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Sonic the Hedgehog publisher Sega is one of about 20 corporations bidding on troubled Japanese company Index Corp., according to a Bloomberg Japan report. Index owns Atlus, the publisher and developer of the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei franchises.
The Bloomberg report claims that the bids came in at around $200 million in the auction held last week, and Index will choose a final buyer by the end of August. Analysts estimate Index’s revenue at around $150 million.
In June, Index filed for civil rehabilitation, which is the Japanese equivalent of bankruptcy protection. The point of the process is to satisfy the debt holders while turning around the company. The recent auction is the result of that rehabilitation.
Atlus is best known for publishing the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei role-playing games. The company also publishes games from other developers like From Software’s Demon’s Souls and Vanillaware’s Dragons’ Crown.
We’ve reached out to Atlus and Sega, and we will update this story with any comment from the two companies.
In June, Atlus assured fans that it was continuing to make games.
“Currently, Index Digital Media and the Atlus brand are unaffected by the Index Corporation proceedings in Japan,” Atlus chief executive officer Naota Hiraoka told GamesBeat in a statement. “We’re carrying on day-to-day activities, business as usual. Shin Megami Tensei IV and Dragon’s Crown are still releasing on July 16 and Aug. 6, respectively, and we’re licensing and publishing third-party titles such as R.I.P.D: The Game and Daylight. We want to thank all of our fans for their outpouring of support.”
In addition to Atlus, Index Corporation owns an anime studio and a major movie studio, but Sega is likely most interested in acquiring Index for its game business. Atlus’s publishing and development efforts could help bolster Sega’s offerings.
In 2012, Sega decided to close down many of its games to focus nearly all of its efforts on a few core franchises. The company is now only working on games in the Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager, and Aliens franchises. An Atlus acquisition may enable Sega to once again build up its stable of titles.