The Demon’s Souls Effect On Atlus USA’s Profits

By Spencer . October 21, 2010 . 4:08am

Index Holdings, the parent company of Atlus, released profit and loss figures for Atlus USA. The US subsidiary  did significantly better in fiscal year 2010, the period between September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2010 (Persona style school year) compared to fiscal year 2009.


We’ll let these pictures key games in Atlus USA’s lineups and the numbers do the talking from here.



Sales: 2,732 million yen ($30.35 million*)

Operating Profit: posted a 104 million yen ($1.14 million*) operating loss

*Since the yen to dollar ratio changed significantly we used last year’s yen exchange rate to calculate the dollar values.




Sales: 3,299 million yen ($40.7 million)

Operating Profit: 437 million yen ($5.39 million)


Index Holdings specifically points out strong sales of Demon’s Souls as a reason for the boost.

  • Soma

    That’s awesome that Atlus had a smashing year, but I also find it sad that great games like Persona 4, Super Robot Taisen, and Steal Princess didn’t see stronger sales in 2009.

    • Exkaiser

      Persona 4 had great sales, but I’m pretty certain it’s the only one in 2009 that did.

      Endless Frontier did better than expected, so their expectations must have been rather low.

      • raymk

        Yeah P4 and devil suvivor are what made atlus sales during that period. Its kinda not fair seeing as the 2010 year has better offering in IMO.

    • symytry

      I don’t think we can call Steal Princess a “great game” with a straight face.

      • neo_firenze

        Even as a huge Climax and Landstalker fan, I kinda gotta agree here. I don’t think Steal Princess is a terrible game, but I wouldn’t call it “great”.

        • symytry

          Same for me, that’s why I was excited for Steal Princess. It was definitely NOT what I had envisioned in my mind ;)

  • Did they say how P3P did? I had thought I was one of the few who bought Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier, which I thought was a pretty fun and cool game.

    Congrats and more power unto them.

    • Exkaiser

      I’m sure it did well, P3 is still extremely popular.Endless Frontier was pretty alright. I bought it in the hopes they’d localize more SRW OG games.

      • I’d wanna see P3P sales figures, but at the same time I’m really scared

    • There were no specific sales figures, just total sales data and operating profit results.

      • Gestahl

        Courtesy of duckroll from NeoGAF:

        Demons Souls (US) – 380k (150k expected)
        3D Dot Heroes (US) – 160k (25k expected)

        • malek86

          That’s… some very low expectations for 3DDH. Sure it isn’t a typo?

          • Gestahl

            25k is 2.5 times more than the Japanese sales for this title.

  • d19xx

    Also, less DS games…

  • Tom_Phoenix

    How well DID Endless Frontier actually sell? So far, I have had a lot of trouble trying to find any concrete figures and whether or not they matched the sales expected by Atlus itself.

    Anyway, good to see Atlus USA turning a profit. Hopefully, most of their future localisation projects will fare better in terms of sales.

    • I was hoping it did good enough so that we could get sequel or another one. The game was mad fun.

      • Exkaiser

        They still haven’t announced the sequel for localization… It’s been out for a while.

        • Tom_Phoenix

          Well, it’s far from too late, since Atlus has a tendency to announce games shortly before release. That said, if November and even December pass without an announcement, then we can be preety certain that there most likely won’t be a localisation.

    • Exkaiser

      Sold better than they expected, they said. I think it was a little less than 20,000.

  • malek86

    Any words on Hexyz Force?

    Anyway, it’s weird. 2009 -> no HD games -> loss. 2010 -> two HD games -> profit.

    Maybe it’s just a coincidence, due to Demon’s Souls smashing success (which, incidentally, isn’t even an actual Atlus game). But it still strikes me weird, what with all the people who say that HD is killing smaller publihers.

    • HD or not has absolutely no effect on publishers. They don’t make the games.

      • Gestahl

        What a brilliant comment. But then again, 2009 -> no HD games -> loss. 2010 -> two HD games -> profit.

        HD didn’t have no effect, no way!

      • malek86

        Actually, it does. Often, whenever a company wants a game, they find a developer and give them money to make it (or, if a developer wants to make a game, they’ll try and get a publisher on their side). It’s a funding relationship. And if the game is big budgeted (or HD, I guess), then the publisher will have to shell out more.For example, when Psychonauts bombed, Majesco almost went out of business as a result, since they had funded the game (ended up with a $30 million loss that year).

        • Joanna

          yeah, but that’s not the case with Atlus USA, so you can’t put HD development into the equation for them, so I agree with Jennifer here. Remember, Atlus USA has a separate revenue statement and is in no way linked to how Atlus Japan/Index Holdings does (i.e – their development costs). Altus USA’s costs result from paying for localization rights and the localization process.

    • I think its that Demon’s Soul is an outlier. Did they say it was their best selling game ever of sorts?

      • Gestahl

        Both HD games were their bestsellers that year. They specifically said that.

        Let me quote duckroll once again:

        “They listed the two biggest selling titles out of the 12 released in this term and said overall sales were well over expectations”

        • I think I was getting at the idea that it was there Best selling game “ever”, of all their history…

          • Gestahl

            You were also getting at the idea that Demon’s Souls was an outlier.

          • If it is a game that is there best selling game ever, then it would be an outlier…were comparing something that sells 308K units to titles in the company that usually sell on the order of 20K to 150K units…on my plots 308K is far above the mean and most likely out of Quantile 3…making it an outlier

          • malek86

            I think I read somewhere that Demon’s Souls is indeed Atlus USA’s highest selling game ever.

            Kinda sad that it wasn’t even made by Atlus, but hey.

        • The real question is whether these games performed well because “OMG HD!!!1“, or whether it was because both games appealed to a larger audience outside of Atlus’s typical “anime fan” niche.By the way, either duckroll is incorrect, or he and Spencer are talking about two different time periods—because according to an earlier report, 101 in 1 Party Megamix outsold 3DDGH, 189k to 160k.

      • Gestahl

        Yeah, DS is an outlier. And so is 3DDGH, since it has sold more than other titles for the period.

        Both are accidentally HD.

        • I dont think 150 or thousand would qualify 3D Dot Game Heroes as an outlier, as Im guessing theyve had several games in the past possibly reach that mark.

          Using an outlier to base this HD games theory on isnt logically sound. A game selling more than double the second best is an outlier no matter anyway you look at it and an exceptional feat.

    • thebanditking

      I agree it certainly puts a different perspective on things.

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    I hope Catherine can give them serious profit.

    Too bad they won’t be publishing Project Dark. I know it’s not a matter of deserving or not, it’s all business and all that, but, to me, Namco does not deserve it.

    And Atlus do. They deserve to receive every dollar that goes their way. They do everything about game publishing right. Full collor manuals? Yes. Artwork on the inside of the box? Yup. Extra swag at no extra cost? Check. Awesome limited editions? That too.

    It doesn’t get much better than that.

    • malek86

      Namco actually gave us europeans some cool swag too, for no extra cost. But I guess Namco EU is not the same as Namco USA.

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        Yeah, I know. But I think those are exceptions to the rule.

        Lately, I can only think of Naruto and DBZ (Naruto and DBZ just sell, just have their names on the cover and that’s it), Enslaved (they said they wanted to turn it into one of their major franchises) and Demon’s Souls.

        Hmm… Now that I read that, yeah, maybe it’s not so rare at all for them to have LE’s and stuff.

        I’m from Europe too, and I didn’t want to wait for Demon’s Souls to come over. The Deluxe Edition was just too hot to pass up.

        Anyways, maybe it’s the fact that I’m not entirely rational about it, but in my eyes, Namco doesn’t deserve it. They don’t take risks. They only picked DS up after seeing its smashing success. That pisses me off. It makes sense, of course, they’re running a business and they’ve got their financial situation to worry about.

        It’s a stupid opinion, I acknowledge that. But I can’t help but feel this way about the matter. Maybe I’m just butthurt over the lack of Tales games outside Japan.

        One thing is for sure though: I love Atlus’ way of doing their thing, as does everyone else that knows them.

        • Ladius

          2010’s Atlus USA really isn’t so different in the “taking risks” department.

          Even if they had a cash cow like Demon’s Souls to insure their stability they still left in Japan many titles that were parts of series they localized in the previous years (Luminous Arc 3, Class of Heroes 2, SRT OG Saga EF Exceed, Growlanser, Summon Night TxC, Yggdra Unison and Blaze Union), completely ignoring their fanbases.

          The fact that Atlus USA’s most important games in this part of the year are all portings (KitN’s psp porting is packed with another old psp porting as a pre-order bonus, too) is sad by itself.

          • Draparde

            gaH! i had forgotten about Luminous arc 3….now i want it all over again :/

          • malek86

            I gotta agree there. Atlus in 2009 had a lot of new stuff, and mostly developed by them.This year it was mostly ports or remakes, and more games by other companies.

            Then again, it worked out well apparently, so maybe it’s not a bad idea for them to keep going this way. Even if a hit like Demon’s Souls doesn’t come often…

    • Ladius

      Awesome limited editions? I could agree for the previous years, but recently the only LE has been Demon’s Souls’ (really not so “awesome” regarding bonus contents, even if it was honest thinking of some steelbox pseudo-collector editions), and then only preorder bonus ranging from good to mediocre.
      I don’t think they can compare with Aksys’ Agarest or Death Smiles LE, NiSA’s Atelier Rorona box or XSEED’s Ys Seven LE.

      • SolidusSnake

        Most of their preorder bonuses have been pretty lackluster, but Etrian Odyssey 3 was a strong exception. I would have easily payed $10-15 for that book yet I got it for free since I preordered it.

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        Yes, recently Atlus hasn’t been offering as many LEs, but the free stuff is still there. In any case, I was thinking about what they normally do, not this year specifically. The quality of the pre-order goods is debatable, I suppose, seeing as how it depends on the consumer’s preferences.Again, regarding the risks department, I was comparing Atlus on its whole with Namco, not just this year’s Atlus.Of course, that doesn’t, in any way, invalidate what you said, which ends up being true, when talking about 2010.Regarding the ports, maybe it’s sad for people that had the chance to play them when they came out, but I’m looking forward to Knights in the Knightmare, considering it’s my only chance to play that game.Of the games you mentioned, I would only be able to play 3 (Unison, Growlanser and Class of Heroes). And of those 3, only Unison interests me, seeing as how I like the Dept. Heaven games I played so far. What I mean is: I haven’t been following the other ones so closely, so I wouldn’t know about their lack of localisation, but of course I understand, as I would feel bad as well if they stopped localising some of my favourite games.

    • Zeik56

      I don’t think even Atlus believes Catherine is going to be a serious profit getter. They seem to be fully aware that it’s basically a side project that not everyone is going to like.

  • Pichi

    How do I read the pictures? Is it going from left to right after the big one in terms of success?

    I would like LA2 and Endless Frontier sequels to make it over.

    • There’s no way to read them. They’re just a spattering of games to show what Atlus released during those periods, and unfortunately because there is only so much space they’re incomplete pictures of Atlus’ lineups.

  • Yui

    What saddens me is that I’m not seeing Devil Survivor. Was it so commercially underwhelming that it receives no graphical recognition? =(

    • Not only did you remind me to put up Devil Survivor, you reminded me that Persona was actually a FY2010 game for North America. Corrected on both parts!

      • Oh, wait — you made this image collage? I thought it was part of the investor release. Silly me.

        …Then I should probably point out that the date range is the same on both images, haha.

        • Yeah, I thought it would express the lineup better than a list. Fixing that now. When I revised the other image I forgot to switch the date!

      • Yui

        Ah, well, I’m glad I could help. =D

    • These aren’t complete pictures of Atlus’s releases…but check out 2009 a little more closely. To be exact—below Luminous Arc 2, to the right of Crimson Gem Saga, and above Knights in the Nightmare. ;)

      • Yui

        If you’d posted this 5 minutes earlier, I’d have had to concede defeat. ;P

        • …And I would have gotten away with victory, if it wasn’t for that meddling Spencer! >:(

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    I’d like to know Atlus Japan fares annually in comparison to their US counterpart. Some figures would be nice.

  • Joanna

    I really wish I could have some sales figures and expectations for LA2. On the Atlus boards, the Atlus employees are making it sound like the game sold really really poorly (so like ~10K or less debut). I just really really want to see just how bad it did because I thought it did moderately well.

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