JRPG giant, Square Enix, is at it again, and today announced a brand new IP they’re naming Project Prelude Rune. The news comes alongside the official opening of the developer’s new studio, Istolia, headed up by Tales‘ Hideo Baba.
Studio Istolia will take on the development of Project Prelude Rune, and are currently advertising positions within the Tokyo-based studio under Baba’s production. Square Enix announced the title and new studio with their goals of storytelling close to their heart. The new studio’s name derives from the Greek word for ‘story’, an element of game design that is “central to the studio’s primary value” says Enix.
From what we can gather, Project Prelude Rune is a high fantasy adventure experience with strong emphasis on an emotional narrative and a wide range of environments to explore. Don’t get too tied up on those gorgeous concept of images of dragons and elfin princesses, it looks like this is going to be a story very much grounded in the human experience. Enix have announced that “the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.” From recruitment advertisements, it’s clear that Istolia is looking to emphasise battle combat in their experience, though the fact that the project has been announced without these staff members on board already could suggest that combat doesn’t form the core of the game as it stands today.
Whatever lands in our pre-order box in a few years, it’s come from good hands. Producer Hideo Baba has had 18 years in the industry, working on the narrative adventures of the Tales series alongside other JRPGs of similar elk. The entire studio has been built around the core concept of narrative, their ability to deliver on this promise will remain to be seen with their debut title.
“The aim of the studio is to provide unforgettable stories that will inspire players in their own lives, and bring new game experiences to everyone around the world.”