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Atlus Is Now a Sega Joint

Finally, your Sonic the Hedgehog/Persona 4 slash fiction has been afforded some much needed legitimacy.

BEHOLD! Your future! (Probably not, actually.)

Atlus Co. has found a new home.

Following a report by Nikkei (and a subsequent notice posted on Sega's website), word has spread that Sega Sammy Holdings has agreed to take control of Index Corporation, the bankrupt parent company of Atlus. Index filed for bankruptcy back in June, and reports as recent as last month had nearly 20 companies vying for bids on Atlus and its collected IPs, which include the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, the Persona series, Catherine, and Trauma Center, among many others.

The notice posted by Sega puts the sale at about ¥14 billion ($140 million), and pegs November 1 as the concluding date for transfer of assets.

Genuinely curious what everyone thinks of this particular company taking over Atlus' stable of games. Atlus is one of those companies that's built a fervent, dedicated audience primarily by being something of an outlier, or at least a publisher more dedicated to niche, wonderfully bizarre games that most major publishers generally wouldn't bother trying to bring out anywhere outside of Japan. Does having the House of Hedgehog lording over the likes of Persona give you pause? Or does this seem like a totally reasonable fit, considering how many other ways things could have played out?

(Image by McGenio, via DeviantArt)

Alex Navarro on Google+
156 Comments
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Posted by Video_Game_King

I WANT THAT TO BE MY FUTURE! Don't we all?

Online
Posted by Ben_H

Next up, a Big The Cat/Teddy buddy game reminiscent of Army of Two.

Edited by Rastopher

I'm concerned that my beloved Shin Megami Tensei games might stop coming over now.

Posted by Sphinx

Persona Total War 40,000. On. Fucking. Board.

Posted by ColonelXanders

It makes me a little uneasy. Atlus have had a great record of getting games out to their Western fan-base pretty quickly, and the localisations have been great. I don't want any of that to change.

Sega on the other hand did not have a great last couple of years. PSO2 is a huge success, but after a US announcement just hasn't shown up. Anarchy Reigns was completed, and then delayed weeks before release until earlier this year despite the international version being finished by Platinum's own assertion by June 2012.

I think if you live in Japan this is probably going to be a fine fit. It's just a little worrying given how smoothly things have been going for Atlus themselves I didn't want to see any change, even though given Index's situation that would've been impossible.

Seeing how Atlus USA exists around this too will be interesting. It's entirely possible that maybe this just works out better for everyone and maybe Sega send niche projects like 7th Dragon their way to localise.

Basically; I don't know how this is going to turn out. I'm going to be apprehensive until I see a reason not to be.

Posted by kid_gloves

I'm just highly concerned because Sega has been really gun shy about bringing similar niche titles to the US. I also wonder what becomes of the fantastic Atlus USA localization....

Best case scenario they leave Atlus alone, they were after all profitable while Index was being dragged down by its other business. Worst case they push their own corporate identity onto Atlus.

Posted by Morningstar

Hope we get quicker European releases now.

Edited by IndieFinch

My biggest fear is that Sega will begin to localize less properties for western audiences. But as long as they can let Atlus continue doing what they have been successful at, I don't see any reason why this could be a bad thing. Also I am hopeful that maybe Sega can help get some Atlus titles onto PC since they have seemed pretty PC open in the recent years.

Posted by CircleNine

Eagerly looking forward to my Persona 4 / PSO fanfic becoming a reality.

Posted by shinjin977

I for one, do not welcome our future mobile/free to play Atlus games. This fucking sucks.

Posted by sub_o

Inevitable quicklook by Jeff.

Edited by MattyFTM

This doesn't necessarily mean that Atlus will come under the same banner as Sega. Sega Sammy Holdings could in theory decide to keep Index as it's own thing, with Atlus remaining with them. It would make a certain amount of sense to unite the gaming brands, but it's not nailed on just yet.

And even if Atlus does become part of Sega itself, that doesn't mean doom and gloom either. Despite some of the shortcomings of Sega's japanese development recently, just look at what they're been doing on other fronts. Their PC development/publishing has been going from strength to strength. Being under the Sega banner doesn't mean they're going to be under the same management that is responsible for endless bad Sonic games and the apparent cancellation of Phantasy Star Online 2 in the west. They'll presumably be given a good deal of autonomy as long as they keep making money.

There has been a lot of negativity about this entire deal, but there are plenty of positive outcomes from this deal. We should at least keep an open mind until we see exactly what Sega Sammy does with Atlus.

Moderator
Edited by nsmb2_mario

Until it's stated that localizations remained unchanged or are supported more by Sega's money, I'm going to remain pessimistic. Sega has been a good publisher but dubious at marketing. I wouldn't worry too much about them forcing mobile or F2P games out of Atlus, the company is already very profitable. Sega's more likely to find another small developer to make spin-offs. I mean, they're not going to force Atlus' SMT team to make Pachinko games, obviously.

So I'm really not that concerned, but we'll see. On a related note, loving Etrian Oddyssey 4 right now.

Posted by bluebird14

Potentially good for European releases.

I'm personally holding out for Jack Frost to be added to the PC version of Sonic Racing Transformed.

Posted by Flappy

Seeing how Atlus USA exists around this too will be interesting. It's entirely possible that maybe this just works out better for everyone and maybe Sega send niche projects like 7th Dragon their way to localise.

Basically; I don't know how this is going to turn out. I'm going to be apprehensive until I see a reason not to be.

I really hope that's the case. That series plays pretty well and it looks nice, so I hope it comes over to the West eventually. As far as everything else goes, we can only wait and see how it all plays out.

Posted by Aetheldod

Just hope Sega lets Atlus run its business as usual with more cash for a quicker release of games in the west ... or more of them.

Posted by I_Stay_Puft

Wow 2/3 of the community called it and it came true.

Edited by BlackLagoon

Just a little correction - Index is not the parent company of Atlus. Atlus (the Japanese part at least) was fully integrated into Index in 2010, and doesn't exist as a separate company any more, just a brand for Index's games development division.

Posted by oldenglishC

This will probably have zero effect on the way that Atlus operates. If anything, it might lead to a couple more Sega games being localized per year under the Atlus name.

Posted by BoringK

Going to cross my fingers and assume that Atlus will be allowed to remain more or less autonomous and keep doing what they're doing. If not, well, I've already got enough unfinished SMT games to last the rest of my life.

Posted by KillerFly

I think this is a good move on Sega's part toward making them more relevant.

Posted by MeatSim

Well that's concerning, but I am not gonna jump to any conclusions yet though.

Posted by Luddite

So no Persona games getting ported to the US ever again because Sega appears to be fucking shit at that? That's my version of a dark dystopian future where Sega can get bent.

Edited by umbaglo

I'm not quite sure I agree just yet with the doom and gloom. I agree that there's a bit of a precedent, but at the same time Sega has also recently localized a few games that would have normally never been brought over, such as Yakuza and Project Diva.

The reason I am not yet convinced that this means no more Atlus games localized is that Atlus is also a localizer. What else is Sega going to do with that experience? Atlus as a company doesn't have much of a portfolio, so I wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason for the acquisition is to get additional dedicated localization assets. Firing the localization office after spending so much for the company seems pretty wasteful.

The other thing I have to keep in mind is seeing how they treat Relic. Sure they've been trying to get the preorder money from Company of Heroes 2, but is there yet any real indication that they're strongly affecting the workings of the company? That should be an indication as to what Sega would do with Atlus.

Edited by Sanj

The only thing I'm concerned about is the quality of localization for games like Persona, if they even will continue to release them in the west. I don't want them to Yakuza-fy it by just giving us the original Japanese with English subtitles, i.e. minimal localisation effort, while also removing the "too Japanese" parts of the game.

Posted by Zaapp1

Whatever gives Atlus more money is fine with me. I just hope they don't skip another whole generation making P5.

Posted by nofzac

despite the failures of the Parent company - Atlus has made money. Sega would be smart to allow Atlus to operate as-is with no interferrence, but I really don't know when Sega made their last smart decision.

Posted by Forcen

@alex That link at the end links to google, kinda weird.

Posted by Blu3V3nom07

Why is this in the EA part of town?

Posted by ArbitraryWater

And no Atlus games ever came out in the west ever again.

Or not. We'll see.

Edited by vikingdeath1

As long as absolutely nothing changes and everything stays the same over at Atlus, then i'll be fine.

..... but....

Edited by Caliginous

Fine with it if they let Atlus USA stay as it is. Would be incredibly happy if they let them actually localize the bunch of games Sega has held in Japan for years on end. I have a feeling quite a few Atlus fans might increase sales of Sega IPs if Atlus helped put some marketing behind franchises like Yakuza, Valkyria Chronicles and Phantasy Star. An even crazier thought would be to develop an old school Phantasy Star crossover with Etrian Odyssey.

I doubt any of that will come to pass, so for now just hoping that they leave the amazing localisation team at Atlus USA intact.

Posted by Capasso

@sub_o: Miku-chan would fit right in with the Persona crew.

Edited by Video_Game_King

Wait, why is the story filed under the EA wiki page? Just because you can't spell Sega without EA doesn't mean that the company is relevant.

Online
Edited by GaspoweR

@nofzac: Yeah, that's true but now they probably can't just publish niche games and that would probably end up being the SEGA publishing arm's job. Most likely they'll just end up retaining just the dev teams if SEGA decides to cut costs since they also recently acquired Relic from the THQ sale.

Edited by Mr_Skeleton

Does that mean Sega will now make good games?

Posted by Little_Socrates

It makes me a little uneasy. Atlus have had a great record of getting games out to their Western fan-base pretty quickly, and the localisations have been great. I don't want any of that to change.

Sega on the other hand did not have a great last couple of years. PSO2 is a huge success, but after a US announcement just hasn't shown up. Anarchy Reigns was completed, and then delayed weeks before release until earlier this year despite the international version being finished by Platinum's own assertion by June 2012.

I think if you live in Japan this is probably going to be a fine fit. It's just a little worrying given how smoothly things have been going for Atlus themselves I didn't want to see any change, even though given Index's situation that would've been impossible.

Seeing how Atlus USA exists around this too will be interesting. It's entirely possible that maybe this just works out better for everyone and maybe Sega send niche projects like 7th Dragon their way to localise.

Basically; I don't know how this is going to turn out. I'm going to be apprehensive until I see a reason not to be.

This sums it up really nicely.

Posted by Hailinel

Sega Sammy Holdings isn't just Sega, guys. Don't run around in a panic unless there's confirmation bad things are afoot.

Online
Posted by iAmJohn

So long as Sega leaves Atlus (and I mean both Atluses; Atlus USA better not become a fucking part of Sega of America or I swear to god) the fuck alone to do whatever they want, I have no problems with this move. But I don't trust Sega to do that.

Posted by Redhorn

I'm just glad Atlus is still around.

Posted by xombi242

But Sega won't even localize Yakuza 5!

How can Sega cater to such a niche market if they won't localize such things?

Posted by Parsnip

I have no idea how to feel about this.

I personally don't have any attachment or experience with Sega, so I'm kind of clueless how the localization aspect comes in with this. Speed and quality and especially the European market.

Posted by GorillaMoPena

I know what everyone is thinking.

How will this effect the Persona ios weather app?

Posted by NuDimon

Does this mean the end for the Persona 4 endurance run?

Posted by Atwa

goodbye to localization of smaller niche titles.

Edited by Terranova

@sanj said:

The only thing I'm concerned about is the quality of localization for games like Persona, if they even will continue to release them in the west. I don't want them to Yakuza-fy it by just giving us the original Japanese with English subtitles, i.e. minimal localisation effort, while also removing the "too Japanese" parts of the game.

The Yakuza games have the Japanese track with english subtitles because that's how the fans in the west wanted them to be it's nothing to do with being a minimal translation effort, the first Yakuza game had a english dub and it was shit fans hated it so they went with Japanese and english subs for the second game and fans loved it so it's been that way for all other games since.

Posted by DevourerOfTime

Thanks Alex Navarro for starting my day with Sonic fanart induced nausea.

Posted by Nasar7

As long as SEGA just lets them be it should be alright. Could be worse, they could've been bought by Square Enix. Doesn't Atlus USA handle localization and publishing over here anyway?

Posted by LibrorumProhibitorum

Wow, Sega paid an arm and a leg for Atlus. With the state Sega is in you can clearly see they're putting everything in on this. Rightly so.

Posted by ghostyTrickster

Given Sega' recent lack of localizing certain beloved franchises with a rabid fanbase, I don't like this news at all.

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