Project Sora, the developer behind Kid Icarus: Uprising, is now defunct as of June 30, according to the company’s web site.
Project Sora was founded by Kirby and Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai and only produced the 3DS title Kid Icarus: Uprising during its lifespan. The studio’s parent company, Sora Ltd., is an agency Sakurai uses to sell himself as a freelance game designer to other studios and still exists, unaffected by Project Sora’s closure.
No reason for the dissolution was announced. Sakurai is currently involved elsewhere in the production of a new Super Smash Bros. game.
Analysis: This doesn’t seem to be a money thing because Kid Icarus: Uprising sold well—132,526 copies in its first week, to be exact. Rather, it seems to be the latest manifestation of Sakurai’s freelancing method. Since Sakurai doesn’t technically work for any company (Sora Ltd. is largely just his personal agency), he generally orbits around Nintedo and does various games for them, usually within his successful Kirby or Super Smash Bros. franchises. As such, it looks like Project Sora wasn’t his attempt at starting up a new studio but rather a team that Sakurai threw together in order to make Kid Icarus: Uprising.
I think a good bit of the closure is just that running Project Sora would distract Sakurai from his current duties on the new Super Smash Bros. Since Namco Bandai is developing the new Super Smash Bros. title in tandem with Sakurai, Project Sora was left in the background, and so Sakurai probably just dissolved it.
Ultimately, it’s a sad day for those who were hoping for another Kid Icarus title in the vein of Uprising. While it’s unlikely that Kid Icarus has gone away forever, any new titles in the series will probably be a little while in coming and will be developed by a studio new to the neglected Nintendo franchise.