ATLUS Japan over the course of the last three days has been hosting a three-day countdown relating to the critically acclaimed Persona video game series. Popular in Japan, the series has spawned a cult audience Stateside with Persona 3 and to a greater extent Persona 4.
Persona 4 in particular has had several spinoffs released in Japan and the United States, including Persona 4 Arena for the PS3/Xbox 360 which plays as a Blazblue-esque 2D fighter and Persona 4 Golden for the Playstation Vita which adds additional sidequests and gameplay to the original game. Persona 4 also had a 26-episode anime series that adapted the game, titled simply Persona 4: The Animation, which was released in 2011 (2012 in the United States).
And now that the countdown is over, ATLUS has announced not one, not two, and not even three new Persona games. Yes, they went as far as to announce four new installments in the franchise, all slated for 2014 in Japan, and considering the franchise’s cult appeal here, I would expect at least some of them getting a release in the Western world.
The first game is Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold. It will release in spring 2014 in Japan and looks to be an enhanced version of Persona 4 Arena. It is currently slated for the Playstation 3.
The second game is Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. It will be released on June 5, 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan. It uses characters from both the Persona 3 and Persona 4 games and chibi-fies them, which seems to imply a sillier mood than usual for the franchise.
The third game is quite possibly the most unexpected one of the lot. It is called Persona 4: Dancing All Night. It will be released in fall 2014 in Japan. As for the gameplay . . . the video is pretty self-explanatory. Random English alert, by the way.
The fourth game is something fans have been waiting for for a long time. It’s been five years since Persona 4 initially went to retail, after all. But ATLUS has revealed the long-awaited Persona 5 will be released in winter 2014 in Japan. Interestingly, the system of choice is the Playstation 3, not the Playstation 4.
While the release dates for the United States and Europe remain unknown, I would expect Persona 5 to have international versions released soon after the Japanese street date. As for the other three “spinoff” games, I would not be shocked if Q and Ultimax are released internationally as well.
As for what Persona 5 will ultimately be about, that remains unknown for right now. However, the official website has gone live. Hopefully details about the game will soon come out, as Persona 5 has a lot to live up to after Persona 4’s success worldwide.