Atlus has had a bit of a patchy history with the European market, with frequent release delays and suboptimal service. With their acquisition by SEGA Sammy Holdings, there seemed to be small glimmer of hope for Europe. The potential for SEGA’s European branch to take over localization would allow for a more streamlined localization process, leading to a narrower gap between releases. However, a statement made by SEGA Europe during a recent ‘Ask SEGA’ YouTube video seems to have quite efficiently dashed that expectation.
“SEGA very much treats Atlus as an independent label, and as a result it’s up to Atlus to choose who they partner with to release their titles. We’re all big fans of Atlus games here in SEGA Central, and we’re looking forward to hearing more news on Atlus European releases shortly.”
–Dan Sheridan, Community/social marketing manager, sega
While this is in no way a permanent confirmation that SEGA Europe will not be involved in the distribution of Atlus products, it’s not a good sign. With the recent halt in communications between Atlus and NISA, one of the more reliable localization firms has essentially been ruled out. Atlus has previously partnered with firms such as Ghostlight and Zen United, to mixed results. Other options remain, but smaller studios are less likely to invest in niche titles, which could spell trouble given the diverse range of titles in the Atlus library.
Until we receive any firm word on localization, everything is pretty much up in the air for Europe. There’s every possibility that Atlus will organize a neat solution, but all that can be done at this point is wait.