AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series where Operation Rainfall will be briefly covering publishers that specialise in localising niche-market titles into the West. Fans of niche gaming should pay close attention to each of these publishers, and the best way to support them is by purchasing the titles they localise. As the saying goes, “put your money where your mouth is”… Without further ado, we present this week’s publisher:
ATLUS have been around for a long time. The company was founded in 1986 in Tokyo and set up shop in America in 1991. Both branches publish their own games as well as those from other developers, but it is only in Tokyo that games are actually developed. ATLUS are a popular gaming company due to the extremely high quality of the games they have introduced to the general population.
The first game they ever made was Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, which was published by Namco in 1987 and was only ever released for the Famicom in Japan. The next game in the series was also published by Namco, after which ATLUS began to publish their own games. Megami Tensei is still well-played today; the latest entry in the series was the Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, which was released for the Nintendo DS on February 28th in America. Megami Tensei has also generated many spin-off games that spawned entirely new series’; perhaps the most famous of which is the ever-popular Persona.
It would be impractical to list every single game or series ever created or published by ATLUS; the sheer number of memorable titles they have had a hand in releasing is simply staggering. However, some notable examples include the Trauma Center series for the DS and Wii, the Etrian Odyssey (which is a personal favourite of mine) games for the DS and now 3DS and the Dept. Heaven series which was developed by Sting Entertainment for the WonderSwan, GBA, DS and PSP. ATLUS was even one of the few developers to release a game for the Virtual Boy: Jack Bros..
More recently, ATLUS have been responsible for creating Catherine and Radiant Historia, as well as new entries in some of the aforementioned series’. Vanillaware’s Dragon’s Crown and Odin Sphere, Agatsuma Entertainment’s Code of Princess and From Software’s Demon’s Souls include some of the larger games ATLUS either have or will soon be bringing across to the West. With such an illustrious history, ATLUS is always a company worth keeping an eye on.
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