Sega Buys Atlus Parent Company Index

Following its recent financial woes, it seems Atlus' parent company has found a buyer.

News by Pete Davison, .

A few months ago, times were looking troubled for Atlus thanks to suspicions of fraudulent accounting from its parent company Index. The story went quiet for a while, but it seems its next chapter is about to begin, as Sega confirms it has purchased Index.

Rumors started to circulate earlier today after reports from Nikkei and Bloomberg claimed Sega had won an auction to purchase the bankrupt company for 14 billion yen (nearly $142 million) and that the deal would be completed by November of this year.

Shortly afterwards, our sister site Eurogamer reported that Sega had indeed purchased the beleaguered company. Specifically, a newly formed part of Sega known as Sega Dream Corporation -- founded at the beginning of this month -- had snapped up Index so that it could "gain access to prominent IPs in home video game software" as well as "expect further facilitation of revenue growth for the PC online game business and content business for smart devices... by exploiting acquired prominent IPs" and "effectively deploying [acquired IPs] in the Pachislot and Pachinko machines segment, amusement machine sales and amusement center operations segments."

In other words, Sega now has its hands on all of Atlus' intellectual property, which includes the Shin Megami Tensei series and its Persona offshoot, old-school RPG series Etrian Odyssey and a number of other smaller titles. Atlus was also set to publish the upcoming new installment in the Tex Murphy FMV adventure series, and also recently published the controversial brawler-RPG Dragon's Crown.

This is the second big purchase Sega has made in the last year -- back in January of this year the company purchased Company of Heroes developer Relic along with the IP rights to the developer's best-known series.

It remains to be seen whether this will be of benefit to Atlus in the long run. Certainly, it will ease the company's financial difficulties and ensure the security of all confirmed upcoming Atlus releases, but fans of the more peculiar Japanese titles that Atlus has previously brought to the West may have some cause for concern due to Sega's apparent increasing reluctance to localize its own Japanese titles, and dragging their heels somewhat over those demanded by fans. It took a significant period of time for the company to bring over the not-very-text-heavy Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, for example, and it's sounding increasingly like we'll never see Yakuza 5 in the West. As for Phantasy Star Online 2, that's anyone's guess.

Still, with any luck Sega will realize that a big part of Atlus' appeal to the gaming community as a whole was the fact it was willing to take risks and bring us peculiar Japanese games like Catherine -- a title which not one but two of the USgamer team named one of their favorite games of the generation on PS3. Let's hope that continues.

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Comments 8

  • Avatar for transmet2033 #1 transmet2033 4 years ago
    Deleted September 2013 by transmet2033
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  • Avatar for garygalloway29 #2 garygalloway29 4 years ago
    I see crappy mobile games skinned with Atlus IP's in our future. This may be the saddest gaming-related news I've heard all year.
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  • Avatar for matthewyoung47 #3 matthewyoung47 4 years ago
    I do not see this as a good thing imo, considering sega track recorded in recent years.

    1. Sega not translating games for release in English Territories. This includes recent Phantasy Star Online, Yakuza, 7th Dragon, Shining Force/Blade/Ark, and Valkyria Chronicles games.

    2. Releasing outright substandard games, including all but one maybe two sonic games in the last ten years, to outright broken games like rome 2(might still be fixed).

    3. Abandoning series like Bayonetta. Which only got a sequel because of Nintendo is paying the bill. Add in classic style Phantasy Star or Shining Force also.

    4. Being outright hostile to fans. This included a massive wave of takedown notices on youtube, even to people doing educational or journalistic videos, which is protected by us law. This is directly counter how atlus acts to their fans.
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  • Avatar for limbeckd #4 limbeckd 4 years ago
    Ugh, please don't make Atlus suck, Sega.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #5 SargeSmash 4 years ago
    I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. Someone needed to help them out financially, otherwise we get nothing. Sega should probably let them operate as autonomously as possible.

    Atlus is a weird company for me, because for everything brilliant they release, they have something that is pretty terrible. And I can never quite enjoy the SMT games to the level that everyone else seems to. Personal taste, I suppose.
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  • Avatar for Bla1ne #6 Bla1ne 4 years ago
    Atlus is responsible for bringing Demon's Souls, Catherine, and Dragon's Crown to the West. Hopefully Sega won't interfere in them continuing to bring us amazing, and out of the ordinary, games.
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  • Avatar for The-Fool #7 The-Fool 4 years ago
    I feel a bit weepy.

    Not happy weepy. Most definitely sad weepy.

    A dark day for us all.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #8 DiscordInc 4 years ago
    This could actually be a good thing for Atlus. The problem with Sony or Nintendo buying them is they would be forced to become platform exclusive. With Sega they still have the freedom to develop whatever they want.

    This is of course contingent on Sega not melding too with their business. Hopefully Sega understands that Atlus has a pretty good business model right now and continues to give them free reign.
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