Famitsu recently spoke with Atlus on their development of Persona 5 Royal. In speaking with Famitsu, both the game’s Producer, Kazuhisa Wada, and Director, Daiki Ito, weighed in.
Please note, this has been translated in full by Twitter user @shininyan
Famitsu began by asking why the soft remake is called Persona 5 The Royal. Producer Kazuhisa Wada stated that “The world “Royal” came up early in the planning process.” He continued to say “It expresses our enthusiasm in creating a majestic, extravagant game with a strong sense of aesthetics and nobility.”
Daiki Ito added, “we’re not simply adding in new characters and features. We’re also optimizing the game across the board so that you can play at a better pace; for example, by adding a feature to make gaining EXP easier. And of course, only to an extent that doesn’t break the game balance.”
Famitsu then asked if the assist feature is similar to “Vox Populi”.
“It’s a separate feature that goes beyond that,” responded Ito. “The new daily life assist feature takes lower social stats and confidant ranks into consideration and suggests destinations based on those. For example, if your protagonist has low Charm, it’ll suggest going to the bathhouse where you can raise that stat, and pressing the X button will take you there right away.”
When asked about the third semester and if fans can expect the same amount of new content as in Persona 4 Golden, Ito said that players will definitely “be able to enjoy more daily life content and events, and even for the so-called “extraordinary” segments, we’re preparing content that will exceed the expectations of those who experienced Persona 4 Golden’s amount of content.”
The new town in Persona 5 The Royal is Kichijoji. Ito shared that it’s a new area players will be able to freely explore like Shibuya and Shinjuku, and the director further noted that the town was chosen because it was suitable for depicting the current era.
“The real-world Kichijoji has fashionable shops where young people gather, an old bar district, and a historic temple,” said Ito. “It’s truly a fusion of culture and personality from people of all ages, and in the game, you’ll hear many different voices as you walk around.”
One of the new facilities Phantom Thieves will be able to enjoy is the addition of darts, and Ito confirmed that it is a full-fledged minigame similar to the batting center.
Moving onto the Phantom Thieves’ newest member, Kasumi Yoshizawa, Ito shared that she’s a “new student at Shujin Academy, who has been a high achiever in rhythmic gymnastics since middle school.”
Wada said that Kasumi’s addition has allowed Atlus to make careful adjustments to the story, but that Persona 5‘s narrative hasn’t been drastically altered because they don’t want to dishonour it. Oh, and Kasumi will also call Joker and his friends “Senpai” because she’s an underclassman.
There had been some mindless controversy about Kasumi’s design since the Super Live Concerts, but character designer Shigenori Soejima stated that Kasumi gives “off a dignified aura” and has a “classic heroine” feel.
Soejima elaborated on Kasumi’s design by saying “I wanted this new character to have that “coolness” that everyone normally expects from a phantom thief.”
In addition to Kasumi, Persona 5 The Royal will introduce another confidant called Takuto Maruki (the Consultant arcana). Ito said that as the school counsellor, Maruki will naturally interact with Ryuji and Ann, and through those conversations players will be able to see what’s on their minds.
Unsurprisingly, leveling up Kasumi and Maruki’s confidants will provide players with new abilities for combat. There’ll be more additional confidants as well, but Ito merely stated that fans should look forward to more information.
Talking about the game’s visuals, Soejima said “We’re drawing new art for quite a lot of parts. Just changing the dialogue sprites already makes the scenes look new and fresh. The characters will also get new outfits in the third semester.”
Wada finished the interview by saying everyone at Atlus is “working at full speed,” and that they “can feel the game’s quality improving with each passing day.”
Persona 5 is one of our favorite JRPGs over the last several years and it looks like Royal will make it even more special. We can’t wait until this comes West next year and we’ll keep you posted as we learn more!