Famitsu has published an interview with the Persona 3 Reload development leads, General Producer Kazuhisa Wada, Director Takuya Yamaguchi and Producer Ryota Niitsuma.
The interview is a shorter excerpt from a full interview which will be published in Weekly Famitsu magazine later this week, to be released June 15, 2023.
The complete remake of Persona 3, which has been long awaited by fans has finally been revealed. As a creator, you must have been excited to make this announcement.
Wada: Yes, Persona 3 is a very important title for Atlus, and for staff like me who have been involved since the development of the original version, and above all, for the players who love this work and the characters so much.
In the Atlus Survey we conduct each year, Persona 3 has been at the top of the list for titles that fans want to see remade for the past few years. This remake has been realised because of everyone’s support.
What are your goals behind this remake?
Wada: As the basic premise, we didn’t change the scenario or characters that form the foundation of Persona 3. We would like players to be able to enjoy the graphics and functionality on the level of the latest numbered works in the series, Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal. We decided that was the way this remake should be, and followed that stance from the start of development.
The largest change is the update to the graphics. Was it difficult to rebuilt the original PlayStation 2 release with the same level of quality as Persona 5?
Yamaguchi: Yes (laughs). For the characters we put a lot of effort into creating the 3D models and bust up illustrations for conversations at the level that users will have come to expect from current standards. The bust ups are very expressive and the 3D models are so detailed that you will want to zoom into the screen to look at them.
The school, town and dungeons have been reconstructed in line with the 3D models.
Yamaguchi: The field has not simply been enlarged to match the character’s proportions, but also to increase the density of game elements and scenery.
Niitsuma: Everything has been redesigned, but Tartarus (the central dungeon that the main characters progress through to reach the top) has undergone a particularly significant change in appearance. In addition to changing the visuals, we have added more elements for the players to explore to keep them from getting bored and have added the option to dash whilst moving.
Regarding the Scenario, it has been said that character side stories will be added. Can you elaborate on this?
Yamaguchi: Since the main story is an ensemble drama, I thought that there was still room to delve deeper into the stories of the characters who didn’t get as much attention in the original version. It will be a new element that is different from Social Links, that will deepen the relationships with specific characters.
Speaking of the main story of Persona 3, there were also works called Persona 3 FES, which was based on the original release with various additions and changes, and Persona 3 Portable, where you can select a female protagonist. How will Persona 3 Reload be positioned in relation to these?
Niitsuma: I would like to clear things up so there are no misunderstandings. Persona 3 Reload is a project that was conceived as a remake of the original Persona 3 for current platforms, therefore it does not include the additional story scenario that was added in FES or the female protagonist from Portable. However this does not mean that elements added to the main story in FES are not included in Reload at all.
The remake has substantial volume. By including the side stories mentioned earlier, the total number of voiced lines is one of the highest in the series history. The reason for the increase in voices is not just limited to the side stories, but we will be talking about that at a later date.
Persona 3 Reload will release in early 2024. It is currently announced for Xbox Series X/S and Windows PC.