In case you haven’t heard, Atlus’ parent corporation, Index Holdings, is going bankrupt following the failure of some shady (possibly illegal) investments. As a result of their bankruptcy, Index has reportedly already started auctioning off their assets, including Atlus.
Financial news site Bloomberg Japan is reporting that over twenty companies have expressed interest in buying the critically acclaimed J-RPG development studio, and that the current high bid for the company is approximately 20 billion yen (about $200 million dollars.) The bidding has already exceeded most analysts’ original estimate for Atlus’ worth, which was 15 billion yen.
Bloomberg specifically mentions that Sega Sammy is one of the interested parties, though it’s currently unknown if they’re the top bidder. Sega’s interest in Atlus makes sense, since Sega already helps Atlus distribute their games in Japan. There are also rumors circulating that Nintendo is one of the bidders as well, which also wouldn’t be surprising, considering the close relationship that Nintendo and Atlus have demonstrated over the last year.
Representatives from Atlus continue to state that the company’s day to day operations will be unaffected by Index’s problems or any potential sale.
If these rumors are true, I’m really hoping that Atlus finds a competent owner this time: as far as I’m concerned, Atlus is one of the few developers left that’s still capable of making truly quality Japanese RPG’s, and it’d be a shame to see them go down just because their parent company was mismanaged. Regardless of who ends up buying Atlus, hopefully they won’t mess with the company too much and they’ll allow them to continue to make quality RPG’s like Persona 4 or the recently released Shin Megami Tensei IV (P.S. A review is coming soon, I promise!… This game is looooong.)