Legendary RPG studio Tri-Ace, whose name you might know from franchises like Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile, looks to be in some trouble. The studio's financial results for the last fiscal year are in, and they're not looking good, especially when compared to the previous year.
Over on Japanese industry site Gamebiz (with additional reporting courtesy of RPGSite), a breakdown of Tri-Ace's fiscal year leading up to June 2022 shows that the studio's sales fell by 43% year-on-year. In the 2021 fiscal year, Tri-Ace made $1.67 million in terms of operating profit, but by 2022, that figure transformed into a $4.34 million loss.
Overall, Tri-Ace's final figures for the 2022 fiscal year show a $4.75 million deficit, with Gamebiz declaring Tri-Ace "insolvent" (we're using machine translation for the article, which is in Japanese). This is definitely not a good situation for Tri-Ace to be in, so the studio will likely be hoping that lots of people buy the upcoming Star Ocean: The Divine Force.
So, why have Tri-Ace's finances been so bad this year? There could be a few reasons for the studio's dire situation. First off, Tri-Ace arguably hasn't had a big hit for a while, with recent Star Ocean installments failing to set the world on fire. 2018's remaster of cult RPG Resonance of Fate wasn't exactly destined to be a huge seller for the company either.
As pointed out by RPGSite, there's also the fact that mobile gacha RPG Star Ocean: Anamnesis was shut down in Japan last year, having already been closed down in the West back in 2019. Gacha mobile games can be a hugely profitable source of income for developers, and although we can't see a granular breakdown of Tri-Ace's finances, this is likely to be a large contributing factor to the problem.
Tri-Ace's next game is Star Ocean: The Divine Force, which launches for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on October 27th. You can pre-order it here if you're so inclined.