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Nintendo Collaborator Known For Work On Kirby Is Shutting Down

Vanpool, a video game studio known best as a frequent Nintendo collaborator and support studio, is shutting down.


Vanpool, a video game studio known for its work with Nintendo over the past decade, is shutting down. The news comes from a notice posted on the developer's website, which states that the company is dissolved as of May 31. It gives no reason for the studio's closure, nor any specific details.

Though the name Vanpool is not as well-known as that of other studios that frequently collaborate with Nintendo, such as Fire Emblem developer Intelligent Systems, the studio worked on many notable games, especially in the Kirby series. Founded in 1999, the studio first worked on Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, contributing mostly to its minigames, before making Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland and its Japanese-exclusive follow-up Ripened Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love.

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Now Playing: It’s Kirby Time: Sweet Dreams, Kirby

As a solo developer, Vanpool is perhaps best-known for the Dillion's Rolling Western series, of which three entries came out for 3DS between 2012 and 2018. In recent years, the studio worked almost exclusively on Kirby games, partnering with franchise studio HAL Laboratory on Super Kirby Clash, Kirby Fighters 2, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe. Though the studio is mostly worked Nintendo over the past decade, Vanpool was originally founded by developers who left the defunct studio Love-de-Lic, which created cult games like Moon: Remix RPG Adventure and L.O.L.: Lack of Love. Moon: Remix RPG Adventure received its first official Western release back in 2021.

Though we don't know the exact reason why Vanpool closed, there have been many layoffs in the video game industry in recent months. Amazon and notable game engine company Unity are two of the latest to report such losses.

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