Some incredibly sad news for fans of the Wonder Boy and Monster World games has arrived today. Developer Westone Bit Entertainment is currently under investigation by the Tokyo District Court for debt. The future looks bleak for the company, as financial reports indicate that they will be filing for bankruptcy shortly. Westone’s official website has been closed, although the Facebook account remains active. Their current titles under development for the PSN and Xbox One Live have also been halted.
Westone Bit Entertainment was originally founded back in 1986 as a company called Escape, which they later changed to Westone after the kanji in the company founders’ names. They have been responsible for a number of titles released in arcades, Sega consoles, Windows, and the Sony Playstation. Westone is most notable for their Wonder Boy/Monster World series of games, which have gathered a surprisingly large cult following.
Only time will tell what the future holds for Westone Bit Entertainment and Monster Boy. We can only hope that Sega (or another company) offers them some financial aid. At this point, even a take over of their IPs is looking like a positive option.