Atlus

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K.K. Atlus
株式会社アトラス
Type Kabushiki gaisha
Industry Video game industry
Founded 7 April 1986
1 April 2014
(Index Corporation renamed to Atlus)
Headquarters Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Key people Yukio Sugino (Representative Director and President)
Products Jack Bros.
Megami Tensei series
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series
Trauma Center
Etrian Odyssey series
Employees 121[1] (April 2014)
Parent Sega Corporation (100%)
Website atlus.co.jp

K.K. Atlus (株式会社アトラス Kabushiki-gaisha Atorasu?) is a Japanese computer and video game developer, publisher, and distribution company based in Tokyo, Japan, and a subsidiary of Sega Corporation. It is best known for developing the role-playing video game franchise Megami Tensei and the surgical simulation/visual novel franchise Trauma Center. The first Megami Tensei was a Nintendo Entertainment System video game published by Namco based on a trilogy of novels, but after the second game, Atlus formed to publish the series. Its corporate mascot is the Shin Megami Tensei demon Jack Frost.

History[edit]

Atlus' former logo, which was in use until April 2014

In October 2003, Takara acquired Atlus Co., Ltd.[2]

On 21 November 2006, Index Holdings announced the acquisition of Atlus Co., Ltd. beginning on 30 October 2006 and closed on 20 November 2006 via the purchase of 7.7 million (54.93%) stocks (77,000 votes/54.96% voting rights). Atlus Co., Ltd. became a consolidated Index Holdings subsidiary as of 29 November 2006.[3]

On 15 April 2010, Index Holdings announced ATLUS Co., Ltd. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Index Holdings via share exchange, effective on 10 May 2010.[4][5] On 30 August 2010, Index Holdings announced its merger with ATLUS Co., Ltd. and Index Corporation, with Index Holdings becoming the surviving company, effective on 1 October 2010.[6][7][8] After the merger, Index Corporation would continue to operate ATLUS's business under the ATLUS brand.[9] Though this had caused concern among fans about the future of Atlus, the CEO of Atlus, Shinichi Suzuki affirmed that Atlus would continue to provide the "finest quality game experiences possible" and the merger only "further strengthens the foundation of Atlus, both in Japan and here in the United States."[10] On 9 November 2010, Index Holdings (株式会社インデックス・ホールディングス) announced its renaming to Index Corporation (株式会社インデックス), to be confirmed on the 15th shareholders meeting on 25 November 2010, effective on 1 December 2010.[11][12]

From 2010 to 2013, Atlus was a brand of Index Corporation. In June 2013, it was reported that Index filed for civil rehabilitation proceedings as they were facing bankruptcy due to a debt of ¥24.5 billion. When asked, an Atlus representative made a statement claiming both Index Digital Media, Inc. and the ATLUS brand were unaffected by these proceedings.[13] On September 18, 2013, it was reported that Sega Sammy Holdings had won a bid to acquire the bankrupt Index for 14 billion yen.[14] All operations of Index Corp., including the Atlus brand and Index Digital Media Inc. (Atlus USA), transferred to Sega Dream Corporation, a newly established, wholly owned subsidiary of Sega Corporation, on November 1, 2013.[15]

On 1 November 2013, Sega announced that it will rename its subsidiary, Sega Dream Corporation, to Index Corporation.[16]

On February 18, 2014, Sega announced the separation of Index Corporation's contents and solution businesses into a new subsidiary under the name 'Index Corporation' (株式会社 インデックス), while renaming the remaining digital game business division into 'Atlus' (株式会社 アトラス), effective on April 1, 2014. The newly separated Atlus would also include the foreign subsidiary Index Digital Media, Inc., which would be renamed to Atlus U.S.A., Inc. at the same day as the establishment of new Atlus.[1]

Former subsidiaries and activities[edit]

New Entertainment Waves Co.,Ltd/NEWS co.ltd. (株式会社NEWS): On 17 September 2009, Index Holdings announced separating ATLUS Co., Ltd.'s amusement facility and related business into a subsidiary named New Entertainment Waves Co.,Ltd[17] (株式会社NEWS), effective on 1 December 2009. At the effective separation day, 172 shares (86%) of the subsidiary's stock were transferred to Chushoukigyou Leisure kikou kabushikigaisha.[18] The company was established on 1 December 2009.[19]

Mad (株式会社マッド) was an amusement facility operator. On March 20, 2007, Marvelous Entertainment Inc. announced a restructuring plan that would transfer amusement business to Atlus Co., Ltd., by moving it to Mad (株式会社マッド) as a wholly owned subsidiary of Marvelous Entertainment Inc., which would be established in June 1, 2007; the remaining businesses would be operated under Marvelous Entertainment Inc.[20] The transfer also included sale of The Third Planet (株式会社ザ・サードプラネット) amusement operations, effective on July 1, 2007.[21] At Atlus, the company announced merging Mad into Atlus effective on September 1, 2007, with merger registered on September 3, 2007.[22]

Atlus published Growlanser, a real time strategy/RPG from the creators of the classic Langrisser series, Career Soft. After the success of the first game, they acquired Career Soft, who developed the second through fifth installments in-house. In March 2009, Atlus and Sting Entertainment announced in Japan a publishing partnership that will see Atlus as the only publisher of Sting-developed games. Prior to this, Atlus had already published Sting games, including Yggdra Union and Dokapon.[23]

Atlus USA[edit]

Atlus USA booth at E3 2006

Atlus U.S.A., Inc. (Index Digital Media, Inc. between 2010–2014) established in 1991, is the American subsidiary of Japanese video game publisher Atlus. Atlus USA publishes games created by Atlus as well as by other developers. Atlus USA is strictly a publisher, often localizing obscure or niche titles from other Japanese developers. Atlus USA operates from Irvine, California.

Many of the Megami Tensei games have not been released in North America. Jack Bros. for the Virtual Boy, Revelations: Persona for the PlayStation, and Revelations: The Demon Slayer for the Game Boy Color were the first three games in the series to have a North American release, all in the 1990s. The American release of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne in 2004 was the first main series video game to have an American release.[24] Since then, the majority of the series has had an American release in addition to the Japanese, including Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey.

Atlus USA's most known work in the United States is their localization of the cult classic Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, which was created by Nippon Ichi Software.[25] Atlus USA has also published the tactical role-playing game Tactics Ogre and Game Boy Advance remakes of the Kunio-kun and Double Dragon games for Million (a company composed of former Technos Japan Corp. employees). Other notable titles include Snowboard Kids and Snowboard Kids 2 for the Nintendo 64 and more recently, Odin Sphere and the Trauma Center series. In 2004, in collaboration with Sting and Bandai, Atlus U.S.A. released Riviera: The Promised Land, a role-playing video game for the Game Boy Advance, which they had previously released for the Wonderswan Color. In 2006, Atlus USA, once again along with Sting, released Yggdra Union, a strategy RPG for the Game Boy Advance.[26] Following Working Designs publication of Growlanser Generations, Atlus USA released Growlanser: Heritage of War in 2005 and Growlanser Wayfarer of Time in 2012.

Atlus USA also opened an online division, which included an Atlus Online portal, who is currently servicing Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent and Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine,.[27] On 2013-03-31, Index Digital Media, Inc.'s ATLUS Online Division online business unit was purchased by MarvelousAQL Inc. and transferred to XSEED JKS, Inc.[28]

Atlus USA also has published games under the loose moniker Marl Kingdom, beginning with the relatively unheard of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, in 2000.[25]

On February 18, 2014, Sega announced that Index Digital Media will be renamed back to Atlus USA.[1]

Marketing[edit]

Jack Frost used as part of one version of the company logo

Jack Frost is the mascot of Atlus.[27] He resembles a snowman, but has teeth, a tail, no nose, and wears a joker hat and shoes. His catchphrase is "Hee-Ho". He has appeared in several Atlus games, including several entries in the Shin Megami Tensei series and Jack Bros. He is a hidden character in both the American and Japanese versions of SBK: Snowboard Kids, but has a larger role in the Japanese version. Jack Frost has derived a family in its universe and more relatives were created since Shin Megami Tensei II, such as King Frost, Frost 5 Senshi, Ja-aku Frost (Black Frost), etc. Jack Frost also makes a cameo appearance as a button/brooch on the clothing of the gunner class in Etrian Odyssey II, another game by Atlus.

Games developed and published by Atlus[edit]

Animations and films based on Atlus games[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 連結子会社の分割(新設分割)及び商号変更に関するお知らせ
  2. ^ 沿革:株式会社アトラス IR情報・会社情報
  3. ^ "Regarding tender offer results and subsidiary companies". Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  4. ^ 株式交換公告
  5. ^ 公開買付けの結果及び子会社の異動に関するお知らせ
  6. ^ 当社連結子会社の吸収合併に関するお知らせ (簡易合併・略式合併)
  7. ^ インデックス・ホールディングス、連結子会社の吸収合併に関するお知らせ ~グループ価値最大化を図りインデックス、アトラスの2社を吸収合併~
  8. ^ "Atlus Dissolved by Parent Company". 1UP. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  9. ^ 【補足】インデックス・ホールディングス、連結子会社の吸収合併に関するお知らせ アトラスブランドについて
  10. ^ "Atlus Reassures Fans Of Its Future After Merger". 1UP. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  11. ^ 商号変更および定款一部変更に関するお知らせ
  12. ^ "Index Holdings to Change Company Name". Reuters. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Emily Gera (27 June 2013). "Atlus at risk after parent company announces bankruptcy (update) Index". Vox Media. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Shigeru Sato & Takahiko Hyuga (18 September 2013). "Sega Said to Win Auction to Buy Bankrupt Japan Gamemaker Index". Bloomberg. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Notice of Conclusion regarding Business Transfer Agreement of Index Corporation" (PDF). Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "当社子会社の事業譲受に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Sega Corporation. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  17. ^ 株式会社NEWS 訂正臨時報告書 2010年10月08日 - 投資関係をなんとなくわかった気になる
  18. ^ 当社子会社(株式会社アトラス)における 会社分割によるアミューズメント施設関連事業の分社化、並びに新設株式会社株式譲渡に関するお知らせ
  19. ^ 株式会社NEWS(ニューズ)設立
  20. ^ 会社分割によるアミューズメント事業部門の一部分社化 並びに新設株式会社株式譲渡について (29.38KB)
  21. ^ アミューズメント事業部門の一部事業譲渡に関するお知らせ (21.37KB)
  22. ^ 当社100%子会社との合併に関するお知らせ
  23. ^ "Atlus Partners with Sting". IGN. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  24. ^ "Megami Tensei/Shin Megami Tensei". Hardcoregaming101.net. Archived from the original on 11 May 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "Nippon Ichi". Hardcoregaming101.net. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "RPGFan News – E3 2006". 2006. Archived from the original on 18 September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2007. 
  27. ^ a b "Atlus Online Open For Business". Kotaku. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  28. ^ 当社子会社によるIndex Digital Media,Inc.(米国)のオンラインゲーム事業取得に関するお知らせ

External links[edit]