This past weekend, rumors began to swirl across the visual novel community that the development group Winged Cloud and publisher Sekai Project have parted ways. This began after someone went to Steam and realized that Winged Cloud’s catalog have removed Sekai Project as their publisher. On Monday afternoon, VNs Now received an e-mail from Sekai Project confirming the split. The partnership was formed shortly after the start of Sekai Project in 2014. While under the Sekai Project umbrella, Winged Cloud started the fanservice-driven Sakura visual novel series, starting with Sakura Spirit and branching into its spiritual successors Sakura Angels, Sakura Fantasy, Sakura Clicker, Sakura Beach and Sakura Swim Club.
According to the e-mail, Winged Cloud is looking to self-promote their own work with a focus on word-of-mouth and Steam sales and made the decision to end the partnership. However, while the separation is going to move forward, it isn’t complete yet. There is still a matter of the rights for the Sakura titles published under Sekai Project which, according to the group, is still being discussed. And while this particular reviewer doesn’t have the best opinion of the Sakura series, it has been a commercial success for both Winged Cloud and Sekai Project, and so it makes sense that both sides are handling the exact details quietly.
In the meantime, we will be keeping in contact with both parties as they finalize their separation and move forward. This has been JP3 reporting for VNN.