Persona Series Director Thanks Fans for Supporting Persona 5 Worldwide

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

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Persona 5

Persona series director Katsura Hashino has released a heartfelt message thanking fans from across the world for supporting Persona 5. Courtesy of the Playstation Blog he touches on several points including wanting to know what fans outside of Japan feel about the game, how western superhero stories helped inspire the plot, and how he will be leaving the leaving the series’ future in the hands of P Studios as he pursues other projects. Check out the full message below.

As a developer, I’m very happy to hear that Persona 5 is being played by so many people overseas. To be honest, it’s really hard to gauge its popularity in the West when our team’s in Japan; we’re not able to see everyone’s comments and discussions. It’d be great to interact with the fans abroad, but sadly, I’m stuck in the development room slurping instant ramen (laugh). Persona 5 is a very “Japanese” story with some political aspects to it, so I couldn’t imagine how Western players would react to it. I did know, however, that Persona 5 was highly anticipated by gamers overseas even back when we were developing the game, so I was curious to see how its story would be received.

I’m going off on a tangent here, but I think that traditional Japanese superhero stories tend to be about fighting off invaders from outside their society, while Western ones focus on fighting against villains and misfits that come from within it. There’s a sense of society being responsible for creating this evil, and such a setting lets the audience’s imagination run wild, like “it could’ve been me.” For instance, doesn’t the Joker from Batman make some valid points that resonate with you?

Persona 5 is also a superhero story in which you fight villains that are born from within society, so I thought that it might be received differently than the previous entries. Of course, it could’ve missed the mark completely and been criticized for it, so my anticipation and anxiety were split half and half. Since the game just launched in the West, I’d like to look back on it at a later time, once I receive feedback from the Western audience—how their gameplay experiences were, what kind of things they felt, etc. I hope that the tale of Persona 5 will leave a lasting impression on everyone who plays it. No matter what kind of project I take on going forward, I love creating RPGs that are both moving and relatable regardless of cultural differences—in fact, I’m most interested in strengthening those aspects right now.

Last year, with the milestone of the Persona series’ 20th anniversary, I handed off the series development to my successors and announced the start of my new RPG project that takes place in a fantasy world. Be it a game set in modern day, like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series, or a game set in a new fantasy world, I aim to create games that provide an invaluable experience of reflecting on oneself through a journey, while roleplaying as characters that players can deeply relate to.

These efforts are only made possible thanks to the positive reception we receive from fans—not just in Japan, but worldwide—of the Persona series and Atlus RPGs in general. I appreciate all your support for the newest entry in the Persona series, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the new Atlus RPGs to come.

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About Andrew Mathieu

My name is Andrew Mathieu. I'm a college student and I work part-time in my home state of Connecticut. I'm working towards being a writing and host three blogs on WordPress about animation, comic books, and video games. I hope to one day be able to write comic books and voice my opinions about my favorite fields of entertainment.




  • Mr0303

    That’s pretty cool. Hopefully this means they’ll know that the market for these games exist in the West and the next one won’t take an year to localise.

  • Jeremy Barnes

    Shame to see him go. Hope the series keeps up the same quality level