(Japan) Index Files for Bankruptcy, Atlus Future Uncertain

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

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Index Corporation, the parent company of game developer/publisher Atlus, has filed for bankruptcy. The holdings company, which also has stakes in anime studio Madhouse and Japan’s oldest movie studio Nikkatsu, has a reported liability of ¥24.5 billion (which is roughly $248.7 million USD).

From our understanding, Index wants to go through a restructuring – similar to what automotive companies GM and Chrysler went through back in 2009, rather than the liquidation that THQ went through earlier this year. Index apparently wants to come out of bankruptcy with a focus on digital gaming through both mobile platforms and social gaming. What that ultimately means for Atlus is still unclear. All that we know for sure is that Index is looking for potential sponsors to help them out.


Proceedings could become dicey as Index is also under investigation for unlawful business practices. According to the Japanese Security and Exchange Surveillance Commission, Index has taken part in a fraudulent practice colloquially known as “window-dressing.” It is a form of round-trip transaction used to inflate sales numbers in order to have the appearance of profitability. What happens is that one company sells a number of units to another with a promise of buying back the same number of units for the same price. The result of this, besides the appearance of being profitable, is an inflated stock price. Nothing has been confirmed as to who else took part in this, but there is speculation that another gaming company as well as a hedge fund manager and a Japanese bank could have been involved. But again, nothing has been confirmed.

As for the bankruptcy, the process that Index has chosen, called “Rehabilitation,” is rather streamlined, especially compared to bankruptcy in the US. First and foremost, the debtor management can stay on to help form a plan for either recovery or liquidation. However, if a party can prove managerial incompetence, a trustee will be called upon to lead. There is no shareholder vote which will make the process much quicker than US bankruptcy. Creditors will have a vote when it comes to approving the plan. All total, the process should take about 6 months.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.

  • RagunaXL

    whoa! that’s not good!
    without atlas good niche games will be few and far between

  • Jonah Rosen

    Quick! I have the solution! Make more Shin Megami Tensei and [insert another good series that I can’t think of at the moment]! XD
    In all serious though, that’s not looking very good, I’m very worried. What’ll happen to the games under Atlus’ ownership? DX

  • Ookiiushi Desu

    Looks like I’m really gonna have to pump up my Japanese studies cuz I’m gonna start needing to import my games soon…

  • John Ellis

    What’s the problem, what is so good about Atlus. Sure they bring niche games to the west, but so do a lot of over publishers. And what IPs do they have apart from Shin Megami Tenseido they have.

    • Johnson Cameron

      Are you crazy? Atlus brings RPG’s and games over to the west that actually have a unique style and look to them. They are known for the Persona series,Catherine,Etrian and also Truama Center, try to name another company that has been able to do that besides Square Enix. You will see that there are not many left that can do this sort of thing.

      Another note, i hope Atlus can make it through, due to the fact Digital will be the future anyways and it would be good to see them bring back some old classics, even ones out of print like Rule Of Rose. As long as Atlus can remain steady through this thing they will make it.

    • Tiredman

      I like your post, but you should be ashamed for not mentioning Shin Megami Tensei in general =p especially with it coming out next month.

    • Johnson Cameron

      lol true, speaking of not mentioning something. Sources have now updated that Atlus USA says they’re currently unaffected by financial troubles and will produce all of the great games we enjoy.Operation Rainfall needs to make another article soon about this.

      Source: http://kotaku.com/atlus-usa-says-theyre-currently-unaffected-by-financ-603125225

    • InfernalDinosaur

      good 🙂

    • John Ellis

      if Atlus went out of business tomorrow, the gaming world would carry on the same. And wasn’t Rule of Rose about child abuse, why would anyone like a company that publishers such a game.

    • Johnson Cameron

      Confirmed for Troll of Operation Rainfall comment section.

    • John Ellis

      So a troll is someone who has a difference opinion then everyone else?

    • Johnson Cameron

      A troll is someone who tries to provoke a reaction out of someone by saying extremely negative things on the subject. It is alright to have a difference of an opinion, but to say “If Atlus dies tomorrow no one would care” is like insulting Square Enix or the employees who work at a corperation and put the time and effort into making games people love.

      We do not need anymore jobs being lost as it is. If you still think this is not trolling, then you need to get out of this thread now and have a hard look at yourself.

    • John Ellis

      You misquoted me, I didn’t say if Atlus went out of business tomorrow gaming would go on as usual to get negative reaction. I wanted people to calm down and think about how little impotence this is. What’s also sad is that if I had said the same thing about a less popular publisher, say EA, I would of been cheered for.

    • Johnson Cameron

      Yes you did, why else would you say that? I mean you could have chosen better words than something that was clearly an insult to Atlus itself. To say something like

      “what is so good about Atlus. Sure they bring niche games to the west, but so do a lot of over publishers. And what IPs do they have apart from Shin Megami Tenseido they have.”

      Is insulting to the people who work there and to the people who could lose their job. If you want to leave insults, leave them out of this site.

      The difference is, we are not talking about EA. We are talking about Atlus. Even if EA went out of business not many people would truly be ecstatic due to how bad the job loss’s would be and the family’s would be affected by their jobs being cut.

    • John Ellis

      I didn’t mean to cause any trouble, and if I have I apologise.

    • Johnson Cameron

      All is good, just remember to learn for next time. I am not saying you should not state your opinion, but try not to come off as a evil person next time that is all. Be honest but also be respectful.

    • InfernalDinosaur

      Radiant historia.

    • multibottler0cket


    • multibottler0cket


  • multibottler0cket

    NNOO!! ATLUS must survive 🙁

    Well, here’s hoping for the best! Now everyone go and buy Radiant Historia if you haven’t already!

  • Josh S.

    Please please PLEASE don’t let Atlus die! They’re one of the few consistent publishers of awesome RPGs these days! On that note, don’t let Square Enix buy them either…

  • NinjaApe

    How did they lose so much money? What were they spending it all on?

  • Disaster incoming

    Sell Atlus to someone who won’t ruin it. Social and mobile gaming? FAIL. Get out.