Atlus Absorbed, Merges With Mobile Developer

By Spencer . August 30, 2010 . 12:40am

imageThe parent company of animation studio Madhouse and Atlus, Index Holdings, announced Atlus will be dissolved. A representative said the brand will still exist with future games published under the Atlus label, but Atlus will no longer be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


Atlus, a fully owned subsidiary of Index Holdings, will merge with Index, a mobile content division of the same company. Index Holdings believes this will allow the new team to leverage Atlus’ IP library such as Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, and Trauma Center. Just a few weeks ago, Persona 3 Social was announced for cell phones.


The merger is scheduled to take place on October 1.

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  • ShinGundam

    Mobile developer …

  • Code

    rar, when I first saw this, it almost gave me a heart attack T__T’

  • holyPaladin

    wondering what effect it will cause to Atlus games

  • JustaGenericUser

    I have a bad feeling what this will do to future Atlus games, whether the games themselves or the localizations.

    Remember what happened when Square and Enix merged? Or Namco and Bandai?

    • Scrooge_McDuck

      Something happened when they merged?

      • Vanilla

        Haha nice one.

      • Hraesvelgr

        A lot of people think that the Square Enix and Namco Bandai mergers made the companies go worse, when, in reality, they really didn’t. The companies were already in decline before the mergers, but people just want something else to put the blame on.

    • Yeshua49

      To me Atlus has already changed in a bad way so i don’t think it will change anything.

  • MisterNiwa

    Atlus, be strong.

    I have faith in you. This will change nothing.

  • Wait, wait WHAT? Are any staff being let go? Will the team still survive? Will they be able to make decisions still?

    Holy god this is rather terrifying. I really, really hope this doesn’t impact the creative team’s output negatively, but mergers like this often don’t end *that* well.

    I wonder why they even merged? I thought Atlus was in the black. Not making Tons Of Boondollars, to be sure, but secure.

    Now alternately if this is a scheme to get Atlus off the stock exchange and thus not beholden to the whims of investors then this is nothing but a good thing.

  • Raidou

    This post should have had more of an “Oh good God, nooooooo” feel.
    I pray this changes nothing >:[

  • This is not true, right?

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    Words… can not express…
    But why? What good reason can they have for deciding this, other than giving Index more power over the Atlus franchises, which scares me for I do not want my SMT on bloody cellphones. “allow the new team”… you mean, they create a whole new team to take care of the Atlus franchises? Well, that does make sense regarding a merging, but that thought scares as well.

  • Hahaha! Nice joke Siliconera : ) Almost fell for it… But seriously what the ****?!

  • I want to comment but I’m speechless…

  • malek86

    If they don’t let go of any staff members, and they still let them retain the brand name, it probably won’t make much of a difference.The only real effect I’m expecting, is that we’re going to see a lot of mobile games with Atlus’ IPs pastered on them. No big deal. There’s already a lot of them anyway.

    This won’t turn into another Bullfrog, I’m sure.

    • OneOkami

      “Index Holdings believes this will allow the new team to leverage Atlus’ IP library such as Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, and Trauma Center.”

      I do hope that this indeed means nothing more then a bunch of cell phone games leveraging Atlus IP….but I just can’t feel comfortable about this, not with the mergers I’ve seen in the past. People have already pointed out Square, Enix, Namco and Bandai…but I also remember Sega and Sammy…..

      • malek86

        Yeah, but this isn’t really a merger or a buyout. Atlus was already a subsidiary of Index Holdings.

        • OneOkami

          They are a subsidiary of Index Holdings, but they are being merged with another division of Index (the mobile games division)…or am I misunderstanding whats going on here?

          Well regardless, my main concern is how this may affect the type of content the Atlus developers produce.

          • malek86

            Yes, but I imagine Index being much smaller than Atlus.

            My guess is, they did it so they could publish mobile games under the Atlus banner. A Persona Mobile would be more appealing to fans if it had the Atlus name on it, rather than the Index name.

            That aside, I doubt much will happen to Atlus themselves. At best, some of their developers will have to help on the mobile games… but I don’t think that would take away too much time.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            And there are likely other business reasons too. Even if no one is let go, (unknown yet what may result) there are plenty of costs related to keeping a subsidiary independent.

      • I thought all this is doing is going to make it kind of easier for them to mobilize their games?

  • lostinblue

    what, what?

    Hopefully this is semantics! like how sammy bought sega but sega seems like it does what it pleases/took over the sammy portion. (sammy did toys and stuff)

  • Aoshi00

    First Cavia and Artoon absorbed by AQI, now this… and what a coincidence, I just started to catch up w/ P4 again this past week and I’ve gotten to the game dungeon in the pic above last night :)!

  • Lightthrower

    Errrr… just yesterday i finished Persona 4, spent hours on the forums on Atlus USA reading on the new projects, Catherine, etc (basically i was in love with Atlus) and now THIS happens? o_O


  • I wonder how, if at all, this will effect Atlus USA.

    • The only thing that’ll happen is they might try to adapt any of the Japanese cellphone games under the Atlus/Index brand for the Iphone and/or Android platform. I don’t think that would detract anything from their other projects. If the (mobile) games, other than Persona 3 Social, don’t gain a significant amount of popularity in Japan even with the Atlus brand though, then they won’t even try that.

  • Shuryou

    Mobile content… Persona… I bet they’re developing tech for cellphones so humans can summon their Persona for their every day life. Maybe this decision was made because they can sense the coming Shadow War. Screw atom bombs, the Dark Hour cometh.

    • Raidou

      Haha! Awesome, I’ve changed my mind, this is the best news I’ve heard all month now.

  • Eddie

    i dont really know what to think of this…… Hopefully its a good thing.

  • DDanny

    inb4 another 13 freaking years until we get more classic megaten.

  • endaround

    Its hard to say what to think. This may just be an easy way to de-list Atlus which could actually bring the developer more freedom since they will have corporate buffering so they won’t have to be constantly worried about their stock price. Or it be a way to bring Atlus more under corporate control.

  • Pichi

    I hope they keep the name Atlus or have Atlus somewhere in the merge name.

  • Getting a baaaaaaaaaaaad feeling…

  • great, little by little the good things are getting pwned by money, now all ATLUS will release is cellphone games… *@!#@!!#@

  • superdry

    Just shifting things around…I’m not too worried.

    The way I see it – Atlus merges with Index who developed mobile stuff. Index Holdings wants to leverage some of Atlus’s well known IPs…since their mobile division is now part of Atlus it is easier to develop mobile games on those IPs instead of going through licensing hoopla or what have you.

  • isn’t completely off-topic, but now I see why Atlus USA picked up Tomy’s Naruto games. Look who’s the third most powerful owner of Index Holdings at 4.44%

    • kylehyde

      That explains many things. Seriously, for me the fact that Atlus has decided to localize this title was a really strange move because normally they don’t pick this kind of games. Unfortunately this could be a bad sign and I hope to be wrong, I mean, we have seen what happened with namco bandai, they have forgotten many of their original Ip’s and now focus on generic naruto and DBZ titles and I hope this move doesn’t become the first step to a similar situation for Atlus.


        I don’t think the partnership with TOMY USA do anything negative to Atlus USA’s agenda. I just wanted to point out the reason for the move. The reason TOMY went to Atlus for help is because their YTY sales are way down in the US and they needed a group to help take some of their game titles to help ease expenses. Since their already familiar with Atlus, they didn’t need to use any extra effort in their search. While TOMY’s president is on Index Holdings’ board as an independent director, he’s not going, if he can at all, to force Atlus to take their Naruto games.

        What’s happening in this article is just something to take down the barriers that Index had to go through to get to publish cellphone games based off of Atlus’s IP, while cutting their losses on Atlus in the Tokyo Stock Exchange, in which the company’s share value is falling just like the rest of the world’s, while things are still good. In the end this “new” company will be a 2-in-1 thing, where Atlus will be the console division and Index will be the cellphone game division.

        Just in case anyone didn’t catch it, there’s a difference between the company Index and the investor group Index Holdings. On a another note, my knowledge of how the corporate world works is limited, so there’s a chance I could be wrong about things here.

  • kylehyde

    This are shocking news, really, the Atlus that we know has been really awesome with us during years. I hope that this doesn’t change many things and that many key people will stay.

  • puchinri

    This is kind of worrisome. But as long as things stay the same for Atlus, I’m happy. I suppose it really wouldn’t be wise for them to tamper with Atlus and change things if Atlus was already doing fine.

  • Icon

    To put some hearts and minds at ease, here is what an Atlus USA rep had to say on Atlus’ official forum: “Don’t worry, guys. This is just some corporate organizational maneuvering and won’t affect anything we do.” See? Relax… it’s all good.

    As for the headline of this article, nice one, Spence. That’s a loaded headline worthy of Kotaku.

  • Icon

    Just another quote from an Atlus USA employee: “… Atlus is not becoming a mobile games company. The original story doesn’t even say that. This is purely a corporate maneuvering so that Index, which is a mobile games company, has easier access to Atlus IPs. That’s all.”

  • Joanna

    I hope this won’t change anything. I’ll refrain from seeing this as something bad until the consequences are bad.

    • Kunio_kun

      I hope this WILL change things, ‘cuz Atlus USA sucks nowadays…

  • I had to do a double take. This is surprising and a bit concerning :(

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