The upcoming Royal revision of Persona 5 is giving the P Studio team a chance to refine and build upon its massive 2017 RPG. It's also allowed the localization team an opportunity to re-examine some scenes, and in the case of one particularly controversial series of encounters, rewrite the issue.
During a recent Persona 5 Royal preview event, Sega/Atlus senior product manager Yu Namba confirmed that changes would be coming to the Western localization of Persona 5 Royal in regards to a specific series of encounters. Several times throughout the original game, the athletic Ryuji would be approached by a pair of gay characters, in a scene that came off as "predatory," as Namba puts it to GameSpot.
"So basically, I'm just going to say it right now, there are these two gay men who hit on Ryuji," Namba told GameSpot. "I think the community had a very strong response to that, and you saw that, and that was definitely altered for Royal."
While Namba doesn't expand on how, specifically, these scenes have changed, he does say that the team made it as if they're "being very strong enthusiasts for something they like doing." As Namba tells it, there was a lot of work put into seeing whether this change could be made, consulting with production and marketing on if it could happen and what public perception would be.
"Ultimately for Royal, we did go with it and I think we're pretty happy with what it is," Namba says. "It's not a significant change, but I think there's enough of a change that people who weren't comfortable going through that part in Persona 5 would feel better this time around."
These scenes were a noticeable point of friction in what was otherwise a stellar RPG, one of the best of the decade. Hopefully the changes end up making Persona 5 Royal an even-better version of Persona 5.
You can check out our preview impressions of Persona 5 Royal ahead of its North American luanch on March 31 for PlayStation 4. It adds a lot of new mechanics, like the grappling hook and some new Confidants, so it sounds like Persona 5 will be taking another 100 hours of my time this spring.