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Kirby Support Studio Vanpool Shuts Down

Kirby Support Studio Vanpool Shuts Down - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 June 2023 / 2,840 Views

Tokyo-based studio, Vanpool, has shut down as of May 31, according to the official website for the developer.

"We have continued to develop games thanks to everyone's kindness, but due to various circumstances, we have decided to disband," reads a post on the official website.

"We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the patronage we have received from all of you, and apologize for any inconvenience caused."

Vanpool was founded in 1999 and mainly focused on developing games for Nintendo platforms. It developed the Nintendo-published Dillon series and co-developed four Kirby games with HAL Laboratory. The Kirby games are Super Kirby Clash, Kirby Fighters 2, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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rapsuperstar31 (on 01 June 2023)

That's a bummer, these past few Kirby games have been fantastic.

  • +7
DonFerrari rapsuperstar31 (on 01 June 2023)

Fully agree, and my kids love it. Would make a lot more sense for Nintendo to induct them to first party than this disband.

  • +1
scrapking DonFerrari (on 03 June 2023)

Yeah, so bizarre that some companies are acquiring developers, some are disbanding developers, and Sony is doing both!

  • +2
DonFerrari (on 01 June 2023)

Forgotten Land is such a cool game, this is unfortunate.

  • +4
2zosteven (on 01 June 2023)

shows where the profits went, or at least didnt go.

  • +3
znake (on 06 June 2023)

Im worried for Kirby’s future :(

  • 0
deerox (on 03 June 2023)

This article neglected to mention Vanpool's best game, Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland.

  • 0
Darwinianevolution (on 02 June 2023)

So why did they actually shut down? The games they worked on recently sold well enough...

  • 0
deerox Darwinianevolution (on 03 June 2023)

Since they were just a support developer they might have gotten a flat pay instead of residual payments.

  • 0
bartkuz (on 02 June 2023)

Just finished Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe yesterday. I liked it, nice casual platformer, and a lot of extra modes.

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Mar1217 (on 01 June 2023)

Seems like this disbanding might not have been caused truly by a matter of finance, if you look at the games they co-developped. They were in most cases moderately successful.

Wonder how this might affect HAL in the makings of Kirby spin-offs and such

  • 0
CaptainExplosion (on 01 June 2023)

This sucks. -_-

  • 0
KLAMarine (on 01 June 2023)

Did these Kirby games sell well?

  • 0
AJNShelton KLAMarine (on 01 June 2023)


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KrspaceT AJNShelton (on 01 June 2023)

More importantly they are not expensive to make. If the Xenoblades (apparently) are all profitable (I remember hearing X was not a net loss), Kirby is more than profitable.

  • 0