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Creator / Atlus

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"We get off on your tears."

Atlus is a Japanese video game developer, publisher and distributor based in Tokyo, currently a subsidiary of Sega. Best known for developing and publishing the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games, the company has a reputation on This Very Wiki for their super-hard games and bosses, to the point where they have a dedicated That One Boss subpage.

An active computer and arcade game developer and publisher since its founding in 1986, Atlus was acquired by toy company Takara in 2003, and was sold to mobile giant Index Holdings in 2006. From 2010-2013, Atlus was merged into Index, existing only as a publishing brand name.

In 2013, Index went bankrupt and was acquired by Sega. The following year, Sega would split Index's non-gaming businesses and rename Index's gaming division back into Atlus, effectively reestablishing the company as a Sega subsidiary. In 2015, Sega would sell the rest of Index to Sawada Holdings (now known as Excite Japan) and the company is now known as IXIT Corporation.

The international branch of Atlus, Atlus West (formerly Atlus USA and Index Digital Media), is notable for being a publisher and localizer for both Atlus games and non-Atlus third-party games; they have localized and/or published in North America games from smaller Japanese studios like Nippon Ichi (whose US subsidiary NIS America had a strong relationship with Atlus USA) or Spike Chunsoft.

Outside of arcade and computer games, Atlus Japan is also notable for being the co-creator (with Sega) of "Print Club", one of the most popular photo booth machines in Japan. It's a staple of Japanese arcades and a driving force behind the mainstream kawaii and selfie culture.

Some of their titles (including externally developed games localized by Atlus USA) include:

Western Developed

Licensed Games

Published/Localized by Atlus USA

1 - developed by FromSoftware
2 - developed by Sting Entertainment
3 - developed by Cave
4 - developed by Flight-Plan
5 - developed by SNK Playmore
6 - developed by Irem
7 - published by LJN Toys in the US
8 - developed by Psikyo
9 - published by BAM! Entertainment
10 - developed by Hudson Soft

Tropes in Atlus' works:

  • International Coproduction: Go! Go! Hypergrind, a skateboarding game the company published for the Nintendo GameCube, was developed in collaboration with American animator John Kricfalusi and his Spumco studio. The character designs and environments are reminiscent of The Ren & Stimpy Show.
  • Nintendo Hard: invoked Atlus Japan-developed games tend to be quite difficult.
  • No Budget: A few of their games in the late 2000s to early 2010s were produced with lower budgets than some of their other games and were even forced to re-use assets from previous games to help complete them. A major example is the original base release for Persona 4 which was released on the Playstation 2 in 2008 in Japan and 2009 in America instead of the Playstation 3 which was already out for two years and uses similar assets to Persona 3, the previous game with sprite data for the main characters of that game still existing in the code. This was mainly due to financial issues regarding Index Corporation, Atlus's parent company at the time, which eventually led to them being convicted of corporate fraud and declaring bankruptcy in June, 2013. Thankfully this issue stopped plaguing Atlus after they were acquired by Sega Sammy.
  • That One Boss: invoked Enough examples for its own page.