As per MAGES. Division 1’s Twitter announcement, the Memories Off series is receiving a brand new entry titled Memories Off Sousou ~Not always true~ for the franchise’s 25th anniversary. MAGES. plans for a 2024 release in Japan.
Memories Off is a long-running romance visual novel franchise which started in 1999. September 30 marks the franchise’s 24th anniversary. The series was originally developed by KID, prior to their bankruptcy in 2006. In 2007, MAGES. bought the rights to the series and have continued making games for it ever since. To date, the series comprised eight main entries (excluding SINce Memories) and over ten spin-offs. It is one of the biggest visual novel IPs owned by MAGES., alongside the likes of the Science Adventure and Infinity series. The Memories Off franchise remains one of the biggest visual novel series to have never received an English localization to date.
This will mark the first entry released in the Memories Off series since 2021, where MAGES released Memories Off Historia (a PS4 and Switch port of the first seven mainline Memories Off games) as well as SINce Memories: Off the Starry Sky. SINce Memories was originally planned to be a soft reboot of the series. But with the announcement of ~Not always true~, it appears that they might be scrapping the SINce Memories series altogether in favour of returning to the main Memories Off franchise. Interestingly enough, MAGES. advertised Memories Off 8: Innocent Fille as the final main game in the series. Yet evidently, MAGES is still continuing the series anyways. The website describes Memories Off Sousou ~Not always true~ as a commemorative work taking place in the year 2024. No further details on the story have been announced beyond this.
They also announced numerous staff members involved in the project. Among them are notably Hayashi Naotaka, who is in charge of the scenario, Sasaki Mutsumi, who is in charge of the character design, and Abo Takeshi, who is charge of the soundtrack. All three of these staff members are returning veterans to the Memories Off series. Hayashi served as scenario writer for various routes in Memories Off 4, Memories Off 5, as well as a few Memories Off spin-offs. Mutsumi Sasaki was the character designer for the first four main Memories Off games. And of course, Takeshi Abo has been in charge of the OST for every entry in the series from its very inception.
Visual novel fans may be quick to recognize that these staff members are also deeply involved in the Science Adventure series. Hayashi has been in charge of almost every Science Adventure title to date. He served as lead writer for CHAOS;HEAD NOAH, STEINS;GATE, ROBOTICS;NOTES, and most recently, ANONYMOUS;CODE. Meanwhile, Sasaki served as character designer for the CHAOS;HEAD and CHAOS;CHILD series. Lastly, Abo has composed the soundtrack for all Science Adventure games to date.
Hayashi’s involvement in Memories Off Sousou has interesting implications for the Science Adventure series, which has many announced projects. This may suggest either that he could have a smaller and more supervisory role in the scenario of the next main Science Adventure game or that a Science Adventure game simply will not be releasing as soon as imagined. October 2024 would mark STEINS;GATE’s 15th anniversary. As such, fans have speculated that STEINS;GATE’s upcoming thematic sequel, STEINS;???, could release sometime within the next two years.
During ANONYMOUS;CODE’s seven year-long development, Hayashi played a substantially smaller role in each Science Adventure game released in that period. While he wrote half the routes in STEINS;GATE 0, the base scenario was almost entirely taken from pre-existing side material. Meanwhile, he served only as scenario supervisor for all other Science Adventure projects that were released at the time.
As of COLOPL’s August financial report, MAGES. has five titles in the pipeline at the moment. One of these, as announced earlier, is Corpse Party II. And another one of these is Memories Off Sousou. Beyond these two games, MAGES. has yet to announce the other three titles. There is also a possibility that MAGES. added more games to the pipeline since the August report’s release. One of these could be a new Infinity series reboot title, as Asada Makoto announced via interview early this year. Nevertheless, in the past few years, MAGES. has opted primarily for developing games of third-party IPs. COLOPL’s next financial report is due November of this year. Perhaps it will indicate more information about MAGES.’ future projects.