The former chief executive of Atlus parent Index Corporation, Masami Ochiai, has been arrested on charges of fraudulent activity relating to the company’s shutdown. Mr. Ochiai and his wife, former president Yoshimi Ochiai, are alleged to have falsified financial reports through the use of round-tripping: the trading of unused assets between companies, and the agreement to buy back said assets for roughly the same price, which is disguised as a boost in investment activity.
The source article in Nikkei cites “a source knowledgable in the matter,” which states Index used this practice to artificially inflate stock volume for the business quarter ending in August 2012. This gave the appearance of a 4 billion yen profit at the time, hiding the company’s insolvency until it entered bankruptcy in June last year. Mr. Ochiai denies the allegations, and the investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office is still ongoing.
Index Corporation, the holder of Atlus-turned-subsidiary of Sega, has been divided into two companies. The planned move leaves Atlus and Index as separate entities under Sega’s umbrella; Atlus retains its games focus, while Index is devoted to content and business systems.
Via press release, Sega Sammy Holdings announced their acquisition of Index Holdings, better known as the parent company of Atlus. In their statement, Sega cited Index’s “excellent track record in the design and development of content for mobile phones” and “on the development of home video game software,” referencing (though not specifying) prominent IPS owned by Index – those including Atlus’ Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, and Etrian Odyssey.
Formal transfer of Index to Sega Sammy will occur on November 1.
Index Holdings, best known as the parent company of Atlus, has declared bankruptcy to the tune of 24.5 billion yen, or about $250 million US. This comes amidst an investigation by Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission of improper accounting and exaggerated revenues, particularly through the use of roundtripping; a common tax evasion and money laundering strategy, a large component of that Cyprus flare-up from earlier in the year.
For their part, Atlus has stated that upcoming game releases haven’t been affected. Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl is out now in Japan, and Dragon’s Crown hits stores on July 25.
XSEED Games has announced that Shinichi Suzuki is now President and CEO of the company, having stepped down from that same role at Atlus North America back in August. In a press release, Suzuki said that “This is an exciting time for the industry and our company, and I look forward to navigating a course of success through the exciting changes in store as we advance XSEED’s publishing efforts by bringing even more highly anticipated titles to market across multiple platforms.”
Yaaay, we’re back! And hopefully we’ll stay on time going forward, or at least we won’t lose power right when I’m about to start writing. Anyway, news time!
- Sony acquires streaming game service Gaikai for a cool $380 million. Speculation abounds as to how doomed modern consoles are (not very, for the moment).
- Vivendi plans to sell off its stake in Activision-Blizzard. Possibly a restructuring effort, or maybe they just see Call of Duty being the next Guitar Hero, with all that would imply.
- Zynga reveals “Zynga With Friends,” and exciting new games ending with -Ville that are totally not the same idea over and over. One’s even an “epic slot machine adventure” for extra irony.
- Yoichi Wada asserts Final Fantasy VII isn’t getting remade until they make a game that surpasses it. My take: better get a DeLorean, ’cause we’ll need the nineties again.
- Atlus announces and defends its decision to region-lock Persona 4 Arena. So that’s why the official forums melted down the other day.
- The EU rules that resale of digital games is legal, Pokemon Black and White 2 makes all of the money, Facebook suffers a sizable email fiasco, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Everybody Misses the Nineties’ »
Or so we’re supposed to think, I guess. Hey, everybody! We’re on time this week! Let’s not dawdle, here’s what’s going on:
- Microsoft unveils the Surface, a powerful new tablet with a keyboard cover
that may cost $800-$1000 we’ll discuss price later
- Nintendo shows off a new, bigger 3DS with a longer battery life, possibly at the expense of the whole ‘portable’ thing.
- Persona 4: The Golden gives Vita sales a shot in the arm. Good game Sony, now you just need, oh, another couple dozen of those.
- A week after EA’s Origin pointman says they won’t be offering “going out of business” deep discounts, Origin offers deep discounts. EA GOING OUT OF BUSINESS FULL STORY AT 11
- Squenix might bring Final Fantasy VII to Steam, if only they could get it to work. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XI continues to print money.
- Sega launches a browser-based card game for Valkyria Chronicles, to be depicted in the TBS miniseries, “How to Ruin Everything Beautiful in This World.”
- Blizzard suspends digital Diablo III sales briefly to combat goldfarmers, another Capcom fighting game veteran leaves for greener pastures, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Tablet Plus Keyboard Equals Innovation’ »
Yeah, I watched the Idolm@ster anime. What can I say? I indulge in the occasional weird Japanese thing. Went better than expected, although I’m not wading into the games anytime soon unless one can guarantee more box malfunctions.
Right then, to the news! This week we have the following:
- UK retailer GAME files for administration, the UK equivalent of Chapter 11.
Which means it’s game over NO MUST RESIST THE OBVIOUS PUN
- Meanwhile, Zynga buys out Omgpop, makers of Draw Something, for a whopping $200 million. They’re gonna have to sell a lot of Zynga funbucks to make it up.
- BioWare plans “clarification” DLC for the Mass Effect 3 ending. Forbes, by the way, has a better read on this fiasco than most games media outlets; spoilers aplenty, but give this article a read when you get time.
- Dragon Age 2 winds down as the team gets ready for Dragon Age 3. Presumably they’re all just glad they’re not the Mass Effect team right about now.
- Speaking of dragons, Dragon’s Dogma‘s producer wants to sell ten million copies worldwide. I’m just going to leave that there and let you picture it.
- Yet another producer, this one for Resident Evil: Revelations, tells the truth and breaks my heart about where the survival horror genre has gone in recent years.
- GameStop’s standing in retail is examined, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition gets confirmed for the iPad, the .Hack series gets a fighting game, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – What Do You Do For Money, Hanii’ »
Note to self: if Recettear is any indication, EasyGameStation’s Chantelise is worth a look. It’s never too late to enjoy indie RPG goodness. But I ramble, this isn’t about me and my compulsive Steam purchases, it’s time for the news! Here’s what we’re covering:
- SCE’s Shu Yoshida explains why the Vita stumbled in Japan, and how for the US/EU release this time shall be different! We examine why it probably won’t be different at all, Steve.
- Jack Tretton confirms we won’t see any PS4 developments this year, freeing them up to
wait for Microsoft to release their specs focus on the Vita.
- Meanwhile, EA plans some unusual marketing schemes for Mass Effect 3, including launching early copies of it via weather balloons into the stratosphere. Quoth Sarcastic Hawke, “What could possibly go wrong?”
- Brian Fargo of inXile Entertainment announces a Kickstarter plan to fund production of Wasteland 2. And here I figured it’d take months to test the limits of Kickstarter’s power.
- The Guinness Book of World Records crowns, by popular vote, Call of Duty: Black Ops as the best videogame ending ever. I wish I were kidding.
- One of BioWare’s more accomplished writers strikes out on their own, Bobby Kotick gets elected to Coca-Cola’s board of directors, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Step One: Secure 3Gs’ »
Finally got to upload this, would’ve had it earlier if not for an inopportune (though easily fixed) network hiccup. Anyway, hope you’re all enjoying the beautiful Labor Day weekend! It’s time for the news:
- Famitsu unveiled a cornucopia of Persona news: a Vita port of 4, a fighting game, and a lot of dancing around Persona 5. So much speculation, so little time.
- Bethesda does the timed exclusivity song-and-dance with Skyrim DLC, setting a new record by doing so before the game launches. The power of the money hat is strong.
- Zeboyd Games gets a crack at Penny Arcade Adventures: Really Long Subtitle: Episode 3. Don’t underestimate them; Breath of Death VII is deceptively good.
- Sony plans another head-mounted TV screen monstrosity. No, Sony, the “3D” part of it doesn’t make it any more likely to succeed than your last attempt.
- Square Enix plans to boost the staff at Eidos Montreal, Doom‘s 17-year ban in Germany is removed, and more!
- Plus, a spotlight on the recent financial workings of Zynga, Groupon, and LinkedIn: fuzzy accounting practices, pending market headaches, and the SEC asking pointed questions like “Why do all these numbers have asterisks by them?” and “Why did your accountant introduce himself with air quotes?”
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Summon Your Accountant’ »
Hey-hey-hey, how’s everybody doing? Well, we’re all still here, so Debtastrophe 2011 hasn’t completely screwed us over yet. Still, with markets worldwide getting antsy it’s anybody’s guess what, exactly, is going to happen tomorrow. The safe money says “bad things.” In the meantime, let us converse on the following.
- Square Enix posts a bad Q1, which is what happens when you don’t have any major releases for that period. My take: Squenix needs a Final Fantasy IX. Well, I want one, at least.
- Atlus scores (relatively) big with Catherine, breaking the 200k mark in its first week. Larger developers would be aghast at the numbers. Atlus’ response: “Got a problem?”
- Team Bondi pulls a Blackwater and tries to rebrand itself by getting bought out… by a company that hired many of its ex-employees. Awk-waaard~
- South Korean officials arrest hackers and programmers for breaking into online games and funneling cash to Best Korea, presumably to fund Kim Jong-Il’s Farmville addiction.
- EA declares that Battlefield 3 will not show up on Steam. An EA spokesperson is quoted as saying “We hate money and hate ourselves even more.”
- John Carmack gives a great keynote speech at QuakeCon. He spends some time talking about the technology behind iD’s long-delayed Rage…
- …and provides some fascinating insights into the technical side of game development. I summarized as best I can in the podcast, but give the whole thing a listen if you have time.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Role Models’ »
Corporate group Index Holdings, which counts Atlus Games as a wholly-owned subsidiary, has recently been doing some in-house restructuring. Among the more notable changes is the complete absorption of the Atlus name by Index Holdings. A spokesperson for IH stated that the group intends to focus on game development, and maintained that this will not affect the planned release of any Atlus titles or their respective branding.
Source: Game Watch
Translation: Adrienne “Sicondera” Beck