Atlus enters new North American distribution deal with Kalypso

by johndrewmarkley on October 5, 2012

Atlus

Atlus has announced a new distribution deal with Kalypso Media USA making Atlus, the Japan-based publisher best known for its RPGs such as the long-running Shin Megami Tensei series, the sole North American distributor of a number of upcoming Kalypso Media games on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Kalypso is a German games publisher best known for strategy games such as the city-building Tropico series and interstellar warfare strategy game Sins of a Solar Empire, though they’ve delved into other genres with games such as the RPG Disciples 3 and expanded version of first-person shooter Hard Reset, Hard Reset: Extended Edition.

The games included in the deal are:

Port Royale 3– Historical strategy/simulation/trading game where you play as the captain of a ship in the 17th-century Caribbean. You can set out to make your fortune through peaceful commerce, setting up trade routes, using your wealth to develop colonial industries, or through more bellicose means like privateering, piracy, and raiding. Releases on October 9 for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.

Tropico 4: Gold Edition– Latest game in the popular Tropico series of games, which are a combination of political strategy and city-building construction and management simulation. It’s kind of like SimCity, except that you’re a corrupt Latin American dictator and if you do badly enough the citizens will forgo the formality of voting you out in favor if just assembling into a howling mob and stormed the presidential palace instead. Planned for release on the Xbox 360 and PC on November 13.

I’m rather surprised to see a game like this getting a console release, since this sort of strategy/sim game has been all but absent from American consoles for a few console generations now. There was a smattering of them when I was younger- I spent a huge amount of time playing the Super Nintendo version of SimCity when I was a kid, for instance- but they’ve been almost exclusively the province of PCs for at least a decade now. I’d certainly be happy to see more games like this appearing on consoles again, though, so I’d be happy to see the Xbox 360 version of this game do well.

Omerta- City of Gangsters– Strategy game about building a criminal empire during the Prohibition era, planned for release on Xbox 360 and PC sometime early next year.

DARK– Stealth action game were you play as a vampire. Which, thinking about it a moment, is such an obvious combination of genre and subject matter that I’m surprised we don’t see it more often. Scheduled for March of 2013.

I find the new relationship between Kalypso and Atlus somewhat surprising, since Kalypso is primarily a PC publisher and Atlus publishes almost entirely on consoles. (Or it’s North American publishing/localization arm Atlus USA does, at any rate.) One of the positive trends in gaming over the past few years has been the weakening of boundaries between PC and console gaming, with North American and European developers having far more of a presence on consoles than in the past and PC versions of Japanese games like Street Fighter X Tekken and Dark Souls appearing more frequently in America. It’s nice to see a continuation of that trend.

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