News Article

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.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (44)

NMH-TRI

#1

NMH-TRI said:

Above all, I want that SMT x FE game to not be affected. I also hope this does nothing to my Shin Megami on 3DS.

I don't know how things like this normally play out, but if they have to be sold, I at least want Ninty to nab those IPs. I'd be overjoyed if the Wii U could rival the SNES in RPG goodness :)

Edit: Forgot about Etrian. Now my "nab those IPs (plural)" makes sense, ha.

Lasermaster123

#2

Lasermaster123 said:

Woah! I hope this issue gets resolved as soon as possible! Shin Megami Tensei games are some of my favourite games on the DS and 3DS, I want them to keep coming! SMT x FE is a game that I am greatly looking forward to and wouldn't want this to influence its release. Etrian Odyssey is also a great game!

@NMH-TRI
Yes, if things turn out bad (which I hope they don't), Nintendo should atleast grab the IPs.

Einherjar

#3

Einherjar said:

Oh god no, please not Atlus and Co...They are one of the few studios left that make RPGs besides the "sane and safe" route and try out different things.
I hope this all goes well...fingers crossed
Its funny that it wouldnt bother me if big western gaming corps would vanish, but is breaks my gamer heart to hear that the little, kindy obscure japanese ones are struggeling.
I think i would quit gaming if one of the following companies would go down the drain:
Koei / Tecmo, Natsume (and all of its publishers), the whole Nippon Ichi pack (idea factory, Gust etc).

Hunter-D

#4

Hunter-D said:

Nintendo should just buy Atlus. Not only would this mean that SMT X FE isn't compromised but some of their other games would be released in the EU at a faster rate than before.

NMH-TRI

#6

NMH-TRI said:

Lol. #NintendoSaveAtlus is already hitting NOA/NOE/NintyHQ and Sony gamers are blowing up Sony execs for Persona/Atlus buyout. Ah, the interwebs.

shingi_70

#7

shingi_70 said:

This is the time Nintendo, buy out Index's Stake of Atkus before Sony or Microsoft does. Honestly I don't care who buys Atlus as long as all the IPs stay together and the company lives on.

But Its probably going to be Bacmo, Squeenix, sega, or Capcom.

NMH-TRI

#8

NMH-TRI said:

^ I wouldn't mind this at all. Their series are mainly behind certain systems. Nothing wrong with their established fanbases continuing to enjoy their games.

As long as they aren't ruined by whoever swoops in.

Doma

#9

Doma said:

Untitled

.,.... Nooooo

Edit: Nintendo would never buy them, guys. Way too risky for them considering Atlus' niche output. Nintendo has been acting pretty desperate lately themselves.

Maraccuda

#11

Maraccuda said:

Index has been in strife for a while now if I recall. The evidence is the rehashes and remakes of games, much like what Square Enix is doing.
And I heard they were trying to focus on 'social gaming'... much like what Square Enix is doing.....

Probably best for everyone if Nintendo or any other respectable company bought Atlus and leave Index to its eventual destruction.

EDIT: Just quietly, can you imagine if Nintendo bought Atlus and Persona 5 would be Wii u exclusive? All the Sony fanboy tears would fill up a lake LOL.
...But in all seriousness; Atlus, the gaming world needs you.

JGMR

#12

JGMR said:

Worrying, since I pre-ordered Dragon's Crown for the PS Vita. I hope ATLUS remains completely intact (as it currently is). They remain one of Japan's finest developers.

Zyph

#14

Zyph said:

If this ever comes true I'm okay with Sony acquiring the Persona spin-off franchise and Nintendo getting the major SMT franchise. But obviously it's impossible since Persona is SMT as well. :D

WYLD-WOO

#15

WYLD-WOO said:

Really don`t feel this will affect ATLUS. Index is a parent Company and has no real link with games like SMT. Index seem to have been in trouble for a while because of the poor remakes. Can anyone name anything good that has come from Index in recent years?

belmont

#16

belmont said:

Atlus games rarely get published in Europe or we get them very late to the point were the interest has somewhat faded... I really liked some of the PS2 games they made but few of their DS/PSP games were published here. Their biggest recent releases Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4 Arena arrived veryyyy late.

Shambo

#17

Shambo said:

Atlus just keeps popping up on some of my favourite games... Keep doing that, and remain on Nintendo! Too bad many of their Nintendo games don't come to Europe... Well, I have quite a few NTSC import games on DS from them... Some even with a soundtrack disc!

Region-free goodness!

Ralizah

#18

Ralizah said:

I doubt anything will happen to ATLUS proper. It is still a tad worrying, however.

LordsOfSkulls

#19

LordsOfSkulls said:

honestly i just wish atlus

Gave same copies of games that come out on DS/3DS/Wii/Wii U.

To come out on PS3/PS4/PS Vita and PSP.

That way more fans have access to it. >.> dont worry about Xbox people who have only xbox dont care about this kind of games.

bassoongoon

#20

bassoongoon said:

Sad to hear! I have not played any of their games, but I know they have some popular selections, and it is too bad to hear they are falling on hard times.

yuwarite

#21

yuwarite said:

Nintendo.... Buy them! Buy them! Buy them! .... Buy them! Buy them! Buy them!

JGMR

#23

JGMR said:

I see people on NeoGAF screaming for the acquisition by SONY or Nintendo all the time. Neither SONY nor Nintendo should buy them.

WingedSnagret

#24

WingedSnagret said:

Well shoot. Really hope this doesn't affect SMTXFE in anyway. But but considering we haven't heard anything on it since its January announcement, I can't help but be a little worried. :(

Ernest_The_Crab

#26

Ernest_The_Crab said:

I doubt that SMT4 will be affected by this (well the NA release anyways) since it's only about 2 weeks before it comes out. It would be a far greater waste of not selling it than scrapping it since pretty much all of the resources have been put in already at this point for a salable game.

SMTxFire Emblem and Persona 5 are the more problematic games at the moment since they may not be remotely close to release yet. We may end up seeing a bunch of remakes as the company tries to regain its footing.

AVahne

#28

AVahne said:

If Atlus does indeed get sold, I hope that Nintendo buys them. And for those worrying that Nintendo's practices will interfere with Atlus' development style, what about Monolith Soft? It seems to me that Nintendo has left them to their own devices, even with the recent move closer to Nintendo's offices.

AVahne

#30

AVahne said:

Then again.. Perhaps it would be better if a rival company like NIS buys them?

scottsensei

#31

scottsensei said:

I could see the good in buying Atlus as another second party partner. The chance to re-release the Persona games on the Wii U, exclusive rights to Persona 5 and access to the entire back catalogue of Atlus games as a possibility. Not to mention SMT games help console sales and those in the niche JRPG fanbase would swoop in for consoles if they knew one of the most prolific of studios was owned by Nintendo.

On the other hand, the price tag on that entire studio would definitely bring them to blows with Sony, who's seen a lot of support with the Persona series, and then of course Microsoft buying them could be the first step to gain a better foothold in Japan for the One.

If Nintendo wants them, more than likely a behind the scenes deal while discussing SMT x FE will happen. Given the reception to Monolith Soft and "X", I can imagine someone in their stables must be considering it or even pushing for it in the event Atlus needs the rescue.

Emblem

#32

Emblem said:

Sega, Sony or Nintendo would be good companies to buy Atlas, they all have the money and they all work well with other Japanese companies. I doubt Microsoft even know they exist but if they did get them they will probably end up like Rare.

yuwarite

#33

yuwarite said:

Imagine if Microsoft bought them and made Persona 5 an XBone exclusive? That would be so depressing, lol.

Melkaticox

#34

Melkaticox said:

Ok Nintendo, now's your chance. You should be buying Atlus right now...
...
Come ooooon...

Lasermaster123

#36

Lasermaster123 said:

@C-Olimar

Yea but still Atlus has been a major publisher on the DS, 3DS and the upcoming SMT x FE. In the end I hope that the need to purchase Atlus does not arise and this turns out alright as Atlus continues making its games.

B3ND3R

#40

B3ND3R said:

If Nintendo is in current Partnership with ATLUS... Hmm... Persona 5 on Wii U anyone? Maybe Persona 3D (could be a 3D remake of FES with the extra content of P3 Portable, except you can walk around like in FES)? Come on, that would be amazing!

Expa0

#41

Expa0 said:

After the fall of Capcom, Konami and Square; Atlus has been the only company in the world who seemingly still care about making good games. It would truly be a blow to people who love games if they went down under.

Vincent294

#42

Vincent294 said:

I don't think they'll be severely affected, but if they are, may Nintendo, maybe Sony, or a 3rd party publisher / developer like Capcom, Sega, Konami, etc. buy them out.

thatguyEZ

#43

thatguyEZ said:

I just hope this doesnt affect Millennium Girl and SMT IV...I love Atlus, and I would absolutely hate it if MS bought them, knowing MS they'd probably turn all of Atlus's IPs into Xbox and whatever handheld MS is working on exclusives and that would be no buenooo

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