Atlus Teases an Updated Shin Megami Tensei IV Release (Updated: Actually a Sequel)

Atlus Teases an Updated Shin Megami Tensei IV Release (Updated: Actually a Sequel)

The RPG publisher has promised a "disaster" once its teaser hits 15,000 retweets.

If ever there was a reason to avoid sharing on social media, it would be the threat Japanese publisher Atlus posted overnight on its Shin Megami Tensei IV website. Once this link has been reposted 15,000 times, Atlus says, a "disaster" will occur. (Source: Gematsu)

"Disaster" is sort of a strange thing to promise fans, especially after last week's misfire of a Black Ops III Twitter campaign in which the official Call of Duty account pretended to live-tweet a (fictional) terrorist attack happening in Singapore, though of course Atlus isn't attempting to fool anyone here. The "disaster" in question will clearly be a new game announcement of some sort; the safe money is on an updated release of Shin Megami Tensei IV.

Already, the updated SMTIV page has evolved from a stone façade bearing a relief of a question mark-like symbol to a broken wall revealing the word "FINAL" spray painted on a black background. The A in "FINAL" resembles an anarchy symbol obscuring a peace symbol, a sensible if slightly inelegant way to represent the series' ongoing themes of order versus chaos. "FINAL" suggests an updated release, something fairly common to the SMT series. Atlus has double-dipped in nearly every branch of the SMT games, reissuing games with enough additions and refinements that fans seem perfectly happy to make the second purchase. Most recently we've had the Devil Survivor ports for 3DS (which have been quite good), which were preceded by the expanded PSP/Vita rereleases of Persona 3 and 4 — those versions are widely regarded as two of the absolute must-play RPGs for the past decade. And of course, SMTIV's direct predecessor (Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne for PlayStation 2) had its Maniax version, which added in Kuzunoha Raidou and Dante from Devil May Cry. The question isn't really, "Will this be an SMTIV expansion?" so much as it is, "What's taken so long?"

The other question, I suppose, would be, "What would the 'final' version of SMTIV entail?" While I loved the game, long-time SMT fans, the ones who have played every mainline game to completion multiple times along each story path, have plenty of complaints about its place in and relationship to the franchise. The Final teaser site has inspired quite a few fans to hope for a significant revamp of the game's morality structure, making the route to reach the neutral morality ending (traditionally the "correct" story path in SMT games) less arbitrary and more organic. The other prevailing sentiment is a hope for the game to be reissued on any platform besides 3DS, presumably Steam or PlayStation 4. That would require considerably more effort than revamping dialogue—the game's static combat visuals worked on 3DS but would be a disaster on an HD platform—so it seems less likely than some mechanical or narrative refinements. But, then again, who can say? It's been several years since SMTIV debuted, so maybe those improvements account for why this remake has been so long in coming.

Any excuse to recruit my favorite comb-headed princess demon again.

Of course, there's always the possibility that this is some big fakeout and the pending announcement isn't an SMTIV remake. At the time of publication, the Twitter countdown has only a couple thousand shares to go, meaning we should know one way or the other quite soon. Personally, I've actually been itching for an excuse to replay SMTIV and go for the "true" ending, and an updated version would be as good a reason as any — that hardly seems like a disaster, but I'm not in marketing, so what do I know?

Edit: As speculated, Atlus' new announcement is indeed for Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final. Surprisingly, however, this is not a remake or update but instead a completely new game. As indicated in the incredibly messy image above (source), it involves a new cast but is based on SMTIV's setting. It's due out early next year in Japan for 3DS, with a U.S. release presumably hitting soon after. It'll be something to tide you over until the recently delayed Persona 5 arrives, at least.

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