It's safe to say that Atlus' Persona 5 was a hit (we liked it a lot), and now the game's director Katsura Hashino has taken to the PlayStation blog to thank the fans for the success of the game, revealing that the development of the series has now been passed on.
"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," Hashio said when explaining why he thinks the game is successful. "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."
Do you think these successors can do as good a job with the series?
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