Atlus

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Atlus
Atlus logo (2014).svg.png
This isn't ho the Atlus we-hee know and love, hee ho!
Type: Subsidiary
Founded: April 7, 1986 (as Atlus Co., Ltd.)
September 5, 2013 (as Sega Dream Corporation)
Headquarters: Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Key people: Akira Nomoto (president)
Parent: Sega
Divisions: P-Studio
Studio Zero
Team Maniax
Website: atlus.co.jp


Atlus Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer and publisher based in Setagaya, Tokyo. The company originated in 1986 as a simple developer, and converted to both a developer and a publisher in 1989. Two years later, in 1991, the North American branch, Atlus USA, was founded, serving as the company's publishing branch in the West. In 2010, the company was bought by Index Corporation, which re-branded themselves as Atlus. Three years later, Index Corporation was acquired by Sega, which re-branded it as Sega Dream Corporation, which is still operating today.

In 2017, the company also opened its first European branch, which is handled via the London-based Sega of Europe Division. Starting from 2016, Atlus has a partnership with Deep Silver, which published most of their games in Europe, starting with Persona 5.

Atlus' most well-known series are Shin Megami Tensei (including the Persona spin-off series), Etrian Odyssey and Trauma Center. Their North American branch is also responsible for publishing a number of well-known titles, including Demon's Souls and the Guilty Gear series.

Bad Qualities

  1. Ever since it was acquired by Sega, Atlus started getting more greedy, milking the Persona series (arguably their best-known series) and locking content behind paywalls, such as Challenge Quests and some bonus bosses in Shin Megami Tensei IV, or extra maps and demons in Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker.
    • The launch of Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight & Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight was very controversial due to the two games' misleading marketing: the games were announced at the same time and developed in tandem, yet ended up being split into two identical games (only with different songs and different characters), each sold at full price. To add salt to the wound, Atlus announced a remaster of Persona 4: Dancing All Night on the PlayStation 4, a download code of which was provided by buying the Special Edition of the other two games. While this was true, gamers found out very soon that the only way to obtain the download code was to buy the Special Edition, and even then, it didn't have the DLCs, forcing the player to buy them again (even if they had them on the original release of the game).
      • The Special Edition itself was heavily criticized, as the artbook that was supposed to be bundled with wasn't a physical book, but a CD; furthermore, it didn't give the player access to the DLCs of the other two games, forcing them to buy the four Season Passes for the game of their choice, for a combined total of $185.
    • The DLC Personas and costumes in Persona 5 were extremely overpriced, with the full package costing up to $60, whereas the actual game costed $20. An Ultimate Edition of the game including all DLCs was released at the price of $125, which was reduced to $85 (which is still four times the base game) shortly after launch.
    • They recently considered the decision of restoring Dante in the remake of Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne as DLC, which was criticized by many fans.
    • Their games (specifically their 3DS games) typically have grinding DLC. An example would be Etrian Odyssey V's Adventurer Training Program. Costing 300 yen, you get access to the "Adventurer Training Program" quest which contains lots of EXP to be gained, and an item that triples EXP gain. If you couldn't tell, that is essentially pay-to-win.
  2. Their milking of the Persona series (mainly 3-5) caused them to ignore their other series, such as Deus, Makken, Trauma Center, Luminous Arc and Shin Megami Tensei (their own flagship franchise!), which is insulting to fans of those series.
    • Yikes, they even stopped their publishing/localization jobs of other games! All of the upcoming localizations were sold mainly to Nippon Ichi Software/NIS America.
  3. For some reason, they refuse to release earlier entries of their most beloved series in the West, despite their sequels being available. The most egregious examples are Shin Megami Tensei II, Shin Megami Tensei: if..., Devil Summoner, Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei, the Majin Tensei series, Shin Megami Tensei NINE, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Maniax Edition, and the PC port of Megami Ibunroku Persona (known in the West as Revelations: Persona).
    • The PlayStation Portable version of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment was only released in Japan, and the fan translation has yet to be finished.
  4. One of their biggest projects in recent years, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, which was supposed to be a crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Nintendo's Fire Emblem franchise, was heavily criticized, as mismanagement led to drastic alterations of the game, which ended up having very little of either franchise. Since its release, it's held as one of the first and most glaring examples of Atlus' downfall, due to the aforementioned mismanagement, censorship and use of DLC (which was mostly stuff that had little effect on the game, leading fans to question the decision of including it as DLC in the first place)
  5. Their English localizations take way too long and often come out months after the Japanese release. This is unacceptable, considering that other Japanese games like Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana had worldwide releases, and even before that, Atlus used to be a leader in the sector. The Shin Megami Tensei III remaster was released on October 29, 2020 in Japan, and was not released in the US until May 24th 2021.
  6. On October 29, 2020, the remastered version of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne was released in Japan on the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to the console being region-free, Western reviewers managed to download the game early, revealing that very little had changed between the original and the remake, aside from the addition of a new Easy mode (adding insult to injury, some users highlighted that the remaster runs worse than the original at certain points).
    • Thankfully, the game was fixed with a massive update, which added several quality-of-life improvements.
  7. In late 2019, an internet troll managed to pose as Atlus' official account on Twitter and falsely announced Shin Megami Tensei V, turning the fans' fear and doubt into pure rage due to Atlus implicitly giving people a free pass to lie to fans and give them false hopes. However, it was confirmed in a video uploaded by Around The Clock on Youtube that Atlus were teasing a 2020 release of the game with more news to come this year.
    • The game was later released on November 11, 2021
  8. They are no stranger to being stuck on outdated consoles for a long time. For example, when the Xbox 360 was released on 2005 (and the PlayStation 3 on 2006), their first game on these consoles (Catherine in this case) was released on 2011 (though this may be excused, as the PlayStation 3's sales were stagnating in the period between its launch in 2006 and 2010).
    • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux and Etrian Odyssey Nexus have no English dub. Although this can be explained due to the Nintendo 3DS quickly being obsolete with the release of the Nintendo Switch.
  9. They have given many platforms poor support. Some examples include:
    • Prior to 2020, they gave very lackluster support for the PC. Outside of Catherine Classic (which is the original version of the game and thus lacks the content added in the Full Body remake), there was almost no Atlus game released for the PC. Even today, some of the PC ports are poorly optimized like Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
    • They also gave the Wii U very little support as they only released 2 games for the system which were Citizens of Earth and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, which Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE again was a crossover with Shin Megami Tensei and Nintendo's Fire Emblem series.
      • They did release Shin Megami Tensei, Shin Megami Tensei ll, Shin Megami Tensei if..., Majin Tensei, Majin Tensei Spiral Nemesis, and Last Bible lll as Virtual Console titles, but they were unfortunately released only in Japan.
    • They have barely given the Xbox brand any support.
      • They only released 2 games for the Original Xbox which were Shin Megami Tensei NINE and Touge R.
      • They only released 3 games for the Xbox 360 which were Catherine and the Persona 4 Arena duology.
      • They gave the Xbox One no support at all. Though this can be explained due to Microsoft focusing more on well known Japanese developers like Square Enix and Capcom and ignoring niche developers.
        • The upcoming Soul Hackers 2 will be released on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
  10. Even before their rebranding, they developed and/or published terrible games such as 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix, Friday the 13th, Virtual Hydlide and Rest In Peace Department: The Game.
    • Thankfully, the game was fixed with a massive update, which added several quality-of-life improvements.
  11. They've started pandering to SJWs, as they've hired users of the infamous "forum" ResetERA as heads of their localization team, which caused fans to be wary of their future games' English localizations due to SJW ideology being shoehorned in. In fact, Persona 5 and Catherine: Full Body's localizations were managed by them, leading to some lines being removed or drastically altered, to the point when they no longer match the context they are in (for example, in one scene in Persona 5, the protagonist addresses Yusuke in a line directed towards Ryuji).
    • In Catherine: Full Body, Erica's voice acting was inexplicably changed, as she sounds angry in a line where she tries to explain the concept of femininity to Vincent, as opposed to the original version of the game, where she retained her usual tone.
    • They denied approval of a Power Instinct re-release for the franchise's 30th anniversary because of one of the characters being "not suited for the current times" as confirmed by former Noise Factory producer Chuuko. While he didn't say what character it is for legal reasons, it is heavily speculated to be the Native American, White Buffalo.[1]

Good Qualities

To see more good qualities, click here.

  1. Despite their milking, they still do make good games; recent examples are the Persona games (Minus the aforementioned dancing games, except Persona 4: Dancing All Night), the Devil Survivor games and Radiant Historia.
  2. They were among the first companies to provide accurate English localizations for their JRPGs that used Japanese honorifics. They still used western name order however.
  3. While the PSP port of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment remains a Japanese exclusive, they released the original PlayStation version of the game on PlayStation Network to make up for this (though this still means that Western Audiences can't play the new content exclusive to the PSP version).
  4. They put Shin Megami Tensei, Shin Megami Tensei ll, and Shin Megami Tensei if... on Nintendo Switch Online, thus introducing the first 3 games of the franchise to new players in Japan.
    • Since the Switch is region free, you can finally play them in other countries as well. (As long as you have a Japanese Nintendo account.)
  5. On July 20, 2020, they released a trailer for Shin Megami Tensei V, as well as a trailer of a remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (one of the most beloved entries in the series), proving that they hadn't forgotten their flagship franchise.
  6. When Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Remastered was criticized for its lack of improvements over the original, they listened to their fans and released a patch that solved most problems.
  7. In 2020, they started to port more of their games to PC and Xbox consoles.

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