Sega confirms Atlus acquisition for ¥14 billion, deal set for Nov 1

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 05:30 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Sega Sammy Holdings has acquired Index Corporation, the parent company of Shin Megami Tensei developer Atlus. It is now called Sega Dream Corporation, and Atlus has release comment on the matter,

UPDATE 2: Naoto Hiraoka, Atlus president and CEO has issued the following statement:

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your support of Atlus products. As announced Tuesday through various news channels, we are going to continue with our business operations as part of SEGA SAMMY HOLDINGS effective November 1, 2013.

“As you may already know, Index Corporation filed for Civil Rehabilitation Proceedings in Japan on June 27 and since then, has been searching for a solution which would allow us to continue our business of making great games.

“ATLUS has consistently received support and praise from our Faithful and our respected customers, and made great progress in recent years. So the recent incident must have surprised and worried all of you dearly. For that, I would like to express my deepest apologies.

“We have nurtured a great relationship with SEGA Inc. for a long time, especially concerning our consumer games business in Japan. I believe the collaboration between the two companies at this time will be mutually beneficial for the following reasons:

“Sega understands our drive to achieve quality and to expand awareness of the ATLUS brand. Our respective strengths in game development complement each other well.

“We are extremely happy to be able to continue with our business, and be able to report this good news to our fans and customers. Again, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has supported us.

“Currently, we at the Consumer Software Division in Japan are focusing on developing future titles, and are willing to take on new challenges to further achieve growth and success.”

UPDATE: Eurogamer reports that as of September 5, the part of Atlus parent company Index acquired by Sega is now called Sega Dream Corporation. The deal will be finalised on November 1. A Sega press release on the matter reads:

“The Company believes that transfer of Index’s operations to Sega will create synergies, on the grounds that the deal will enable the Company to (1) gain access to prominent IPs in the home video game software, through which the Company can expect to achieve steady flows of revenue; (2) expect further facilitation of revenue growth for the PC Online Game Business and Content Business for Smart Devices operated by Sega and Sega Networks Co., Ltd. by exploiting acquired prominent IPs and (3) maximize the value of acquired IPs by effectively deploying them in the Pachislot and Pachinko Machines segment, Amusement Machine Sales and Amusement Center Operations segments.”

ORIGINAL STORY: A report published in Nikkei puts the value of the deal at ¥14 billion – about $141 million. The deal will be finalised in November.

According to Nikkei, Sega and Index have already begun preparing to transfer management of the latter company.

The details of the Japanese-language report have been corroborated by translations from Gematsu, Tiny Cartridge, Nintendo Everything and Kotaku.

Sega was listed as a potential buyer for Index Corp last month.

Atlus is best known in the west for the Persona series, but the Shin Megami Tensei franchise of which it is a part is a much larger property. As a developer, it’s also responsible for the Etrian Odyssey series, and it published many and varied titles in Japan. Its US publishing arm was also responsible for a number of western-developed games in addition to localisations like Demon’s Souls.

There are multiple Persona games in the works and it’s not clear how the acquisition would affect Atlus’s operations, although the US arm said it expects to continue business as usual for now.

Index Corp has a broad range of media interests beyond Atlus but ran into accounting trouble on top of poor financials, eventually flirting with bankruptcy.

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