Square Enix has unveiled a new RPG project in development by the newly-established Studio Istolia. Concept art for the title, codenamed Project Prelude Rune, appeared on the studio's official website, alongside the promise of a "fantasy story" featuring, judging by the artwork, plenty of scaly dragons.
Development of Project Prelude Rune is being overseen by the Toyko-based studio's president Hideo Baba, best known for his role as long-term producer of the Tales series at Bandai Namco.
In a press release, Square Enix offered a few vague clues about the game's story, stating that "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."
With the vague promise of further details "at a later time" and no mention of a release schedule or platforms, all we have to go on is the concept art and two sketches (all shown in the slideshow below, via Gematsu).
It looks like a typical Square Enix fantasy game, with oversized weapons, extravagant outfits, massive monsters and a cutesy creature that closely resembles the Final Fantasy series' "Moogle" characters.
Square Enix also explained the studio's moniker, noting that "the name Istolia originates from the Greek word, "story" and is central to the studio's primary value. The aim of the studio is to provide unforgettable stories that will inspire players in their own lives, and bring new game experiences to everyone around the world."
Studio Istolia becomes the latest development team to be added to Square Enix's global family and the first since the creation of I Am Setsuna developer Tokyo RPG Factory to setup office in the company's native region. The publisher also houses its flagship development team, responsible for the hugely popular Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises, in Toyko.