As early as 2004, the Japanese Sammy Corporation, best known for making arcade and gambling machines, was looking to expand into the video game market, particularly arcade games. This led to the acquisition of Namco, and the creation of "Namco Sammy Holdings" on October 1, 2004.
Almost a decade later in June 2013, Index Corporation, another Japanese company, filed for bankruptcy due to accusations of corruption. Among its assets was Atlus, another video game company know for its creation of the Megami Tensei series and other niche role-playing games. A number of companies bidded for ownership of Atlus, including Sammy. In September, it was revealed that Sammy had won the bidding. The leadership of Sammy, now in control of two notable gaming companies, decided to restructure their business, leading to, among other things, changing the company's name to "ANS," and acronym for "Atlus Namco Sammy."
Atlus's transfer to Sammy was completed on November 1, 2013.
ANS is composed of several major components.
- Pachinko/Pachislot (Sammy)
- Namco (Namco)
- Tales Studio (Namco)
- Atlus (Atlus)
- Localization (Atlus USA)
Many members of the gaming community were surprised by the creation of ANS, particularly by Atlus and Namco's becoming part of the same entity. According to one journalist, "the combination of Atlus's Shin Megami Tensei series and Namco's own Tales series means that ANS is an instant power in the RPG market, on par with Square and Enix."
Sammy executives have told the press that the current development of games from both Namco and Atlus will not be affected by the change.