Atlus' Parent Company in the Midst of Financial Difficulties in Japan
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Index enters "civil rehabilitation proceedings"
Atlus will be a name familiar to fans of franchises such as Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey, with the company's regional office in North America being particularly active on Nintendo systems. It's also a developer with which Nintendo is currently in partnership, with January's Wii U Direct confirming a collaboration on an RPG mashup of Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem.
Unfortunately it seems that Atlus' parent company, Index, has fallen into problems in Japan. Having previously gone under investigation for questionable business practices, Kotaku has now reported that the company is entering "civil rehabilitation proceedings". This has been equated to bankruptcy, while this useful description on NeoGaf makes it sound similar to the administration procedures in the UK; in the latter case the company continues to trade and exist, but ultimately restructures and seeks to satisfy creditors and return to a stable business footing. From what we can gather, it means the company has a chance of improving its fortunes and continuing, but is now formally in a process that could involve court appointments.
These are fairly complex legal and financial issues, it seems, and it's unclear at this stage how the troubles of Index will directly affect — if at all — Atlus as a publisher and developer. As a major supporter of Nintendo platforms, we'd certainly hope that it'll will emerge from its parent company's woes without too much impact on its business.