[UPDATE 2] And it’s official. SEGA Sammy has bought Index Holdings (Atlus’ parent company). It looks like Nikkei simply reported something too early, and SEGA Sammy attempted to curb some of the damage. You can read the report and see for yourself. SEGA will not take on Index’s debt, but instead their properties.
[UPDATE] SEGA Sammy is reporting that they have not made any moves regarding the acquisition of Index Holdings and are denying Nikkei‘s reports. Although it is true that they did bid on the company. The original article will follow below. Any further updates will be added up here.
I’m a little conflicted here, but first the news. It’s been reported in Nikkei that SEGA Sammy has successfully bought out all the assets from Index Holdings that involved Atlus (currently a subsidiary of the company). Earlier this year Index was in a bit of trouble when it was discovered that the company was performing some illegal activities with its finances and unable to pay off its debt. It got to the point where police stormed the offices and was under investigation for fraud. Since then things never improved Index filed for a form of Bankruptcy in Japan, putting itself up for auction. SEGA Sammy was the highest bidder and has bought them. Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millennium Girl is currently the only prior engagement to not be affected by the acquisition.
Over in Japan, the location test of Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear Xrd was well underway, and with it came the reveal of returning favorites. First up is the anchor wielding May, followed by the massive Potemkin, who’s either sporting a full suit of armor or has gone fully robotic. Chipp Zanuff and Venom also make a return as well. The pictures from RadioKaikan also show off other characters as well, like Jam and Bridget, though it’s possible that it’s just promo material for Guilty Gear in general and not specifically for Xrd. Still, it’s a safe bet that they’ll be coming back as well.
Guilty Gear Xrd is the first game in the series to use the Unreal Engine, and it’s using it in way you wouldn’t expect. While what you see in the initial trailer and in the pics from the location test might look like 2D sprites, the character models are actually in 3D. In other words, it’s cel-shading that resembles sprite work. Pretty impressive if you ask me. You’ll see what I mean if you look at the “You Rock” and intro/victory screens taken by Famitsu.
You can check out some more screens after the jump.
Remember that announcement of an HD port of Jet Set Radio posted some time ago. I’m not saying it’s dead, but after reading this you might be a bit concerned. Citing financial difficulties in the last fiscal year (which ended last Saturday), Sega has layoff many workers from both its U.S. and European branches and downsizing the company to maintain “sustainable profitability.” In light of this, Sega also mentioned that for these markets, they’ll now focus more on games that are sure-fire his for them including Sonic, Total War, Aliens, and Football Manager. This puts other projects in danger of cancellation or being left to fend for themselves, which include Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, Anarchy Reigns, Yakuza 5, and the aforementioned Jet Set Radio HD port. While Sega did mention that they have cancelled games, all of them so far are unspecified (i.e. never shown to the public). But still, this puts much concern on which projects Sega will give us now as they too are yet another victim of believing Westerners like their guns and football (save for Sonic). And the sad thing about all this: What they believe is right.
The first quarter has ended. And so far it’s a sad year to be a gamer. Maybe those crazy Mayans were right.