New Lufia III information leaves future in doubt

   The third installment in the classic Lufia series seems to be on very shaky ground indeed. Lufia III : Ruins Chasers was originally announced in June for a release on the Sony Playstation, to be developed by Never-Land Company (reported incorrectly earlier as tri-ACE), and published by Nihon-Flex in Japan. A North American release would then follow by Natsume Inc., publishers of Lufia II. In July, however, it was announced that Nihon-Flex was filing for bankruptcy, and that the possibility of a release at all was uncertain at best.

   Now, further information has been revealed, and the reactions are mixed. RPGamer has learned that, apparently, the development on the project has come to a grinding halt, and may not resume for several months. The difficulties stem from a funding problem that the companies are attempting to resolve.

   Additionally, should the project continue, Yasunori Shiono, the original musical composer of the first two games in the series, may or may not return to create the score for the game. The situation is similar to Final Fantasy VIII, where Nobuo Uematsu was originally uncertain of whether or not to return to work on the project (which he eventually did).

   RPGamer spoke with Natsume Inc. on the possibility of the game being canceled entirely. Natsume could understandably not comment on the future of the game, however, they did explain that the rights to the series are still held by Taito, the original developer and publisher, and that a great deal of video game companies have been negatively affected by the chaos in the Japanese economy lately. Curiously enough, we discovered that the release date for Lufia III has been modified on Natsume's home page, changed from the 2nd quarter of 1999 to the 4th quarter of the same year. This could indicate that Natsume has something up their sleeves, despite the uncertainty in the game's future. Expect RPGamer to stay on top of the story and bring you more information as it comes!

Source: [Forfeit Island and Natsume Inc.]

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