Video game publisher Atlus (a property of Index Digital Media, Inc.) has today announced the departure of Shinichi Suzuki, President and CEO of the North American subsidiary since 2004 and an industry veteran with over 20 years of executive experience. Effective August 1, 2012, Mr. Suzuki is to be succeeded by Naoto Hiraoka, head of consumer business at Index Corporation and producer for some of the publisher's most acclaimed games.
"Drawing upon his 11 years of experience at Atlus, not to mention his remarkable video game industry savvy, Mr. Hiraoka brings a more unified, synergistic vision for the brand, hoping to further expand upon ATLUS' current trend of prosperity by bringing the Japanese and North American offices closer together," the company stated in an email sent today to the press.
Mr. Suzuki is responsible for the creation of Atlus Online, a new division dedicated to massively online interactive entertainment. Furthermore, this time with the company is highlighted by the release of some of the more popular Atlus titles of all time: Trauma Center, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 & 4, Demon's Souls, and Catherine. In addition, a number of successful niche titles, such as the Nintendo DS title Radiant Historia, serve as an example of Mr. Suzuki's commitment to core gamers.
Mr. Suzuki expressed appreciation to his employees and the company's faithful community of fans in his parting statement: "In the time since I assumed the role of President and CEO of Index Digital Media, Inc., the company has experienced tremendous success and growth. I am so proud to have served at the helm of such a well-loved brand as ATLUS. I thank my staff and all of the fans that continue to support the company and its games. Under new leadership, we will continue our proud tradition of excellent games and exceptional localizations. I extend my sincerest thanks to all who helped in some way to make us successful."
Mr. Hiraoka, the incoming President, commented on Mr. Suzuki's departure: "I am honored to succeed Mr. Suzuki as the head of Index Digital Media. Like all Atlus fans, I am grateful to him for his long service to the company and its many years of prosperity under his supervision. Moving forward, we will continue Atlus' esteemed legacy of extraordinary video games, retaining our focus on the core but remaining open to exploring new opportunities in emerging sectors."
Mr. Suzuki will remain with Index Digital Media, Inc. in an advisory role through September to facilitate a seamless transition of management.