Thumb Wars: Ep 42: Persona Problems? The Future of Atlus, 10.0 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

Thumb Wars: Ep 42: Persona Problems? The Future of Atlus

Welcome back to the discussion show where we introduce the debate and you continue it. This week’s topic: Shaun & Austin examine what may be next for Atlus in the wake of last week’s news.

Thumb Wars is a weekly show hosted/produced by Shaun Kronenfeld dedicated to starting and encouraging dialogue and debate on a wide variety of topics within the video game industry. Look for a new Thumbs Wars every Sunday. Comments, opinions, and thoughts are not only welcome, they are the entire point. Feel free to follow Shaun on Twitter @bigred_13 if you feel so inclined.

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Shaun K.

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  1. July 03, 2013 at 11:41am
    In response to Article
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    What..?

    “Atlus isn’t failing”

    Uh, you might want to check the many reports/stories about how Persona Arena/Golden lost them billions (millions in $’s)..

    Hell, some of them where reported on here even..

    Sure SMT 4 will make them TONS, especially in Japan, but does that qualify for “Those ones that did horrible? SHUT UP, that didn’t happen!!”

  2. July 02, 2013 at 09:59pm
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    Wait, you want me to kill the person or the city? i did nto understand…oh, well, i will just kill both just to be sure…

    I could see EA buying Atlus…if it is a good thing or not is an entire other discussion, but i think(despite some of their…policies) EA is pretty good at leaving their companies do their thing. the most likely changes i would see is that they may try to make atlus game multi platform(including pc) and ask for DLC. but other than that, i think Atlus could work under EA’s wing.

  3. July 02, 2013 at 08:51pm
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    I’ll say this much: I am nervous about what may come of the whole situation with Index. I think it’s entirely reasonable to be nervous about it, considering it throws Atlus’ future into question – perhaps not whether there will be a future for them, but what form it will take, definitely.

    If Index goes down and Atlus gets sold to a new parent company, I’m not overly concerned about which particular one it will be, just about whether they’ll let Atlus continue to do their own thing. Nintendo, Sony, Namco, Square-Enix, etc all sound like decent options to me if they don’t try and change how Atlus functions. If it were Namco, or possibly a smaller company, I’d be worried about how localization would be affected, but that’s secondary.

    I don’t think it’s realistic that a western company would buy up Atlus in such a scenario. Even ones like Activision that have a reputation for such moves I don’t think would be interested in a niche Japanese developer, even one that’s starting to establish a larger profile overseas like Atlus. With so much of their sales being in Japan itself and Japan being such a smaller market than pretty much any other major region, I just don’t see them caring enough to bother. If such a thing happened, then I would be very worried, but it doesn’t strike me as a realistic scenario.

    For now though, yeah, this is all speculation that will likely amount to so much hot air. I think there’s cause to be nervous, but for the time being, all we can really do is wait and see what comes next.

  4. July 02, 2013 at 07:30pm
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    A console launch is a rough time to have money problems. Sony is the logical place for Atlus to go, but I sincerely doubt Sony can afford them when they’re likely swallowing a loss on the PS4 already.

    This one’s tough, to be sure, but I’m not worried. Atlus is a successful and popular developer, and only an insane manager would do anything to upset that.

  5. July 02, 2013 at 02:06am
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    Shaun is (and I hate to say it) right on this one Atlus not being at TGS is no surprise.

    Index is a shitty company and I would say good ruin if Atlus and all the people that worked there and all the intellectual properties they had moved to a new company.

    Index is supposedly looking for investors for their games division as it is the more profitable part of Index.

    If Index was forced to sell multiple companies are interested and plenty of companies would be better suited for Atlus to be owned by. Rumblings are out there that Koei is very interested in getting a hold of Atlus.

    The single best company to pick up Atlus (not on an economic reason) would be Arc System Works because a portion of the pre Index Atlus team left when they were bought by Index over to Arc System Works and it’d be nice to see them work on it again.

    Namco Bandai would be hilarious because they published the first two MegaTen games on the Famicom and I wouldn’t mind Namco Bandai getting a hold of Atlus.

    Atlus was independent until 2006 fyi not that yous really said anything to the contrary.

    My biggest concern is that I want the people working at Atlus now to largely still be there if anything changes. If Kaneko leaves I’m scared I mean yeah he hasn’t actually done anything in four years, but that just means he’s working on something great :3 Anyways he’s the co-founder he’s been there since the start if he leaves then I feel that will be the worst news rivaled only by Shoji Meguro leaving.

    The biggest issue is that Index absorbed Atlus in 2010 which complicates everything otherwise another company could just buy Atlus and Index could just suck a dick. Have I mentioned that Index is a shithole of a company..?

    • July 02, 2013 at 10:35am
      In response to yamao
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      It is also possible that they could merge with Sega since they had a shared booth at E3 I think they said, and Atlus even offered to localize VC3(Only to get rejected, DANMIT SEGA!).

      If Namco did by Atlus it could be either good or bad, for us. Good because Atlus could publish Tales games or Namco will hardly ever let Atlus publish SMT games. Of course that’s just speculation since I don’t really know to much about how things like this work.

      • July 02, 2013 at 11:43am
        In response to Bec66
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        I don’t trust Sega enough to want them to hold Atlus.

        It would all depend on whether or not Atlus USA is bought/sold with Atlus Japan. Technically the use of the term Atlus is entirely branding at this point so it’s entirely plausible that the MegaTen IPs get sold to w/e company and that company doesn’t pick up any of the staff. So if Namco bought all the Atlus IPs and hired the Japanese development teams it’s entirely likely that Atlus USA isn’t even picked up and if Namco doesn’t really have a US publisher/localization team that could hurt chances drastically of getting either. Whereas if they did purchase Atlus USA they would have a Publisher/Localizer.

        Oh I also probably didn’t mention it because it’s insanity like Arc System Works, but I’d be really happy with Nippon Ichi Soft picking up Atlus XD

        It’s not likely, but Atlus could technically keep themselves a float as an independent I mean they did it for 15 years before they collapsed. (I also don’t know if they collapsed or were just purchased because I do know that they were picked up through a majority share buyout, but I don’t have the time to look into it.)

        Oh and in the Sony v Nintendo argument I fall on Micr~ okay so that wasn’t funny… Anyways I’m pro Sony because I prefer the Vita on a technical level over the 3DS I’d rather play my Vita over my 3DS it’s just to bad the Vita isn’t supported as much as the 3DS. Though that would make me quite sad over the likelihood of SMT x FE being canned, but who knows maybe it could be on both the PS4 and Wii U…

  6. July 02, 2013 at 01:57am
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    The main reason I’m against Square Enix is because they’ve already got Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, so I just think that if they had Megami Tensei, Square Enix would have too much control over the JRPG playing field. I don’t think they’d hurt the games, I just think Square Enix should be happy with what the have, lighten up on the mobile games (Not outright abandon them, it’s just that All the Bravest was taking things too far), and give us The World Ends With Us 2. Of course, now that Wada has been effectively kicked upstairs, we still need to rid of Kitase and Toriyama, but that’s a subject for another time.

    Austin, you forgot Devil Survivor, DemiKids, and the Soul Hackers remake.

    I do like the idea of waiting to see what happens, but the constant comparisons to THQ have me worried. I know you both made the point that those were different circumstances, so I guess will really will have to see. I’m surprised you guys didn’t bring up Marvelous AQL.

    • July 02, 2013 at 02:20am
      In response to Phantom Roxas
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      >we still need to rid of Kitase and Toriyama
      There is so much you still don’t understand about business kid. They are not going to fire these people because:

      1. They still make money for the company
      2. They got the company out of tight “in the red” situations like The Spirit’s Within and FF14 with their products
      3. Their work in FF is still very popular in Japan. Want to know why FF13 got two sequels? Ask Japan and their great love over Lightning Farron.

      Square only kicked out Wada because they had enough of his “big risk for either big gain or big loss” methods and the over projection of Tomb Raider and Hitman was the last straw. Kicking Kitase and Toriyama out would be suicide for Square since the two men have constantly been saving the company’s butts from financial disasters it’s come across.

      • July 02, 2013 at 11:22am
        In response to FinalKingdom7
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        Economically, I get that they’re fine for the company, but creatively, not really. In fact, it was Wada himself who admitted that XIV didn’t do very good, and the game didn’t improve by having Kitase or Toriyama take over. I have no problem with Japan being fans of Lightning, but I’d sooner believe that it’s just Toriyama trying to MAKE people like Lightning. I’m with Shaun in that I like XIII more than most people, and I don’t mind Lightning, but the trilogy has effectively devolved into making Lightning the messiah.

        At least in Kingdom Hearts, Sora could get away with that because Donald and Goofy are really just helping him, whereas in XIII, you could make the case for why anyone is the hero, and despite Fang and Vanille’s sacrifice in XIII, the entire premise of XIII-2 is that people think Lightning helped out.

        Of course, this is a Japanese company, so they should be judged by people in Japan with standards, since it’s ultimately their call if Kitase and Toriyama have been good for the company. I’d just rather see Tetsuya Nomura, Shinji Hashimoto, and Rie Nishi take over, with Takashi Tokita gaining a bigger role in the company.

      • July 02, 2013 at 12:00pm
        In response to FinalKingdom7
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        Good business, yes? Good product, no.

        I do not get the love of Lightning in Japan. Maybe there was something major lost in translation and the lifeless voice acting we got in the US, but my god she seems like the blandest FF hero since FF1. Hell I’d even say Warrior of Light in Dissidia is a more charismatic character than Lightning in any of her showings. Say what you will about Serah in 13-2, but she was 10x more interesting than Lightning’s generic tough-girl-attitude ever was.

        • July 02, 2013 at 12:58pm
          In response to Sylveria
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          And Serah would be even more interesting if her character was less about “What would Lightning do?”

        • July 02, 2013 at 07:42pm
          In response to Sylveria
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          Problem with XIII in a nutshell: introverts are made or broken by subtlety because they get next to no lines, so everything depends on delivery. Subtlety is ruined, however, when you have a character like Snow, who is as unsubtle as physically possible.

    • July 02, 2013 at 02:36am
      In response to Phantom Roxas
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      “Austin, you forgot Devil Survivor, DemiKids, and the Soul Hackers remake.”

      We recorded twice as much audio as you’ll find in the video. If I don’t mention something, assume it was edited out for time.

  7. July 02, 2013 at 01:42am
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    Atlus’s parent company is deeper in shit than when EA and Bioware were underseige for ME3′s ending. Seriously, how do you get 250 MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT!?!?!? And people said Square Enix was in trouble back in the day with “The Spirt’s Within” and “Final Fantasy XIV” but they were able to climb out of said debt with FF10 & 10-2 and FF13-2 with DLC & Deus Ex Human Revolution! What the hell did Atlus’s parent company do, gamble all their profits all away in Vegas?!?!?

    Anyway, this could be a bit tough for Atlus seeing as how they are a “niche” company when it comes to their games. I wouldn’t be surprised if after this ordeal, Atlus decides to become bigger and more self reliant like how SquareSoft did.

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