Persona fans in North America and Europe have a lot to be excited about today!
Not only are the final touches being made on Sega’s buyout of Atlus and recently-bankrupt parent company, Index Corp., but it would appear that Atlus is settling nicely into their new arrangement! They’ve just given confirmation that the recently-announced quartet of Persona games, originally only announced for Japan, are all headed to North America and Europe both this year and next year. Yes, that includes Persona 5!
Easily the biggest of this group of announcements, the long-awaited Persona 5 will release exclusively for PlayStation 3 in the latter half of 2015. Japan will predictably be receiving the game early, right around the end of this year.
No official details have currently come to light about the plot or gameplay style of Persona 5, beyond a vague teaser and image that showcases a series of student-esque chairs with ball-and-chains around their legs. A cryptic tagline for the game reads, “You are a slave. Want emancipation?” The implication seems to be some sort of themes regarding the nature of education, which wouldn’t be a stretch, considering that pretty much every game in the Persona series has incorporated a school setting pretty heavily.
2015 will also see the release of a rhythm game spin-off, Persona 4: Dancing All Night, developed by Hatsune Miku studio, Dingo, which will release exclusively for PlayStation Vita. The game is merely said to be coming sometime in 2015 for Western players, not necessarily in the later half like Persona 5, lending to the possibility of it coming out earlier in the year instead. Regardless, the game is another sequel/spin-off combo of Persona 4, taking place the Summer after the events of Persona 4, and several months after the conclusion of the Story Mode from Persona 4 Arena.
Speaking of Persona 4 Arena, the recently-announced console port of its sequel, dubbed Persona 4 Arena Ultimax in Japan, is also coming to North America, once again developed by Persona 4 Arena developer, Arc System Works. The 2D fighter sequel is only coming to PlayStation 3 after an initial arcade release in Japan apparently, but will release for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the West, just like its predecessor. It will presumably tell yet another spin-off story from Persona 4’s events, and will go under the less noteworthy name of Persona 4 Arena 2 for its Western debut apparently. Fortunately, the game will arrive as soon as this Fall for North America and Europe.
This just leaves Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, which was revealed to be Atlus’s mysterious Persona project for the Nintendo 3DS, teased way back at the handheld’s debut, and then barely mentioned again until its recent formal Japanese announcement. Persona Q, a dungeon-crawler along the lines of Atlus’s fellow Etrian Odyssey games, incorporates the characters of both Persona 3 and Persona 4 in two branching storylines. It will also be releasing for Western players towards the end of this year, and will mark the series’ debut on a Nintendo platform.
The Persona series has become more active than ever now, and Eggplante will be summoning your Persona updates as they’re drawn, so don’t forget to keep channelling us!