Fans of popular Atlus games like Shin Megami Tensei IV and Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan can start to turn that sigh of defeat into a sigh of relief. In mid-September, SEGA Sammy Holdings obtained Atlus's parent company, Index Corporation, after Index was forced to declare bankruptcy — an event that left many die-hard Atlus fans worried for the sanctity of their favourite gaming company.
But in a new interview with Famitsu magazine, Chief Operating Officer of Sega, Naoya Tsurumi, discussed Atlus at length, assuring fans that everything about the development structure at Atlus will "remain the same," and even going so far as to announce that the masters of the RPG genre at Atlus are being encouraged to reignite any of SEGA's dormant IPs. Tsurumi also stressed the importance of independence between the two entities, indicating that Atlus would retain near limitless freedom to handle its own affairs as it sees fit:
As a new company, we will venture together, with Index working as an independent company. The plan is to have Atlus and Sega continue shining as brands, while aiming to increase their degree of independence. They’ll continue managing their own brands and IPs, and making them bigger. Then, Sega will be the ones to sell them. So, think of it as us telling them “Continue working on your own IPs with pride and confidence—the sky is the limit.
One revealing point in the discussion came when Tsurumi admitted that "Sega have never excelled in RPG titles." He expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for the fact that Atlus, which specializes in the genre, appeals to North American gamers, and that it would be able to fill SEGA's gaps in the area of RPGs with some of the best IPs in the business.
"The fact that they’ve been able to capture fans from North America is really huge," exclaimed Tsurumi. "That said, for Sega, it’s a big plus to have more IPs, but an even bigger plus to have more genres."
With Atlus director Katsura Hashino announcing earlier in the year that new titles are "under zealous development" at the company, 2014 promises to be an exciting time for the fledgling partnership between these two giants of gaming. Here's hoping Nintendo fans can look forward to a slew of great new Atlus titles as a result of this new pairing.