According to a Twitter source, user HDKirin, Nippon Ichi Software, a Japanese studio that has been active in the industry since the mid-90s and is most famous for their Disgaea and Marl Kingdom tactical RPG series, is currently facing financial issues. HDKirin also reports that, according to a Japanese source, the studio is unable to pay the salaries of its employees, and has now resorted to a “Moving Strike Warrant” as a last resort at keeping the studio afloat.
News of Disgaea RPG (smartphone game that's now delayed indefinitely) has resurfaced in a bad way.
Reports starting to come out that NIS is not able to pay the salaries of its employees & have resorted to a MS (Moving Strike) Warrant as a last resort. https://t.co/ICVtR95bnY pic.twitter.com/CIig3Zy2Se
— HDKirin (@HDKirin) May 18, 2019
The company’s financial troubles are not exactly recent, it has been struggling for quite some time due to poor sales of their games in Japan. Following the release of their latest mobile game, titled Disgaea RPG, which had its own technical issues, the company is now unable to meet the payroll budget required to pay employees.
Therefore, in order to raise the capital required to pay for the development staff’s labor costs, the company has resorted to a stock market measure called a Moving Strike (MS) Warrant, which is a method of raising funds that cannot be acquired through the usual options, such as borrowing from banks and investors. This happens when a company already has a deficit. Nippon Ichi now has to sell its stocks at a lower price in order to raise the staff’s payroll costs, but since the stocks will decline in value in the long-term as a consequence, the company’s investors will also be affected by the measure.
Japanese readers can confirm the news from Japanese news site Ha-Navi, which notes that, on March 19, the Disgaea RPG was launched in Japan as a collaboration effort between Nippon Ichi and Forwardworks, which is a Sony subsidiary. However, the game as a service had to undergo long-term maintenance and has been shut down. As of this writing, the game is still not available, and the company is unable to attain revenue.
You can also read the official statement from Forwardworks, and the company apologized to players for the issues. You can also see an announcement from May 17 on the game’s Twitter account below, which encourages players who purchased items by March 31 to submit an inquiry over email. Note that this takes place almost two months after the game was shut down, which shows the issues the company is facing not just financially, but also in terms of daily operations of customer support.
— 【公式】魔界戦記ディスガイアRPG (@Disgaea_App) May 17, 2019
What do you think of Nippon Ichi’s financial troubles? Is the Moving Strike Warrant enough to restore balance to the company? Let us know in the comments below!