Koei Tecmo Holdings announced today that it will be making Atelier series developer Gust into a subsidiary.
Koei Tecmo Holdings will be acquiring all 495 shares of Gust stock from current 100% shareholder Keiken Holdings, making the small independent publisher into a wholly owned subsidiary.
The involved parties signed a deal for the stock purchase earlier today. The transfer is planned for the middle of this month. The purchase price for the stock will be 22 million yen.
In a brief report on Tecmo Koei's buyout of Gust, Nikkei writes that the publisher plans on turning Gust's Atelier series into a social game.
Atelier has most recently appeared on the PlayStation 3 through the Arland subseries, which includes games like Atelier Meruru, Atelier Totori and Atelier Rorona. The games combine adventure, RPG and item synthesis elements.
For fans worried that the Atelier series as we know it may be coming to an end, it should be noted that Nikkei's report did not say that the series will be exclusively social from here on out. It's possible (and likely given recent sales) that Tecmo Koei is planning social developments in addition to standard games.
Well, this is... unexpected. I never thought we'd see cutesy JRPGs and social games with the Tecmo label.