SEGA has purchased Index Holdings for approximately £88 million, who just happen to be the parent company of Persona, Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey developer Atlus.
The deal was announced yesterday in the Nikkei, and subsequently confirmed by both companies in the early hours of this morning. Apparently an auction was held to determine Index' (well Atlus', who are we kidding) new owners, and SEGA came out on top with a winning bid. Eurogamer reports that a new division -- 'SEGA Dream Holdings' -- was set up in September, presumably to handle the transaction.
With distribution chains and retail contacts both in Japan, the US and Europe, SEGA are well-placed to act as Atlus' new custodian, and have acquired yet another feather in their cap following a canny purchase of Relic Entertainment earlier this year. We previously posited that one or more of the console manufacturers would look to acquire Atlus, but SEGA's deal should presumably keep them developing content for multiple platforms.
We also hope that this will speed up European distribution, since companies like NIS America and Reef Entertainment have had to step in for recent games, resulting in months of delays.
Atlus currently have a Mega Ten x Fire Emblem crossover in the works for Wii U, and recently released Etrian Odyssey IV and Devil Summoners: Soul Hackers on 3DS. We'll have a full review of the latter for you shortly.