is a Japanese video game developer, publisher and distribution company based in Tokyo, and a subsidiary of Sega. It is best known for developing the Megami Tensei,Persona, Etrian Odyssey, and Trauma Center series. Its corporate mascot is the Shin Megami Tensei demon Jack Frost.
In October 2003, Japanese toy company Takara acquired Atlus. On 21 November 2006 Index Holdings announced the acquisition of Atlus, effective on 30 October, and purchased 7.7 million shares (54.93 percent; 77,000 votes, or 54.96 percent of the voting rights) on 20 November 2006. Atlus became an Index Holdings subsidiary on 29 November 2006.
On 15 April 2010, Index Holdings announced that Atlus would become a subsidiary of Index Holdings on 10 May. On 30 August 2010, Index Holdings announced its merger with Atlus and Index Corporation, with Index Holdings the surviving company, effective on 1 October. After the merger, Index Corporation would continue to operate Atlus under the Atlus brand. Although fans were concerned about the company's future, CEO Shinichi Suzuki said that Atlus would continue to provide the "finest quality game experiences possible" and the merger "further strengthens the foundation of Atlus, both in Japan and here in the United States." On 9 November 2010 Index Holdings announced its renaming to Index Corporation, to be confirmed at the shareholders meeting on 25 November 2010 and effective on 1 December.
From 2010 to 2013, Atlus was a brand of Index Corporation. In June 2013, it was reported that Index filed for civil rehabilitation proceedings, facing bankruptcy with debts of ¥24.5 billion. An Atlus spokesperson said that Index Digital Media and the Atlus brand were unaffected by the proceedings. On 18 September 2013, it was reported that Sega Sammy won a bid to acquire the bankrupt Index for ¥14 billion. All Index operations, including the Atlus brand and Index Digital Media (Atlus USA), transferred to Sega Dream Corporation (a new subsidiary of Sega Corporation) on 1 November 2013. That day, Sega announced that it would change the name of Sega Dream Corporation to Index Corporation.
On 18 February 2014, Sega announced the separation of Index Corporation's contents and solution businesses into a new subsidiary, Index Corporation, renaming the old Index Corporation and its remaining digital game business division Atlus effective 1 April 2014. The new Atlus would include the foreign subsidiary (Index Digital Media), which would be renamed Atlus U.S.A. at the establishment of the new Atlus.
On 17 September 2009, Index Holdings announced the separation of Atlus' amusement facility and related business into a subsidiary, New Entertainment Waves, effective on 1 December. One hundred seventy-two shares of the subsidiary's stock were also transferred to Chushoukigyou Leisure on 1 December.
Atlus published the Growlanser series, a real-time strategy role-playing game from Career Soft, creators of the Langrisser series. After the success of the first game they acquired Career Soft, who developed the second through fifth installments in-house. In March 2009, Atlus and Sting Entertainment announced a publishing partnership making Atlus the only publisher of Sting-developed games in Japan.
A number of Megami Tensei games have not been released in North America. During the 1990s, Jack Bros. for Virtual Boy,Revelations: Persona for PlayStation and Revelations: The Demon Slayer for the Game Boy Color were the first three games in the series to have a North American release. The 2004 release of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne was the first main-series video-game release in the U.S. Since then most of the series has also been released in the U.S., including Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey.
Atlus USA has localized cult classic Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, created by Nippon Ichi Software. The company have also published the tactical role-playing game Tactics Ogre and Game Boy Advance remakes of the Kunio-kun and Double Dragon games for Million (a company composed of former Technōs Japan employees). Other notable titles include Snowboard Kids and Snowboard Kids 2 (for Nintendo 64) and Odin Sphere and the Trauma Centerseries. Atlus USA released Riviera: The Promised Land, a role-playing video game for the Game Boy Advance previously released for the Wonderswan Color, in 2004 in collaboration with Sting and Bandai. In 2006 Atlus USA and Sting released Yggdra Union, a strategy role-playing game (RPG) for the Game Boy Advance. After Working Designs' publication of Growlanser Generations, they released Growlanser: Heritage of War in 2005 and Growlanser Wayfarer of Time in 2012.
The company established an online division, including the Atlus Online portal which is servicing Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent and Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine. On 31 March 2013, Index Digital Media's Atlus Online Division was purchased by Marvelous AQL and transferred to XSEED Games. Atlus USA has published games under the Marl Kingdom name, beginning with Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure in 2000. On 18 February 2014 Sega announced that Index Digital Media would be renamed Atlus USA. In March 2016, Sega announced that all the future localized products from Atlus for North America will be published by Sega.
Jack Frost is the Atlus mascot. Resembling a snowman, he has teeth, a tail and no nose, and wears a joker hat, collar, and shoes. His catchphrase is "Hee-Ho". He has appeared in several games in the Shin Megami Tensei series, as well as the Jack Bros. games. Jack Frost is a hidden character in the North American and Japanese versions of SBK: Snowboard Kids, with a larger role in the Japanese version. He has a family; more relatives were created since Shin Megami Tensei II, including King Frost, Frost 5 Senshi and Ja-aku Frost (Black Frost). The character makes a cameo appearance as a button on the clothing of the gunner class in the Atlus game Etrian Odyssey II.
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