Is SEGA’s purchase of Atlus really all that bad?It was announced earlier this week that Sega SAMMY purchased Index Holdings, Atlus’s parent company, for 14 billion yen ($141.6 million). Following the announcement there was a bit of an outcry from fans of these series, particularly from the Persona crowd, and I’ll admit, I was among them. After a bit of thought however I started to wonder if it was possible that this purchase is more of a good thing than a bad thing.
It’s no secret that Index, and Atlus by association, have been struggling financial which lead to the bidding toward the company. If a company like Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony had acquired Atlus then all their beloved games would only be available in one place. Yes, games like Persona have been a strictly Playstation franchise since the beginning, but Atlus has been showing their desire to branch out by having Shin Megami Tensei IV release for the 3DS and Persona 4: Arena releasing on both PS3 and 360. In my eyes, the more people that have the opportunity to play these games the better off everyone is.
I would also be very surprised if Persona 5 is affected at all by this. That game has been in some form of production since 2010 and has to be nearly finished by now. Even if Sega wanted to mess with Persona, which I doubt they do, their purchase of Index won’t go through until November 1st, at which time I would hope Persona 5 will be announced, completed or very close to that.
Fans biggest concern, and one that may be deserved, is Sega’s track record when it comes to localization. In the past, Sega has been known to pull the plug on many of their titles at the oddest of times, leaving them to die or in the case of Aliens: Colonial Marines, become an abomination of what was promised.
If you’re worried that they won’t localize Persona in the future, you’re crazy. Both Persona and the original Shin Megami Tensei series have garnered a strong enough following in the West that they are safe. My concern comes with whether or not we see games like Trauma Center, Dragon’s Crown or the criminally underappreciated Catherine make it to the West.
Hand wringing and frantic pacing isn’t going to do any good now; the deal is done. Although having made some bad calls in the past I think Sega is going to play this purchase smart and leave Atlus be to do what it does.
Who knows, maybe everyone is looking at this the wrong way. Instead of worrying about how much Sega could potentially ruin Atlus maybe we should be wondering how much Atlus could rub off on Sega. Let’s think positive: this could be a brave new era for both Sega and Atlus.