With the huge success of the Japanese RPG Persona 5, fans of the series are wondering when the next sequel will arrive.
8 years passed between Persona 4 and Persona 5 – will we have to wait as long for Persona 6?
Fortunately the answer is probably no. It’s likely Persona 6 will be released faster – here’s why:
1. Persona 6 has been in production already since 2018
In an interview with Dengeki PlayStation, a Japanese gaming magazine, Atlus developer Kazuhisa Wada said they’ve already begun working on new Persona games. “We are working on mid-to-long term plan, including new numbered entries, so that fans can continue to enjoy the Persona series after this year.”
Recently, in March 2019, Atlus also released a survey asking gamers about a variety of questions, one of which was whether they wanted Persona 6 on PC, Mobile, Switch, or PS4. While it’s not a guarantee of specific intent, it does suggest they are exploring and considering customer demand.
2. Persona 6 will likely use the same game engine as Persona 5
Instead of relying on a third party game engine, Atlus created a custom engine specifically for Persona 5. Building something like this from scratch is no easy feat, and this contributed greatly to the long development time. Given how strong Persona 5’s UI, responsiveness, and graphics were, it’s likely Altus could reuse much of the same engine for the next game, which would drastically reduce the production time.
3. Atlus isn’t dealing with bankruptcy issues anymore
In 2013 and 2014, Atlus’ parent company Index Corporation was investigated for fraud and declared bankruptcy, as they were in debt to the tune of 24.5 billion yen. Atlus has since spun out into its own entity and is in a much healthier financial state. As they are now free from these issues, their development roadmap is probably a lot clearer and they can allocate resources more efficiently.
4. Persona 5’s success has brought in more revenue and expanded budgets
Persona 5 was not only a standalone hit, it also led to an anime, three TV specials, and two spin-offs. All of this contributes to Atlus’ bottom line, and they will reinvest these proceeds to continue expanding upon their success.
In 2017, Atlus Japan was already aggressively hiring for new roles. They stated they planned to increase the number of roles in order to fulfill their sales goal of 1 million units annually.
5. Atlus has a dedicated Persona team now, called P-Studio, that focuses entirely on the Persona series
In line with point #4, Atlus created a team exclusively focused on the Persona titles. Kazuhisa Wada has said, “Although the latest title, Persona 5, had a considerably prolonged production process, fans were still looking forward to it. Those involved with Persona 5 wanted to release a game which would meet these expectations. From now on, I would like to create more and more new titles, and we are recruiting for that.”
Given all these factors, it’s highly likely that Persona 6 will be released sooner than we think. If we had to take a guess, we could see a new Persona game by 2022.