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Topic: Atlus Fan Club

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Stuffgamer1

61. Posted:

@Slappy: Silly, Ys Seven is from XSeed, not Atlus!:D

@WaltzElf: Did I not just say that the link said that the Atlus brand will still be used? :P

Gamasutra wrote:

The official press release indicates that the Atlus brand will continue, but in what capacity is unclear, at present.

So yeah, I'd say what this really means is EXTREMELY unclear.

EDIT: I maintain that the game industry most likely CAN support Atlus, and it's the higher-ups that own Atlus who decided they weren't profitable "enough." That's like how Hasbro doesn't want to release any games it owns that will only sell 100,000 copies as opposed to multi-millions. They make money on both, but want the big bucks ONLY. In other words, they're greedy arses.

Edited on by Stuffgamer1

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Bankai

62. Posted:

@WaltzElf: Did I not just say that the link said that the Atlus brand will still be used? :P

The key word is - for the time being.

My interpretation is that the Atlus brand will remain on existing projects - and ones that are already underway. Once those all finish up, it will be dissolved.

They make money on both, but want the big bucks ONLY. In other words, they're greedy arses.

I think you misjudge just how much risk there is in small-margin business.

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Stuffgamer1

63. Posted:

I know how much risk there is in that, but I also know that Atlus has been doing well lately. Risk can continue as long as the results remain positive. Until I see hard PROOF that this decision was made because Atlus was actually LOSING money, I'll continue to blame greedy corporate arses for it.

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Bankai

64. Posted:

Stuffgamer1 wrote:

I know how much risk there is in that, but I also know that Atlus has been doing well lately. Risk can continue as long as the results remain positive. Until I see hard PROOF that this decision was made because Atlus was actually LOSING money, I'll continue to blame greedy corporate arses for it.

Ok, just to do a bit of number crunching.

Let's assume that the kind of niche title that Atlus publishes costs a conservative $3 million to develop (very conservative) and produce, and as publisher Atlus is entitled to a very generous $40/ title sold. (that again is very, very generous. Publishers would be lucky to get anywhere near that).

To break even, Atlus needs to sell 75000 copies. That sounds small, but we're talking about niche titles here - Atlus might well only sell 100000 copies of a typical game.

So Atlus, in a perfect world, would make $1 million per game. Of course, it needs to also pay wages, rent, and so on and so forth - lets assume operational expenses reduce that profit to $800,0000/ game.

A game that undersells by just 10,000 essentially reduces that profit to nothing (as distributor, Atlus would need to take back unsold copies). It's entirely possible that a niche title would undersell by that much. That's why typical distributors don't take on niche titles.

Two games that undersell start to eat into the very minimal play money a company that runs on risk has available.

This is all very, very general - there's other kinds of costs involved in doing business as a publisher, and then there's the fact that Atlus is a Japanese-listed organisation at a time where the Japanese yen is struggling in the wrong direction for exports.

So no, it's not greedy bastards. It's a company that is making a move to make sure the whole darn thing doesn't go into liquidation. Risk cannot continue just because things are going well - things have to be going very well - Atlus was only ever one or two bad titles from bankrupcy, regardless of how 'well' it was performing lately. Business is not the kind of communist paradise where everyone looks after one another. It's capitalist, and survival of the fittest. Risk takers are the kinds of people (and metaphorically, organistions) that end up on Darwins list - the antithesis of 'fittest'

Edited on by Bankai

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Stuffgamer1

65. Posted:

If that is an issue, it's because Atlus has been publishing some random crap recently, NOT because of the popular core titles. Perhaps it would be more effective to cut the "101-in-1" Wii and DS games from their lineup than cut them altogether. Or maybe they should've picked up some more popular-styled games to supplement their income. The big money-making publishers generally don't want to touch these sorts of games, but that doesn't mean Atlus can't edge in on their turf if need be.

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Bankai

66. Posted:

Stuffgamer1 wrote:

If that is an issue, it's because Atlus has been publishing some random crap recently, NOT because of the popular core titles. Perhaps it would be more effective to cut the "101-in-1" Wii and DS games from their lineup than cut them altogether. Or maybe they should've picked up some more popular-styled games to supplement their income. The big money-making publishers generally don't want to touch these sorts of games, but that doesn't mean Atlus can't edge in on their turf if need be.

If anything, the 101 games stuff is what those guys should have focused on more.

Look, I love love love The Dark Spire - a game that was core to Atlus' business model. But you'd be crazy to think that kind of game sold in any kind of quantity to be sustainable. Same for the PSP output - targetting a niche within a niche market, there.

Unless you can come up with some reason to suggest Atlus was sustainable (and no, being popular with core audiences and getting good reviews in publications don't count, unfortunately), then it's a bit unfair to lay the blame at a business, filled with intelligent buinsess people that know more about the Atlus financials than you do, for being "greedy" because it cuts off what it considers dead weight.

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Stuffgamer1

67. Posted:

I guess I should admit that those 101-in-1 titles MUST have been selling, because I looked at Atlus.com and they've got more upcoming. It's REALLY discouraging to see a company you love for being so niche and awesome forced to sink to that level, though.:(

I agree that their PSP output in general was a niche within a niche. Interestingly, XSeed seems to be doing very well in that market, possibly to the point of being a factor in Atlus' downfall. And Dark Spire DEFINITELY didn't do well, dropping to $10 in only a month or two. I'd like to think that Demon's Souls, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Etrian Odyssey, and Trauma Center/Team could keep them going, but too many other failed projects could admittedly be a problem. I just didn't want to admit it.:(

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Bankai

68. Posted:

Stuffgamer1 wrote:

I guess I should admit that those 101-in-1 titles MUST have been selling, because I looked at Atlus.com and they've got more upcoming. It's REALLY discouraging to see a company you love for being so niche and awesome forced to sink to that level, though.:(

I agree that their PSP output in general was a niche within a niche. Interestingly, XSeed seems to be doing very well in that market, possibly to the point of being a factor in Atlus' downfall. And Dark Spire DEFINITELY didn't do well, dropping to $10 in only a month or two. I'd like to think that Demon's Souls, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Etrian Odyssey, and Trauma Center/Team could keep them going, but too many other failed projects could admittedly be a problem. I just didn't want to admit it.:(

It's tragic, I agree, but unfortuantely that's what I meant by Atlus being too risky for any reasonable business to keep going - one or two failed projects is all it takes for a company like that to really start to struggle :(

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Stuffgamer1

69. Posted:

Makes me wonder how XSeed stays in the black, having had more utter failures than Atlus and being generally lesser-known.

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malpon

70. Posted:

I do respect Atlus for bringing alot of games over that most likely would have never have seen light over here but at times it seems like they will slap their name on anything they can.

Also the new Naruto game they are putting out will probaly keep them afloat a bit longer.

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Bankai

71. Posted:

Stuffgamer1 wrote:

Makes me wonder how XSeed stays in the black, having had more utter failures than Atlus and being generally lesser-known.

XSeed runs a smaller operation, so its costs are lower - I imagine it pays less to developers for their IPs (Atlus took on developers who almost could be published by the really big guys, whereas XSeed gives the light of day to the guys everyone would ignore), has lower wage overheads, smaller marketing budgets and so on. When operational costs are lower there's less risk is something does go wrong. XSeed is also less likely to have a genuine hit, such as Demon's Souls. In other words, although it is a niche player, I reckon is has a lower risk business model.

The other big factor is that XSeed is a business based in America, right? Do not underestimate how terrible the economy in Japan is right now - Atlus, and many other Japanese publishers, are really struggling because the Yen is so high against other currencies that it's not an export-friendly environment right now. Being based in America, XSeed actually avoids any currency difficulties.

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Stuffgamer1

72. Posted:

I wonder why Atlus is suddenly publishing Naruto, anyway. Wasn't Namco enjoying churning those out?

You make a very good point, WaltzElf...I do believe XSeed IS based in America. It also has (to my knowledge) absolutely NO development studios, making it 100% cheap localization. It's starting to pick up bigger-name titles in Lunar and Ys, though...I hope that doesn't result in XSeed building up to the same place Atlus has found itself.

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Slapshot

73. Posted:

@waltz... Atlus was founded April 7, 1986. That a 24 yr life span. Id say that was a pretty dang good long run for a so called niche gaming company. They have been in buisness for not much less than Ive been alive. They are no new company and have lasted much longer than many, many other companies.

To see a company that has catered to us niche hardcore games for 24 yrs, and after publishing some great games recently, and then to see them abruptly be disolved, yes it indeed does suck! I also completely disagree with you, the market is now moving away from niche titles and in 10 yrs there will prob be no XSEED or Ignition if they rely on niche titles as they publish now. Outside of Japan the days of our love for these types of games may slowly becoming to an end. Niche titles rely on old school gaming as a basis for the games, and gamers now days dont care too much for old school unless is glamorized as it was with Mega Man 9/10, etc.

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Bankai

74. Posted:

slapshot82 wrote:

@waltz... Atlus was founded April 7, 1986. That a 24 yr life span. Id say that was a pretty dang good long run for a so called niche gaming company. They have been in buisness for not much less than Ive been alive. They are no new company and have lasted much longer than many, many other companies.

To see a company that has catered to us niche hardcore games for 24 yrs, and after publishing some great games recently, and then to see them abruptly be disolved, yes it indeed does suck! I also completely disagree with you, the market is now moving away from niche titles and in 10 yrs there will prob be no XSEED or Ignition if they rely on niche titles as they publish now. Outside of Japan the days of our love for these types of games may slowly becoming to an end. Niche titles rely on old school gaming as a basis for the games, and gamers now days dont care too much for old school unless is glamorized as it was with Mega Man 9/10, etc.

I agree it's a long run - but a long innings (to use a cricket term) doesn't indicate a company that will exist into forever. Especially one like Atlus which relies on high risk - being around for 24 years is just proof that they really knew their industry.

As for the future - there are heaps of niche publishers springing up, even now - espeically in the digital distribution space. Look at Chillingo. Those guys are niche, and building very nicely. The nature of niche publishing is that there will be lots of casualties along the way - but I am convinced that given the industry is still growing, there is room, 10 years down the track, for a smart niche publisher to exist of the size of an Atlus.

Of course I could be wrong, but we'll see.

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Stuffgamer1

75. Posted:

I agree, WaltzElf...niche gaming in general has been on the rise recently, which makes this Atlus news all the more surprising. I'm sure the digital download realm will do much to keep the market alive as the costs of release are reduced and income can keep flowing longer after release.

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Slapshot

76. Posted:

Yeah i agree with you both. It really seems niche gaming has been growing rapidly. Made the news so much more shocking. I think you have hit the nail on the head Waltz, the Japanese yen being so high very well might be the reason. Seems very probable.

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Stuffgamer1

77. Posted:

Happy news is happy! :D

And it's really what I thought might happen to begin with, so all WaltzElf's doom and gloom was for naught.:P

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Slapshot

78. Posted:

:D

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Bankai

79. Posted:

If I had a dollar for every time I've seen something like this glossed over with "nothing is going to change"....

I hope it's genuinely the case this time around, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Stuffgamer1

80. Posted:

@WaltzElf: Well, at the very least, we don't need to hold our breath waiting for Atlus to be pulled out from under us either. It's a stay of impending doom, for now. And I'll take "for now" gladly as opposed to having no remaining time at all.:)

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