With this comes news of a newly implemented studio to take on the project, Studio Istolia. Former Tales Producer Hideo Baba is tasked with running the ship serving as both studio head and producer for Project Prelude Rune. With over 18 years of experience Baba has worked on various Tales titles from Tales of Destiny in 2006 to Tales of Zestiria in 2015.
Not much is said about the title, however the press release doesn’t seem to stray from typical JRPG tropes reading, “The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.”
Square Enix seems to believe in the smaller JRPG structure following the success of Tokyo RPG Factory’s I am Setsuna, and it appears to be taking the same approach with Project Prelude Rune. With I am Setsuna, Square Enix announced Tokyo RPG Factory as a studio whose sole purpose was to bring back the classic JRPG. While it received mixed reviews, we gave it a 9/10 praising the studio for its somber tone, beautiful piano score and minimalist art direction.
While it isn’t clear what Studio Istolia’s mission statement is, Project Prelude Rune’s concept art does seem unique, almost drawing from RPGs like Xenoblade, and even the 2015 Wii U action-adventure title Rodea The Sky Soldier with a touch of that Square Enix beauty that makes their concept art so distinct.
Outside of Project Prelude Rune, Square Enix will be busy with the upcoming releases of Nier, Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy VII Remake (with the latter two getting delayed). Not much else is known about Project Prelude Rune however, there is no release date or platform announced at this time.