While not a high-profile publisher in the West, Atlus has developed a reputation for bringing relatively niche Japanese role-playing and action games to Nintendo and Sony platforms stateside. Today, the Irvine, California-based American arm of the Japanese company announced it would be extending that reach to Microsoft's Xbox 360 as well.
"We are very proud to pledge our support to the Xbox 360 and to officially partner with Microsoft to bring quality titles to their impressive entertainment system," said Atlus USA exec Tim Pivnicny. "Atlus is renowned for its expertise and excellence in the RPG genre with critically acclaimed hits like Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and Odin Sphere, in addition to the award-winning Trauma Center franchise."
Along with revealing its agreement with Microsoft to become an officially sanctioned third-party publisher, Atlus has announced two games for the console, both due out in 2008. Operation Darkness is a strategy role-playing game that puts a fantastical spin on the European front during World War II, giving players magical powers to thwart Hitler's advancing tide. Atlus did not attach a developer to the game, though it did launch an official teaser site.
Also slated to arrive in 2008 from Atlus is Idea Factory's Spectral Force 3. Released for the 360 in Japan in 2006, Spectral Force 3 is the first installment in the role-playing series to arrive in the West, and Atlus claims the game features more than 50 hours of gameplay spread out over more than 150 missions. Players assume the role of a mercenary commander and are able to recruit 40 unique characters to their cause.
Neither Operation Darkness nor Spectral Force 3 has been rated.