Atlus’ Naoto Hiroaka releases open letter to customers

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The news that SEGA had acquired Index Corp, and by extension Atlus, shook the gaming world yesterday and left many fans worried for the future of the developer. Atlus’ Head of Consumer Software has released an open letter to the customers to reassure them of Atlus’ future:

Dear customers,

We are very grateful to have your continued support for our products. Today, as announced through investor relations, we will be continuing our business as part of the Sega Sammy group, starting on November 11th. As you may know, Index Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection on June 27th, and have looked to transfer their business to other companies.

Above all, we, Atlus corporation, have had our consumer game business supported by an exceptional amount of fans. Regardless of the business itself rising to a much favorable position in recent years, lately, we have caused concern to our customers, to whom we deeply apologize.

We’ve traditionally maintained strong relations with Sega Corporation, using consumer game business as the main pillar. This time, we expect to maintain the relationship, while achiveing better business synergy. By using Sega’s strong circulation network, we look forward to further expanding our development. In terms of consumer games expertise, this relationship will be mutually benefitial for both sides. It is about the deep acknowledgement of wanting to further raise our brand.

We feel that our ongoing business is in very good shape, and it brings us great pleasure to be able to report our continuing business, here, today. This has been made possible thanks to your patronage and support. On behalf of all the employees, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Currently, the employees of the consumer game business, are working zealously on future releases, and are vigorously looking forward to taking on new challenges. In the near future, we will be reporting our ongoing situation through the media, so please expect further developments. – Director of consumer software department Naoto Hiraoka

Acquisitions can be a tricky business in the video game industry. Sometimes they can go horribly wrong and lead to the eventual death or loss of identity for the developer, such as when Microsoft acquired Rareware or when EA acquired and eventually closed Origin Systems. Other times they can go right, such as in the cases of Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive: when SEGA acquired them for their talent and financial success and just allowed them to continue doing what they’d been doing. So far, SEGA has proven to be a good steward for the developers it has acquired. Hopefully Atlus will receive the same treatment in both the East and the West.

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9 responses to “Atlus’ Naoto Hiroaka releases open letter to customers

  1. TreyTable says:

    I think it’s great for both Atlus ans SEGA Sammy Holdings. Persona 5 Pichinko! (sp?)

  2. Nux says:

    pachinko 😀

  3. cube_b3 says:

    I also expect several Sega AM employees move to this studio. Specifically OverWorkers/WOW.

    P.S. You forgot to link the source.

    • Trippled says:

      I still want the next Skies of Arcadia/Valkyria tier game released under Sega.

      I’d hate to see that happen…

    • InTheSky says:

      I thought Overworks didn’t formally exist anymore, but anyway—

      Is what you’re suggesting possible or likely? I don’t think for one that Atlus has ever had a problem with making their own games (the few problems they do have are things like getting their stuff out to Europe.) And I am personally highly skeptical of the idea that Atlus will be inclined to make Sega RPGs that I want all of a sudden. The most they’ve done for other developers is publish their games in the West (like SRW) IIRC

  4. GuitarAnthony says:

    Hmm…Shenmue 3 done with Yu Suzuki and the Atlus team…hmmm

  5. InTheSky says:

    See, this is a different story compared to Creative Assembly and such. For one, Atlus was not just a game developer but a publisher too. Also, consider the majority of what they make, or what they’re most famous for—unabashedly Japanese games. Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive make titles that clearly face a lot less friction in the West–and they’re also PC. I’ve seen someone make a comment once that the PC Sega acquisitions were Sega West/Europe led but never have been able to verify it.

    We who are not in japan have gotten a very clear message from Sega as of late–the West and Japan operate on very different wavelengths. We are continually getting shafted for Japanese products.

    Now of course this isn’t to say that Sega will torch Atlus. It remains to be seen what exactly they will do. See how the handling of Persona 5 will be executed, see if Etrian Odyssey 5 gets to the West without any form of brinkmanship, whether or not of course the operations of Atlus USA as they have occurred thus far change at all.

    Sorry but I expect Hiroaka to talk a good game. I will wait and see (and piss and moan if things get ugly, of course).

  6. Ben says:

    Yeah I was going to say, Atlus is not just a developer but a publisher. It’s a pretty big difference.

    Atlus was also kind to the Western market with their localizations, something that (as evidenced yet again with Phantasy Star,) Sega is not.

    It’s a source of concern that Atlus Japan may not be aware of. Hopefully Sega does not interfere with Atlus’ plans to localize their games, or try to take over their marketing.

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