According to a statement on its official site, as of January 2nd, 2008 visual novel production house Hirameki has closed its doors. I never followed the company’s activities very closely, but this news is certainly a blow to the cause of visual novel fans and bishoujo game fans of all varieties, ero or otherwise. Those familiar with the history of English localization of visual novel-type games will see this as part of a pattern that has brought down every other company solely devoted to their production in the past; only on the margins have such games ever been profitable, and given the current environment it seems unlikely this will change. Still, I can’t help wondering what would happen if the right company came along… Despite the official closure of Hirameki’s doors many of their titles are still available for purchase, including the critically acclaimed Ever17 and Phantom of Inferno. (no more)