How Atlus Saved Citizens of Earth

By Spencer . July 23, 2014 . 5:00pm

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I first saw Citizens of Earth at an indie press event. The game’s quirky humor and Earthbound vibe immediately caught my attention. In Citizens of Earth, you play the Vice President of the World and lead everyday people like Baristas and even your Mother in your party. All of the townsfolk in the game can be recruited.

 

About a year later, Eden Industries tried fund the game through Kickstarter, but unfortunately weren’t able to reach their goal even though they had a neat playable demo.

 

“It’s hard to get the word out. There are so many Kickstarter projects and it is hard to hit that critical mass for coverage. People just don’t know about it. We’ve had so many people come up and say ‘Oh, there was a Kickstarter I wish I would’ve known about it,” lead designer and Eden Industries co-founder Ryan Vandendyck said to Siliconera.

 

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Enter Atlus, the RPG publisher behind the Shin Megami Tensei series and also indie games like Zeno Clash from Ace Team. Atlus picked up Citizens of Earth after the Kickstarter campaign ended and will release Eden Industries humorous RPG. “We were very fortunate. I had met Atlus and have been talking to them even before the Kickstarter. We didn’t have any deal yet, but we were in talks. After the Kickstarter failed, Atlus reaffirmed how much they loved the game and they were sad to see it fail. They said we would love to work with you. We would love to get this game made. They very generously stepped in and helped us out,” said Vandendyck.

 

I asked, “How else has Atlus helped, aside from funding Citizens of Earth?

 

“Funding was a big one,” Vandendyck answered. “They have helped with the marketing of the game. They made a really cool website. We didn’t have a ton of experience making dialog for games. They helped us with an editing pass and with dialog with the game. They brought the game to get voice acting, all of the characters have voice acting, which is really cool. They’ve been really great at lending their eye to it and giving us design feedback. They’ve been a great partner.”

 

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Atlus also hosted a contest where fans could vote on a citizen and the Beekeeper came out on top. She will be made into a citizen who can join your party in the game. The Beekeeper can use honey to heal characters and send bees to attack enemies.

 

What other citizens are in the game? “One of my favorite characters is the School Mascot. This is a person dressed up as the mascot of the school in town and you never see who is inside,” Vandendyck explained. “He’s a fun over the top character. Everyone in the game has a day job and he gives everyone a cheer. That translates to changing the difficulty in the game. If you raise it up you get more rewards, it’s similar to The World Ends With You if you’ve played it. In battle, he can keep people’s spirits high to do more damage. He’s great at manipulating stats like buffing characters.”

 

Citizens of Earth is slated for release this October on Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC.


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  • MK

    Correction: Not for PS3, but it’s coming to the other 5 platforms.

  • Tetris

    Atlus is pretty awesome.

  • DesmaX

    And this is what puts Atlus apart from the rest.

    Really nice to have publishers like them on the market

  • http://www.segalization.com/ Kuronoa

    I don’t care about Western indie Atlus. At all. But I am glad to see them pick up something quirky and a RPG.

  • Ty Austin

    I backed this initially and was very disappointed (along with surprised) that it didn’t get funded. So happy it’s still seeing release, the fact that Atlus picked it up is just icing on the cake!

    • http://natsume.com CeeCee

      Same here. I was sad it didn’t get funded (gotta support my fellow Canadians!), and stoked Atlus picked it up. I don’t know if it will be totally my type of game, since I’m not a huge Earthbound fan, but happy to give it a try :)

  • kratoscar2008

    LOL i remember when i was a member of their forums and requested Conception 2 for localization and they picked it up, and they had a KS thread that had the Citizens of Earth as the last entry i made and now they are funding the game.

    Thanks for hearing me ATLUS!

  • Roger

    Atlus and NISA 4 life

  • HarakiriKami

    Ah that’s lovely.

    Too bad Im not fond of this game’s artstyle

  • 6810

    Cool story. Don’t care for the game at all. Stupid, selfish, entitled American main character bumbles through some B-kyu humour in an homage to much better games… don’t think so

    • darke

      Yeah, the story struck me as a bit… American? I mean, there’s “american stories” told in a way non-Americans can feel like they can relate to it; and then there’s “american, american stories” where cultural perspective differences make you feel like you’re not part of the story, or otherwise just can’t relate to the characters.

      That and I can’t really enjoy playing a character who’s a bit of a dick, like this one seems to be. :(

  • CheeseCake

    All hail our lord and saviors, Atlus, for saving the Earth and its people!

  • thrak

    Cool, I like the idea of this game and retroish graphics (especially character portraits)…I have a problem with how backgrounds are made, though…They are too garish and look like they are from some cheap smartphone game, they don’t match the cartoony style at all.

  • Namuro

    So… Atlus for president?

  • Satoshi Ookami

    Damn, now I need to buy it…
    Anyways, Atlus is doing good job in raising social link with fans and small corporations.

    • ReMeDyIII

      Social link. Hah, what a nerd.

  • AJ

    I guess “Joe Biden Simulator 2015″ is never coming out, then.

  • Desiladygamer

    I agree that Atlus do suck with their EU release dates, since they have no EU branch. But I’m still getting this game – I’ve seen people play the demo and it looks like a lot of fun. Don’t see why the original devs should be punished, for what Atlus do.

  • Satoshi Ookami

    No one bans you from importing USA version =)
    Vita doesn’t suck as 3DS with reg locks.

  • mc3027

    To be honest, Conception II sucked anyway, so you really weren’t missing out.

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