The drama is finally over. As of right now, Sega’s parent company Sega Sammy Holdings has bought Index Corp., and everything that goes with it. Atlus is now in their hands. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this. While I think Sega as a name fits well with a lot of the games Atlus makes in studio, I’m also a little disappointed, and Sega can directly be responsible for that.
Sega, in short, has a history of not wanting to bring it’s games to the West as of late. Oh sure, they used to. When they had a console on the market, they were happy to bring everything across. After all, they were supporting their hardware sales. But lately, it seems like things have changed. We got a few titles for Wii and the WiiU as well as a random game like Anarchy Reigns or two, but their most celebrated franchises don’t seem to leave for the Western shores so easily anymore. (Sonic has not been celebrated since the 16-bit era…. sorry.)
The most drastic and current example of this is a little game called Phantasy Star Online 2, the second Phantasy Star to simply skip going Stateside. (Before that was the PSP title Phantasy Star Portable 2 Ultimate, which released in Japan pretty much at the same time as we finally got a VERY limited run of Phantasy Star Portable 2 original here.) In both cases, the games were announced here, but news just dried up, leaving an eager audience wondering what the hell is going on when the game was coming over. In the case of PSO2, fans were eager enough they got tired of waiting, downloaded the Japanese version and hacked the English translations into it themselves. Still almost no word from Sega, though. All we have heard from them after a year of silence is “this game is delayed.” Fucking duh!
And here we are, 3 months and the 2 big US based gaming conventions later with no news. And the company who is behind it now also owns Atlus….
Right now, I do not know what this should mean. It definitely means Sega will now publish Persona 5, but it could mean Persona (and all the other SMT games) will go back to being games that only get released in Japan. Time will tell.