A recent article on N4G has just popped up showcasing its reasoning for a prediction involving Nintendo purchasing the newly available Atlus since their parent company went bankrupt (though the article inaccurately states that Atlus itself has gone bankrupt). This spawned a great deal of controversy in the comments section with people claiming tooth and nail whether it was a good or bad thing. I thought I would throw in my thoughts on the matter in this blog, as I feel a comment would not be enough to convey what I have to say.
Here is a link to the article if you wish to read it yourself.
First and foremost, the article's headline was nothing short of sensationalist; while submitted as an opinion piece, the article's headline suggested that it was confirmed Nintendo would be buying the developer. This is not the case; I'm sure it's on the table, but nothing has been confirmed. Atlus, as far as we know, has no buyers or even bidders! Instead of freaking out over someone else's speculation, why weren't more people upset at the author for doing little more than trying to stir controversy and hits for their site? It just seemed particularly insulting to the readers of the material and not enough people were interested in pointing that out.
Further along, a lot of people were trying to argue why Nintendo owning the developer would be this awful, terrible end of all great things (yes, this is sarcastic exaggeration) and why Sony would be a better option or vice versa. To be perfectly frank, while in the end I would not mind either publisher owning Atlus, the fact of the matter is either choice would be bad for gamers.
Wanting such a popular multiconsole developer to be exclusive to your favorite platform is stupid and selfish. I know people will respond to this with Bayonetta 2's Wii U exclusivity, but the first game wasn't very successful to begin with. Atlus' games have found quite an audience on a vast array of platforms and to be perfectly honest I would not want the Persona series to be restricted and ignored by those shallow enough to just up and forget about how great the series is because it's now exclusive to one console.
The important thing about the above paragraph is this; this is just my opinion here. You cannot state why Sony owning Atlus or Nintendo owning Atlus is good or bad and call it an objective fact. You simply cannot. These are subjective opinions and I feel people are letting this cloud one very important factor; Atlus' future hangs in the balance of ALL of this. I will take the likes of Capcom owning Atlus if it means the company can continue to exist as it is and keep making its games the way THEY want to.
Some believe Nintendo would not allow Atlus to continue working their creative magic as they see fit and, while I respect those feel that way, I believe that point is entirely bogus. For starters, Nintendo is publishing Bayonetta 2, the sequel to an M rated title as well as done a promotion for Shin Megami Tensei IV another M rated game for 3DS. And while Nintendo's ownership of the Fatal Frame franchise has been less than desirable to fans (although I would argue this is because the series incredibly niche and not as popular in western regions) Monolith Soft is another developer that since its acquisition it has only been focused on its vision. No Mario, no Zelda, just Xenoblade and the upcoming (and much more darkly styled) Project X. Atlus already has made several Nintendo exclusive games (such as Trauma Center and several Shin Megami Tensei games), none of which have been censored or ignored by Nintendo. In the end, I don't believe Nintendo would force much, if anything on Atlus if they were acquired by them.
This also goes for anyone hoping for Sony to pick up the dev. It's not a good thing either way, so I don't see why you would have to be so selfish as to restrict Persona or SMT to your preferred console. It probably would not hurt Atlus much, if at all, but it's not fair to other gamers who have experienced all of those franchises on other platforms. It's not fair to Sony/Microsoft fans who play Persona or Nintendo fans who play Trauma Center or SMT.
But in the end all of this is beside the point! I think, as a Nintendo fan this would be a great thing, but as a gamer it's not (as explained above). But the thing is it's not a guaranteed thing; in fact, I'd go so far as to say it's not even all that likely. There's little to suggest that Nintendo is even interested in acquiring more developers at all when instead they have confirmed to be working on third party partnerships, not unlike what was accomplished with Team Ninja with Metroid Other M and Platinum Games with Wonderful 101. Sony on the other hand isn't exactly in the best financial situation to begin with and are probably just focused on the PS4 and indie support, so I don't see them all that interested.
In the end what matters is Atlus gets acquired by someone who understands and cares for their work and my personal hope is for it to be someone third party who is interested in the market as a whole and not just one of the big three. I want Atlus to continue as before because THAT WORKED. Atlus is fine doing what they are doing and they don't need a console manufacturer forcing them to make games for any one or two brand exclusive platforms. It really bothers me that people will demonize one publisher and/or praise another when in the end it really feels to me that BOTH outcomes would be very bad for a lot of gamers out there.
Atlus, as well as us gamers, were just fine before. Let's stop pretending them being owned by Nintendo or Sony is this god-awful/wonderful thing. In my view it is anything but. Atlus needs a new host that can let them keep doing what they wish to do. Whatever they decide I'm sure will be the best choice. So let's stop freaking out for a little bit and actually wait and see what the hell happens.
I apologize to anyone offended by these opinions. Your thoughts?