Atlus USA’s Early 2011 Line Up Has Online Games Including The Tower Of Druaga

By Spencer . October 22, 2010 . 2:55am

image imageAtlus USA and Rosso Index, an online games division of Index Holdings, are working together. According to an investor’s presentation, Atlus USA will release three of Rosso Index’s online games in North America next year.


Pandora Saga, Master of Epic, and The Tower of Druaga are slated for release sometime in January ~ February 2011. The Tower of Druaga might be the most interesting game of the bunch since it’s basically an online version of the classic arcade game.

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  • Snorefest inc.

  • Ladius

    I would like to quote the words of one of Atlus USA’s admins a few weeks ago as reported by Siliconera:
    “Don’t worry, guys. This is just some corporate organizational maneuvering and won’t affect anything we do”
    Yeah, the fact that Atlus USA is distributing Tomy’s Naruto games (Tomy is Index’s third shareholder) and localizing Rosso Index’s online games while leaving in Japan many games related to series they previously localized (Luminous Arc 3, Class of Heroes 2, SRT OG Saga EF Exceed, Growlanser, Blaze Union etc) has absolutely nothing to do with the merging of Atlus and Index.
    Of course I understand why he had to say that, but still I’m sad that one of my favorite publishers (maybe my favorite publisher, for some years) is following this path :( I really, really hope that they can return localizing niche games as they brilliantly did till 2009.

    • You have to understand, while Atlus are indeed a publisher of niche and interesting games, they also need to remain profitable. The one thing they’re really, really good at (both Japan and U.S. divisions) is managing their finances, so the fact that they might leave some of those titles alone shouldn’t come as a surprise.

      Some games just aren’t as popular as others, and siccing a team of translators / editors on localizing these huge projects just doesn’t make sense when they could be working on a more widely-accepted game instead.

      So, I don’t think that Atlus admin was “lying” as you might suspect. This is just the natural progression that any company in Atlus’s place would follow. Look at Xseed and Retro Game Challenge 2. Same thing. :)

      • Ladius

        Ishaan, my previous post’s tone was probably bitter (I apologize), but I am not interested in accusing anyone, it’s perfectly reasonable that an employee defends his company, almost anyone would do the same, and since I hold the Atlus USA crew in high esteem I am inclined to think he was in good faith, maybe those decisions were made after his comments.
        The thing that saddens me is not the contradictions between that statement and the recent news in itself (aside from its usefulness in pointing out some facts), but how much Atlus USA has changed in only one year, be that a consequence of Atlus and Index’s merging or a rethinking of their business model after 2009’s weak results and Demon’s Souls’ uber-success (and of course being only a fan I have no way of knowing which one is true, if any).
        That said, the whole “niche games aren’t profitable” thing needs to be addressed: Atlus USA has managed to stay in business publishing many niche titles till 2009 (till Persona 3 even Atlus Japan’s titles were “niche”), and if one could blame 2009’s loss for their new policy, at the same time one could say that 2010’s Demon’s Souls provided an ample cash basis to support lesser localizations.
        Instead, the year with Atlus USA’s best-selling title is the same one in which their niche localizations saw a suddenly and sharp decrease, not to mention a disturbing emphasis on portings over new titles in the last months that was definitely noticed by longtime fans.
        Of course I’m not saying they have a duty to localize x and y because their “niche” fanbase wants so (I am well aware that Growlanser PSP or Luminous Arc 3 can’t be compared to Etrian Odyssey 3 or P3P from a sales standpoint): they are totally entitled to change their policy as they want, even dumping many franchises they supported till last year. At the same time, however, I and other fans have the right to notice this change of heart and talk about it.
        The courage to risk bringing to the USA niche titles unknown to the masses, after all, was one of the reasons I and many others liked Atlus USA, and that courage in the last year has been more of an Aksys-XSEED thing (I’m thinking about the six Falcom games, the otome surveys, 999, DeathSmiles, Ivy, Blazing Souls and others) than an Atlus USA one, at least from my point of view.
        For the records I’m not one of those psyched up zealot fellows of “zomg, they didn’t localize my favorite games!1! they won’t have a dime from me ever again!!1 BURN!1!!”, since, for all my sadness, I would still day-one Catherine, Radiant Historia and any other Atlus USA game of my liking, and I really hope that 2011’s lineup will give the supporters of niche series some satisfaction. I have nothing against Atlus USA and I will be glad to support it as I have done till now.

        • Oh, I didn’t mean to sound accusatory at all. Sorry if it came off that way. I realize you weren’t trying to be bitter. Don’t worry, I didn’t think that. :)

          It’s just that, sometimes I feel like maybe people misunderstand what Atlus want to do. I mean, sure, I love that they published Tokyo Beat Down as much as the next guy, but like you said yourself, 2009 wasn’t exactly their best year.

          It’s also a question of things like shelf space and whatnot. If you search Siliconera, you’ll come across an Xseed quote that says stores are very hesitant about stocking titles with anime-esque art. Then there’s the little matter of this being really late into the DS and PSP’s life-cycle, so that’s another issue that probably requires them to be more selective with all the competition…

          I’m not trying to point fingers or anything…I’m just throwing these ideas out there to give people something to think about. Spencer and I talk about this stuff all the time between ourselves, and it keeps coming back to the same few obstacles. :)

          • Ladius

            There was no problem to begin with Ishaan, I understand your position and I appreciate the Siliconera staff’s thoughtfulness, especially since my first post was bitter.
            The things you mention of course have a role: Ds and Psp are late in their life cycle, japanese games with anime character designs as a whole aren’t mainstream and games like Growlanser aren’t exactly your Final Fantasy 13 in terms of sales or love by retailers.
            But, excuse me for taking the mantle of Captain Obvious, we were talking about niche games from the start. If they were massively profitable, perfectly fit for their hardware’s current situation and extremely liked by retailers this whole discussion won’t be happening and we would be talking about Growlanser XIII’s five million sales while flaming Atlus USA for not localizing a niche football japanese game known as PES.
            The courage to risk bringing us niche games in order to expand the audience’s tastes and knowledge is what makes (in my opinion, at least) a great niche publisher, the same courage that recently made many forum posters label XSEED as “kamikaze publisher” when they announced six Falcom titles, three of which with an astounding amount of texts, or which made Working Designs’ fame in the past.
            And publishing niche games isn’t necessarily a suicide attempt on a business level: Atlus USA did just that till this year, and many other publishers have doneare doing just the same. Moreover, as your news mentioned Atlus USA in 2010 had its greatest selling title ever, and the “niche games could led to financial problems” argument is quite debatable in this new scenery. Of course if some of 2009’s niche titles were complete failures they have every right to drop them (I’m thinking about Class of Heroes, for example), but the fact that they dropped practically all the non AtlusSting franchises (and then even some AtlusSting ones) is more akin to a complete revision of their offer than a simple reconfiguring of their niche offer.
            That said, you can be a great publisher even if you avoid meeting the niche fanbases’ demands, just don’t expect to be as respected and liked by them as when you actually gave them some of the titles they wanted.

        • “zomg, they didn’t localize my favorite games!1! they won’t have a dime from me ever again!!1 BURN!1!!”

          That sounds like a lot of people’s opinion of Namco Bandai. But I am still waiting for more localized Tales games.

      • It’s one thing to expand your library, it’s another to all but abandon the genres and series that made you popular in the first place.
        Ladius is not alone in his feelings towards the current state of Atlus.
        Growlanser fan? too bad.
        Super Robot Wars fan? You cant even mention those games on their forums these days.
        Their latest statement that they wont release Blaze Union? even more depressing.
        I dont see any reason why I should feign happiness about any of that.

        • Ladius

          Exactly. If they kept releasing niche games I won’t say a single word against the distribution of Tomy’s Naruto titles, 101 Minigames or of Index Rosso’s online games, and I will be glad to see them expanding their audience while remaining faithful to their longtime fans (publishing more mainstream games-> higher profits-> less risks in niche localizations, after all).
          I respect different tastes and, while I am pretty sure I won’t spend a cent on those games, neither will I whine because “OMG, my Atlus USA of niche goodness is soiling its reputation with minigames and Naruto!1!” (even if I’m sure some “extreme fans” would think like that :P).
          Sadly, seeing 2010’s lineup and the recent announcements it seems that Atlus USA isn’t expanding, it’s changing its business model, and since the series they covered probably aren’t going to be published by others (NiSA has its hands full with NisGustIF games, XSEED has the humongous Trails in the Sky trilogy to localize and Aksys has other niches to cover besides jrpgs) that means that we could never see those games localized :(
          p.s. Could you link the statement about Blaze Union? I think I missed it.

          • neo_firenze

            I also never saw a definitive statement that Blaze Union was or wasn’t getting localized – and I’ve now been searching Google for the past 10 minutes with no evidence. That would be really surprising to me, since it’s a Sting game on the PSP (which even gives them the option of doing a PSN download only release).

            Unfortunately, I am not getting my hopes up for Luminous Arc 3 or Growlanser PSP. But no Blaze Union would really surprise me, and would make me wonder if Atlus plans to release ANYTHING in English that I care about in the next year that isn’t Catherine (and even that’s not a sure thing yet).

        • Shadow_Raskolnik

          The only reason why you couldn’t bring up SRW in the forums was because one poster kept pestering and being obnoxious to the rest of the people on that particular thread. Also I think someone just made a new SRW thread that hasnt been closed down so far becasue everyone on it has reamined civil for the time being.

          Finally, where have they stated that they won’t be releasing Blaze Union. Outside of a single comment made to a fan on the Playstation Blogs where they have stated that they have “No plans at the time” concerning an announcement there has been no other mention concerning the title.

        • malek86

          Wait, wait, wait. What’s this about Blaze Union? You can’t give me such bad news so suddenly! I needed to get psychologically prepared!… anyway, when did they say that? It’s really too bad. I was under the impression that YU PSP had sold ok.

  • maxchain

    The Tower of Druaga is still around?! Is it fun yet?

    • I thought it was a Namco game…

      • The MMO was developed by Rosso Index, formerly Gonzo Rosso. Gonzo is the production company that did the anime. Both companies were considered different subsidiaries when they both under the GDH Group though.Edit: I should also mention that the MMO is a prequel to the anime.

  • Master of Epic i love tht game thank u Atlus

  • Would The Tower of Druaga game happen to be the MMO that was released along side the anime?

    • Yeah it’s that one. It’s made by Rosso Index too.

  • Shadow_Raskolnik

    Are you sure this isn’t their Atlus Online division?

    • Actually… it is. I was looking around and I found out that they’re already prepping up Pandora Saga for closed beta.

      • Oh, if its just Atlus online division, then i dont mind :)

      • Ah thanks, that makes a lot of sense.

    • It could be Atlus Online, that’s a division of Atlus USA. The presentation just says Atlus USA.

  • wth!? 3 online games?! darn…there goes a good of couple releases that we could had had…. Luminous arc 3 T_T

  • They should rename the company: Atloss of good games….. Okay that was terrible.

  • HPN

    So are these browser based games or will they have a retail/steam/impluse release?

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    As long as I keep getting SMT based games from them I’ll be satisfied. But if all that’s worth getting from them are SMT based games then I’ll be disappointed.

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