Project Prelude Rune Officially Cancelled by Square Enix; Studio Istolia Closes Down

Two years after its reveal, Project Prelude Rune is officially dead and buried.

Square Enix officially announced on May 14 that Project Prelude Rune was canceled. The game’s developing studio, Studio Istolia, was closed down as well. The employees of the studio will be relocated to other studios within Square Enix.

This announcement was made following the shutdown of the website and social media accounts related to Project Prelude Rune, and the departure of Hideo Baba, the project’s director, from Square Enix.

Announced in 2017, Project Prelude Rune was supposed to be a high budget JRPG launching on PS4, with inspiration from western fantasy. The game’s sole trailer was published with great pomp at Tokyo Game Show 2018.

I personally didn’t think Square Enix would officially cancel the game so soon and was expecting it to get into development hell at worst. Part of myself was expecting the game to come back in some way. Speaking on Scalebound, Platinum Games recently reminded everyone how when a game gets canceled, it means everyone screwed up.

Seeing the quality of the final Tales of games Hideo Baba worked on, and the Tales of Zestiria heroine fiasco, one could easily blame Hideo Baba for everything. I’m however convinced there’s something wrong with Square Enix’s top brass itself. I’m slowly starting to imagine a dark timeline with Final Fantasy 7 Remake‘s first part releasing rushed,  unfinished, and Tetsuya Nomura following the footsteps of Hajime Tabata. Hopefully, time will prove me wrong.