Persona series director Katsura Hashino has spoken out about the themes of his new game, Shin Megami Tensei Persona 5, and he believes he will be reaching an audience that's "bored and discontent with their lives."
In the interview with Persona Magazine, translated by PepsimanGB, Hashino answers a question in regards to the only image we have of the game so far, black chairs tied down by shackles over a red background.
"It's going to be a while yet before we're ready to put out the game proper, but I think that image at least reassures people that there is something definitely coming along," he first says.
"To answer your question more directly, I feel that in today's world, there's no shortage of people that are bored and discontent with their lives. They're at a dead end, chained down to a world of which they resent being a part. Persona 5, in that sense, is a game about freedom, the kind that those sorts of people haven't had living in the real world.
I want them to be able to attain that sensation by playing through the game. Looking at it from that angle, I'd say that the image depicts the wait that must be endured for that moment of freedom to arrive."
While the themes and style might run differently than the last few games, Persona 3 and Persona 4 to be exact, Hoshino says fans of those games will "feel right at home." He also believes that this game is more "thematically approachable," which I can't tell if it's a backhanded insult or just a heavy dose of the truth for the hardcore gaming audience who is bound to play Persona 5 when its released.
Why is it so easy for gamers to relate to this theme?
"The characters in this game, through sheer force of will, are out to destroy that which suffocates people in today's society and, again, keeps them chained down in place…I want players to come away from the game feeling like they have that power to take on the world around them and keep going in life."
It's easy to point at Persona 5 as commentary on a society of people just can't seem to catch the break to follow their dreams, Japan especially. Boys grow up with huge ambitions, but many are pushed into the suit, tie, and overtime lifestyle of an everyday salaryman and quickly find themselves unable to change their situation.
This one goes out to you guys! Play Persona 5 for 80+ hours and you just might lose your job and be forced to start over. Make it count the next time around.
The game is expected to be released by the end of the year in Japan, and it will be exclusive for the PlayStation 3. Shin Megami Tensei Persona 5 currently sits number one on my most wanted list, but despite that, I am quite content with my life these days, Mr. Hoshino.