In some incredible news breaking today, Microsoft Japan has announced that all development of True Fantasy Live Online has been cancelled, leaving Microsoft's embattled push into the Japanese market in tatters.
The news was quietly broken on the official Japanese Xbox site, wherein the firm stated a "development discontinuance." Incredibly, Microsoft stated that progress on the game had ground to a halt. It also admitted that the code as it stands will simply not be good enough to release.
In a statement, Microsoft US said, "The difficult decision to cancel True Fantasy Live Online was based on a number of careful considerations, including the game's progression to date and the remaining development time needed to complete such an ambitious project. The MMORPG genre, across all platforms, has become an incredibly crowded and competitive marketplace. In response, Microsoft Game Studios has decided to streamline its portfolio, making fewer bets in this genre. At Microsoft Game Studios, we continually evaluate our portfolio strategy and investments to ensure we are achieving our most important objectives of creating successful, platform-driving titles in a timely manner. We truly appreciate all the support True Fantasy Live Online has received from its fans and the games community."
As you will be aware, TFLO was trumpeted by Microsoft as being the key to opening a resistant Japanese market, whilst at the same time operating as a showcase for the Xbox Live service. There is no question that the game's launch was strategically planned as the pivotal moment for the Xbox in Japan. This news has left a gaping hole in any plans to win over an impressively loyal, geography-aware gaming community.
Stay tuned for follow-up news as it breaks!