Important Importables: Atlus

September 26, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Atlus

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers

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One of my favorite game publishers has always been Atlus. The company is quite unique, daring to take chances on games other publishers would probably pass up as being too risky to release stateside. Plus, the company has always been quite friendly to fans, with an Atlus Faithful email newsletter which informs readers of new developments at the same time, or even earlier than press releases arrive in journalists’ mailboxes. Not to mention the Atlus spoils program, where people who preorder or purchase first run copies receive artbooks, soundtracks, posters, hats and sometimes even stuffed toys.

So this week, Hot Japanese Imports is doing a company profile of the game developer and publisher Atlus.

Persona 2 Innocent Sin PS1

Atlus

Atlus is a Japanese video game developer and publisher which also happens to have a US branch. Well, technically, it’s more of a publisher than a developer. Yes, Atlus Japan is responsible for developing a few games, but primarily Atlus, both in Japan and the US, focuses on developing games. Atlus was formed in Japan in 1986, and Atlus USA was founded in 1991.

Recently, there was a bit of a stir as an announcement was made stating Atlus was going to merge with Index Holdings. And while it made for a tense moment, it was really more of a non-issue. Atlus actually became an Index subsidiary in 2006, so it was technically part of the company all along. Even after the merger, Atlus will still keep it’s name and identity, despite being completely part of Index. This move just makes it easier for Index to create mobile games based on existing Atlus properties, like it’s forthcoming Persona 3 cell phone game that’s headed to Japan.

As far as Index goes, it’s also interesting to note that some other well known media companies are part of it and so related to Atlus. Madhouse, a very well known animation studio, Interchannel, a computer game developer, and in 2005 Nikkatsu, a movie and TV production company became part of the empire.

3D Dot Game Heroes

Notable Atlus games

Atlus is best known for both developing and publishing the Shin Megami Tensei series, which is very well known in Japan and also building quite a cult following in other regions. They also are the creators of the Trauma Team and Etrian Odyssey series. But primarily, the company is a publisher which helps share other developers’ works with Japan and the US.

Here are some of the most notable games both developed and published by Atlus:

  • The Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner series. The first game, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, was released on the Saturn and PSP, and the two sequels were released on the PS2.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series. There have been five entries released so far (Persona 2 was released in two parts, Eternal Punishment and Innocent Sin) and entries have been released on the PS1, PS2 and PSP.
  • The Trauma Center series, which have been primarily released on the DS and Wii. The latest Wii entry slightly changed the formula and series name and was called Trauma Team.
  • The DS Etrian Odyssey series of dungeon crawlers.
  • Catherine, a darkly disturbing horror game and the first game Atlus has developed for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

And here are some of the most notable games published by Atlus:

  • Crusader of Centy (Genesis)
  • Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen (SNES)
  • Thousand Arms (PS1)
  • Tail Concerto (PS1)
  • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PS1)
  • Ogre Battle 64 (N64)
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (PS2)
  • Rule of Rose (PS2)
  • Odin Sphere (PS2)
  • Dokapon Kingdom (Wii)
  • Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis (GBA)
  • River City Ransom EX (GBA)
  • Summon Night: Swordcraft Story (GBA)
  • Contact (DS)
  • Touch Detective (DS)
  • Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja (DS)
  • Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble (PSP)
  • Shiren the Wanderer (Wii)
  • Demon’s Souls (PS3)
  • 3D Dot Game Heroes ()

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports talks about Nippon Ichi Software (NIS).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports reviewed Pop’n Music 2 for the Dreamcast.

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Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


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