Square Enix's Studio Istolia Is Quietly Disappearing, Leaving Project Prelude Rune's Fate Uncertain

Square Enix's Studio Istolia Is Quietly Disappearing, Leaving Project Prelude Rune's Fate Uncertain

Just after losing its headliner, the studio's online presence has evaporated.

One of Square Enix's new IPs seems to be evaporating into the ether. Studio Istolia, a Tokyo sub-studio established in 2017, has mysteriously vanished from social media and its page on Square Enix's site along with it. The trailer for their debut project, Project Prelude Rune, has also been erased from Square Enix's YouTube channel.

The web page currently redirects to a Square Enix holdings page. Both the Twitter and Facebook pages for the studio have disappeared as well, although it is still listed among the branches on Square Enix's website.

Studio Istolia was in a tenuous state after former Tales series producer Hideo Baba departed the wing last month. In a statement, Baba said he resigned last December "to make room for the next generation," and had officially resigned from Square Enix in March.

Istolia was working on a new IP, called "Project Prelude Rune," which seems to be in limbo now without Baba or a studio. Apart from concept art and a now-missing trailer (still hosted by some uploaders on YouTube), we have very little to go on what this project ever was, or is now.

It's not too dissimilar to Luminous Productions, who lost director Hajime Tabata to his own ventures. Luminous is now currently working on an unannounced original title, which Final Fantasy 15 DLC director Takeshi Terada described as "based on a new world, drawn with high quality."

We've reached out to Square Enix for clarification, and will update if they respond.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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