Announced in 2019, Rune Factory 5 has had a rocky development history. Originally beginning development after the release of Rune Factory 4, the bankruptcy of developer Neverland Co. threw the project into question and caused it to remain dormant for a number of years. Series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto was later put in charge of another project by publisher Marvelous, before opening a studio by the name of Hakama which is now developing Rune Factory 4 Special and Rune Factory 5.
Both games were announced in 2019, with Special releasing shortly after and Rune Factory 5 remaining relatively quiet. Finally, after the long wait for information, a launch trailer has been released revealing a release date in March 2022 for the project.
For those unaware of the Rune Factory franchise, it began as a ‘Fantasy Harvest Moon’ and was released to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of the Harvest Moon franchise. Combining elements from action RPGs and Harvest Moon the game sees players dropped into a centralized town where they can farm romance townsfolk, and upgrade gear similar to a Harvest Moon Game. It then also allows players to explore outside of said towns in fantasy-style dungeons and areas as they fight monsters, level up, and collect items.
The trailer starts by focuses on the RPG side of the game, showcasing a party of characters exploring large open areas and fighting monsters. It eventually builds into the romance, narrative, and farming elements as well. For the first time in the series, players will be allowed to romance characters of the same gender and eventually marry them. This is a feature that only recently saw inclusion in the original Harvest Moon ( now Story of Seasons) Franchise with Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town.
Rune Factory 5 is set to plant seeds on the Nintendo Switch on March 22, 2022.