At their recent investor Q&A, one investor asked Atlus management if they were planning to follow up the successful Steam release of Persona 4 with more releases, and this was the response (courtesy of Google Translate):
“We remastered a title previously sold on PlayStation Vita called “Persona 4: Golden” and sold on Steam this financial year. Because of the game’s excellent critical reception and low selling price, sales were significantly higher than expected.
We will continue to actively promote the porting of previously released titles to Steam and new platforms. We are also negotiating with the platform holders on the new games in the future, and we are considering how to sell it under favorable conditions for each title. We would like to plan PC versions of some titles from the start, adopting a multi-platform approach.”
It’s perhaps been frustrating for fans of Atlus games to see them ignore the PC market for so long. Many of their game series would no doubt be extremely popular among players on PC, with series like Shin Megami Tensei/Persona, Etrian Odyssey and the various Vanillaware games all being the types of games that would be particularly appealing to the PC audience, plus many more titles from their back catalog, but for whatever reason Atlus have largely ignored PC for many years.
Perhaps some nuance has been lost in translation, but it’s interesting to note the detail about speaking to platform holders. I can see a few potential interpretations of this statement. One could be that prior are perhaps under some exclusivity agreements, where perhaps originally Sony and Atlus reached an agreement to keep Persona, or at least Persona 4: Golden, exclusive to PlayStation, so Atlus had to request permission from Sony to release on PC. Another interpretation could be that they’re looking to partner with platform holders to remaster older games, where for example Atlus’s parent company Sega has partnered with Microsoft on a deal to bring the Yakuza games to Xbox. It’s a little vague here, and we’re not reading this statement in the original Japanese, so it’s not completely clear.
It’s been obvious to many of us entrenched in the world of PC gaming that Atlus has tons of games that would appeal to PC gamers, so it’s frustrating having no choice but to watch Atlus ignore this sizable international market for years, but perhaps extremely strong sales for Persona 4: Golden out of the gate have awoken them to the dormant potential. Japan does not have a strong legacy of PC gaming, where it’s never been a dominant platform for gaming in Japan, for a variety of cultural and technological reasons, but over the last decade or so, we’ve seen most major Japanese publishers gain an understanding of how well their games can do on PC, and Atlus is perhaps the most significant remaining holdout.
Any there any particular upcoming or back catalog Atlus games that you’d be interested to see on PC? Let us know in the comments.