Atlus Co., Ltd. (株式会社アトラス,
Kabushiki gaisha Atorasu)
is a Japanese video game developer, publisher and distribution company
based in Tokyo, and a subsidiary of Sega. It is best known for
developing the Megami Tensei, Persona,
Etrian Odyssey and Trauma
Center series. Its corporate mascot is the Shin
Megami Tensei demon
Atlus was established in April 1986, and existed until the company was
dissolved in October 2010 by Index Holdings. After the dissolution,
Atlus continued as a brand used by
Index Corporation for
video game publishing until 2013.
Atlus in its current incarnation was
Sega Dream Corporation in September 2013, a new shell
corporation established by Sega. In November 2013,
Sega Dream was
renamed Index Corporation, following the bankruptcy of the original
Index Corporation. In April 2014,
Sega implemented a corporate
spin-off in which the contents and solution businesses of Index were
spun off as Index Corporation, while the rest of Index Corporation
Sega Dream) was renamed Atlus.
The company has two internal divisions, P-Studio, responsible for
Persona series, and Studio Zero, which was established in
2016 by many former members of P-Studio. A North American branch
of the company,
Atlus USA was founded in 1991 in order to focus on
publishing and localizing games for North America. Until 2017, Atlus
did not have a branch for PAL regions, resulting in the company
partnering with multiple third-party publishers, such as Ghostlight,
NIS America, Square Enix, and Deep Silver.
3 European and
4 Corporate mascot
5 Games by Atlus
6 Animations and films based on
7 See also
9 External links
Atlus logo until 2013
Atlus began in April 7, 1986 as a video game developer of computer
games for other companies. In January 1987,
Atlus started selling
amusement equipment. It expanded into the sale of karaoke equipment
in March 1989.
Atlus released the first video game under its own
name in 1989:
Puzzle Boy for the Game Boy.
Atlus started in the arcade industry in the 1990s by manufacturing its
first arcade video game, BlaZeon, in 1992. In 1995,
Print Club Arcades in partnership with Sega.
Atlus entered the
Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1997, listing on the JASDAQ. In its goal to
further increase its presence in the amusement industry, Atlus
acquired the manufacturer Apies from Yubis Corporation in 1999. In
Atlus formed a joint venture with
Kadokawa Shoten to distribute
and sell games.
Atlus suffered from deficit financial results in both
1999 and 2000. To address the issue,
Atlus established a management
reform plan in 2001. In its restructuring efforts,
Atlus sold two
subsidiaries (one of them being Apies) to their respective employees
as part of a management buyout.
On October 2001,
Atlus acquired Career Soft, and became the sole
publisher of the
Growlanser series: a real-time strategy role-playing
game from the creators of the
Langrisser series. In 2004, after the
Growlanser IV, the majority of Career Soft's staff was
merged into the main development team of
Atlus where they worked on
the Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor games. As a developer brand,
Career Soft was eventually dissolved.
On October 2003, Japanese toy company
Takara acquired Atlus. On 21
Index Holdings announced the acquisition of Atlus,
effective on 30 October, and purchased 7.7 million shares (54.93
percent; 77,000 votes, or 54.96 percent of the voting rights) on 20
Atlus became an
Index Holdings subsidiary on 29
On March 2009,
Sting Entertainment announced a publishing
Atlus the only publisher of Sting-developed games
in Japan. On 17 September 2009,
Index Holdings announced the
separation of Atlus' amusement facility and related business into a
subsidiary, New Entertainment Waves, effective on 1 December. One
hundred seventy-two shares of the subsidiary's stock were also
transferred to Chushoukigyou Leisure on 1 December.
On 30 August 2010,
Index Holdings announced its merger with Atlus,
Index Holdings being the surviving company, effective on 1
October. After the merger,
Index Holdings would continue to
Atlus brand. Although fans were concerned about the
company's future, CEO Shinichi Suzuki said that
Atlus would continue
to provide the "finest quality game experiences possible" and the
merger "further strengthens the foundation of Atlus, both in
here in the United States." On 9 November 2010 Index Holdings
announced its renaming to Index Corporation, to be confirmed at the
shareholders meeting on 25 November 2010 and effective on 1
From 2010 to 2013, Atlus, as a company, ceased to exist and its name
became a brand of
Index Corporation for video games in Japan. However,
Atlus USA remained active and was renamed Index Digital Media, serving
as the North American subsidiary for Index Corporation. Much like in
Japan, video games continued to be released in that region under the
Atlus name during this period. In June 2013, it was reported that
Index Corporation filed for civil rehabilitation proceedings, facing
bankruptcy with debts of ¥24.5 billion. An
Atlus USA spokesperson
said that Index Digital Media and the
Atlus brand were unaffected by
On 18 September 2013, it was reported that
Sega Sammy Holdings won a
bid to acquire the bankrupt Index for ¥14 billion. All Index
operations, including the
Atlus brand and Index Digital Media (Atlus
USA), were transferred to
Sega Dream Corporation (a new subsidiary of
Sega Corporation) on 1 November 2013. That day,
that it would change the name of
Sega Dream Corporation to Index
On 18 February 2014,
Sega announced the separation of Index
Corporation's contents and solution businesses into a new subsidiary,
Index Corporation, renaming the old
Index Corporation and its
remaining digital game business division to
Atlus effective 1 April
2014. The new
Atlus would include the foreign subsidiary, Index
Digital Media, which would revert its name back to
Atlus USA at the
establishment of the new Atlus.
In April 2017,
Sega Sammy Holdings announced a relocation of head
office functions of the
Sega Sammy Group and its major domestic
subsidiaries located in the
Tokyo metropolitan area to
January 2018. Their stated reasoning was to promote cooperation among
companies and creation of more active interaction of personnel, while
pursuing efficient group management by consolidating scattered head
office functions of the group.
Atlus is one of the companies that will
relocate in response to this.
Atlus USA booth at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017
Atlus U.S.A., Inc. established in 1991 and based in Irvine,
California, is the American subsidiary of
Atlus and publishes games
Atlus and other developers. It was formally called Index
Digital Media from 2010 to 2014 in response to
Atlus being dissolved
into Index Corporation.
A number of
Megami Tensei games have not been released in North
America. During the 1990s,
Jack Bros. for Virtual Boy, Revelations:
Persona for PlayStation and Revelations: The Demon Slayer for the Game
Boy Color were the first three games in the series to have a North
American release. The 2004 release of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne was
the first main-series video-game release in the U.S. Since then
most of the series has also been released in the U.S., including Shin
Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou
Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange
Atlus USA has localized cult classic Disgaea: Hour of Darkness,
created by Nippon Ichi Software. The company have also published
the tactical role-playing game
Tactics Ogre and
Game Boy Advance
remakes of the Kunio-kun and Double Dragon games for Million (a
company composed of former Technōs
Japan employees). Other notable
Snowboard Kids and
Snowboard Kids 2 (for Nintendo 64)
Odin Sphere and the Trauma Center series.
Atlus USA released
Riviera: The Promised Land, a role-playing video game for the Game Boy
Advance previously released for the Wonderswan Color, in 2004 in
collaboration with Sting and Bandai. In 2006
Atlus USA and Sting
released Yggdra Union, a strategy role-playing game (RPG) for the Game
Boy Advance. After Working Designs' publication of Growlanser
Generations, they released Growlanser: Heritage of War in 2005 and
Growlanser Wayfarer of Time in 2012.
The company established an online division, including the
portal which is servicing Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent and Shin
Megami Tensei: Imagine. On 31 March 2013, Index Digital Media's
Atlus Online Division was purchased by
Marvelous AQL and transferred
to XSEED Games.
Atlus USA has published games under the Marl
Kingdom name, beginning with Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure in
2000. On 18 February 2014
Sega announced that Index Digital Media
would revert its name back to
Atlus USA. In March 2016, Sega
announced that all the future localized products from
Atlus for North
America will be published by Sega.
Atlus did not have a dedicated European division for
publishing and distributing their titles within the European and
Oceania region. Instead, many of Atlus' titles were published in these
Nippon Ichi Software (NIS) and its American division NIS
America. Following Atlus's acquisition by
Sega Sammy Holdings, NIS
found that it became more difficult to work between
distribution and in April 2016, formally ended its distribution
partnership with Atlus. In July 2016,
Deep Silver announced that
it had come to agreement to become Atlus' distributor for Europe and
Oceania, and would begin to publish titles in both retail and digital
form. In August 2017,
Atlus announced that they had opened a
European distribution team located in
Sega Europe's offices in London
that would publish all its titles going forward.
Jack Frost has been Atlus' mascot since the character's inception in
Jack Frost, who appears as a demon in the Shin Megami Tensei
franchise, is the company mascot. Resembling a snowman, he has
teeth, a tail and no nose, and wears a jester hat, collar, and shoes.
His catchphrase is "Hee-Ho". He has appeared in several games in the
Megami Tensei series, as well as the
Jack Bros. games. Jack Frost
is a hidden character in the North American and Japanese versions of
SBK: Snowboard Kids, with a larger role in the Japanese version. He
has a family; more relatives were created since Shin
Megami Tensei II,
including King Frost, Frost 5 Senshi and Black Frost.
Games by Atlus
Main article: List of
See also: List of
Atlus downloadable games
Animations and films based on
Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei
Shin Megami Tensei:
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children 2 Light & Dark
Devil Survivor 2: The Animation
Persona: Trinity Soul
Persona 4: The Animation
Persona 4: The Golden Animation
Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth.
Persona 3 The Movie: #2 Midsummer Knight's Dream
Persona 3 The Movie: #3 Falling Down
Persona 3 The Movie: #4 Winter of Rebirth
Persona 5: The Animation - the Day Breakers
Persona 5: The Animation
Video games portal
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