The creator and developer of the Mario & Luigi RPG series has filed for bankruptcy, Yahoo! Japan reports. Tokyo-based developer AlphaDream was founded in 1991 as Mente Tomo, and it later built a relationship with Nintendo for 2003's Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance. The company struggled to keep up with high development costs in its later years, building a debt of over ¥400 million ($3.7 million) by March 2018.
Throughout the studio's life, AlphaDream developed a number of critically-acclaimed titles in the Mario & Luigi series. Most recently, the developer worked on a Paper Mario crossover, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. The release was followed-up by two remakes of other titles in the series, with Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.s Journey in early 2019.
AlphaDream first started work on video game development when the name of the company was changed in 2001, shortly after former Square (now Square Enix) president Tetsuo Mizuno joined the company. In 2018, the company reportedly had 46 employees.
It has been indicated that the falling revenue could be attributed to the poor performance of the most recent Mario & Luigi games. Former senior editor of Game Informer Imran Khan reported that one source said the sales of the Bowser's Inside Story remake from this year were so poor that Nintendo decided to stop working on new titles for the 3DS.