Kirby and the Forgotten Land marked the fantastic return of one of Nintendo's beloved IPs. Our own George Foster gave Forgotten Lands a four-out-of-five score, praising it for its charming setting and how it provides a blueprint for future Kirby games to follow.

Unfortunately, one of the Forgotten Lands' developers won't be around to work on a new Kirby game. Vanpool Inc., the support studio that assisted HAL Laboratory in the creation of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, announced it's shutting its doors for good as of today.

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"Vanpool Inc. will be dissolved as of May 31, 2023," the company wrote on its website (with translation provided by ResetEra). "We have decided to dissolve the company due to various reasons after having continued game development thanks to your kind support. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the patronage we have received and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

Kirby from Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Vanpool was founded in 1999 in Tokyo and first got started making games for the PlayStation 2. It soon moved into Nintendo's sphere of influence, creating and supporting games for the Wii and Nintendo DS. Vanpool helped with such titles as Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, and Little King's story. Since 2019, Vanpool had partnered with HAL Laboratory on several Kirby titles, including Super Kirby Clash, Kirby Fighters 2, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe.

Vanpool didn't provide any explanation for the sudden closure. Users on ResetEra expressed sincere condolences and hope that everyone at Vanpool will land on their feet.

Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai recently detailed the strange coincidence between Super Smash Bros. and Kirby that explains why both games have a very similar damage system. Just like in Smash Bros., Kirby can be sent flying toward the edge of the screen after taking damage in Kirby's Dream Land, but Sakurai said in a recent YouTube video that he hadn't realized the similarities between the two systems until just recently. He'd actually completely forgotten about Kirby's Dream Land while he was making Smash Bros., but apparently, Kirby left a bigger impression on him than he thought.

Kirby, Waddle Dee, and Elfilin's Victory Animation From Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Meanwhile, Forgotten Land director Shinya Kumazaki admitted he was worried that the final boss would be too hard for players in a recent interview. Kirby has historically been intended for younger audiences, but those players might find the difficulty of Fector Forgo to be a little jarring.

"The steep uphill curve towards the end of the game, especially the final boss, might've been something that's maybe slightly too steep," Kumazaki said. "Perhaps we can look into maybe balancing it out a little bit. That's something that I want to continue to explore."

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