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Square Enix Announces Project Prelude Rune

by Matt Miller on Feb 21, 2017 at 06:47 AM

Square Enix has branched out into numerous genres in recent years, but the publisher will always be inextricably tied with the Japanese role-playing game genre. In keeping with that tradition, the publisher today revealed the founding of a new studio called Studio Istolia, along with the premiere project from the new developer – a mysterious new RPG codenamed Project Prelude Rune. 

Square Enix is being pretty cagey about the content of the new role-playing game, sharing only a brief description of what fans can expect from the story. “The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life,” reads the announcement press release. “Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.” 

While we don’t know too much about the new game, the leadership of Studio Istolia offers some hints about what we can expect. Studio head and Project Prelude Rune producer Hideo Baba has a long history in RPG development, primarily as a producer on Namco Bandai’s Tales series, including recent entries Tales of Xillia and Tales of Zestiria. Istolia is also tied to a Greek word meaning “story,” which seems to suggest the general focus for the team. 

We'll keep an eye on Studio Istolia, and share news about the in-progress RPG as we learn more.


Our Take
Square Enix has made some big moves in recent weeks, most notably a new partnership with Marvel. Even as the publisher continues to broaden its palette, it is clear that the publisher isn’t losing touch with its original identity as a hotbed for RPG development.