By Junpei 24 Comments
It's been speculated for a little bit but finally some news has broken as to the future of Atlus. Neoseeker is reporting that parent company Index Holdings is planning to merge Atlus (which is 100% owned) and mobile game maker Index Corporations (95% owned) together to strengthen the brand. They have gone on to confirm that games currently announced by Atlus will continue to operate just as they normally would and be released under the Atlus label. As for the future beyond that nothing is specified.
Over the last few years Atlus has been able to amass a significant following of dedicated fans (myself one of them) and the unique games that they release are unlike many seen elsewhere. From darker settings and themes of the upcoming Catherine to the morality testing and sometimes thought to be sacrilegious Shin Megami Tensei games, Atlus has carved out a niche for itself in the gaming community that is tough to fill.
So what does the future hold for Atlus? Will we now be seeing Persona and SMT games coming out for Mobile as well as consoles and handhelds? Will the company no longer be called Atlus all together? Most importantly, will the unique quality of the product that a small company like Atlus was able to produce and publish remain or will it become more corporate and profit focussed leading to less and less risktaking that Atlus has been known and loved for?
I think the smartest thing they can do is dissolve the Index Corporation name into Atlus and release their mobile games under that label as opposed to creating an entirely new name. It'll carry more clout and weight worldwide while assuaging fans of the fear of major overhauls within the company. If the name does change I personally will be pretty upset and saddened by the end of Atlus, but if the games can continue to be of the unique style that only Atlus has doner and the quality of major games like the Persona, SMT, and numerous DS series continues at it's current level or better than I cannot complain. Best thing that could happen, Atlus is allowed to remain an independent branch of Index Holdings and if anything will have more freedom to take risks and due to an increase in monetary backing. Either way I'll be interested in seeing the end results when the merge is official on October 1st.