they come.
- TOKYO CHRONOS development is still in progress. Translation will begin once the campaign concludes.
- Engine porting for A Clockwork Ley-Line is in progress but more difficult than expected due to an older version of the engine being ported to a newer one.