NIS America Tell Us About Their European Publishing Arrangement With Atlus


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.”


Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.