Latest Developer Bankruptcy: CING, Little King\'s Story Creators

by VGChartz Staff, posted on 08 March 2010 / 2,876 Views

A critically-praised-but-commercially-ignored Nintendo development team since 2005, CING has had a handful of original titles hit both the Wii and the DS.  Hotel Dusk, Trace Memory, and Little King's Story were well-received by the gaming media, but just too unique for the House that Mario Built.  Their most recent title, Last Window, hit Japan in January and once again failed to meet sales expectations (hopes?).

On March 1, 2010, CING filed for bankruptcy, citing liabilities of 256 million yen.  What's next?  Will they limp along like 3D Realms, or fade into obscurity...?

It's sad when Hannah Montana on DS can sell over 2.5 million while Little King's Story, one of the finest Wii games in the system's history, goes unappreciated, unbought, and unplayed.

So long, CING.  We miss you already.

Source: NeoGAF via Nintendo Everything

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Arfen (on 08 March 2010)

Thi is sad... another code, hotel dusk, little king's story. such a great games!!! Nintendo is blind!! You have a little studio developping good exclusive games for your systems and you don't do anything... meda support, promocion, distribuition... And you ask later why don't have the 3rd party support and the favour of hardcore gamers? you just prefered do nothing and let escape a possibility to create a solid game base for your consoles and a bigger number of traditional gamers..... stupid!!!

oni-link (on 08 March 2010)

I think Nintendo should just buy the developer outright. Given the fact that they are headed for bankruptcy with a liability of $2.5 million Nintendo could easily pick up another great team for less than the cost to develop a Wii title.

Imphamis (on 08 March 2010)


loves2splooge (on 08 March 2010)

@Faxanadu Yeah 170k sales worldwide might have been enough for Little King's Story to break even. Given the game's low budget, it's not a stretch to think it was successful. I think Cing is going under because of Last Window (only ~40k in Japan, way down from Wish Room's 220k), Another Code R (~30k in JP) and Again (1k in JP first week according to Famitsu. Ouch). Those are all text-heavy adventure games. While Wii and DS are cheaper to develop for, writing text-heavy games is labour intensive. Cing's poor performance in Japan in 2009 and 2010 was their nail in the coffin. Little King's Story performed respectably in the west. Had Nintendo decided to localize Another Code R for NA and had they simultaneously released Last Window in Japan and North America (just like they did with Hotel Dusk), Cing wouldn't be bankrupt today. Again is another Cing game that would have benefited from a simultaneous release in North America. It sold only 1k in Japan first week. But I'd imagine that it would sell a lot better in North America. What can we learn from this? Even niche Japanese games need to rely on the lucrative North American market. You can't just rely on Japan. Nintendo you jerks. You can't be keeping these Japanese games away from us anymore. Doing so endangers the livelihood of talented, quality small Japanese studios like Cing.

pariz (on 08 March 2010)

Come on Nintendo. Do something!

guiduc (on 08 March 2010)

NOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo...... So sad!

XiaoMay (on 08 March 2010)

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!!

MaxArt (on 08 March 2010)

That's terrible! Those guys really had innovative ideas. I really loved Hotel Dusk...

Rhonin the wizard (on 08 March 2010)

Cing co-developed LKS with Town Factory.

NoirSon (on 08 March 2010)

I put this more on the publishers then the developers. Although CING really did stay firmly in the niche category. But LKS if promoted a bit might have worked out better. But lately most publishers are content to just put games out there and don't advertise expecting either the Internet or WoM to do so. Which does happen but it is like a once or twice a console generation and usually it has to be with easy games or ones that are great multiplayer affairs that the average gamer can sit, watch someone else play and have fun. Honestly, I think LKS overall is very good game. Although it's main character might be a little too cute to plaster on its cover and expect gamers to take it seriously, when barely anyone mentions the game.

dark_gh0st_b0y (on 08 March 2010)

LKS failed bacause of awful marketing, and the lack of promotion... something similar happened to Mushroom Men, but this is more dramatic.... Nintendo's marketing for example could make LKS sell at least 3 million...

dark_gh0st_b0y (on 08 March 2010)

well, Little King's Story is an awesome game, but they couldn't advertise it, could they? not even a bit, they game could be huge, also, X-Seed and Rising Star have awful marketing in both Europe and USA they could give it to Nintendo or Sega to publish.... : (

blunty51 (on 08 March 2010)

noooooooo it's just not fair..

Raze (on 08 March 2010)

Bankruptcy doesnt always mean the end of a company. We should know this by now. Many companies use bankruptcy to reorganize their finances.

Podings (on 08 March 2010)

Nintendo should totally buy out these guys. Help them get their footing again. I love their games, AND... I want to play as Ashley in the next Smash Bros.

Hephaestos (on 08 March 2010)

considering dev costs on PS360 I don't see how that would spread the risks... If you talk arcade/PSN/wiiware games, then maybe...

dolemit3 (on 08 March 2010)

They should've made some PS3/360 games to spread the risks. A sad day for the team for sure.

Siko1989 (on 08 March 2010)

@Jumpin we should try sending Nintendo an Email and beg them to buy these awesome studio lol

Siko1989 (on 08 March 2010)

PeteyPeeps thats the problem man LKS is very hard to find.. i been looking for it for months now lol

Jumpin (on 08 March 2010)

This team also seems to mesh well with Nintendo's philosophy.

Jumpin (on 08 March 2010)

I agree that Nintendo would do well to buy these guys, they're very talented. They just need someone who can push their games out in the hundreds of thousands to millions each.

Sapphire (on 08 March 2010)

they had great games so the sequel of Hotel Dusk wont come to US????

PeteyPeeps (on 08 March 2010)

Sad day in gaming ... Cing actually made my fav 2 DS games, and my favourite wii game to date ... HOTEL DUSK is one of the best games of all time, closely followed by the bliss of ' another code ' Buy the games people ... they are amazing! Little King Story is the best wii game out there! CING i love you! dont leave me!

Shonen (on 08 March 2010)

Nintendo will give than a hand ... You can take note of that.

Cobretti2 (on 08 March 2010)

So many stupid people here. It failed because it was on Wii? what about all the HD studios who closed their doors? Also off course Hanna Montana will sell. it is on TV for kids to watch. They already have an emotional attachment to the name. Little King Story is a small game. Only the hard core gamer would know about it. If there was a kids show about it this would of sold awesome too.

Silver-Tiger (on 08 March 2010)

Buy LKS people, you won't regret it.

Siko1989 (on 08 March 2010)

Nintendo should buy these people out so they can be saved.. i mean they earned billions of dollars from the wii and DS, its time to start buying fine studios that are having trouble making a success...

DrPollit0 (on 08 March 2010)

Very bad news. There were a great and very original team. It's a problem of the industry, not only Wii.

LordTheNightKnight (on 08 March 2010)

"This sad news story proves what Michael (from Epic who was on WTF moments) said was very true." I hope it wasn't claiming Nintendo magically makes these game sell less on their systems. And sure it's sad that Hanna Montana can sell. Licensed games often sell due to the established fanbase. It's not anything new.

huaxiong90 (on 08 March 2010)

Such a shame. LKS was a good game.

Faxanadu (on 08 March 2010)

Honestly, while 170k sales for LKS isnt the greatest, it should have made sufficient revenues, being what it is.

axumblade (on 08 March 2010)

"It's sad when Hannah Montana on DS can sell over 2.5 million while Little King's Story, one of the finest Wii games in the system's history, goes unappreciated, unbought, and unplayed." Amen. :[

Wonktonodi (on 08 March 2010)

This is such a shame I really enjoyed Little King's Story.

routsounmanman (on 08 March 2010)

Too all of the people saying Wii and DS are oblivious to leading companies to losses. Too sad... I loved LKS...

Bruno Muñoz (on 08 March 2010)

Here's Cing's entire development history + sales in Japan: 2003 - Glass Rose (Capcom) - 6k 2005 - Another Code (Nintendo) - 105k 2007 - Wish Room (Nintendo) - 212k 2009 - Another Code R (Nintendo) - 10k 2009 - Little King's Story (Marvelous) - 6k 2009 - Again (Tecmo) - 1k 2010 - Last Window (Nintendo) - 31k

Hephaestos (on 08 March 2010)

I have a few of their games... didn't start them yet for most, but the little of hotel dusk I played was pretty nice.

elzumo (on 08 March 2010)

Awful news, but not unexpected given that their last several games bombed...

hsrob (on 08 March 2010)

That is a shame. @SinZinDetta: because no 360/PS3 developers have gone belly up this generation....

Strife91 (on 08 March 2010)

Shit. This was one of my favorite studios. That's it! I'm getting Another Code R now! Hopefully Last Window will reach Europe too and I will get it.

SinZinDetta (on 08 March 2010)

That is what you get making Wii games.

Avarice28 (on 08 March 2010)

I believe that they should have gone multiplat and supplied the other consoles with their games. Or they could have just ported their games to the PS2 and would have enjoyed a large reward for doing so. Sad to see a good company go.

younghavok (on 08 March 2010)

bankruptcy doesnt mean they wont continue making games. It just means they are protecting themselves from the lawsuits they are about to be hit with by the employees who may not be happy with their checks.

Xen (on 08 March 2010)

They made some pretty great games, it's a sad loss.

M.U.G.E.N (on 08 March 2010)

Sad to hear

demonfox13 (on 08 March 2010)

This sad news story proves what Michael (from Epic who was on WTF moments) said was very true. Cheers Hannah Montana, I hope they release you on the Wii as well.

Zlejedi (on 08 March 2010)

Now that's suprising because if you look at common knowledge on VGC board making Wii games is pure profits and you only bancrupt when you do HD games. LKS would probably do much better if they released it as $10-15 title on PSN/Live.