Persona 5 received more attention than most RPGs when it was localized in 2017. The lengthy, emotional journey to bring some semblance of justice to a twisted society resonated with audiences worldwide, and the game sold millions.
Though Persona 5 still gets mounds of praise heaped on it, some controversial content mars the experience, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community. About 30 hours into the game, there's a scene where two gay men in Shinjuku's red-light district aggressively hit on Ryuji. The aside is played for laughs, but it contributes to the harmful stereotype that gay men seek out underage partners.
After it received feedback from disappointed players, Atlus promised to alter the scene for Persona 5 Royal, which is coming out on March 31. We've had a chance to play Persona 5 Royal and see the changes for ourselves. Atlus indeed changed the scene, though whether it's better or worse is best left to personal opinion.
In Persona 5 Royal's alteration, the two men still accost Ryuji—but instead of making a pass at him, they inform him he should try his luck at being a drag queen. Ryuji is flabbergasted (and you can encourage him to go for it), but he no longer cringes at the very idea of being approached by gay people.
Our friends at GameXplain posted footage of the interlude:
What do you think? Better? Worse? Still cringy? I personally think it goes down a bit better, though I’m disappointed we can't actually see Ryuji in a flowing dress and a wig that's tall enough to scrape the heavens.
It's good Atlus changed Persona 5's script so that "Ha ha, gay people" is no longer the joke, but the scenes revolving around Ann Takamaki's harassment are still a bit rough to watch in Royal. Royal is otherwise a great update to a spectacular game overall, though. If you've got 100 hours in you, by all means jump in.