NIS America Tell Us About Their European Publishing Arrangement With Atlus

By Ishaan . April 8, 2013 . 2:40pm

Atlus, developers of the Shin Megami Tensei, Persona and Etrian Odyssey series, have had an uncomfortable relationship with Europe for years. Unlike a lot of publishers, Atlus have no European publishing branch of their own, and so they license their games out to other companies to publish. Sometimes.


When these games are released in Europe, it tends to be several months after their U.S. release. Other times, Europeans miss out on them entirely, like in the case of stellar games such as Radiant Historia and Trauma Team.


Of late, however, NIS America have shown an interest in publishing Atlus games in Europe, and doing it in a fairly timely fashion. This past February, the publisher released Persona 4: Golden in Europe, just three months after its U.S. release. This Summer, NISA will be releasing Etrian Odyssey IV. And they’re interested in pursuing other Atlus games, too, they tell us.


Siliconera got in touch which NIS America to better understand the relationship between them and Atlus, and the company’s VP of European business, Takuro Yamashita, answered some of our questions. First on the list was whose idea the publishing deal was, and who the involved parties were.


“NISA’s European producer approached Atlus USA to propose a partnership for publishing Atlus titles in Europe, and after discussing and finalizing everything, we came to an agreement,” Yamashita shared with us. “NISA has self-published a large number of RPGs in Europe since 2009, and Atlus had a strong desire to license their titles to a company that had experience selling RPGs in Europe. So the talks between the two parties went very smoothly.”


It turns out that the talks took place largely between Atlus USA and NIS America. Index Holdings, Atlus’ parent company in Japan, weren’t as involved in the negotiations. However, they are involved in modifying the code for the U.S. version of each game to prep it for European release.


Europeans can probably expect to see more Atlus games from NIS America in the future, too, provided all goes well.


“Currently, the games are selected on a title-by-title basis,” Yamashita revealed to us. “However, NISA is very interested in establishing a long-term relationship with Atlus to secure future titles from them.”


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  • It took waaaaaaay, waaaaaaaaaaaay too long for this partnership to occur. But God yes, it finally happened! I am overjoyed for this.

  • rorschacht

    SMT IV is coming

  • Vesperion

    Congrats Europe

  • phangtom

    Although I’d be happy that we’ll get timely releases. I would be disappointed to know that we’ll never ever get any limited editions of games.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    I can only see good things from this partnership. And I’m glad. ^_^

  • Give us Soul Hackers & SMT IV, NISA, please.

  • cloudfightback

    This is going to be awesome, if this goes very well.
    If it does, happy days for us all in Europe. =D

  • Romored

    About time, dammit!

  • Alex Sargeant

    I would love this partnership to be more of a thing. NISA have never disappointed with their localisation/distribution. Even when I really don’t like some of the games, I’m consistently impressed with the quality of their releases as well as the marketing they provide them.

  • Dyne

    If i could, i be crying tears of joy right now.

  • Chrystofax

    Ah, sounds good

  • Jisgsaw

    Well it would be about time they do some kind of partnership like this. They can’t continue to sit around after the disasters of P4:Arena and Devil survivor Overclocked. Heck, these releases were even worse (from PAL point of view) than any of their PS2 releases, when any other company tends to do better these days on this point.

    A bit sad for Ghostlight if this were to come though, their PR is amazing, even if they aren’t the fastest to localize/get Atlus to do the builds.

    • DesmaX

      True. Hope their plan to bring Jrpg’s to Steam work out to them.

    • cameron forsyth

      the worst persona wait was ‘Persona 3 portable’ in both the wait for jap-to-europe and Na-to-Europe. the current time is nothing abnormally for atlus, it’s just that people can’t import it. although i partly blame Altus i also blame the importers who damage European sales. catherine is a good example as currently the time we had to wait for P4A and catherine is neck and neck but little controversy was visible in comparison.

      good news none the less but even with P4goldens fast release imports still occurred and less reason for atlus to support this arrangment were present.

      • Jisgsaw

        Two years for Overclocked IS abnormal. With added bugs at that.
        The 10 month for Arena are also not on pare with most of the PS2 releases, which were usually 6-8 month (for most of them).

        Catherine was released in 6 month, not 10 (same release window in the US for both of them, but Catherine came in February, Arena (hopefully) in May).

        • cameron forsyth

          assuming 3 months can be considered a quick release the difference you stated between catherine and P4A is hardly anything worthy of note. this example was only present to justify the controversy levels as there were many more people complaining about P4A’s wait 6 months in than with Catherine’s.

          although talking within persona only (since i have no idea what ‘overclocked IS’ is) persona games have consitantly kept to a round about wait P4A is still within that exception since the NA version was released the same time as the jap version i’m measuring the time taken between the japanese release and the european release within atlus releases i’m aware of. (from that stand point P4A is one of the fastest localisation’s from Altus LOL XD)

          but whatever, i don’t care about the wait as long as i can wait 2 months i feel i can wait 20 as i have better things to do than sit around demanding for my next luxury product. all i want to say is that this whole thing is blown out of proportion as it’s just karma that puts us in this situation, as the waits wouldn’t be this long if we actually supported our own market and economy as i very much doubt atlus is interested in fruitless investments and i don’t blame them for making these decisions

          • Jisgsaw

            “the difference you stated between catherine and P4A is hardly anything worthy of note”

            The difference is just the half of the wait for Catherine…

            The three month are understandable because of logistic and certifications issues. Over these three month, the question is just: what exactly are they doing ?

            “since i have no idea what ‘overclocked IS’ is”

            Devil survivor Overclocked. Came out mid 2011 on the 3DS in the US, and just a week ago (in full english of course) in Europe. With the nice additions of two major, and one minor bug.

            So two years. But you can wait 3 month, so what are two years right ?

            “i’m measuring the time taken between the japanese release and the european release within atlus releases i’m aware of.”

            Not really pertinent.

            If people almost always compare to US release, it’s for a good reason: the games usually aren’t translated in any other langage than english. For the enduser, on screen, it is therefore the EXACT same game as the US one. Wheras jap to US port needs translations, which are tedious to do and implement (and test).

            “as the waits wouldn’t be this long if we actually supported our own market and economy as i very much doubt atlus is interested in fruitless investments and i don’t blame them for making these decisions”

            That’s actually the disturbing part: the games seam to do acceptable sales, according to Ghostlight at least.
            Edit: and the part I understand the least: the delays are so long because Atlus never plans for (ie. does the PAL builds) their PAL releases beforehand. Which means thay have to go through their code AGAIN to modify it according to Nintendo/Sony Europe. Which is just a waste of time and effort, really, as doing both in one go would be much faster.

  • brian

    This partnership really surprised me because Atlus US and NISA seem to have a rivalry that implied to me at least that this would be really unlikely and tense if it did happen.
    I’m happy for europeans, though.

    • PoweredByHentai

      Not really rivalry. Atlus USA localized a number of NIS titles prior to NIS America being formed. Even when NIS established its US office, NISA is about 5 minutes drive away from Atlus USA’s office.

      They’re kind of funny like that.

    • Draparde

      if they do have a rivalry its probably one in a rather friendly way i’d imagine.

  • Detrimont

    best news ever

  • SirRichard

    With EOIV following up Golden, I had figured that some sort of agreement had come about. It’s about time something like this happened, because more and more it was getting ridiculous to see us being skipped over entirely or left in the dust for months on end. I’m actually really glad that it was NISA who stepped up to handle it, too, they’ve treated us really well in recent times.

    Thanks for looking into it, though, guys. Really rather informative, and it’s definitely brightened my day. Here’s hoping I won’t have to pour scorn every time Atlus comes up for much longer!

  • DesmaX

    Smart move by NISA. Securing these Atlus games should be very lucrative for them

  • PoweredByHentai

    ATLUS and NISA have a very long history together. The funny thing is that it was ATLUS that kind of brought Nippon Icchi Software to the US. 10 years later and now it is NIS America that is helping ATLUS out in Europe.

    • SetzerGabbiani

      Yes indeed, and 10 years ago the original Disgaea was the keystone. Glad to see they are still working together to get Europe these games.

      • PoweredByHentai

        Their relationship goes back much further than that. Atlus USA localized Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure for NIS. It’s really a shame that its sequels never got localized.

        Also, one of the characters in Rhapsody has a name that essentially became an inside-joke in subsequent NIS games.

        The really cool thing is that Atlus USA and NISA are only a few minutes drive away from each other.

  • JMaster3000

    If SMT IV comes here i’ll start to cry then ;’)

  • Zechs

    I love you NIS America.

  • FullMetalAlcopop

    Now they just need to start adapting their code for a European release alongside the US version.

  • That’s really cool for European fans.

    I just wonder what this would mean for publishers like Ghostlight and Zen United?

    • Speedo Redempteur

      It just means that they need to step up their game to do something correct.
      Having a devil survivor overclocked , buggued and late is not a good thing . Having a release of P4A so late is not a good thing. I hope NISA will shake things up for everyone because some of the stuff that happenned recently is just unforgivable

      • Belphegor

        to be fair, concerning the bugs in overclocked, it was Atlus themselves that introduced the bugs into the games and would have happened regardless of who was doing the localisation

  • DanijoEX

    I think it’s awesome that the two companies doing this. It’s about time things change.

  • Prinnydoom

    Maybe we need to open a Atlus europe publishing branch. Probably not as easy as it sounds. But it would solve a whole load of problems.

    • Jisgsaw

      Don’t know from whom I read this (sorry), but it would be reasonable to think that Atlus is betting more on digital releases in the futur (for PAL regions at least), waiting for it to establish itself strongly. This would make creating an European based branch (which should be expensive) useless.

  • Junko Enoshima

    Great news for Europeans! Now the wait for games will be much more bearable.

  • Cyberjin


  • ZekeFreek

    How about Atlus get off their lazy asses and do their job publishing their own damn games? It’s great that the big boys of niche gaming are getting along swimmingly but seriously, it’s kind of insulting that Atlus doesn’t think Europe matters enough to publish games themselves there.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    So we finally have our unofficial “Atlus Europe” with NIS America fulfilling the publishing role and Tecmo Koei Europe fulfilling the distribution one.

  • SMT

    yes,this is sweet news.

  • ShadowDivz

    Im happy for european gamers. The delay they get for games is/was rediculous. But now it seems the winds blow in his favor.

  • ; W;

    Gooooood NISA. … although it’s funny NIS -America- is wishing to be to strong provider of Atlus games in -Europe-. I assume it might be more settled in America and so have easier access to Atlus USA as a result…

  • Belphegor

    Well damn! I guess that means no more limited editions of Atlus releases for us EU gamers.

    Suppose I’ll have to start importing their stuff as well as NISA releases, though with the increasing shipping costs and poor exchange rate even that’s not feasible anymore :(

  • A lot of troll/butthurt downvote there….

    Anyway, things are looking good for you guys over at Europe!

  • Go2hell66

    Well that is good news.

    you can always count on NISA
    just hope they do something about dragon’s crown as well

  • Vitor Duarte

    YES! Finally some good news for us. Even though P4A only comes out on may 10th…

  • Neppygear

    Yes, please. Let the competent publisher take care of things.

  • What about Australia? Our nation is constantly being screwed over by gaming publishers and yet we are the only nation willing to pay near $100 for a AAA release, as standard. It’s like not a continental nation, with hundreds of thousands of potential sales, is hard to miss. If this European agreement doesn’t extend to Australia, then don’t come crying when thousands of your games are being pirated.

    • Etrian Odyssey is being published in AU by NISA.

  • Jontaku

    I’m liking this immensely. I’m guessing that we’ll most likely be getting Megaten 4 and Soul Hackers by the end of the year.

  • I hope this partnership can extend beyond just publishing rights.I would love to see a whacky persona game by NIS

  • cameron forsyth

    it seems everyone and their mother got a thumbs down? got something against europe or what?

  • artemisthemp

    Hopefully this partnership could lead to (Delusion I know) Persona may release same month as US version.
    Maybe we even get some special stuff, that ain’t exclusive to

  • Follower_of_Pram

    Congrats Europeans and Atlus, more availability is certainly nice.

  • Isaac Newton

    Downvote me please
    Thank you very much to those people who downvote me.
    Edit: Congrats EU! :{D

    • Testsubject909

      I’ve not used the downvote system yet. And I refuse to do so.

  • good news for all us europeans

  • MonsieurEek

    I always thought Atlus got pretty screwed on the rights to Dark Souls seeing as they took the risk no one else was willing to on the original and knocked it out of the park, and I think it’s plausible it had a lot to do with them not being set up to publish in Europe. Wonder if an arrangement like this would’ve changed things.

    • Armane

      It may have, but we don’t know if Atlus was offered to fund it in the first place. They may have turned it down for all we know.

  • Well this was rather… unexpected. I’m really glad it finally happened!
    Guess it’s time to find our hidden piggy-banks in preparation for those glorious games (hopefully) :3

  • l777l


  • Testsubject909

    I’m still not sure why Atlus’ first survival horror game Hell Night wasn’t published in the US but was localized and published in the EU region… At least I’m fairly certain it was Atlus that published it in EU… I’ll need to double check.

  • Erzio

    I have mixed feelings about this, for one part it’s a good news because we will have a faster publisher but for other part now we have 0 changes to have games localized in other languages (like Catherine) and less changes for extra goodies with collector editions (NisA isn’t friendly with the EU)

  • Erzio

    I have mixed feelings about this, for one part it’s a good news because we will have a faster publisher but for other part now we have 0 changes to have games localized in other languages (like Catherine) and less changes for extra goodies with collector editions (NisA isn’t friendly with the EU)

  • Actually, most ATLUS games which were localized for the US were released in Europe as well. I can’t see any major games we’ve missed out. So there won’t be much change…

    • Jisgsaw

      What we can hope would change would be the delay between the US and PAL releases (for games that, on screen, are identical…).
      So going from the (in good cases) 6 to 8 Month (most of PS2 SMTs, won’t bother mentioning the 1 and 2 years of Arena and Overclocked… oups), down to 3 Month (P4:G, published by… NIS in europe), or even a few days/a week (pretty much any non-Atlus game these days).

  • I am far too happy hearing this, I just hope i don’t have to wait a whole year to get a hold of etrian odyssey 4 and soul hackers.

  • Guest

    EO4 is an amazing game and one of the best crawlers I’ve played in years. If it was the only game I wound up truly loving for the 3DS it’d have been a worthwhile purchase. EO1 was eh, 2 was solid, 3 was quite good and 4 is when it really came together for me. It can sit amongst the classics now, for my tastes.

    Glad more people get to play it.

  • Nice to hear about this partnership. Now more people can enjoy great games with less delay.

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