Report: Sekai Project has laid off its entire staff
It appears much of the staff for visual novel and manga publisher Sekai Project have been let go as of today according to tweets from former employees Josh Kaplan and Frances Delgado:
There has been no official word from the company. We also don't know what this means for the Tokyo Chrono Kickstarter or the planned PS4 and Vita ports of some of their popular visual novels. They also have several Nekopara projects in the works.
We have reached out to Sekai Project and will update this post once we receive any comments.
Update: A couple comments from Resetera user Audi who works for Sekai Project on Tokyo Chronos and other projects, which may indicate a skeleton crew at the very least is still at the company and no office staff remain:
"I can't speak on how and why layoffs are done cause I am not privy to or in a position to talk about what happens to other employees. But what I personally can say is that no game has been cancelled or anything, I am still taking care of releases for console and even submitted a new game to QA today..."
"There's still staff, I don't know what caused the restructure and can't answer for anyone else as I'm not in management outside of handling console stuff. Just that the projects are being managed and handled like normal. I am working pretty hard on Tokyo Chronos right now so nothing there has changed either."
Update 2: Sekai Project has posted an update on their Tokyo Chronos Kickstarter regarding the future of the company and how it won't affect the status of Tokyo Chronos (though it doesn't address their other projects):
As some of you may or may not already know, we at Sekai Project had to make the difficult and unfortunate decision to layoff some of our staff at the company. Due to the necessity of restructuring the company to better take on the changes in the market, these layoffs were an unfortunate consequence. This was not a decision that came easily and we sincerely thank them for their commitment and time with us.
So how does this affect the status of TOKYO CHRONOS? Essentially, there will be nothing that will affect this campaign. The majority of the funds raised in the campaign is going to the developer who is unaffected by the restructuring that's taking place at Sekai Project. Also, none of the staff that were let go are involved with the development, localization, or production of this project. Fulfillment is also being handled by Tokyo Otaku Mode which also will be unaffected by anything that has occurred. Please rest assured that we will see this project to the end and are committed to working with MyDearest, Tokyo Otaku Mode and Limited Run Games to bring you this fantastic game.
At the same time, we are also committed to instituting the proper reforms to Sekai Project so that we can continue to bring exciting projects like TOKYO CHRONOS to the masses. We're grateful for all the support we've received from our backers and we'd like to assure everyone that Sekai Project will bounce back better than before.
Christopher Ling, CEO
So bottom line - it does appear the office staff has been let go, but any freelances or contractors have not been affected by the restructuring of the company.