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Sega Sammy confirms that Sega Dream Corporation has fully acquired Index (Atlus)

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BronsonLee

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Oct 30, 2011
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Of course, but this is just a bunch of us being sad that one of our favorite companies is probably gonna change drastically.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those crazies suggesting that Sega is the worst choice, I recognize that Square Enix or Capcom would've been much worse, but it's still not a good situation.

Your alternative is death.

It's like Sophie's Choice! :p

Busaiku said:
How is something like 7th Dragon and Etrian Odyssey not comparable?
Or Shining and Devil Survivor?

Well, for 7th Dragon, they were only the publisher, so it could've easily been an Equilibrium situation of 'we made enough money, suck it everyone else'

For Shining? Were those the PSP games? There's your answer there.
 

Eusis

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Well, for 7th Dragon, they were only the publisher, so it could've easily been an Equilibrium situation of 'we made enough money, suck it everyone else'
No, pretty sure that was co-developed and that they owned the rights regardless. Though it sounds like the game was coded in a funny way, and it may've been a hard sell to retailers for all we know so they could've just abandoned it.
 

BronsonLee

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No, pretty sure that was co-developed and that they owned the rights regardless. Though it sounds like the game was coded in a funny way, and it may've been a hard sell to retailers for all we know so they could've just abandoned it.

*checks*

Sega AM1, yup you're righto!

And then they moved all the sequels to PSP?

To be blunt, I really don't care about these kind of games and whether or not they get localized. Persona will be fine, SMT will be fine, I'm betting EO will be fine, and maybe some SMT spinoffs. Beyond that? I've got no skin in that game.
 

jaundicejuice

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I hope and imagine that this SegaSammy aquisition of Index is going to have about as much impact on Atlus' development and Atlus USA's localisation output as the Index purchase of Atlus did. Nothing more than a different coporate branding being added to a game's introduction.

Still it only feels like the lesser of all evils, not a positive outcome.
 

Game Guru

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So basically our problems with the Sega's buyout of Atlus is that Sega refuses to localize their niche Japanese games and that Atlus USA has been relatively successful in localizing niche Japanese games?

Except think about that for a moment... Sega needs a localizer who can make a profit off of their niche Japanese games and Atlus USA is a localizer who can make a profit off of niche Japanese games. Seems more likely Sega would keep Atlus USA as a localization arm because they are good at localizing niche Japanese games within budget. You don't just kill off something like that for something less successful like the localization arm of Sega of America.
 

Busaiku

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Except think about that for a moment... Sega needs a localizer who can make a profit off of their niche Japanese games and Atlus USA is a localizer who can make a profit off of niche Japanese games. Seems more likely Sega would keep Atlus USA as a localization arm because they are good at localizing niche Japanese games within budget. You don't just kill off something like that for something less successful like the localization arm of Sega of America.

Sega wasn't incapable of localizing their games prior to this.
They didn't because it wasn't a feasible option for a company of that size.

As has been said over and over, for a company the size of Atlus, a game selling 35k is a success. For a company like Sega, that is a disaster.
 

Draikin 2

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Sega wasn't incapable of localizing their games prior to this.
They didn't because it wasn't a feasible option for a company of that size.

As has been said over and over, for a company the size of Atlus, a game selling 35k is a success. For a company like Sega, that is a disaster.
It's only a disaster when they can't profit from it. Atlus USA is probably a lot more efficient at working with a limited budget to localize games than Sega of America is. I'm sure they're capable of localizing titles like Valkyria Chronicles 3 and make a profit from it. Whether or not Sega thinks the same remains to be seen.
 

Game Guru

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Sega wasn't incapable of localizing their games prior to this.
They didn't because it wasn't a feasible option for a company of that size.

As has been said over and over, for a company the size of Atlus, a game selling 35k is a success. For a company like Sega, that is a disaster.

Except that Sega apparently spent good money on Atlus... the good money they generally reserve for buying up PC developers. That is not to say Football Manager, Company of Heroes, or Total War is niche, but they aren't exactly the typical AAA title themselves. At this point, with Nintendo having to pay for Sonic and Bayonetta 2, I would argue that Sega is a niche publisher. Outside of Sonic, all they have is PC Strategy games and niche Japanese games. Atlus USA, as a talented localizer of niche Japanese games, would probably be more helpful in making sure western releases of even Sega's niche Japanese games would be within budget.
 

Eusis

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It's only a disaster when they can't profit from it. Atlus USA is probably a lot more efficient at working with a limited budget to localize games than Sega of America is. I'm sure they're capable of localizing titles like Valkyria Chronicles 3 and make a profit from it. Whether or not Sega thinks the same remains to be seen.
There's also opportunity costs, and when you spend resources on a modest 35k seller that could've been used on a huge million seller it's still not worth it to them. Think of how in an RPG you wouldn't want to waste time fighting early game monsters at the mid or end game because while they WILL give you EXP, it's just not worth it when you can spend that time traveling to progress the game in a meaningful way.

Question though is whether SEGA is effectively in the same position as an end game or even mid game player at this point, and just where does Atlus's output generally lay in that regard. And the situation obviously is more complex in the financial game: losses can be tax writeoffs, it's not as if you're only commanding one team, you want to increase mindshare and create a dedicated fanbase, etc.
 

Baron Aloha

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Then you're basing your opinion on a gut feeling without any factual backup.

OK, then I should rephrase. I feel like they'd bring over more of the games I care about. Speaking personally, there have been maybe 5 games in the past 5 years that I was really hoping would come out over here, but didn't and 3 of them are from Sega. They haven't inspired a lot of confidence in me as far as localization is concerned, whereas for the other companies I listed, pretty much all the stuff I wanted has made it over.
 

Eusis

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OK, then I should rephrase. I feel like they'd bring over more of the games I care about. Speaking personally, there have been maybe 5 games in the past 5 years that I was really hoping would come out over here, but didn't and 3 of them are from Sega. They haven't inspired a lot of confidence in me as far as localization is concerned, whereas for the other companies I listed, pretty much all the stuff I wanted has made it over.
On the other hand SE hasn't really put out much of the same stuff as Atlus in awhile, so just because you got what you wanted out of SE doesn't mean you'd get what you'd want out of Atlus-under-SE.
 

King Boo

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congrats sega sammy. now...this would be great news to me if the (good) atlus games are released on pc now. or nintendo console/handheld. if not, then nothing has changed really.
 

Baron Aloha

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On the other hand SE hasn't really put out much of the same stuff as Atlus in awhile, so just because you got what you wanted out of SE doesn't mean you'd get what you'd want out of Atlus-under-SE.

Yeah, I know. No doubt. It may not be entirely rational, but from my perspective with Sega I pretty much know I'm screwed.
 

dan2026

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This couldn't possibility be worse than Atlus before.

'Europe? What the fuck is Europe?'

'Here have this region lock!'
 

FluxWaveZ

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Maybe you weren't paying attention to the sale. Here is a report of another company that was in the running:

J Trust Co. (8508), the Japanese financial services firm 5 percent owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., aims to use cash raised through a record rights offering to fund takeover bids, including bankrupt game maker Index (TPX) Corp.

“It’s a good idea to buy companies that do communication and application businesses for smartphones and tap their client bases to market our financial services,” Fujisawa said on Aug. 5, citing the successes of online retailer Rakuten Inc. (4755) and Yahoo Japan Corp. They “started as providers of Internet services and grew bigger by attracting existing customers into their financial businesses.”

Remembering this just now, I feel much better about what's happened.

This couldn't possibility be worse than Atlus before.

'Europe? What the fuck is Europe?'

'Here have this region lock!'

Do you think that not releasing a game outside of Japan would be better than not releasing a game in Europe?
 
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the idea of jack frost racing made me imagine a megaten racer with mara, chris the car, the four horsemen, hell biker, speed demon, turbo granny, etc.
 

Busaiku

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Except that Sega apparently spent good money on Atlus... the good money they generally reserve for buying up PC developers. That is not to say Football Manager, Company of Heroes, or Total War is niche, but they aren't exactly the typical AAA title themselves. At this point, with Nintendo having to pay for Sonic and Bayonetta 2, I would argue that Sega is a niche publisher. Outside of Sonic, all they have is PC Strategy games and niche Japanese games. Atlus USA, as a talented localizer of niche Japanese games, would probably be more helpful in making sure western releases of even Sega's niche Japanese games would be within budget.

Most of us are focusing on their niche US ventures, but Atlus in Japan has a significant presence.

Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, Dragon's Crown, Catherine, Etrian Odyssey are all good sellers (130k to 300k) that would greatly expand upon Sega's home/portable offerings, which, besides Yakuza, Project Diva, Phantasy Star, and Puyo Puyo, are lacking.
Then you have expanding their character offerings in stuff like Pachislot and other merchandising with Persona and Etrian Odyssey characters and whatnot, as well as taking those franchises to smartphones.

Everything in Japan will probably be much better overall, it's just outside where a lot of us are focusing on.
 

FluxWaveZ

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Not much difference if you live in Europe

I think there's a difference between having the option to play a game and literally being able to understand it, even if that option is more costly, than having the option to play a game but needing to learn Japanese to understand it.
 

charlequin

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Yet for companies like Atlus and Aksys, it was still a very viable platform.

Well, for one thing, I don't think selling 5k copies (approximately) of stuff like Growlanser is really "viable," exactly.

Atlus actually got mostly out of the PSP market in 2010, after the release of KitN PSP. From that point onwards, after localizing almost all PSP releases for four years (I think the Growlanser 1 remake was the only one they skipped), they passed over more than they released. The three titles that passed muster after that point were P2-1 (a prestige project for a franchise that was well-established in the US, which underperformed and never saw its companion half see release), Gungnir (continuation of a pre-existing partner relationship), and Growlanser 4 (the product of some kind of bizarre internal politics.)

I wouldn't say it was impossible to profit off a PSP niche game release after 2009, but the sales realities of the platform definitely made it much harder. For a franchise like VC (where the last release had already poisoned the well) it's not hard to see how the math could line up against it.

How is something like 7th Dragon and Etrian Odyssey not comparable?
Or Shining and Devil Survivor?

I think the bigger issue with both is that they fell into a bad window for Sega. The scuttlebutt has been that both internal localizations and external licenses for both 7th Dragon and Shining Force Feather were planned at one point but fell through, probably as a result of some of the issues (Sega losing money while the company was propped up on pachinko profits) that led to the major restructurings soon thereafter.

As I see it, you are hell-bent on attributing all of Sega's problems to a fundamental inability to profit on smaller titles, when that's actually a pretty minor piece of puzzle. Sega will have incentive to continue releasing niche games in the US that are developed on a niche budget and have comparable localization costs, especially with a trusted brand attached.

OK, then I should rephrase. I feel like they'd bring over more of the games I care about.

Yes, and I'm telling you that that's an illogical reaction based on the actual evidence available to us. Square-Enix would unavoidably have a far more destructive impact on any acquisition than Sega would.
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
Europe can import

Not P4A! lol

Had to hold that 10 month delay

I think there's a difference between having the option to play a game and literally being able to understand it, even if that option is more costly, than having the option to play a game but needing to learn Japanese to understand it.

All I'm saying is that I can understand the general apathy towards this acquisition coming from European consumers. Things can't get much worse for them than they already were
 

yami4ct

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As I see it, you are hell-bent on attributing all of Sega's problems to a fundamental inability to profit on smaller titles, when that's actually a pretty minor piece of puzzle. Sega will have incentive to continue releasing niche games in the US that are developed on a niche budget and have comparable localization costs, especially with a trusted brand attached.

That's the most well reasoned, well supported and thoughtful post I've seen in this whole discussion. Thanks for helping to cut through all the FUD.
 

charlequin

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Thanks for helping to cut through all the FUD.

As I've said, there's still plenty of possibility for downside out of this arrangement --especially over a medium-to-long-term timespan -- but a lot of the hyperbolic reactions in this thread are not particularly based in reality.
 

yami4ct

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As I've said, there's still plenty of possibility for downside out of this arrangement --especially over a medium-to-long-term timespan -- but a lot of the hyperbolic reactions in this thread are not particularly based in reality.

No. I totally agree that there are plenty of ways this could go wrong long term. Heck, any merger can go really bad long term. If you think about it, the Index/Atlus buyout didn't go particularly well over the course of the partnership.

All the "everything is dead instantly" reactions are getting out of control, though.
 

Meesh

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I'm reaching here, but Segas relationship with Nintendo is decent. Would this realistically lend itself to characters from SMT and others, enlisted to Smash Bros roster??
 

Rulp

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BTW, I can't stop visualizing Skullomania yelling out "SEGA DREAM!!!!"

 

Videoneon

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Who knows
Except that Sega apparently spent good money on Atlus... the good money they generally reserve for buying up PC developers. That is not to say Football Manager, Company of Heroes, or Total War is niche, but they aren't exactly the typical AAA title themselves. At this point, with Nintendo having to pay for Sonic and Bayonetta 2, I would argue that Sega is a niche publisher. Outside of Sonic, all they have is PC Strategy games and niche Japanese games. Atlus USA, as a talented localizer of niche Japanese games, would probably be more helpful in making sure western releases of even Sega's niche Japanese games would be within budget.

Since this post discusses the issue of localization of niche Japanese Sega games explicitly, I'll highlight and ask the question for anyone to respond to:

Do we have any reason to assume that the presence of Atlus USA and its comparative better track record of localizing its products (Atlus's output....more or less, being all niche and japanese but still fairly successful to varying degrees, important in the context of a discussion about stuff being localized outside of Japan) will provide any sort of benefit to the lack of localized Sega titles? I thought that if the best possible outcome is that Sega stays out of Atlus's affairs as much as possible (with regards to everything---game development, localization, projections etc.) there's no reason their cultures, philosophies or whatever are somehow going to complement each other. This just means ostensibly that Atlus "picks up the slack" for Sega's niche stuff offerings--which Sega makes a lot of (and I agree with GameGuru here) anyway by themselves. "picking up the slack" or the idea of a "complimentary portfolio" is not something that's encouraging to me who wants Valkyria and Yakuza and etc. etc.

This is also why I don't know if the PR statement from the Atlus guy was at all serious when talking about company synergy. Though PR is sometimes just hot air anyway. Atlus as I understand had few problems except for giving Europe the shaft often. They talked about taking advantage of Sega's distribution capabilities, but I don't see how that was a problem for them. Index had mobile development too, so check that off the list.
 

Karsticles

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No. I totally agree that there are plenty of ways this could go wrong long term. Heck, any merger can go really bad long term. If you think about it, the Index/Atlus buyout didn't go particularly well over the course of the partnership.

All the "everything is dead instantly" reactions are getting out of control, though.
I think people are rightly nervous. What was the last thing Sega did right? Cancel Bayonetta 2? Move Valkyria Chronicles to handhelds on weak budgets while neglecting to localize the third game? Another Sonic game? The company is just a long series of bad decisions. I am not happy about this. I would have much rather seen them picked up by Nintendo.

Then again, in a dream scenario maybe Sega will marry Nintendo, and it will all work out after all.
 

Bravocado

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I think people are rightly nervous. What was the last thing Sega did right? Cancel Bayonetta 2? Move Valkyria Chronicles to handhelds on weak budgets while neglecting to localize the third game? Another Sonic game? The company is just a long series of bad decisions. I am not happy about this. I would have much rather seen them picked up by Nintendo.

Then again, in a dream scenario maybe Sega will marry Nintendo, and it will all work out after all.

I keep hoping this is part of a plan for Sega to reinvent itself and make Atlus the benchmark for the rest of the company.

I may be reaching here though.
 

Game Guru

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Since this post discusses the issue of localization of niche Japanese Sega games explicitly, I'll highlight and ask the question for anyone to respond to:

Do we have any reason to assume that the presence of Atlus USA and its comparative better track record of localizing its products (Atlus's output....more or less, being all niche and japanese but still fairly successful to varying degrees, important in the context of a discussion about stuff being localized outside of Japan) will provide any sort of benefit to the lack of localized Sega titles? I thought that if the best possible outcome is that Sega stays out of Atlus's affairs as much as possible (with regards to everything---game development, localization, projections etc.) there's no reason their cultures, philosophies or whatever are somehow going to complement each other. This just means ostensibly that Atlus "picks up the slack" for Sega's niche stuff offerings--which Sega makes a lot of (and I agree with GameGuru here) anyway by themselves. "picking up the slack" or the idea of a "complimentary portfolio" is not something that's encouraging to me who wants Valkyria and Yakuza and etc. etc.

This is also why I don't know if the PR statement from the Atlus guy was at all serious when talking about company synergy. Though PR is sometimes just hot air anyway. Atlus as I understand had few problems except for giving Europe the shaft often. They talked about taking advantage of Sega's distribution capabilities, but I don't see how that was a problem for them. Index had mobile development too, so check that off the list.

What I think is that both Sega and Atlus want to make money. Naturally, any company wants to make money, but at this point in time, both Atlus and Sega could actually compliment each other. Sega has distribution channels in Europe which Atlus desperately needs, while Atlus has generally better localization skill that Sega desperately needs. Yakuza, Valkryia, and PSO2 have had problems in justifying a localization and Bayonetta 2 required Nintendo to pay to justify its existence, but something on the level of Project Diva doesn't have that sort of problem. I would figure that Project Diva is closer in cost and popularity to an Atlus release. While Yakuza might be a bit too expensive for even Atlus to touch, I could see a scenario where Sega keeps Atlus USA and the Atlus name around to benefit from that name brand. Something like Valkryia could actually benefit from Atlus' quality localization and brand name despite being a Sega game.

In any case, Sega is contractually obligated to at least continue with Atlus' publishing and distribution deals until those contracts expire. My point is that this is not necessarily the "OMG! No more Atlus localizations!" that people seem to be worried about.
 

IrishNinja

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man i am so not here for banned sites guessing at yakuza sales

Oh man, if you dont know how the shining series has gone, lets just say that IP has not been managed well and yes it drastically changed and I dont think too many people would be happy for Atlus IPs to turned into Tony Taka borderline hentai to sell cast off figures and dakimakuras.

ive assumed for years Camelot is a shell of what it was (whats the last thing they made that was good? WaLuigi?) but the picture you're painting confirms that the series basically died and a shell is now animated in its stead. this is what i'd feared if say a numbered Phantasy Star happened today.

There has been a very successful PS2 port/remake of the first game and it's available on japanese psn and has sold extremely well there too. Sadly never got a western release, even though its already translated.

knew about the remake but not the translation, not at all surprising given the mixed bag & various efforts in the huge Sega AGES effort around that time. i liked the PS2 collection disc we got, for what it's worth.

You didnt actually answer my question though, which was, name a JRPG IP they've managed well both in japan and the west?

I mean fuck, they promised us Skies of Arcadia HD 18 months ago and even THAT hasnt happened.

SOA/Shenmue are a shame for the moment but its not like they didn't put in work with HD remakes this last gen, and the fact that stuff like Guardian Heroes came from Treasure and not Backbone was a great sign as well. who expected JGR & NiGHTS years back?

and i don't have your answer because they don't really do many JRPGs at the moment, hence another reason why this might've been good for them. how many RTS's were they doing before Relic/etc? kinda reinforces the purchase, if anything.

Oh come on Irish, you want us to support bring Yakuza 5 to the West and won't help us out with getting VC3 out here as well (it is also Vita compatible!), the artbook and PXZ appearance isn't enough! Help US BELIEVE too.

aw man as a Suikoden fan i sympathize, but its so much more uphill for you guys...charlequin (?) just pointed out how 2 poisoned the well, whereas yak 5 put up the best #'s in the series i wanna say & was recent too. once that localization is announced i will join you guys in spirit though!

LOL? Namco Bandai, SquareEnix, or Capcom WOULD have been better, IMO, to varying degrees.

As far as "what's best for Atlus" is concerned....don't kid yourself. They are effectively dead now. The IPs will be absorbed by Sega who will farm them out and release them in the east where they will stay.

this post has to be satire, no way the 2nd paragraph is done unironically after the 1st
 

Delusibeta

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I think people are rightly nervous. What was the last thing Sega did right? Cancel Bayonetta 2? Move Valkyria Chronicles to handhelds on weak budgets while neglecting to localize the third game? Another Sonic game? The company is just a long series of bad decisions. I am not happy about this. I would have much rather seen them picked up by Nintendo.

Then again, in a dream scenario maybe Sega will marry Nintendo, and it will all work out after all.

Buy out Relic. As far as the West is concerned, Sega is now The RTS Company, who also does Football Manager and Sonic. If you want Japanese games that's not Sonic, however, it's been slim pickings. Pretty much the only niche game Sega's localised in the last few years was Project Diva F, and that's largely because the translation of the text cost approximately 2p.
 

Coxy

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and i don't have your answer because they don't really do many JRPGs at the moment, hence another reason why this might've been good for them. how many RTS's were they doing before Relic/etc? kinda reinforces the purchase, if anything.

This answer implies sega dont have any RPG development teams. they do, Overworks wanted to do more RPGs and instead of Sakura Wars, Skies of Arcadia or Valkyria, Sega put them to work on Rise of Nightmares, a kinect game that sold about 4 copies.
In the meantime they released a Sakura Wars browser game and Valkyria mobile game.
This is what I forsee them doing with Atlus too.
 

charlequin

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What was the last thing Sega did right?

Buy Relic, then move them off of F2P nonsense and encourage them to release more core RTS products? Expand into PC releases with their internal teams? Keep steady on the Football Manager franchise? Publish all of Platinum's underwhelming sellers in the US? Give Monster World IV its first-ever worldwide release?

When I think of "success story" or "bright future", I think of Sega and its business know-how.. hmm, nope.

Well, maybe you should start, given that Sega's reinvented their gaming division into a profitable and sustainable enterprise with global reach?

In the meantime they released a Sakura Wars browser game and Valkyria mobile game.
This is what I forsee them doing with Atlus too.

yes, because, again, it makes sense to pay $140 million for a company and then immediately force everyone there to do stuff completely unrelated to what they're good at
 

jello44

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Naoto Hiraoka, the head of consumer software for the Atlus game brand, issued a statement on Wednesday to assure fans that business will continue as before. Sega Sammy Holdings confirmed earlier in the day that Sega will form a wholly owned subsidiary to take over the operations of Index Corporation by November 1. Index owns and manages Atlus, a former independent company and the current brand of games such as Etrian Odyssey, Shin Megami Tensei, and Persona.

Hiraoka acknowledged that the Atlus brand will become part of the Sega Sammy Group (specifically, the new subsidiary Sega Dream), but added that the entire consumer game unit will remain focused on developing titles for future release. He said that his brand has maintained a good relationship with Sega from before, and added that he thinks the current potential for business synergy is very high. He specifically highlighted Sega's strong distribution network as beneficial going forward.

He apologized for causing fans to worry, asked for their continued support, and asked them to look forward to further developments from Atlus.

Since last year, Hiraoka has also been the president and CEO of Atlus U.S.A., Inc. in North America.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-09-18/atlus-games-hiraoka/business-to-continue-as-before
 

Manbig

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Best case scenario is Sega allowing the Atlus US localization team handle Yakuza 5.

A guy can dream, right?
 

SpikedGunner

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aw man as a Suikoden fan i sympathize, but its so much more uphill for you guys...charlequin (?) just pointed out how 2 poisoned the well, whereas yak 5 put up the best #'s in the series i wanna say & was recent too. once that localization is announced i will join you guys in spirit though!

though some would argue that Dead Souls did the same for Yakuza.
..(I still want both to be localized tough, they have the gameplay and stories that interest me)

Although to be fair on the VC side, there isn't as much text(even with the DLC/Extra edition content)/licensing fees in comparison to the Yakuza series (outside of the OP song, which I would get cut anyways), we DO however need English vocal acting which was well done for the previous 2 titles...I'm guessing that cost maybe part of the issues preventing localization, even if Studiopolis does it for cheap. This on top of the whole being on PSP thing(though again, the japanese version is compatible with Vita, no reason to do the same with the English and promoted it as such) and 2 bombing (playing it now, the story is a step down from the first).

But I'm not here to fight, as fan of both series who really wants to see them be released, I'd rather have both fandoms help each other out. Maybe, JUST maybe Atlus could help out due to this sale now. /cautious optimism.
 
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