Atlus USA Posts Huge Profits, Sony Regrets Not Publishing Demon's Souls

According to a report on Siliconera, Atlus USA's decision to publish Demon's Souls in North America has really paid off. The publisher has reported $3.81 million in operating profit during the previous quarter alone, which is a 578.5% increase over last year.

The success of Demon's Souls has not gone unnoticed by Sony, either. 1UP's RPG blog is reporting that they're kicking themselves for not publishing it as a first-party title:
Perhaps there's some irony in the fact that the most insightful speaker at the panel was in attendance as a Sony representative. Yeonkyung Kim plays a prominent role in the company's Japanese studio, working as a sort of international liaison for localization and licensing, and had had a number of great insights to offer regarding his experiences there. By far the most significant of these was Kim's admission that, despite great strides companies like Sony has made over the past decade in the art of localization, it's far from a perfect process. As an example, he touched on last year's surprise sleeper RPG hit, Demon's Souls. The From-developed dungeon crawler was expected to be a tiny niche project, with initial shipments of 15,000 copies. Yet it became a breakout through word-of-mouth, with current sales closing in on a quarter of a million.

Unfortunately, its unorthodox design and unrelenting difficulty caused Sony's U.S. and European arms to pass it up, assuming that it would be a failure outside of Japan. Instead, it was picked up for international release by Atlus; despite SCEJ's reluctance to license the game, they wanted Demon's Souls to carve a niche for itself outside Japan, and first-party avenues were closed.

"That was a mistake," Kim admits. "It should have come out as a first-party title."