Between Persona 4 Dancin’ All Night, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, a new season of Persona 4 anime, and Persona Q: Shadows of the Labyrinth, a game which stars Persona 4 characters, it’s safe to say that Atlus has found a decent cash cow in its popular hit Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4.
Will the niche publisher continue grinding away at the popularity of this game, becoming “The Persona 4 Company,” or does it have anything new up its sleeve? CEO Naoto Hiraoka says not to worry in an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. Atlus is currently working on both a new franchise and a new game on the verge of being announced.
“I believe we’ll be able to announce ‘that title’ soon,” says Hiraoka in regards to a game it has been teasing for a while. “At the moment, we’ve even begun development on a title that will be released in three years time.”
He states that the company is working on a new IP that completely stands on its own, similar to its recent outings with Catherine and Dragon’s Crown.
It goes without saying that Atlus sees the most of its fanbase on the handheld platforms, especially on the Nintendo 3DS. When pressed on whether his company has a interest in developing for the next-gen consoles, Hiraoka gives a roundabout “if we have to” answer.
“As console game makers, of course we won’t just avoid them. We’ll definitely be making an effort on that front.”
Atlus is traditionally a JRPG developer, but it has been known to branch out here and there. It might have to find a new genre for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One considering that the aging JRPG genre has its most comfortable home on the handheld scene.
Could Atlus be the company which brings next-gen JRPGs to the forefront? Most likely not, as signaled by Shin Megami Tensei Persona 5 is already in development for the PlayStation 3. Why break a formula that has proven success? Leave the pioneering to Square Enix and strike with an amazing game when the timing is right. That’s always been Atlus’ strategy.
In the meantime, I’ll be here patiently waiting for more Etrian Odyssey on my Nintendo 3DS, perhaps a remake of the popular second one? Thanks, Atlus.