News Article

Rumour: Nintendo Is Shaping Up To Acquire Troubled Atlus

Posted by Damien McFerran

Could the esteemed Shin Megami Tensei developer become an in-house studio?

Atlus may be riding high on the success of Shin Megami Tensei IV, but its parent company Index is in serious financial trouble and is likely to begin auctioning off its assets — Atlus included — as early as this week.

Interestingly, there are rumours circulating that Nintendo is poised to pick up Atlus and bring the company into the fold as an internal studio. According to International Digital Times, the evidence lies in the close working relationship that the two firms have shared in recent years. As well as Shin Megami Tensei IV — which is a 3DS exclusive — Atlus and Nintendo are working on crossover title Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem.

Here's what International Digital Times has to say on the matter:

The single most likely bidder for Atlus in the Atlus bankruptcy case is Nintendo. As a matter of fact, I'd like to suggest that a Nintendo-led acquisition of Atlus may actually have been in the works for some time. That's because Nintendo has been working unusually closely with Atlus lately, treating them practically like an in-house studio. That may be because Atlus is about to become one.

Not convinced? International Digital Times says that a move from Nintendo is likely because it's the company which has the most to gain from buying Atlus: only makes sense for Nintendo to make the most of the Atlus bankruptcy and buy Atlus outright, maybe at a bit of a discount. It would not only shore up an increasingly significant third party developer - especially in its home market - but it would also simply create more capacity for Nintendo's homegrown development, which is something they've discussed expanding. Their recent collaboration suggests that the cultures mesh well together.

What's more, the other major gaming companies aren't as interested in the Atlus bankruptcy. Sony is the biggest threat; if they decide they're interested, they can certainly outbid Nintendo. Square Enix would make a lot of sense, but wouldn't help them diversify - quite the opposite - and they don't really have the money. Capcom or Konami could pick it up, but there are no obvious synergies. And Microsoft and other Western developers just won't care.

That sounds like some serious guesswork to us, but it's certainly true that Nintendo will have a lot to gain from buying Atlus and given the developer's rather unfortunate position, it could be bought for a decent price. Nintendo could do with the additional development support, too — Atlus exclusives for the Wii U could boost the console's fortunes in its homeland.

What are your thoughts? Is a Nintendo purchase an unlikely scenario, or do you think the deal has been in the works for some time? Post a comment to share your opinion with us.


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User Comments (185)



FroguinZX said:

My worry is Persona 5. I hope the project isn't cancelled entirely because of the acquistion. Plus, will it sell well on a new platform?



Hunter-D said:

I always thought that Ninty would be a suitable buyer and I'm not just talking about SMT X FE.

Not only would Nintendo fans benefit from the amazing games but this will also open Atlus up to a larger crowd. So far they've had a niche, cult-like following. Their name deserves to be spread.



JuanitoShet said:

I've never (and I do mean never) have followed Atlus closely, but there's a reason they have the following that they do, and I think that Nintendo would be the perfect company to incorporate them into themselves. Like Hunter-D above me states, it would only help their name spread, and I'm confident Nintendo would be the perfect company to spread said name.

This would be awesome.



bizcuthammer said:

I hope thus happens so Persona 5 can be a WiiU exclusive. And so that maybe they'll put Snowboard Kids on the VC lol



Bulbousaur said:

If this does happen, will Atlus games on non-Nintendo platforms be forced to stop manufacturing and being sold? This could also mean Atlus games be currently developed on non-Nintendo platforms would have to switch to Wii U or 3DS, or be cancelled altogether.



Krzysztof said:

Here's a tip for you Nintendo. Buy Altus, Capcom and Konami and you'll never have to worry about 3rd party support.



LeVideoGamer said:

Well, I would think Nintendo are the closest company with Atlus. With Trauma Centre, Etrian Odyssey and Shin Megami Tensei recently, plus SMT X FE, Atlus might as well be a first-party developer.

Nintendo need more manpower, Atlus need financial security. It's a match made in heaven.



ICHIkatakuri said:

I was wondering when the rumours around this would begin. I for one would love Nintendo to pull it off, though the article says Sony could outbid Nintendo and I wouldn't have guessed that likely? Last years financial results put Sony in a very precarious position financially (mainly due to the shift in the music industry and their bad performance in the phone making business). They're about to release a new console and advertise the hell out of the earth, I'd bet they have enough money tied up in games they're not going to take a risk on a bankrupt companies assets.



Placlu said:

I love nintendo. I love atlus. I love their games. I love the idea of Fire Embelm x SMT.. I hate the idea of Atlus being first/second party.
Idk call me crazy but i wanna see Persona 5 on the PS4.. it would be weird on the Wii U.. Atlus are a great third party. The only pro of this is that we (Europe) would actually be able to play these bloody games.
and yea, what would happen to Persona 4 Golden? pull that off the PSN? It would undo so much stuff for it to be a good thing imo.



Krzysztof said:

@Bulby I don't think so. If those games being developed for other platforms, they'd delay them a bit to make Wii U / 3DS ports. But after that we wouldn't see many multiplats from Altus.



sillygostly said:

Consider this, guys... if Sony were to acquire Atlus, then that would essentially mean that Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem would be cancelled (or the Fire Emblem assets would need to be replaced with Sony IP).



ICHIkatakuri said:

@Krzysztof I keep dreaming that would happen, one missing from the list though, SEGA haven't had the best of rides over the last few years a couple of poorly received AAA ps4 and XBone games and they might find themselves on the bankruptcy end of a bidding war. If Nintendo could buy all major Japanese dev's it would be the best console in the world, one with a unified goal like back in the NES days



Einherjar said:

If Nintendo could aquire them, they would have two of the best JRPG devs on their hand (second one being monolith). And not counting the Persona series, the main SMT series already shifted to nintendo consoles (Strange Journey is considered Main SMT canon, with SMT4 following close by on the 3DS) So id dont see any reason why the persona series couldnt continue on the WiiU. It not beeing a "next next gen" game would also be more cost effective, since money should be Atlus biggest problem right now.
With Atlus big Nintendo focus at the moment (the Etrian Oddysey franchise, SMT strategy games, SMT4 etc) and Nintendo being willing to save them, this could be a fruitful partnership.



One-Winged-Pit said:

Other than Persona 5 shifting to the WiiU it would not be that big of a change since most likely Nintendo would keep Atlus for themselves. Nintendo has been where the majority of Atlus games go so this would easily give them even more support and Atlus would have a bigger budget I am sure..



Krzysztof said:

@ICHIkatakuri For me it'd make sense. Nintendo doesn't have many games but shed loads of cash. So they can either spend even more money on developing new platforms and pushing them on the market, trying to prove to developers that their system is still worthy, or just ... but them I recon it's just a matter of time when Sega will be a Nintendo's 1st party developer.



Wheels2050 said:

I don't know why Nintendo would want to acquire Atlus - Nintendo already makes the best games, it would just be a waste of money.

Let Atlus rot, I say.



dumedum said:

"Nintendo has been where the majority of Atlus games go". That's why it makes sense. If anyone thinks that Fire Emblem crossover is in risk in any way if someone else acquires them, you can be relaxed. Nintendo right now has the closest relationship with Atlus, and nothing can change these existing commitments.



Einherjar said:

@Wheels2050 Excuse me ? On which side of the moon are you living ? Since when is Nintendo making one of the most popular and long running JRPG franchises ? Atlus is by all means one of the best developers and publishers out there for games, that are slightly off the main stream. I have to agree that Nintendo makes some of the best games out there, yes, but they are not omnipotent. They cant feed every need alone.



Nomad said:

I can only see good things happening if this acquisition was to happen. Altus have some great games and Nintendo could do with the exclusives.



TwilightV said:

I doubt Nintendo planned any sort of buyout, but they would be the best company to acquire Atlus, and such an acquisition would greatly serve to benefit them.



Linkstrikesback said:

Ironic you would say that when your username is a Fire Emblem thing.

Still, I'd ignore Wheels2050, he's clearly one of those people living in a magical fantasy world where Nintendo doesn't need 3rd parties to be a success.



TooManyToasters said:

I think more in the way of a RARE-style partnership than full-on purchase. Atlus's assets, mostly their franchises, seem a bit too large to acquire, one would think.



DarkCoolEdge said:

It would be great. If it happens I hope Nintendo doesn't change the company to make their games less adult-oriented.

3DS needs more great games like Radiant Historia



Einherjar said:

@Linkstrikesback My username comes from norse mythology but its pretty likely that FE borrowed it from there
Regarding the 3rd partys: I wouldnt say that they outright need them, but it would be good nonetheless.



Morph said:

This would be excellent, makes perfect sense, would guarantee a steady stream of titles. Nintendo has the cash to do it as well although this year with the wii u isnt maybe the best time for a big outlay



WiiLovePeace said:

I really hope this happens. Atlus is awesome, Nintendo is awesome. That means Awesome X Awesome = Mind-blowing awesomeness!



seronja said:

well that would be just perfect + it would make sense, besides Nintendo need's more exclusive games that isn't Mario related...



smashbrolink said:

@FroguinZX I think Nintendo would be generous and allow them to finish their work on Persona 5 before focusing on Nintendo systems, if it came to that.



Doma said:

Are people forgetting Iwata has a 100 billion yen operating income target to reach by next April? Of course they won't be buying out some niche studio.



Macarony64 said:

@Placlu it would not undo much stuff... it would just do it for Sony consoles now seriously Nintendo could just talk with a third party to buy atlus in unison so they could make easier multyplats.



Samurai_Goroh said:

@Doma There's more to successfully manage a large company than meeting financial targets on the short term and the stockholder's every whim. When a opportunity arises that can strategically improve the company's value in the long term, you scrap the financial reports, make new plans and tell stockholders to bite the dust. Plus, isn't Hiroshi Yamauchi still the majority shareholder of Nintendo? If so, I don't think there will be a problem. If Nintendo did everything shareholders told them to, they would be making smartphone games by now. Plus, Nintendo could pay part of the bid in stock, not necessarily all in cash. Or a part of the money this year and the remaining the next fiscal year. So many big acquisitions are made this way.
Nintendo has the money to do this, they need to bulk up their game portfolio given lacklustre 3rd party support, they need more talented programmers versed in HD development like they even admitted they are lacking.



Peach64 said:

Not sure how much it would help sales as even the big guns are pretty niche, but it would really help improve Nintendo's reputation amongst gamers. On the other hand Nintendo could really screw up MegaTen and Persona by interfering to try and make them appeal to a 'wider audience'.



XCWarrior said:

I say Nintendo should buy for sure. Gives them another top notch studio under their wing, and guarantees more RPGs for the Nintendo systems. They can take ownership of Persona series, meaning it wouldn't come to Sony. That wouldn't be as big of a momentum swinger as Monster Hunter, but it would be another nail in Vita's coffin.

Go for it Nintendo. Buy Atlas.



Idolo said:

Oh Nintendolife, please don't tease me like this XD
I like alot of what Atlus produces and would love to see Nintendo acquire them. Though if the rumor is true, I hope Nintendo let Atlus continue to make their own games and ideas.
3D Dot game heroes, Catherine, Persona etc. Sure throw them a Ninty IP every so often when they can/want, but let them be free enough to continue creating their unique brand of games.



okamiki said:

Just buy it nintendo. For you that think nintendo would ruin these games, seriously?

They know shin megami are a cult series and yeah buy it so those sony bashers have to buy 3ds/wii u to play these games.

To harsh? No...



datamonkey said:

Yes Nintendo should buy them. More development talent means less sparse Wii U lineup!



Samurai_Goroh said:

Iwata set the target himself, but he also made clear that he would not resign if the target's not met, which suggests it's not an absolute imperative. It's not even solid ground that Nintendo meets this target, regardless of the acquisition.
Plus, haven't you read my post, if they made a bid partially in stock or several payments over this and the next fiscal year, they could circumvent that target easily. And finally, I don't think Atlus would be that costly, particularly when it's bankrupt. Nintendo should buy now because they would buy cheap, otherwise I don't recommend them spending an obscene amount of money in acquisitions. If so I would tell them to get Capcom, Konami and the whole Japanese game industry, lol.



Araknie said:

Yes please, Nintendo look at how much love you got from Atlus in this last 5 years, YES PLEASE!



Doma said:

@Samurai_Goroh He may not want to resign, but if a large number of stockholders call for it after he fails... what choice will he have?

If they planned to pay partially, as you say. Why would they win the bid above anybody else who're perhaps willing to pay upfront?



SilentHunter382 said:

I like Atlus and there games. I wouldn't say I am a big fan but if Nintendo buys them then that would help move systems with the massive following they have.



Spoony_Tech said:

Just wait till all of NA wakes up and reads this news! I of course would love it but I could see some not liking it for the sole reason of sony. At least all tje emails I get from Atlus would have more meaning as I use to delete the ones non Nintendo related.



Boukman said:

It would be great move. The games they make are more for the adult market. That's where the competition is. Also there is a growing interest in the West for these deeper RPG experiences. Nintendo has the power to back up that development. Plus: It might be niche here, but it's not in Japan. And that's an important market for Nintendo. Plus they acquire a talented crew of developers.



thesilverbrick said:

This doesn't surprise me, considering the partnership for the upcoming crossover game and the fact that Nintendo is pushing SMTIV sales with its Fire Emblem $30 eshop credit promotion.



Icefreak45 said:

I'm not sure about this. I'm all for Nintendo acquiring them but I want no interference from Nintendo on Atlus's projects. And Persona 5, that's all I want q_q.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

Well since Nintendo needs more games on their consoles, and no 3rd parties are willing to help, the only logical choice is to try to expand your own company to provide more games for the people.



arrmixer said:

Nothing is written in stone. If Nintendo wants Altus, then Iwata and company already had the plan in the works before the "rumor" came out. As stated earlier, a plan is a plan nothing more.... Adjustments are usually needed during implementation.



shake_zula said:

If P5 becomes a Wii U exclusive I will flay myself for two straight days, in repent of everything negative I've ever said about Nintendo.



mookysam said:

Given Nintendo's history of censorship and the content of most Shin Megami Tensei games, I would not like to see them own Atlus.



King47 said:

Sure it would be great. But atlus games dont always sell millions of copies, that might not be appealing to Nintendo. At least I hope if they but them, they don't have them make other games like platformers.



Shambo said:

@Happy_Mask as the 54th comment in 3 hours, and a possibilty debated across the internet, I believe this issomewhat out of place

I hope it will happen, no more, no less. Atlus games could finally reach Europe, and buying a ps4 could be -at least temporary- scratched off my list of things-to-do-that-I-actually-don't-want-to-do. Why I don't want to? I have bills to pay and better things to spend money on than 'friggin' online functionality and a ps3 on steroids. Like actual games flooding the WiiU soon. I never liked the ps controller's esthetics and ergonomics - and that's clearly not about to change, and I just needed 4 tries (!) to start the ps3, only to get another update and have it restart again. Again, since the system just had an update.



Dr_Corndog said:

The only Atlas game I've played is the first Trauma Center. It's the kind of brilliant game I'd like to see more of.



Samurai_Goroh said:

@Doma I believe Yamauchi is the majority shareholder of Nintendo still. I may be wrong, but if he is, he would block any attempt to sack Iwata for certain. Remember when Apple withhold stockholders dividends for more than a decade, because Steve Jobs preferred to invest in the company? Many were not pleased, but nobody challenged the leadership and Apple stocks were priced insanely high still. Hiroshi Yamauchi may be many things, but he's not a short-sighted financier. Also if presented properly with the business "newspeak" du jour, many investor will be tantalised over the "sheer synergies potential of the acquisition".
I do not know if Nintendo would win the auction, of course no one knows. But who would be willing to outbid Nintendo for Atlus? I don't see that many companies interested in it. I am definitely curious to see how this one unfolds.



Ralizah said:

Baseless conjecture. Of course, such an acquisition would be amazing, and we've seen that Nintendo is fully willing to allow Atlus to release mature titles on its systems, but I'm not holding my breath.



Nabbit101 said:

@Peach64 I was thinking that as well or at least the games would be "died" down for bogger audiences but probably that wouldn't happen if Nintendo bought Atlus because they don't typically screw games up ( most of the time at least)



FadedSun said:

Wasn't Catherine the last game Atlus ever made for another console? Almost all of their games have been on Nintendo consoles for a while now.



SheldonRandoms said:

They should buy Atlus, imagine a Mario cameo somewhere in a Shin Megami Tensei game..............and also, if Sony were to buy them, then Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem would probably get cancelled, and I don't think Nintendo would want that to happen. And another piece of evidence is that Club Nintendo deal, I know it's to help promote the crossover, but it would also make sense if they were to buy them.



rmeyer said:

Let Atlus die and purchase the franchises. Nintendo has enough on its shoulders right now. If you're going to buy a company buy Blizzard.



russellohh said:

Sounds good to me. I'm always sad when an Atlus game goes to PSP. Out of 100 Facebook friends that I know the gaming habits of, maybe 3-4 don't have 3DSs. I know literally two people with a PSP, and I've only even SEEN a Vita once. If Atlus goes all-Nintendo, I'll actually be able to play all of their games.



retro_player_22 said:

I'll be very happy if Nintendo bought Atlus, knowing at least all the great Atlus franchise now exclusive on one console will make me a happy gamers.



banacheck said:


Nintendo could really screw up MegaTen and Persona by interfering to try and make them appeal to a 'wider audience'.

From what i've read this has already happened with Bayonetta sadly, the reason Bayonetta was popular by hardcore gamers was because of it's gameplay. Now its nothing more than a button masher to suit a wider audience.

This is a massive if, if Nintendo did buy Atlus thay would loss a lot of there fans.



Sleepingmudkip said:

i just hope if Nintendo buys atlus but does not try to change them.(i want atlus to work on fire emblem)



Samurai_Goroh said:

@rmeyer Buy Blizzard? You mean buy Activision-Blizzard, one of the world's largest videogame publishers. Yep, they should not buy a small,cult-status, insolvent Japanese company because that's too cheap. Worse, that's petit bourgeois, we're no peasants! Let's aim for the top, allons-y! They should melt all their cash in buying a Western behemoth, and just because of a studio that develops for PC. Then, next year they'll be the ones being acquired. Totally, dude.



SheldonRandoms said:

@MrWalkieTalkie Yeah, Nintendo really has interest in Atlus, and if Nintendo's not going to buy them, then who?

And also, if they were to buy them, then somebody from Shin Megami Tensei can be in (or DLC) in the next Smash Bros.



Sleepingmudkip said:

@banacheck how would it be a loss Nintendo does best with rpg(mostly tactical rpg such a fire emblem) and Persona is like that. bayoetta is a M rated game funded by Nintendo but being made by platinum so Nintendo did not change that.



Slapshot said:

The original article(s) are written off of nothing but pure speculation. There is nothing substantial to show that Nintendo is even considering acquiring Atlus at this point in time. If there was, there would be a bit of substance for this "rumour," but as for now - this is all pure speculation from a journalist who talks like his words are factual.



nomeacuerdo said:

Last game from Atlus that I've played was World Soccer '94: Road to Glory, so you may deduce how much do I care about their projects.

Anyway, my question is: how would nintendo benefit from the acquisition of a niche gaming studio, when they're currently struggling to reach a wider audience?



stealth said:

@Legromancer That is like 1 percent of the output

99 percent of games in the last 8 years have been nintendo exclusive

Etrian 1
Etrian 2
Etrian 3
Etrian 4
Etrian millenium
radiant historia
3 trauma centers
2 digital devil survivors
smt iv
soul hacker

and that is just for starters



okamiki said:

@Doma If investors see this as a great deal for all sides they won't care about that. I bet your ps3 is trembling of fear...



SphericalCrusher said:

Who knows if the deal has been in the works, but we do know that they have been working well together. If not on this, maybe some type of exclusive partnership. This makes me very happy to hear. I wouldn't want Nintendo to hurt themselves by buying these types of studios, but I think they could highly benefit from snatching Atlus and maybe a couple others up, if they can afford it.



CorporalPegasus said:

No. Please no. Atlus should be bought by a 3rd party. Atlus always had a great relationship with al three big companies. It gives them more freedom if it stays that way. Also i doubt JRPG's will save the Wii U... Sure, i might buy a Wii U for Persona 5, but in the big western casual market?



GN004Nadleeh said:

my only problem with this is that Nintendo likes to keep rpgs on its handhelds instead of its consoles



MAN1AC said:

It seems be to be that way. I'm cool with it as long as they dont dumb down/mess up the Persona series.



hYdeks said:

Atlus being acquired by Nintendo? That would be AWESOME! Nintendo fans seem to be the big supporters of Atlus anyways



banacheck said:


Nintendo but being made by platinum so Nintendo did not change that.

Nintendo is the publisher of Bayonetta 2, and can say if thay want certain parts of the game changed or not or the game doesn't get made.



PanurgeJr said:

I would love for this to happen; but since I know neither company's financials, nor their business plans, it remains just a selfish desire. The worst idea I've seen here is to buy the IPs but not Atlus itself. There would be no point to acquiring Persona, say, without the people who know how to make Persona as well. I also wouldn't be worried about Nintendo interfering too much. Nintendo makes sure studios meet their standards, but in my experience otherwise lets them do their thing--see Rare and Silicon Knights. Atlus seems to do the same thing, so I'd expect the two would work well together, and we'd still get unadulterated games.



Doma said:

@okamiki Investors? Ha, those same dudes who're pushing for Nintendo to make games for iOS/smartphones. Yeah, sure they would...



element187 said:

@FroguinZX If Nintendo buys Atlus, Persona 5 would probably become a Wii U exclusive... and it would probably be a system seller in Japan.

I hope Nintendo does it, because I would love to see ALOT of collaborations between Atlus IP's and NIntendo's.... Can you imagine a Xenoblade game mixed with an Atlus game?



element187 said:

@ICHIkatakuri Agreed. I don't think Sony can afford it.. They were recently selling office buildings to cover their estimated losses of releasing another console.... It would be a risky buy for Sony, because what if the PS4 sells as poorly as the ps3 did in its first few years? That extra cash is going to be needed for the first few years of the PS4's life.



element187 said:

@ICHIkatakuri Agreed. I don't think Sony can afford it.. They were recently selling office buildings to cover their estimated losses of releasing another console.... It would be a risky buy for Sony, because what if the PS4 sells as poorly as the ps3 did in its first few years? That extra cash is going to be needed for the first few years of the PS4's life, just as a security blanket position if anything.

Nintendo on the other hand is swimming in cash... it would be smart if they pulled in Atlus.



banacheck said:

Nintendo buys Atlus means Atlus US wouldn't bring unique JRPG over to westerners, Persona would die. Casual gamers would not buy gamers like Persona, if there was a choice of making a game DK would be made over Persona, sound familiar? Nintendo buys Atlus R.I.P.



element187 said:

@Placlu Any previous games would remain where they are, as those are based on a contract....

Any currently in development or released games would remain where they are, but any new game would be exclusive to Nintendo..

I really don't think any game by Atlus would benefit from the extra power of the PS4.. I don't know why people assume its automatically going to be better on stronger hardware. The higher quality the visuals, the more expensive it is to produce... Graphics are only going to be what a developer wants to do. Just porting a game to another system that is stronger wont automatically make a game look better, there is actually work that needs to be put in to improve visuals... and that work costs money, something Atlus probably doesn't have much of... Whatever Atlus was going to do with Persona 5 could probably run on a PS3, let alone Wii U, and not look any better than a potential PS4 release,



Samurai_Goroh said:

@Doma And yet, in spite of these dudes so vehemently pushing for smartphones games, Nintendo refuses to do it. Doesn't this gives you a small taste of who really runs that company? It's the CEO, not the shareholder. That's what I've been trying to tell you all along. And Iwata so happens to be a CEO, appointed heir to the kingdom by the former one, who turned the company around in the past ten years and delivered several money-printing platforms like the Nintendo DS, the Wii and the 3DS. Iwata has the full confidence of Yamauchi. And Yamauchi is the largest shareholder. No one is going to steer Nintendo away from it's path as long as the old man lives. And senior, filthy rich, Japanese men tend to have a long life expectancy.



banacheck said:


Sony have been making a profit of the PS3 for a few years now, and even if the PS4 sold poorly it wouldn't matter as Sony not selling the PS4 at big loss, in fact the PS4 is going to be very profitable for Sony.



Doma said:

@Samurai_Goroh The current problem though - is that the WiiU has been failing spectacularly under Iwata's leadership, plus he's been losing the company hefty amounts of money since 2011. You may think Investors are stupid for thinking along the short-term constantly, but Iwata's decisions and refusal to learn from past mistakes is causing horrible damage to Nintendo. Damage that they now probably won't be able to recover from in the home console market.



McGruber said:

I hope it's true! It would be perfect since Nintendo stated they want to localize a lot more games (because their libraries are getting harder to fill), so this aquisition would really help them!



AJTsuki said:

This is all conjecture. Quoting the press/analysts is ridiculous. Maybe Nintendo will buy Atlus, but we won't know until Nintendo announces its buying Atlus.



DarkLloyd said:

To be Honest i rather Atlus be jiont Owned by Sony and Nintendo, its pretty obvious beside the spinoff game that they already behave like that as it is.

no need to take away from each other, while a good move business wise, not the best when it comes to fanbase on sony platforms



TrueWiiMaster said:

Nintendo should definitely try to get Atlus. Between Atlus and Monolith, they'd just about own the JRPG genre. Plus, I think Trauma Center would be a great addition to the Wii U library.



Epicnessofme99 said:

Seems like a smart move, it could help bring on more mature titles to the Wii U and it would be very interesting to see what kinds of exclusives they could bring to the system.



King47 said:

There would be a problem if Nintendo, or any other publisher, bought them and the developers left the company.



Hong said:

Atlus would give Nintendo some much, much, much needed spice that it has been lacking as of recent.



Senario said:

@CorporalPegasus If Nintendo aquiring Atlus and subsequently releasing Persona 5 as a Wii U exclusive makes you buy the console I say that Nintendo's mission is accomplished. They aquire a good game company and also get several games that some would consider system sellers.

I like the Persona series but I feel as if some potential is wasted with Sony since the PS3 started. P4 Golden is something that I wanted to play but it being on the Vita with the insane cost of proprietary memory cards just made it not worth it. And that isn't counting that there aren't that many good games for the Vita compared to the 3DS. Besides that I enjoyed the original more than enough to decide not to get the expanded game when it included buying a new handheld console.

A good rumor that I hope is true since I enjoy a lot of Atlus games for the high quality of gameplay.



nerdydan said:

I honestly hope Nintendo and Sony leave Atlus be. Atlus has dedicated franchises and fanbases on both Sony and Nintendo platforms. If Nintendo or Sony buys them out, a lot of people will be missing out. Plus what would Nintendo do with existing Atlus games and franchises on other systems? Also Nintendo doesn't exactly produce M rated games, which Atlus does a lot of. SMT games of any kind are explicitly known for having dark subject matter, very mature themes, nudity, disturbing images, ect. I can hardly imagine Nintendo allowing one of their studios to produce a game like that. These elements are also. What makes Atlus games so good. Winding it down would only hurt the games. No, if anything, I hope NIS buys Atlus out. They may be somewhat small, but they're not dedicated to any any one platform and could actually put games out in Europe too, which is something Atlus normally just can't do. Plus, NIS being an extremely Japanese developer wouldn't influence Atlus in the slightest. They would just let Atlus keep on doing whatever it is their doing.



Caryslan said:

I honestly don't like the idea of this at all. I know buying Atlus could help Nintendo, but my concern is if this triggers an "arms race" where the big three start scooping up third-party studios. Even the big ones like Square Enix are having some problems finically. If Nintendo goes through with the Atlus deal and cuts Sony out of their games, it might provoke a response from Sony.

Sony is not going to sit by while Nintendo buys up all the exclusives, and there is going to come a point where Sony starts throwing their money around to buy third party studios in an attempt to cut Nintendo and Microsoft off. Something that bothers me is that even the major third-party developers are having money problems. If Nintendo starts doing this, we could see a race between the big three to buy out third-party developers.

To me, that is not a good thing. I would rather see a big third-party developer like Namco, Square Enix, or Konami buy Atlus.



amak11 said:

I honestly enjoy the comments here from diehard sony fanboys lol. Sony is releasing a console, they cant buy them out. Nintendo has more room to play with, accept it.

We all agree though, we dont want them Rare'd in to MS so Nintendo is the only one who will keep Atlus in respectable light, and like Rare. Keep them their own Studio until such time as...



Dogpigfish said:

Ha ha ha, nope. This is pure speculation. Even if Nindi had the cash Atlus doesn't have asset pool to justify. Can't say I haven't been wrong before, but I wouldn't count on this.



Yorumi said:

@Caryslan I don't quite get the line of arguement. Everyone is always talking about how nintendo needs more 3rd parties, atlus is a 3rd party and what you're essentially saying nintendo should let atlus go to sony. Think about it you suggest SE or NB, both develop, at least as far as their rpgs go, almost exclusively for sony. NB is making tales of symphonia HD exclusively for ps3, a GC game for crying out loud. When graces f was localized again it was ps3 exclusive despite originally being a wii game.

When it comes to atlus if they arn't bought by nintendo, sega, or maybe capcom, I'd be worried about getting atlus games on nintendo systems.



sunrisensoul said:

@nerdydan Not to be mean but, have you checked Atlus' history? MegaTen was born and raised on Nintendo consoles. And they've certainly been quite explicit. SMTIV, the newest Atlus game, stays by those roots and shows that they're still not afraid to push those limits. It and Bayonetta 2 proves that Nintendo is trying to also appeal to "mature gamers".

I do agree that it'd be better if another 3rd party bought them though, since while I do love my mainline on Nintendo consoles, I wouldn't want to hurt my Persona brothers out there with P5 or future games in the subseries appearing outside a Sony console.



marck13 said:

HOW could Sony outbid Nintendo?
I know this might hypothetically happen. It just sounded like they weren't already in a financially rather unstable situation - whereas Nintendo clearly isn't! The question is does Nintendo want ATLUS strong enough, does it fit into their plans even as such a spontanious buy it would be.



wombatkidd said:

To all those who think Nintendo would take control and put a stop to darker themes in Atlus's games, I will point out that "The Last Story" is a first party Nintendo game that in one of its darker scenes has the heroes assist in the slaughter of unarmed women and children.

I don't think there's really much to worry about.



Expa0 said:

I really don't know if I wanted Nintendo to get exclusive rights on Atlus. On the other hand I own all the current Nintendo systems, but on the other hand Nintendo is the only company that still forces region locks.



Yanchamaru said:

If Nintendo buys Atlus, my only concern is that the games remain in Japan due to the stupid region locking policy and NOA poor track record of localizing mature themed Japanese titles.



nerdydan said:

@sunrisensoul Your right, Megaten has been on Nintendo platforms for a long time. I guess I should elaborate on what I said and say that if Nintendo owned Atlus, I don't think they would be willing to Publish games like that. There are plenty of mature games that are on Nintendo systems, but you don't really see Nintendo publishing them, though they do show support. If Atlus was more or less an in house Nintendo developer, I couldn't see Nintendo themselves publishing the games.



Relias said:

@Doma They will if it for the betterment of the company.. and I see having at least two of the most popular JRPG's on your side as better for a company in the long run.. it's like if they somehow bought out Square Enix.. right now.. may not seem to make much sense.. but if they kept them.. they would have three top selling franchises in the long run.. and it would be better for the company... (FF, Dragonquest, Kingdom Hearts) and Atlus was one of the few companies that supported them with any kind of a RPG back in the N64 era.. this led into one of the best SRPG's of all time according to a lot of gamers.. and sites list.. (Ogrebattle 64) so yes overall it would be a very smart investment on Nintendo's part.. plus if someone else buys them.. (Which I doubt) they loose a potential system selling crossover.. so yeah it makes sense.. now.. and for the long run..



Furealz said:

This is a great business decision for Nintendo if it be true. They need more exclusives to finally turn profit on the Wii U. But I'm going to order five trucks full of salt on this one..



wombatkidd said:

@nerdydan Yes, Nintendo never publishes mature games. That's why the first Final Fantasy, Perfect Dark, the Fire Emblem Series, Killer Instinct 2, Goldeneye 007, Sin and Punishment, Eternal Darkness, Baten Kaitos, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Ninja Gaiden 3 were not published by Nintnedo.

This is also why Nintendo is definitely not publishing Bayonetta 2 and X.




HeatBombastic said:

Another exclusive studio is a great thing, but I kinda feel bad for the people who don't own Nintendo consoles if this is true.



B3ND3R said:

To those of you concerned about Persona 5... Here is something I'd like to point out... At E3 of 2010 Atlus announced a Persona title in the works for 3DS... A few weeks ago it was stated that Persona 5 has been in development since March of 2010... Atlus has clearly favored Nintendo in terms of portable RPGs, which would make it very likely for Persona 5 to be a 3DS title anyways... I personally would be overjoyed if Nintendo bought Atlus!



sunrisensoul said:

Like I said, Nintendo's no longer as worried as before about losing their "innocent" look to parents and others. And wombatkidd gave some good examples, too. Plus, they must somehow know that they'd be shooting themselves in the foot if they bought into a series known for controversial issues and then trying to censor them.

Nobody really knows at this point though, so who knows who's correct. I respect your view but disagree.



One-Winged-Pit said:

@Caryslan I would hope Square Enix will never touch Atlus. Those hacks have been trying to ruin Final Fantasy the past few years, the last thing I want is Shin Megami Tensei turning into easy action games. And Namco Bandai? They have been very hit and miss lately, I am very worried what they will do to Super Smash Bros after how Soul Calibur went downhill.



Zombie_Barioth said:

It could just be a coincidence but I wouldn't be surprised if one of the reasons they've been working so closely lately is to test the waters before making it official. I certainly can't think of any reasons for Nintendo not to buy Atlus, if anything it'd be foolish not to consider doing so.

Do you really think Nintendo would sit back and let them screw up one of their biggest games?



Dizzard said:

I really hope this happens, although I mainly hope Sony or Microsoft don't pick them up. The last sony console I owned was a ps2 and I've never owned an it would pretty much be goodbye to the shin megami tensei series for me if that happened.

I hope Nintendo will be vicious if they end up in a bidding war.

It does make sense, Nintendo have the most to gain from acquiring them.



Hungry-Bear said:

This will be the next great thing for Nintendo since acquiring Monolith soft. Since we all know how well Monolith soft is doing by being themselves and supported fully by Nintendo. Atlus will receive the same treatment and care which allows them to do what they do best.



Emblem said:

I'm surprised no ones started a petition urging Nintendo to go through with this move yet. I'm in favor of this move, its a great long term investment.



Dizzard said:

Thinking about it now.....

If Nintendo has any interest in keeping Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem afloat (I imagine they wouldn't start a project they didn't care about) they'll be interested in acquiring Atlus. So the question isn't "Are they interested?" but "How interested are they?".

The thought of Shin Megami Tensei in smash bros please me greatly also.



RevolverLink said:

If they get acquired by Nintendo, I'll be reasonably happy with it, but I'd rather see a company like Marvelous pick Atlus up and allow them to carry on as a 3rd party developer.

But really, just as long they aren't acquired by cancerous publishers like EA, Activision (not that either of them would be interested at all to begin with), Capcom or Square-Enix, I'll probably be okay with whoever acquires Atlus.



One-Winged-Pit said:

@Melkaticox Persona 5 should go to the Wii U, it really needs it. The 3DS is already a huge success and got SMT IV. While SMT x Fire Emblem will be huge too, it would not be Persona huge from the fans that it has gotten from 4.



FriedSquid said:

I was unsure about who would be best to buy out Atlus, and I guess this article makes good points about why it should be Nintendo. Personally I still don't see them as much of a fit, but it is the most logical decision. So long as Persona 5 still comes out the same way it should and Nintendo doesn't change it, I don't care.



KAHN said:

i'll say the same thing i said on the thread for this post.
i know i want Atlus to be bought by someone other than the big three, so that they can be 3rd party and make games for whatever console they like, but my inner fanboy wants Nintendo to buy them, which isn't okay by me. it'd be a good move for nintendo, but i want Atlus to be 3rd party.



Ispheria said:

if they do buy Atlas...I hope they do it in time to put some Atlas characters in the new Smash Bros game



Rect_Pola said:

That could be awesome! At least so long as Nintendo let Atlas be Atlas. Nintendo's house could use a shake up and new blood.



bloodycelt said:

I'm sorry, but I hope Nintendo does not buy Atlus, I hope someone does buy them, but hopefully just some investment firm that will let them run as they have been running.

Here's a few good reasons:

1. It will really, really screw up the ability to acquire many of their past classics either made or published by Atlus USA, most have been on Playstation One and PS2. (Growlanser, Persona, and I think they published some early Nippon Icchi games). We currently can buy all 4 persona games on the vita, whomever buys atlus could jeopardize that.

2. The same thing that happened to Fatal Frame can happen to Persona - Japan only releases because a US release was good enough for Atlus, it will not ship enough for Nintendo to bother, and NoA has always been hesitant about Mature releases, and Persona is very controversial in America.

3. Nintendo already has one of the best renowned names in the RPG genre (Mother), and look at what they did with that.

I like Nintendo and all, but I just think such a merger would benefit anyone outside Japan.



banacheck said:

Actually after reading a lot of these comments, i hope someone like Microsoft gets them because Microsoft will throw money around to get something. And we all know what would happen to Atlas if Microsoft did get them, remember Rare? whats left of them anyway. Because only a very small few here actually cares what would happen to Atlas, all the rest of just want there titles for trophies or something, which basically comes down to fanboyism. Leaving Atlas where? Atlas doesn't just make games, if it wasn't for Atlas USA [Index Digital Media] western gamers wouldn't of seen half of these excellent JRPG's. Also Atlas USA publishes Atlas games & games by other developers, also localizing obscure or niche titles from other Japanese developers. i cannot see Nintendo letting Atlas be Atlas, so Nintendo buying Atlas would kill Atlas we know today.



NickStrife23 said:

I can see Nintendo letting Atlus be Atlus, because they will have a game developer that has a mature game series (Shin Megami Tensei) and that will show that Nintendo is not just for casual gamers, and Mario and Zelda and the like... I really hope Nintendo gets Atlus, Shin Megami Tensei 4 was a great game!!



Gridatttack said:

Interesting, but if they get Atlus, I hope they dont water down or censor the games atlus have a tendency to make



banacheck said:

So Nintendo would let Atlas be Atlas? still letting Atlas USA localizing niche Japanese titles? yeh of course thay would & pigs might fly.



TheHeroOfLegend said:

Why is everyone worried about Atlus not being themselves if they are being acquired by Nintendo? Nintendo bought Monolith Soft and they let them keep doing the Xeno series and being themselves!



thanos316 said:

hey nintendo this would be a good move. another name under your fold is a very nice look. more nintendo exclusives. make it happen asap.



JJtheTexan said:

As great as this would be, it won't happen. Iwata promised investors a ¥100 billion operating profit by the end of the fiscal year. Purchasing a studio would drastically reduce Nintendo's ability to meet that goal.



JaxonH said:

@Placlu I won't argue that a PS4 release of Persona 5 would be thrilling; however, could you imagine, just for a moment if you will, the possibilities on Wii U? Jumping into the television and into the gamepad? Or the benefits of real time management on the gamepad during battles, or even during any part of the game? Idk, I think Persona 5 will come out for PS3 regardless, but if Nintendo does aquire Atlus, we can bet we'll see a port on Wii U at the least. Personally, the best thing about Nintendo acquiring Atlus is that Sony doesn't aquire it. I have nothing against Sony, but Atlus brings too much to Nintendo's table for Sony to take all of that away with an acquisition. Tbh, it is actually very likely Nintendo will buy them out, because if they allowed Sony to aquire it the damage would extend farther than most of us realize.



JaxonH said:

@Rumbler I'm not sure if individual IPs are on the menu, although I could be mistaken. In this instance, it's not Atlus that's going bankrupt, it's the parent company, therefore, the parent company's assets will be sold, not those of Atlus. The company will most likely be sold as a whole, probably to the highest bidder, unless a deal was worked out in advance by Nintendo.

I think the SMT x FE game, coupled with the promos being offered on SMT4 and FE, and the recent 3DS exclusives from Atlus, indicate that Nintendo is currently gauging the marketability of Atlus IPs, SMT in particular. This could be an attempt by Nintendo to predetermine whether or not an acquisition of Atlus is the route they want to take. If few buy SMT4 despite the promo, and/or the SMT x FE game flops, Nintendo may decide that it's not worth making an offer on the company. On the other hand, if those games sell well, and are received well by the fanbase, I think a Nintendo-acquired Atlus could definitely be in the cards.



Lobster said:

I absolutely think this is likely, and that Nintendo would be fools not to. As an investor, I also hope they do; I can see the long term benefits!

It is a sure thing? Far from it.



AtomicToaster said:

Sony's current teams are lucky if they stay open they cant be outbidding Nintendo for Atlus! Here's hoping they get em! All the more studios we get the better I say!



SomeBitTripFan said:

I think it would be a great move for Nintendo. With Atlus, they would cement their future handhelds as successful in the Japanese market on top of luring some Sony fans to the Wii U, as they clearly love Atlus. To any skeptics, who ever expected Nintendo to buy Monolith Soft? They put out Xenogears, which is known for being fairly controversial. I think Nintendo will do it.



kurtasbestos said:

I would be very pleased if this happened. And yeah, it does seem like a very nice fit, and would probably benefit both companies greatly, so here's hoping!



tabris95 said:

I don't understand why everyone is so worried that NoA wouldn't publish Atlus games like Persona 5 for being too mature. Did you all already forget that SMT IV is a 3DS exclusive? Sometimes I think people forget that the SMT series is more than just Persona. Like a bunch of highschool students solving mysteries is really too intense for NoA to bring over lol.



Erikdayo said:

I think that even Nintendo knows the Persona fandom is big enough that they HAVE TO bring over the games.

Honestly, I would prefer that Atlus stay 3rd party, but I will support them either way. I have a PS3, Vita, WiiU, and 3DS. And I don't see them going with Microsoft considering MS doesn't even have a portable.

While the PS3 and Vita (and soon PS4) are my preferred systems, I can't help but love the 3DS. You can't deny the great RPG system the 3DS is becoming. And the dual screens are definitely a great plus for menu heavy games like JRPGs. The WiiU shares that same benefit. It may not be as powerful as the Xbox One and PS4, but it is certainly going to be more than capable of Persona 5, if that is what it comes down to. I wouldn't even be mad if P5 were 3DS exclusive. Fine. As long as it's a great game, and it will be, I will be happy.

Having so much fun with SMTIV. Don't even care if it's on the 3DS or the 3DO. The dungeons are fantastic. Atlus makes some great games, and I plan to enjoy them wherever I can. Doesn't matter which system. Save anywhere is one of the greatest additions to the series. Keep the challenge but reduce the frustration. This is a finely crafted game. I hope P5 has a better story than P4. Save a person each month for 2/3 of the game gets old. Great characters. Weak story. Also hope they take some of SMTIV's dungeon elements to make things more interesting. P3+4 dungeons are boring. Maybe bump up the default difficulty too.



KnightRider666 said:

Atlus made great games for both Nintendo and Sony. I guess I'd rather see Nintendo acquire Atlus more than Sony.



bloodycelt said:

There's a huge Fatal Frame fanbase, but NoA has no plans on ever bringing that series over here again (despite the developer wanting Fatal Frame IV over here). NoA will not bring any Persona game over to the US. They don't want to deal with idiot mothers that buy a "nintendo" game for their 4 year old kid, and get shocked when said kid is fighting a pink muscle man. Eternal Darkness may have been mature, but it's not controversial.



Erikdayo said:

@bloodycelt You may be right. We'll see! Imagine if they went back to P3's way of summoning personas. That'd go over well... It would be really disappointing if SMT (main series and spin off) started not getting brought over to the West. And other games like Catherine. Atlus consistently makes some of my favorite games. Probably my favorite RPG developer since Square Enix hasn't made much I have liked since FFIX. NIS developed games are also up there for me.



Flynn said:

I hope they do, but then I don't. SMT started on Nintendo. I don't want the Sony fanbase to miss out as well. To be honest, Nintendo wouldn't change them, plus Index has to sell Atlus. Now if we look at the amount of games, Atlus and Nintendo could be brothers, the amount of M-rated deep SMT games on Nintendo vastly outnumber Sony's. All in all, I really just want one thing from Atlus...survive and continue to be yourself. Also Nintendo, most companies in Japan are shrinking, you are growing. This is such a blatant move its a little crazy, if Monolith Soft is any indication, Nintendo is very open to buying a niche developer. Well that's all, back to SMT 4 I go!



Erikdayo said:

@SMT4Protag How's your progress? I've been playing as much as possible since last Thursday. Had to finish Muramasa Rebirth first. lvl32 now. A little over 20 hours in. Not bad for having a full time job.



One-Winged-Pit said:

@SMT4Protag Wow you are the first person I know that beat it. What do you say about it? Neutral is the way to go the first time, then evil the next since it has better weapons. Can you change it to Hard on that file and carry it all over?



Flynn said:

@One-Winged-Pit I love this game. I really couldn't put it down, at all. I love how it was really expansive of a game, and used the 3rd person POV. I really cared for my friends in the game. Also the fact that the questions in this game are really hard and have no "right" answer. The neutral ending was really sweet and nice. The game is hard though. Also yes you can change it to hard and carry everything over.



Dpullam said:

I honestly can't think of a better company to buy Atlus than Nintendo. Nintendo would give them the freedom to keep making quality games as they always have and they would have the support of one of the best video game companies in the world. Seems pretty win-win to me.



Dizzard said:

I was wondering, I'm not fully clear on this but....

If Nintendo buy Atlus, do they gain ownership of all their IPs? Or do they have to buy the IPs individually from Index Corporation? I'm thinking it's the former, that'll all be in one package but I'm not 100% sure.

What game franchises do Atlus own? Shin Megami Tensei, Etrian Oddesey, Trauma Center, Catherine (I think)......any others?

Just noticed that Atlus developed Radiant Historia on the DS. Not sure if Nintendo would turn that into a series...but it's still interesting.



MussakkuLaden said:

Doma: "Iwata has a 100 billion yen operating income target to reach by next April". I don't remember precisely if he promised a 100 billion operating income, but if he did, this would not stand in the way of an acquisition of Atlus, as expenditures of that kind would most likely be accounted as non-operating expenses.
Besides, Nintendo would clearly gain something from such an acquisition, so it's not as if the money would simply be "lost". In other words, Nintendo would be an equally valuable company afterwards.



faint said:

@banacheck ummmm have you even looked into how many games Atlus has released thru nintendo. Ill give ya a hint. Way more than thru Sony



R_Champ said:


It depends on if Index wants to sell IP's one at a time or all together. THQ actually sold off its IP's separately, but many people believe that won't be the case with Atlus (obviously we'll wait and see). All the IP's you mentioned do belong to Atlus, along with one other MAJOR one: Persona (SMT spinoff). What is so major about it is the fact that it could cause major contention. Sony fanboys (not normal fans, the rabid ones) think anything that isn't on a Sony console is bad or mediocre. The problem? Up to this point Persona has been exclusive to Sony consoles. So if it suddenly became exclusives to Nintendo, The rage would surpass that of Bayonetta 2 because of Persona's cult-like following. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sony fan sites implode with Butthurt if it happens.



mookysam said:

@VincentV Nintendo refused to publish Conker's Bad Fur Day (THQ published it in Europe) and I believe Rare self published Perfect Dark.

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