By Jeff Neuenschwander / December 31st, 2013
5. Index Rehabilitation/Atlus goes to Sega
This was one of the bigger stories we were following this summer. For those that didn’t follow it, here’s the quick synopsis:
Index Holdings, the parent company of the Atlus brand, was in debt to the tune of ¥24.5 billion. In order to get out from under that debt, Index filed for rehabilitation, which I believe is a sort of bankruptcy that Japan has. Basically, it was a way to restructure itself in order to start making money again, similar to the situations of GM and Chrysler back in 2009.
After being approved, Index moved to have its assets auctioned off. However, instead of auctioning off individual pieces- similar to the THQ bankruptcy- Index opted to auction everything off in one lump sum. After numerous bids, a winner was revealed in mid-September.
Enter Sega Sammy Holdings. The company behind Sonic the Hedgehog and Phantasy Star also happened to have a positive business relationship with Index, helping publish a number of Atlus branded games. It was speculated that they could be in the running to acquire the company, but nothing was certain until the end of the auction. On September 18th, it was revealed that Sega Sammy had purchased Index for ¥14 billion. Subsidiary Sega Corporation took control of the company after the sale became final on November 1st.
Now, a number of gamers were justifiably concerned about this development, especially with Sega’s recent history of localizations- or lack there of. However, there was one important point to this: Index will be allowed to operate pretty much as it did before. This was apparent when Index announced the localization of the Spike Chunsoft game Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. So, we should expect business as usual for Index in the future- like the localizations of a certain trio of Persona games that were recently announced.
4. Mighty No. 9 Kickstarted by Keiji Inafune and Comcept
The concept of crowdfunding is not a new idea. The idea of having the general public donate towards a project has been around for centuries with subscription-based companies as early as the 1600s. And you can see it in the modern day looking at the donor list for a professional orchestra, applying for a subscription to a magazine, or going online to sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter.
Crowdfunding for video games has been around for quite a while, but wasn’t seen as a viable option before the last couple of years. It really started with Double Fine and the now titled Broken Age raising over $3 million. Following that were things like the Ouya (over $8 million), Elite: Dangerous (£1.5 million) from Frontier Developments, Torment: Tides of Numenura ($4.2 million) and Wasteland 2 ($3 million) from inXile Entertainment, Project Eternity ($4 million) from Obsidian Entertainment, Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues ($2 million), and the record breaking Star Citizen ($30 million to date) from Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts.
While not the biggest crowdfunded project this year, the one that made us the most excited was Mighty No. 9 from Keiji Inafune and his company, Comcept. One of the original minds behind the beloved Mega Man series, Inafune and Crew have set out to give the fans something that Capcom has seemed to be reluctant to offer: an adventure with a lovable robot.
So what will we be getting when the game finally releases? Heck, what won’t we be getting when the game releases? Mighty No. 9 will be ported to pretty much every current console on the market. The game will include a support character that will help out when you call for it as well as levels where you can play as Beck’s female companion, Call. There will also be a number of online modes, New Game Plus, Boss Rush Mode, Turbo Mode, and a documentary that shows the process of creating the game.
Whenever it comes out (tentatively scheduled for April 2015), you can bet that we’ll be there to soak in the robo-goodness of Mighty No. 9.
AtlusbacklashComceptConception IIDRMEarthBoundFinal Fantasy XVKeiji InafuneKingdom Heart IIIMicrosoftMighty No. 9NintendoPandora's TowerPS4SegaSonyWii UXbox OneYear of LuigiYear of the 3DSYear of the RPG