Today in Japan, Index Corporation announced that they filed for bankruptcy. Index, which currently owns Atlus, announced that as of May 31st it had amassed a debt of 24.5 billion yen (~$248 million). The formal announcement (in Japanese) can be found at the Index website. Civil rehabilitation bankruptcy is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. in that the company can continue to operate independently during the proceedings, meaning no surprise shutdowns should occur.
In addition to their bankruptcy proceedings, Index is also being investigated for fraud and poor bookkeeping practices, which, along with stagnant sales numbers, likely lead to their current financial situation. The investigation found that Index had been using a practice known as “round-tripping” to inflate their revenue numbers. In light of the current situation, Index president Yoshimi Ochiai and CEO Masami Ochiai are considering resigning their positions at the company.
Index has indicated that it is looking for investors to help support their “digital media” division (read: Atlus), and the company will continue to release Dragon’s Crown and other titles as planned throughout the bankruptcy proceedings. Index began its acquisition of Atlus stock in 2006, formally merging the game maker into their company in 2010. Index was also the primary shareholder in Madhouse animation studio until 2011, when Nippon TV purchased the majority of stock from them.
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