In January of 2022 Chinese publisher NIJICO launched the adult-oriented match-3 puzzle game, Mirror 2: Project X, in Early Access on Steam. By the end of September they posted about how they had mis-represented the game and its “16+” content and were worried that they had misled some players into buying the game. Seeking to offer refunds without the complications of the Steam marketplace they created a separate website where owners would connect their Steam accounts and provide some personal information.
This apparently led to accusations that the company was harvesting personal data of Steam users and the review bombing began. According to the latest announcement from the publisher this resulted in harassment and threats with team members’ personal information being publicly disclosed and at least one case where photos of a team member’s family were posted online. In that same announcement shared on March 9th, NIJICO has now announced they have gone bankrupt and will be removing at least two titles from Steam “within 4 weeks”. An excerpt from the lengthy announcement follows:
Due to the devastating effects of the incident that we caused on September 30th, 2022, the development studio has gone bankrupt and we’re unable to continue the development of “DancingSim” and “Novastella Island” ; the development of the subsequent chapters of “Mirror 2: Project X” will also have to be suspended indefinitely. We hope that in the future, when we have the opportunity, we will complete the development of the subsequent chapters, and the game will remain in the current Early Access state until development is completed.Steam Announcement – March 09, 2023
Although now credited to separate developers, both DancingSim and Novastella Island share a connection to KAGAMI II WORKs who created the initial offender Mirror 2: Project X as well as its spin-off Mirror Party. Oddly, it is the latter of these titles that are expected to remain on Steam for the time being. While NIJICO describes their situation as a bankruptcy it also ends the announcement somewhat ambiguously by saying “anyway, things will calm down eventually”.
As described, Mirror 2: Project X seems to be sticking around but if either DancingSim or Novastella Island sound interesting grab them now or sometime “within 4 weeks”. Thanks to Serrated-banner9 for submitting the news, I’ve added a temporary 4-weeks-out date of April 6th to the Watch List calendar and we’ll have pages up on the site later.