The lights are on
Atlus has quickly become a powerhouse in the gaming world, bringing unique and clever titles to North American shores. The publisher is largely responsible for a renaissance of interest in traditional roleplaying games. Now, that legacy is in jeopardy.
Atlus' parent company, Index Holdings, has filed for "rehabilitation" (a form of bankruptcy) due to approximately 24.5 billion yen ($249 million) of outstanding debt. All corporate code is complex, but Japan's rehabilitation process is streamlined. Without going to far into the weeds, here are the details:
All of this would largely be good news for Atlus (and gamers) if it weren't for allegations of fraud levied against Index Holdings. According to Japan's NHK (via Crunchyroll), the company has been accused of inflating sales figures by way of illegitimate business transactions. This process, known as "window dressing" or round-tripping (selling to another company under an agreement to buy back the exact same number of units at the identical price) made it seem like far more copies were moved.
Additionally, company president and CEO Yoshimi Ochiai and board chairman Masami Ochiai have expressed interest in departing the company. Whether this will necessitate a trustee for the rehabilitation is unknown.
As for Atlus, a sale seems to be a logical assumption. How this will affect the publisher's localization efforts, it's trend of bonuses included in first-run copies, and the general fabric of roleplaying games in the West is a matter that only time will uncover. Atlus topped our list of Japanese RPG publishers to watch, and we hope they continue to have a place on it moving forward.
[Source: CNET Japan, Crunchyroll via NeoGAF]
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Well, this seems like it would all be on Index Corp and not on Atlus, so Atlus could be sold to someone and hopefully they'd just be left alone because they're brilliant. At least that's my basic understanding of the situation.
Well, that sucks. Atlus has been doing really well, it's unfortunate their parent company seems to be digging them a grave. Hopefully they can successfully make a 'rehabilitation', and these CEO's, should they be the actual problem, make their departure.
dang, atlus are in pinch.
I hope Atlus doesn't go under. They bring unique titles over to the US that never would have seen a release otherwise. One of my favorite games, Cubivore, was published by Atlus.
I did not even know Atlus had a parent company. These guys publish so many games that I thought they were independent. Atlus cannot be the only company under them, so that means that more up and coming japan studios could be in danger, if allegations are true.
PERSONA 5 ;________________________;
Atlus I swear to god dont die on us..
atlus i have faith in you
WTFFMFF is all i can muster.
Let no bad things happen to Atlus...
I just hope Atlus survive this ordeal. Love so many of their games.
I hope that Atlus itself makes it out of this okay. There are quite a few of their games that I like.
Maybe Namco should buy Atlus since they stole the Demon's Souls games from them.
Making and releasing Persona 5 might be a way to make some money ;)
This is just what happened to their excellent predecessor company, Working Designs. That company always put 11/10 effort into all of their titles. Sad panda.
NO no no!!!! Atlus is one of my favorite companies!