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What’s the truth about Persona 5? 2 Published: 1. Aug 2013 By Link

 

The Shin Megami Tensei franchise earned a cult audience long ago with the hardcore-pleasing JRPGs in its main series and spin-offs; we just gave high marks to Shin Megami Tensei IV. But the franchise’s popularity reached new highs, both in its native Japan and the west, with the Persona side games. Persona 3’s interesting mix of dark themes and day-to-day high school life pulled in many new fans, as did the great storytelling and empathetic characters. Persona 4 shared those strengths, but its more mundane setting somehow made it more engrossing, as players came to savor every day of their year in the quiet town of Inaba.

 

Both Persona 3 and 4 proved popular enough to support multiple re-releases and even one fighting game, and while there’s been no lack of SMT games over the last few years, fans have been waiting patiently for Persona 5. As the sequel’s true reveal becomes increasingly inevitable, we pulled together all the rumors and innuendo there’s been about Atlus’ long-awaited game into one helpful document. After reviewing everything we know about development to date, you’ll no doubt agree that the announcement may be just a few months, or even weeks, away...

 

Source: gamesradar

“We are preparing to start work on the next Persona”Persona 5 won't use Catherine’s enginePersona 4: Golden epilogueIndex registers a Persona 5 domain just as it enters bankruptcy

“We are preparing to start work on the next Persona”

 

 

That’s the translated quote Katsura Hashino gave in an interview back in early 2010 that began the countdown to Persona 5. Hashino had been working on SMT games as early as 2003’s Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, and his first game as director was Persona 3. After also acting as game director for Persona 4, his team within Atlus Japan started work on its first 360/PS3 game, a new title unrelated to SMT called Catherine.

 

Catherine was an interesting mix of infidelity, nightmares, and retro puzzle mechanics, but it wasn’t the Persona sequel fans expected, even though most of the same developers worked on it. In a Japanese interview about Catherine, Hashino explained that his team was getting ready for the next Persona, though Catherine was still months away from shipping. Many hoped Catherine was just practice on current-gen hardware for the Persona team, and that we’d see Persona 5 for PS3 and 360 in 2011. But this was not to be.

 

Persona 4 keeps growing as the next hint gets dropped

 

 

Catherine launched in Japan and the US in 2011 (Europe didn’t get it till 2012), and it quickly became one of Atlus’ best sellers, boasting more than 500,000 sales by the end of the year. Once that game was complete, it seemed time for the Persona team to move on to the fifth entry, but in August of 2011 Atlus revealed that that the developer was refocusing on the very popular Persona 4. That game would not only see a re-release on the newly announced PlayStation Vita, but that there’d also be a fighting game spin-off from the devs behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue.

 

It was hard to complain about getting more Persona 4 content, and the title was more popular than ever in Japan thanks to a hit anime adaptation, but what about the future of the franchise? When the new P4 projects were announced in Japan, gaming mag Famitsu did get confirmation that the next numbered entry was still in development. And not only was Hashino involved, but so were character designer Shigenori Soejima and composer Shoji Meguro, two key talents to the success of P3 and P4. There were no more details than than, but the reconfirmation gave some comfort.

Persona 5 won't use Catherine’s engine

 

 

Since Catherine was the Persona team’s first experience with PS3 and 360 hardware, many assumed that the tech used was a practice run for Persona 5. But at the same time that Hashino had little more to say about Persona 5’s development than key team members were returning (he wouldn’t even commit to calling it Persona 5), he did talk about the game’s connection to Catherine. Or lack thereof.

 

Catherine was created using the current-gen software called Gamebryo, but Persona 5 won’t be using it. Instead, Hashino is going with a new, internally developed engine which he believes will lead to smoother development. But he warned it’d be some time before you see that new game engine running, because the team had to finish Persona 4: Golden first.

 

Separate Persona studio formed

 

 

2012 had a lot of give and take for Persona fans. The series was more ubiquitous than ever with a Vita rerelease, its anime adaptation being localized, and Persona 4: Arena introducing the characters to an entirely new audience. But there was barely any information on the next numbered entry for Persona, aside from a couple teases and proof that the development team had some well-earned autonomy.

 

First there was the quiet reveal of P Studio, a logo first seen on Persona 4: Arena that indicates that the Persona team, which already had been more or less separate within Atlus, now had some extra freedom. That was followed by the enigmatic Hashino popping up once again to mention Persona 5’s existence in an interview without saying much else. These teases were about as direct as things got in 2012.

Persona 4: Golden epilogue

 

 

Of course, there might have been some indirect teases in 2012, at least to our conspiracy-addled minds. Persona 4 spoiler warning. Persona 4: Golden added about 15 to 20 hours of new content to the game, including a brand new character and (this is key) a new epilogue to the True Ending. Though Persona 4: Arena had a brand new story that took place after Persona 4, Golden’s summer epilogue took place after Arena and featured new character designs for the entire cast. And we doubt those will be contained to a postscript.

 

It’s possible the entire Midnight Channel team was redesigned as a special send-off to the most dedicated Persona fans, but that’s a lot of work for something only the dedicated will see. The start of the lead character’s return to Inaba seems like the perfect lead-in for a sequel, and the redesigned characters could be a tease of what’s to come. Call us crazy, but we think it was the first taste of Persona 5, meaning it’ll be a direct sequel to the doggedly popular Persona 4.

 

No plans for a Catherine sequel

 

 

As Persona 5’s development seemed to finally pick up speed after the multiple Persona 4 titles shipped, Atlus stayed pretty silent on the game in both the US and Japan. But in case some were worried the team had started instead on a Catherine sequel (it was a pretty big seller), Atlus’ new US PR Manager John Hardin confirmed there were no plans for a Catherine sequel. Hardin dodged any Persona 5 questions, but at least we know a secret Catherine follow-up isn’t slowing them down.

 

Meanwhile, Hashino popped up once again in Japan to assure fans the team is “working hard” on the next Persona game. Hashino obviously wants fans to know his team isn’t slacking, but it’d be nice to see some actual proof, you know? Apparently Atlus will reveal it when the time is right, but how much more time does Atlus have?

Index registers a Persona 5 domain just as it enters bankruptcy

 

 

In case you didn’t know, Atlus’ US and Japanese branches are just part of the much larger Index Corporation, a company that owns multiple businesses in Japan. In late June of 2013, just as Atlus was launching Shin Megami Tensei IV to big sales and acclaim in Japan, Index filed for bankruptcy just as the Japanese government announced it was investigating the company for fraud. Both the US and Japan wings of Atlus say that it’s business as usual during this strange time, and many are wondering if Index will sell off Atlus to offset debts, as the division is one of Index’s most profitable.

 

As the future home of Persona 5 is in question, some savvy internet watchers caught that Index had also registered a Persona 5 domain in Japan. Please note that the existence of Persona5.jp doesn’t prove an announcement is imminent. However, with Atlus in such a strange situation, perhaps it will hasten the reveal to get some good news out in front of the bankruptcy and fraud talk.

 

Tokyo Game Show in front of us with no major Atlus games announced

 

 

And that brings us all to our current situation. Atlus is in trouble, no new SMT games are on the horizon (save for the far-off Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem), and Tokyo Game Show is coming at the end of September. In the past, Atlus has timed big announcements for pre-TGS, most recently the 2011 reveals P4: Arena and P4: Golden. With little else coming from Atlus internally, the next couple months seem to be the perfect time to unveil Persona 5.

 

Could Hashino finally have more to show than a slight tease? Will the game be on PS3/360, the next gen consoles, or perhaps the handhelds where SMT has seen its most recent success? We’ll be on hand at TGS 2013, ready to pass along whatever Persona news Atlus has to offer.

 

Persona!

 

 

The above are all we know about Persona 5. We will also keep updating related news for you. In addition, do you have any expectation for the sequel? Will the game be a completely new adventure? Share with us your opinions in the comment section.

“We are preparing to start work on the next Persona”Persona 5 won't use Catherine’s enginePersona 4: Golden epilogueIndex registers a Persona 5 domain just as it enters bankruptcy

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