“Larva Croft” and the Pine Hoverfly set to make a strong comeback after successful conservation collaboration between STORY OF SEASONS publisher and Royal Zoological Society Scotland!

Rare native insect breeding programme hits new milestone in partnership with videogame publisher, Marvelous Europe and STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town

Dr. Helen Taylor of RZSS with a new Pine Hoverfly Larvae incubation jar containing Larva Croft

London, UK – 14th April 2021 – The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is gearing up for a potentially record-breaking breeding season as keepers care for more Critically Endangered pine hoverflies than ever before at Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore.

Led by the wildlife conservation charity since 2016, the pine hoverfly conservation breeding programme is now responsible for the majority of Britain’s known population of the rare native species, currently only found in one small forest in the Cairngorms. Almost all of the 156 larvae that hatched at the park last year are now becoming pupae, entering the next stage of their life cycle on their way to becoming adults. Among them are ‘Larva Croft’ and ‘Pine-al Ritchie’, named by fans of project-funder Marvelous’ new video game, STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town.

Since the launch of STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town on 26th March, videogames media have been taking part in a “seed grower contest” where Marvelous provided each entrant with a seed pack asking recipients to post updates of their seedlings each Friday on social media using #SoSPoOT and #PineHoverfly. The winner will be whoever has grown the tallest seeds and their prize is to name the new incubation room for the pine hoverfly at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park! Here are some images from the last 3 weeks worth of action

Dr Helen Taylor, conservation programme manager at RZSS said, “Our charity’s conservation breeding programme at Highland Wildlife Park is currently the best hope for the survival of this Critically Endangered species. The last sighting of an adult pine hoverfly in the wild was over eight years ago.”

“Every individual matters, so it is really exciting to have more larvae pupating than ever before and nerve-wracking to have to wait and see how many complete the full cycle, from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult.”

“The process they go through is extraordinary. Inside the pupa case, these animals are breaking most of their body down into goo and then totally reassembling it to transition from a larva to an adult fly. Most people will be familiar with this idea from caterpillars turning into butterflies, but it really is a magical transformation.”

“Invertebrates are a fundamentally understudied, underacknowledged and under-loved group of animals that fuel the food chain, pollinate plants and break down organic waste. They hold our ecosystems together, making them an important focus for conservation efforts. Without them, the world would be very different.”

Next steps for the project including moving the pupae into a brand-new purpose-built breeding centre at Highland Wildlife Park in the coming weeks thanks to support from Marvelous Europe alongside The National Geographic Society, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry and Land Scotland, and NatureScot. The pine hoverfly conservation breeding programme is led by RZSS in collaboration with the Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms project, a partnership between the RSPB, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Buglife Scotland, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, and NatureScot.

STORY OF SEASONS publisher saving one of the UK’s rarest species

£20,000 donation to bring the pine hoverfly back from the brink

London, United Kingdom – 22nd March 2021 – Marvelous Europe Limited, publisher of STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town, is thrilled to announce a partnership with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), the wildlife conservation charity which aims to save one of the UK’s rarest species, the pine hoverfly.

With its natural habitat restricted to just one site — a small forest patch in the Cairngorms in Scotland — the pine hoverfly is so rare in the UK that no one has seen an adult of this species in the wild for over seven years. As part of the #SOSPOOT Campaign, Marvelous Europe is donating £20,000 to part-fund building new facilities at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park. These will include a larval rearing room, space for the adult hoverflies to fly and mate, and preparation space for staff to ready the abundance of flowers the hoverflies need for food. With the money from Marvelous Europe and other donors, including The National Geographic Society, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry and Land Scotland, and NatureScot, it is hoped that this conservation breeding programme will help bring the critically endangered pine hoverfly back from the edge of extinction.

Adult Pine Hoverfly – credit Ellie Rotheray

As well as a donation to develop the project, Marvelous Europe is working with partners to help raise awareness for the important work being undertaken by RZSS, with a Europe-wide seed growing competition for the gaming industry, kicking off with a special Twitch live stream from comedian, games journalist and one half of the UK’s Number 1 Parenting Podcast, “Scummy Mummies”, Ellie Gibson on Friday 26th March. Participants in the competition will get the chance to have a tangible impact on the species’ future, naming the hoverflies that will save the species, and winners will have a lasting impact, naming the new facilities that will keep this vital programme going for years to come.

In STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town, which launches 26th March 2021 on the Nintendo Switch, players begin their farming journey in a pine forest and must work alongside nature to breathe life into their farm. By saving the pine hoverfly, we hope to bring a bit of the game world alive, while also helping to save an endangered UK species from the very real threat of extinction. It may be small, but the pine hoverfly is an important pollinator, a role shared by many of the world’s endangered invertebrates. The breeding programme is ‘pioneering’ in its own right, developing techniques that could turn the fortunes of other species that are vital to delicate ecosystems around the world.

About Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town:
The brand-new entry in the STORY OF SEASONS franchise is putting down roots on the Nintendo Switch! This long-awaited entry in the original farm/life simulation offers players more freedom than ever before! Embrace the pioneer spirit to shape the untamed wilderness, discover new animals and produce, and help them flourish on your farm. Customise every inch of your new homestead to impress a new cast of marriage candidates from Olive Town, an aspiring tourist hotspot that grows and thrives along with your farm.Key Features:

* A Wild World of Discovery: Tame the wilderness of the peninsula, discover the flora and fauna that make it their home and unearth the secrets of the world around you. Work with the land to build the farm of your dreams from the ground up. Build facilities wherever you see fit, level up your farming skills and craft everything from fences to sprinklers for crops!
* Cultivate Your Farm, Cultivate Your Town: Gather and process materials to fulfill requests and improve Olive Town’s infrastructure, upgrade tools, or commission new outfits and accessories
* Simple Mechanics, Deep Gameplay: Fledgling farmers can rest easy with the return of Seedling Mode and Normal Mode, with a new request system highlighting the fresh features while you lend a hand to the locals! Veteran players ready to create a bustling farm of their own will find all the core elements of the STORY OF SEASONS series, with new twists on classic gameplay.
* There’s Always Something Going on in Olive Town! Participate in local festivals as the town comes to life with events that are new to the series! Get to know your neighbours better and you may even find love with a special someone among them.

Tame the Wilderness when STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town Launches on 26th March 2021 for Nintendo Switch™

The Newest Pioneering Entry in the STORY OF SEASONS franchise makes its debut on Nintendo Switch!

London, United Kingdom – 28th October 2020 – Marvelous Europe Limited are today excited to announce that STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town will launch on 26th March 2021 for the Nintendo Switch. This latest entry into the beloved STORY OF SEASONS franchise will be distributed physically and digitally within the UK, Europe and Australia, and will feature English, French, German and Spanish text localisation.

STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town is the first entirely new mainline entry to debut on the Nintendo Switch. Players will enjoy a new world filled with exploration, romance, and of course farming, as you work to restore your grandfather’s land to its former glory. Take time to venture into Olive Town and find romance while newly introduced features will see players embrace the farming lifestyle with more freedom than ever before. Reshape the untamed wilderness, discover new animals and crops, and personalise your new home with a level of customisation never-before-seen in the series.

Nintendo fans rejoice as viewers of today’s Nintendo Direct saw the game’s exciting unveil. More information about STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town will be revealed by Marvelous Europe as the title grows closer to launch, and fans can keep their eyes on the newly launched official website: www.storyofseasons.games/olive-town

About Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town:
The brand-new entry in the STORY OF SEASONS franchise is putting down roots on the Nintendo Switch! This long-awaited entry in the original farm/life simulation offers players more freedom than ever before! Embrace the pioneer spirit to shape the untamed wilderness, discover new animals and produce, and help them flourish on your farm. Customise every inch of your new homestead to impress a new cast of marriage candidates from Olive Town, an aspiring tourist hotspot that grows and thrives along with your farm.

Key Features:

* A Wild World of Discovery: Tame the wilderness of the peninsula, discover the flora and fauna that make it their home and unearth the secrets of the world around you. Work with the land to build the farm of your dreams from the ground up. Build facilities wherever you see fit, level up your farming skills and craft everything from fences to sprinklers for crops!


* Cultivate Your Farm, Cultivate Your Town: Gather and process materials to fulfill requests and improve Olive Town’s infrastructure, upgrade tools, or commission new outfits and accessories


* Simple Mechanics, Deep Gameplay: Fledgling farmers can rest easy with the return of Seedling Mode and Normal Mode, with a new request system highlighting the fresh features while you lend a hand to the locals! Veteran players ready to create a bustling farm of their own will find all the core elements of the STORY OF SEASONS series, with new twists on classic gameplay.


* There’s Always Something Going on in Olive Town! Participate in local festivals as the town comes to life with over 200 unique events! Get to know your neighbours better and you may even find love with a special someone among them.

STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town Available Now on Nintendo Switch™ within Europe and Australia

Downloadable Outfits and Comic Book also Available

London, United Kingdom – 10th July 2020 – Marvelous Europe Limited is today thrilled to announce that STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town, a complete remake of the Game Boy™ Advance classic, FRIENDS OF MINERAL TOWN, is now available physically from selected retailers, and digitally from Nintendo eShop, for the Nintendo Switch™ within Europe and Australia with an SRP of £42.99 / €49.99 / $79.95 AUD.

STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town, the long-awaited return to one of the most beloved entries in the original farm/life simulation franchise, known in Japan as Bokujo Monogatari, is reimagined with High Definition visuals, and brought to life with improved controls and character engagement. STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town will let series fans revisit the charming world of Mineral Town, while also introducing it to a new generation of farmers. In this peaceful setting, players will grow crops, take care of animals, and build relationships with villagers.

In addition to the release of STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town on the Nintendo Switch™ Marvelous Europe Limited has also announced that additional downloadable content, in the form of animal-themed outfits, are now available to purchase from the Nintendo eShop.

Additional outfits in the form of Cow, Chicken, Dog, Chick and Sheep can be purchased separately from the Nintendo eShop with each outfit priced at £1.79 / €1.99 / $3.00 AUD.

Finally Marvelous Europe Limited has also announced that the official STORY OF SEASONS website has been updated with fresh new content, including an English localised comic book showcasing a typical day of life on the farm in Mineral Town.

About STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town

Originally released for the Game Boy™ Advance in 2003, STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town is a complete remake that will let series fans revisit the charming world of Mineral Town, while also introducing it to a new generation of farmers. In this peaceful setting, players will grow crops, take care of animals, and build relationships with villagers.

Key Features:

▪ Rediscover one of STORY OF SEASONS’ most beloved entries: This Nintendo Switch™ remake of the classic game preserves the compelling gameplay, colourful characters and rustic charm of the original 2003 Game Boy Advance release. With buttery-smooth HD visuals and a heartwarming reimagining of the iconic locale, series veterans and newcomers will soon find themselves welcomed by the gentle rhythms of Mineral Town.
▪ Live the simple life in Mineral Town: Tap into the power of nature as you breathe life back into your grandfather’s farm, tending crops and raising livestock to earn your keep. With more than 20 varieties of crops to grow, and animals ranging from alpacas to angora bunnies, no day is the same as seasons cycle and new skills await.
▪ Forge friendships with the townsfolk and win their hearts: Mineral Town is full of friendly faces willing to help you find your feet in your new hometown. Get to know the locals and learn their stories as you go about your daily life, and you might even find love along the way!
▪ Activities galore for days off from the farm: Whether it’s high-tailing in horseraces, catching a champion trout or showcasing your culinary creativity, the busy calendar full of festivals means that there’s never a dull day in Mineral Town. If you’re looking for a quieter time, take yourself away to the local hot spring, delve deep into the mines, or seek out the seasonal secrets of the town.

Published in Europe and Australia by Marvelous Europe Limited, STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town for the Nintendo Switch™ is now available physically from selected retailers as well as digitally from the Nintendo eShop, with further information available through the official website. STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town will also be released digitally on STEAM for Windows PC on the 14th July 2020 by XSEED Games / Marvelous USA, Inc.. This game has been rated PEGI 12, USK 0 and PG.

STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town Digital Pre-Order Now Available on Nintendo eShop

Digital Pre-Order Bonus and New Website Content Announced.

London, United Kingdom – 15th May 2020 – Marvelous Europe Limited are today happy to announce that STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town, which is a complete remake of the Game Boy™ Advance classic, FRIENDS OF MINERAL TOWN, is now available to pre-order digitally from the Nintendo eShop as well as physically from selected retailers across Europe and Australia.

STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town will launch physically and digitally within Europe and Australia on the 10th July 2020 and from today Nintendo Switch™ owners will be able to pre-purchase the game from the Nintendo eShop for £42.99 / €49.99 / $79.95 AUD. Those who pre-purchase STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town digitally from the Nintendo eShop will also receive the Cow Costume Outfit as a digital pre-order bonus.

Those who purchase the physical edition of STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town will receive an exclusive set of stickers featuring various characters from the game. This sticker set will be included with all new physical copies and is not exclusive to a specific retailer. Those wishing to pre-order the physical version of STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town can find a list of retailers on the official STORY OF SEASONS website.

This Cow Costume Outfit included with digital pre-purchase on the Nintendo eShop will also be released separately and will be available to purchase from the Nintendo eShop on the games launch date of 10th July 2020. In addition, a selection of additional animal-themed outfits will also be made available for purchase from the Nintendo eShop. These outfits can be worn by your character and will allow you to further embrace the cute and wonderful farming lifestyle found within STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town.

In addition to the digital pre-order availability Marvelous Europe Limited have also announced that the official STORY OF SEASONS website has been updated and will be regularly updated with new and exciting content; so be sure to check back often.

About STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town

Originally released for the Game Boy™ Advance in 2003, STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town is a complete remake that will let series fans revisit the charming world of Mineral Town, while also introducing it to a new generation of farmers. In this peaceful setting, players will grow crops, take care of animals, and build relationships with villagers.

Key Features:

▪ Rediscover one of STORY OF SEASONS’ most beloved entries: This Nintendo Switch™ remake of the classic game preserves the compelling gameplay, colourful characters and rustic charm of the original 2003 Game Boy Advance release. With buttery-smooth HD visuals and a heartwarming reimagining of the iconic locale, series veterans and newcomers will soon find themselves welcomed by the gentle rhythms of Mineral Town.
▪ Live the simple life in Mineral Town: Tap into the power of nature as you breathe life back into your grandfather’s farm, tending crops and raising livestock to earn your keep. With more than 20 varieties of crops to grow, and animals ranging from alpacas to angora bunnies, no day is the same as seasons cycle and new skills await.
▪ Forge friendships with the townsfolk and win their hearts: Mineral Town is full of friendly faces willing to help you find your feet in your new hometown. Get to know the locals and learn their stories as you go about your daily life, and you might even find love along the way!
▪ Activities galore for days off from the farm: Whether it’s high-tailing in horseraces, catching a champion trout or showcasing your culinary creativity, the busy calendar full of festivals means that there’s never a dull day in Mineral Town. If you’re looking for a quieter time, take yourself away to the local hot spring, delve deep into the mines, or seek out the seasonal secrets of the town.

Published in Europe and Australia by Marvelous Europe Limited, STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town for the Nintendo Switch™ is available to pre-order physically from selected retailers as well as digitally from the Nintendo eShop, with further information available through the official website. This game has been rated PEGI 12, USK 0 and PG. Nintendo Switch is a trademark of Nintendo.