Atlus Have Taken Over Distribution Rights For Persona 4 Arena In Europe

By Ishaan . May 27, 2014 . 11:01am

We recently learnt that Persona 4 Arena was removed from the European PlayStation Network, and Siliconera has been trying to find out why.


I spoke with Geraint Evans of PQube, formerly of publisher Zen United, and he explained that Atlus are now handling Persona 4 Arena in European territories themselves. Evans explained that Atlus “currently hold the digital distribution rights for Persona 4 Arena in Europe”.


Since Atlus have taken over distribution for Persona 4 Arena in Europe, there are a bunch of reasons it could have been removed from PSN. One of these could be that the details for the game’s PEGI rating need to be updated and transferred accordingly, which could require that it be taken down in the interim.


Another very likely possibility is that, when publishing rights are transferred from one publisher to another, the game needs to be taken down by the former publisher (so that they don’t continue to make revenue off of it) and re-uploaded by the new publisher. Persona 4 Arena could just be in the middle of such a transition.


Of course, while the game is unavailable via PSN, it’s still available at retailers in the U.K. and Europe.

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  • Postnjam

    It’s sad that the worst company to own the rights to this game is the developers themselves. I can see Altus executives laughing at us with bottles labeled “European SMT fan tears”

    • Dystopiq

      They wash those down with Rune Factory 4 Fan Tears.

      • persona_yuji

        Oh goddamnit I thought I got rid of those tears but now their back!

    • Ninten

      I just find it really asinine how Atlus treats Europe. Look at other niche companies. They are so much nicer to us than Atlus and they are even smaller.

      • Postnjam

        I’ve never understood why they can’t just list Englsh speaking countries such as UK with america, it’s not like they change the dialogue to queen’s english, and yes, I am telling atlus to basically f**k the other countries with different languages, but I want SMT4.

    • Zachary Ortiz

      Right next to another set of bottles labeled “Super Robot Wars OG fan tears”. Fucking bastards….

  • SupaPhly

    so, instead of 6 months late, it will probably be digital only?

    • Akuosa

      Instead? Try “and”…

      • God

        “so, and of 6 months late, it will probably be digital only?” Silly cat, that doesn’t make any sense!

    • Abysswalker90

      It was 10 months late, not 6.

  • Will the European SMT carnage ever cease

  • Ninten

    I’m not the only one who fears of DD-only Atlus games in the future for Europe, right?

    • Sentsuizan_93

      You’re not alone… x_x

      • landlock

        I still can’t believe Atlus don’t have a European office by now.

        • TheRealMalek

          I’m more and more thinking that Atlus will “soon” have an office in europe maybe they will share Sega office

          • Sentsuizan_93

            That would be for the best…

        • Brion Valkerion

          Article makes it sound like they are sick of the Euro BS too and are taking it into their own hands now.

    • Kurai Buzzwagon

      At this point i would just be happy that we even get the game at all in europe. just hope they dont do what they did with Blazblue chrono phantasma still cant get it here yep

    • Ladius

      I think they will act that way with niche games like Growlanser WoT, Gungnir and Conception 2, but they will probably still pursue publishing deals with other companies for the games they feel can have a chance at retail.

    • artemisthemp

      Unless they get NISA to handle psychical release in EU, that will be the future

  • persona_yuji

    Oh boy… Thankfully I bought the phisical version a few days ago on a bargain sale.

  • DizzyGear

    Sigh. No doubt the next P4A will be an overpriced digital only release
    if the godawful EU Conception II release is any indication of Atlus’s EU
    publishing methods.

    I’m pretty sick of this ongoing trend where
    these publishers cut out the known EU publishers (PQube, Ghostlight,
    etc) and just dump their games on PSN with terrible $1 = €1 pricing.

    • persona_yuji

      Don’t you just hate it when the digital version is more expensive than the phisical version on release?

      • DizzyGear

        Yeah, Importing the Conception II Launch Edition was much cheaper the digital EU release. Sure i’ll miss out on the DLC but at least now i have the game on card with the soundtrack and fancy box and i dont feel ripped off.
        Undoubtly thats exactly why Atlus loves their regions locks.

        • Mirai

          Just create an American PSN account and then you can have DLC as well.

          • DizzyGear

            With the single account system on the Vita thats not really an option. DLC is not worth the hassle of resetting the Vita everytime to switch accounts.

          • Tyler Beale

            If Sony is going to add the option, they need to do it soon. And make it like the PSP, where you can have content from multiple regions at once on the system, but only those that match the account with the one on the system (switching them would be as simple as signing out with the old, and signing in with the new one) can be played.

            And because you’re missing out on DLC, you’re also missing out on the superboss.

  • SirRichard

    So, are Atlus going to start digitally publishing their own games here, now? I’m not particularly happy about that, we might get them quicker but I’ve no doubt the prices won’t be fair at all. If they even do start publishing anything, of course, and aren’t just cutting out Euro publishers.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    Seems my suspicions were confirmed. Sort of.
    I really hope this is the only game affected. Cause now, I highly fear that P4 Ultimax and even Persona 5 would not be any better EU distribution wise.

  • Alex Sargeant

    Going to stay positive and assert this is way better than in the hands of Zen United.

  • Joni

    So does this mean when I need to delete the game from my hard drive, I can’t download the game anymore even though I’ve paid for it? …

    • BizarreJelly

      No I don’t think so, I imagine there would be an update or something for it.

    • DesmaX

      Of course not. It’s still available to download on your Download List

  • Nothing to do with P4 but about SMT IV in Europe !
    According to Le Figaro, a french newspaper, Nintendo is currently translating SMT IV for a future release in Europe !
    I’m really glad about it and I hope we’ll get a release date soon !
    Read the article :

    • DizzyGear

      Ive heard that one before last year so I’m not holding my breath anymore until we get an official confirmation.
      On a side note. Since its Nintendo it remains to be seen if we’ll get SMT IV uncensored.

      • Yes I understand.
        I’m still sceptical about this but there’s hope. I wanna hope…

      • Neppygear

        SMTIV got passed without issue everywhere else, right? It’d make less than no sense for them to do further censorship work for this one release.

        • DizzyGear

          Nintendo censored a conversation about boobs in the PAL build of Fire Emblem Awakening that was uncensored in the US build. So I don’t really trust them anymore.

          • Neppygear

            I actually didn’t know about that. That is dumb and odd.

  • revenent hell

    See now I’m confused. In almost every game article by Atlus people complain how they should just publish the games in Europe themselves and now that it “seems” to be going in that vein it’s mentioned how Atlus are just cutting out European publishers and how their games will be DD only. Valid complaints all around but it seems like any majority is just not happy.

    I get the digital only hate and whatnot, don’t get me wrong, but as far as any “Atlus” mentioned article goes the hate doth pour in pools, not that I don’t get why mostly but still it’s funny to read one day the bulk of comments is “Atlus should do it” and then the next be “It’s a horrible thing”

    • Nanaki

      It also confused me.

    • DizzyGear

      Obviously with “Atlus should publish to EU themselves” we mean that they should be doing a proper job with a retail release and fair digital pricing.
      Not a (late) digital only release for the EU while offering fancy retail editions in the US for cheaper.

      • revenent hell

        But you can’t claim anything one way or the other quite yet since we really don’t know what Atlus plans to do. And even if a game is digital release only I would think the process would be a bit delayed anyways since, I do believe the process is still slightly different

        • DizzyGear

          From Atlus trackrecord with the EU there is little reason to assume they will improve their EU publishing gig for future games.

          • revenent hell

            Then why do so many in past articles want them to do so? No one ever adds in stipulations until signs point toward them getting what the asked for and then people complain even more…

          • Ninten

            Many people would be okay with Atlus publishing their games in retail format on their own in Europe and Australia (or even with the help of Sega) now that Sega owns them.

          • revenent hell

            People say they want it, and ok maybe it does happen BUT I think it’s always been safe to “assume” they would take things the digital rout if it did. More companies see it as easy nowadays with less wasted money on their part Personally I kind of think it was faulty for people to campaign for something expecting the best scenario for it without actually contemplating what exactly might come from such endless remarks.

          • Ninten

            Because if smaller companies can justify a physical release of their niche games, then there’s no reason why Atlus couldn’t do as well other than being very lazy.

          • revenent hell

            One company’s justification is not another’s and shouldn’t be comparable. Its like saying because some blonde bombshell wears a bikini to a wedding everyone should have to. One’s set of numbers doesn’t mean another company will find them acceptable and “might” see it as more of a loss.
            People really need to stop making that excuse as to why a company “should and could” do something.

          • Ninten

            Right, it’s not like you really know how does it feel to get something after a year’s worth of delay, right? Atlus may make fantastic games, but as a company, they are a joke. I’m sorry I had to say that. Atlus doesn’t care about us. If they did, then we would have gotten some 3DS eShop or PSN sales as well. Why would they change their attitude if they have been a jerk towards us?

            Yes, people were actually hoping Atlus’ situation with EU will get somewhat better now what Sega owns them. By now, almost everyone doubts things will ever get better.

            The general consensus that people always bring up is that Atlus doesn’t have an EU branch/office. NISA doesn’t have one either, they publish their games in Europe from their US office. I might bring up NISA a lot, but at least that’s a company who I can trust and sees a market for their niche games in Europe, therefore, they deserve more support. In fact, NISA published some of Atlus’ 3DS games in Europe over the last few months.

          • revenent hell

            I don’t think Nisa doesn’t deserve credit, I enjoy their games as well, but comparing companies is comparing apples and oranges and shouldn’t be the base standard, which frankly EVERYONE does, and it needs to stop. Just because one may do something doesn’t mean its applicable for all or wouldn’t be viewed as a loss.

            Yes, there are A LOT of games I have waited for, for much longer than a year, I think everyone has. Its shitty and feels unfair.

            But look at it this way. Some Atlus personnel see’s comments made on the fly of ” Why doesn’t Atlus just publish their own games here?” one after the other , shows it to the powers that be, it gets done…just digitally. People shouldn’t continuously ask for something just to mention their preference for “how” it gets done later.

            And I have read a lot of these comments and hardly any stipulate a physical release, even if that is ultimately what people prefer (I am one of those folks by the by) but mostly what is “heard” is ” Atlus publish your own games here!” So, “Ok, here is the means we will do so.”

          • DizzyGear

            Ghostlight, a publisher who published quite a few Atlus titles, mentioned they have been unable to get a good publishing deal as the reason they have not done any console releases lately. Coincidence?

            My conclusion is that Atlus got greedy with publishing deals and than took this route so all the sales go directly into their own pockets.
            If Atlus was really as noble that they read our comments and do what we want they would have adjusted the prize of Conception II on PSN to something more reasonable instead of replacing the $ with a €.

          • revenent hell

            I give the money should be translated better since a dollar amount is not equal world wide and doesn’t remotely seem even minimally fair but you cant really blame Atlus for wanting to get revenue without a middle man. It makes better sense to publish digitally themselves than have to give a cut to someone else. In all fairness its business, they can bring in or cut out of the equation whoever they want.

            Thus far one of the valid complaints is the amount paid for a game. I’m not saying more aren’t but business wise they really aren’t that uncommon to happen on a daily basis with companies the world over. Where money is at stake people don’t want to have to share it if they don’t have to.

    • Ninten

      NISA, a smaller company can justify physical releases in Europe. Atlus, a bigger company can’t justify a physical release in Europe for no reason.

      Let that burn into your mind, friend.

      • revenent hell

        Hardly. No one knows for a fact what Atlus plans to do. Unless you work for them?

        • Ninten

          I think the way they treated Devil Survivor Overclocked’s EU build shows how much they “care” about us.

          And no, I’m not expecting anything nice from Atlus if they start releasing their games in Europe on their own as (quite probably) DD-only.

          • revenent hell

            Accidents happen with a lot of games I’m sure it feeds the fires but I, myself have been screwed do to bugs and glitches in games at least they gave a damn to attempt patching it at some point. I can’t claim that for a few games I have.

          • Haganeren

            In that case, it’s simple. We will not trust them until they surprise us positively.

            But i don’t plan to wait, getting a US copy is still the best thing to do when you love Atlus game in Europe.

          • revenent hell

            Things might change with them being under Sega’s control now but it will take time to implement change if any happens.
            But I think its terribly unfair that people are forced to import games because they, for one reason or another, cant be released elsewhere in a timely manner.

    • persona_yuji

      Well, when you take in consideration the current relationship between Europe and Atlus, you can’t really blame us for being skeptical.

      • revenent hell

        I do give you that.

    • shoyusatsu999

      Welcome to modern society. If you hate something before it’s changed, you’ve also gotta hate it after it’s changed. /sarcasm

      • revenent hell

        Not sarcasm…Truth.

  • BizarreJelly

    However they decide to handle the release of Ultimax in Europe, wether they region lock it again or not – I just hope they release it reasonably close to the American release, because the wait for Arena in Europe was absolutely ridiculous as it sat in limbo with nothing happening for way too long with the only “news” being delivered through the troll-like Facebook page.

    In a way I’m kinda glad Atlus is taking responsibility for it because they were frustratingly uncaring about the whole thing so at least there’s that.

  • Simple explanation for take down of the Zen published copy: All Playstation games receive a game-code designation. These game-code designators are specific to the publisher, so if someone else is going to publish the game, they cannot transfer ownership of the game code, a new code is generated instead.

    This is the same reason why Skullgirls had to be republished.

  • Pedro Tavares

    So not only do they not give us games but they are also taking away the ones tthat were already release, Atlus loves us guys!

    • revenent hell

      You need to read. To switch publishing rights the game may temporarily be unavailable until the change is complete. Reason: Because if sold under the Ghostlight label they get the money for sales.

  • Neppygear

    Yay. I am very ready for yet more digital-only fun fun. Thank you, Atlus, your services to the people of Europe are, as always, super appreciated.

  • AuraGuyChris

    Labrys: Aigis, why are you smiling?

    Aigis: We’re going to Europe, Labrys. They sell nice chocolate cakes.

    Labrys: Oh… I like cakes.

  • Ecchitori-san

    ATLUS EU confirmed?

  • gRiMmYdArK13

    Still waiting for SMT IV

  • Rawindra

    :| Region Lock.

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