The lights are on
Update: Bloomberg has provided Game Informer with a direct translation of its story on Atlus parent Index Corporation's upcoming operations sale.
The facts that have emerged indicate that Index's market value has plummeted from 6.8 billion yen ($67.7 million) on the day before the fraud probe was initiated to approximately 1.08 billion yen ($10.8 million). The company is seeking 15 billion in revenue from the sale. As we mentioned earlier, the company's stock will be delisted. We have also learned that company chairperson Masami Ochiai and CEO Yoshimi Ochiai will resign from their posts a day before this occurs.
Atlus has not issued a statement at this time.
News has come in from Bloomberg's Japanese outfit that things have gone from bad to worse for Atlus parent Index Corporation. The company will begin selling off its operations next week.
This follows an announcement at the end of June that Index had filed for "rehabilitation" (a form of bankruptcy) due to debt amounting to 24.5 billion yen ($249 million). The bankruptcy came on the heels of an investigation for "round tripping," a mechanism in which sales numbers are inflated to defraud investors.
Index will be delisted from JASDAQ on July 28, and the company hopes to move quickly before its assets are devalued. The entire matter could be wrapped up as early as September. We have reached out to Atlus for comment.
[Source: Bloomberg via Destructoid]
Our TakeWhen I wrote further analysis about this situation in the June 29, 2013 weekly recap, I identified a number of possible scenarios. The best case, in which Index recovers, is off the table.
This leaves three others, and until we know for certain if Atlus' games were involved in the round tripping fraud, it's hard to know what's going to happen. My hope is that whomever picks up the publisher and its stable of fantastic RPGs recognizes the company for its successes.
Atlus has only been picking up steam in the past few years, and its certainly found a rhythm on handheld devices. While I would prefer to see Persona 5 on a home console, right now I'm more concerned about getting it at all.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
I really hope its nintendo look at what is going on with Monolith Soft they are on fire!!!!!. Nintendo has cash and creative freedom. Lets do it!!! Sony would be ok but meh sony is so ruthless shutting down studios that dont earn a profit. :/
Hopefully Atlus finds a home
I hope they get bought by Marvelous AQL. They own XSEED, it would be good because they could keep releasing games one different systems instead of just one. but they probably don't have enough money to out bid Sony or Ninty.
Screw Square. They're down in the dumps now. Atlus literally has 4 people who worked for them and got fired... Now these 4 are actually essential because square would most likely replace them with dumb *** heads who don't do it the same classic style we love. I'm for Nintendo on this one. Not only have they stood by Atlus and Index but they give them freedom for the games they make. Plus Nintendo has been making a few smart moves as of late so for them not to buy them off would be a shame.
I should probably start a kickstarter campaign to buy Atlus. I think the fans will back me if I tell them that I'm not going to do anything different other than have simultaneous releases in physical copies (with bonus swag) and digital copies (for those that miss out on the physical copies.)
Please, for the love of God, someone pick up Atlus.
I'm still on the fence about Nintendo potentially picking up Atlus. On one hand, Nintendo picking up Atlus would mean that they'd have exclusive rights to some the best franchises on the market (if you own a 3DS and don't have SMT IV, go buy it now). On the other hand, it would be a shame if Nintendo took some of the creative control away from Atlus in an attempt to reach a broader audience. If Nintendo does end up owning Atlus, I'd hope that they'd allow Atlus the same kind of freedom to develop their IPs they've had thus far under Index.
That being said, if Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem turns out to be a stellar game, I would be able to lay my worries to rest a bit easier.
Come on Atlus...just stay alive.