When Sega acquired Index Corporation, parent company of Atlus, the company’s name ended up staying the same, with the addition of Sega Sammy’s Chief Operating Officer, Naoya Tsurumi, as its president. In an interview with Famitsu magazine, Tsurumi recently talked about the future of the Atlus brand and its relationship with Sega.
Famitsu: What will happen to the Atlus brand?
Naoya Tsurumi: As a new company, we will venture together, with Index working as an independent company. The plan is to have Atlus and Sega continue shining as brands, while aiming to increase their degree of independence.
Similar to the studio we’ve acquired from overseas [note: presumably Relic], they’ll continue managing their own brands and IPs, and making them bigger. Then, Sega will be the ones to sell them. So, think of it as us telling them “Continue working on your own IPs with pride and confidence—the sky is the limit.”
Will the development structure remain the same?
Tsurumi: Everything will remain the same. The people of Index will continue working thoroughly, and Sega have no plans to undertake any of their work. However, we’re at a point where Sega is offering Index to freely make use of any resources they may have, that Index does not. Index will be keeping many of their fine qualities, such as Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei IP, and many others.
What are some of the benefits for Sega from the acquisition of Index?
Tsurumi: I believe that the addition of genres is a crucial factor. Especially with regard to the fact that Sega have never excelled in RPG titles. With consideration towards Atlus’ strengths, Japanese RPGs would be a prime example [of an added benefit].
And the JRPGs they make are quite popular overseas.
Tsurumi: That’s right. The fact that they’ve been able to capture fans from North America is really huge. That said, for Sega, it’s a big plus to have more IPs, but an even bigger plus to have more genres.
It must be reassuring to have added a group capable of making great RPG titles.
Tsurumi: While we have no intention of forcing this, we’d definitely love to have them utilize any of Sega’s dormant IPs.
Sakura Wars, Jet Set Radio, and Space Channel 5… are some that come to mind.
Tsurumi: There are plenty that haven’t been active. [laughs] However, the new company just recently got started, so there’s nothing on the table for now, but we’ll definitely be giving it more thought.
Atlus just announced the latest of the Persona installment. The timing of the announcement must have made fans feel reassured.
Tsurumi: Having the fans feel uneasy is the worst thing we could do. Above all, I’d like to make sure that the fans feel a sense of reassurance. If we were to lose fans, then all would be for nothing. Making fans and the employees of Index happy is what I believe will be our best return [for the company], and we’ll do our best to keep that up.