It was announced earlier this year that Index Corporation (and its subsidiary Atlus) had been purchased by Sega Sammy Holdings in a deal worth 14 billion yen, following the former being forced to file for civil rehabilitation bankruptcy. Upon the acquisition, the only real change that Sega made to the corporate structure was the installation of Sega’s Chief Operating Officer, Naoya Tsurumi, as its president and since then, we have heard relatively little about the direction that Sega would seek to impose on Atlus. We were recently privy to the unveiling of several new Persona-related titles, and Tsurumi recently spoke to Famitsu (via Siliconera) about the acquisition and what it means for both parties:
“The plan is to have Atlus and Sega continue shining as brands, while aiming to increase their degree of independence.
“Similar to the studio we’ve acquired from overseas, they’ll continue managing their own brands and IPs, and making them bigger… Think of it as us telling them ‘Continue working on your own IPs with pride and confidence—the sky is the limit.'”
It is good to know that Sega willl not be attempting to interfere in what is widely considered a winning formula, while further mentioning that Index Corporation is free to use any of the resources at Sega’s disposal, which should help to speed up the creation process, if it has no other benefits. From there, talk turned to the benefits that Sega receives from the acquisition and it is mentioned that “the addition of genres is a crucial factor“. Tsurumi singles out the JRPGs that Atlus has produced, a genre that Sega has “never excelled in“, as a particular bonus, especially in concert with the fact that their games are quite popular in North America.
Following this, the possibility of Index working on Sega-owned IPs was brought up:
“While we have no intention of forcing this, we’d definitely love to have them utilize any of Sega’s dormant IPs.”
“There are plenty that haven’t been active. [laughs] However, the new company just recently got started, so there’s nothing on the table for now, but we’ll definitely be giving it more thought.”
It would be a tantalising prospect to hear of new titles in the Valkyria Chronicles, Phantasy Star or Skies of Arcadia series coming courtesy of Atlus, but that, for now, is wishful thinking. The interview concluded with the statement that the recent announcement of Persona 5 was, in part, to reassure the fans, which is a nice sentiment.
Source(s) – Famitsu (via Siliconera)