The news that broke on Thursday, September 17th of Persona 5’s delay to summer of 2016 disappointed a good number of fans. It is reasonable to be sad about this news, but I would like to argue that this delay will be more beneficial to this game than most people would realize. Of course, this all depends on when the English release of Persona 5 will occur, whether it is a simultaneous release with the Japanese version, or if it follows the pattern that the previous English releases of the past two years have seen.
Now why would this delay be a positive outcome for Atlus then just putting the game out sometime in the next few months? For starters, this follows the trend that Atlus has been using since they announced the four new Persona games back in 2013. Persona Q, Persona 4 The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold, and Persona 4 Dancing All Night have all come out in the summer of their respective release years. In fact, it would have been a smart bet to anticipate this delay after seeing when the previous three games were released. Plus, with this being the case, a localized version is not going to be far off with only Persona Q having the longest wait between releases in America.
Let us also look at the fact that this year has been amazing in terms of games released. If Persona 5 were to come out in both Japanese and English this year, it would probably be overshadowed by the numerous other releases that are vying for game of the year contendership. Especially looking at how packed the next few months are in terms of game releases, there just is not a real viable release window for this game to come out. The only possible release to get it out of the way of some other heavy hitters would be around mid-December, and no one releases games at that time. Atlus’ track record with the Persona releases in terms of the games being working and not broken upon release has been spot on, so this extra time gives the Persona team added time to fine tune the game and make sure it is as good as it can be for release.
I have also seen people angrily showing their frustrations at Atlus USA’s PR after they were adamantly putting out that the game would come out in 2015. This is not something to get mad at them about; in fact it is highly likely that they were unaware of the delay until the announcement was made. Besides, it would be terrible business and just stupid for them to come out and say that a delay was happening before Atlus Japan properly announced it. We should by sympathizing with them as well because I am sure they are just as bummed out as you are.
Finally, after the list of Japanese voice actors and actresses was announced for this game, it really puts into perspective just how expensive this game might actually be. It also makes sense why Atlus put out the three games based in the Persona 3 and Persona 4 universe. Sure, they are absolutely milking the cash cow that is Persona 4 for all it is worth, but remember it is not long ago that Atlus was in dire straits after Index went under for getting in trouble and there was no guarantee that we would ever see another Persona game. Hopefully, this is a good sign that things over at Atlus have gotten better by being able to spend the money on getting highly accomplished and award winning voice actors and actresses to play in this game. Or if this game was too expensive and does not make enough back, it might be Atlus’ swan song. Maybe since Atlus Japan went all out, Atlus USA will bring in the top American video game voice actors. Get ready for Persona 5 starring Nolan North, Troy Baker, Jennifer Hale, and introducing Kiefer Sutherland as Morgana.
It is totally fine to be sad by this news, I know I am because I am not the most patient person, but let’s look forward to what we are going to receive. Come next year, we will probably have played or are about to play a game that looks absolutely amazing, we will have seen whatever the anime OVA is that they announced on the 19th of September, and maybe something else will have come out of the 20th anniversary festival. Between now and then, you have the opportunity to go back and play any of the Persona games or try and master that Hatsune Miku DLC in Dancing All Night. Even with this delay, it is highly unlikely that by the time we get our hands on Persona 5, we will be as sad and disappointed as we are now.