Punch punch punch! A post on the publisher's official forum last night has confirmed speculation that, finally, Working Designs is dead. Head "know-it-all" Vic Ireland said, "There's no easy way to say it, so I just will. Working Designs is gone. All the staff has been laid off and the office is closed and has been for some time." The company's current project, a localization of Konami's Bouken Jidai Katsugeki: Goemon for the PlayStation 2, will not see release in North America.

Formed as an accounting software developer in 1986, the company soon moved into the videogame space, localizing a number of TurboGrafx-16 titles such as Parasol Stars and Cadash. WD was known for its smart, often humorous, translations of Japanese RPG's (Lunar, Alundra, Growlanser), and for a brief period, a run of shooters, as well as its distinct packaging and pre-order promotional goods.

Ireland was often outspoken about the difficulties that faced the niche publisher. Interviews and newsgroup postings about approval roadblocks at the American division of Sony Computer Entertainment and his distaste for certain former Sega executives made for entertaining reading. We wish him and the rest of the company the best of luck in their future ventures.