Big-name RPG developer Atlus might be in trouble as their parent company is facing both bankruptcy and fraud charges.
The popular Japanese developer behind several beloved RPG franchises including the Disgaea and Persona series’ might have a rough storm to weather in the coming months. According to recent reports, Atlus’ parent company Index Holdings has been forced to file for “rehabilitation” (a form of bankruptcy) in the wake of accusations of fraud.
Index Holdings was forced to declare rehabilitation after ending up 24.5 billion yen (the equivalent of roughly $249 million U.S. dollars) in debt. While rehabilitation actually isn’t quite as restrictive as typical bankruptcy procedures, the news just goes from bad to worse as Index Holdings has also been accused of participating in sales fraud practices as well.
A report from Japan’s NHK states that the company willingly participated in a practice often referred to as “window dressing” in which one company makes an agreement with another company to sell a large number of product units to the second company and then secretly buys them all back at the same price; making it seem like the first company sold far more units than it actually did.
Both Index Holdings CEO Yoshimi Ochiai and board chairman Masami Ochiai have expressed interest in departing from the company in the wake of both the rehabilitation and fraud accusations. How this will affect the rehabilitation process is yet to be seen.
So what about Atlus? Well if Index Holdings ends up going under, the developer will most likely be sold to the highest bidder. Hopefully it won’t affect their localization efforts or the continuation of some of the many hit RPG series’ they’ve given fans over the years. In the meantime, all fans can do is sit around and wait to see how things end up playing out over with Index Holdings.