The producer for Shin Megami Tensei V has announced that full-scale production on the project has started, in an interview with 4Gamer.
While the project was originally announced for the Nintendo Switch in January 2017, it will have been four months since the game was officially revealed as the next mainline entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series.
Annual Praying Event
Recently, members of Atlus—including SMT series producer Kazuyuki Yamai—took part in their annual praying event, this time at the Kishimojin Shrine in Tokyo, and 4Gamer was invited as well.
It is a relatively common occurrence that when a project in Japan heavily involving horror or the occult is in the works, staff members should perform a harae ritual at a Shinto shrine for its success and to be “purified.”
In 2013, Atlus staff members reportedly stated that they had not performed their annual event for this before the release of Shin Megami Tensei IV in May 2013. The rumor that circulated because of this—and what Atlus staff joked about—is that injuries/accidents to the development team and the ensuing Index bankruptcy was due to the curse of demons and evil spirits.
Because they had not prayed for the development of SMT IV, they were hit by a “crisis.”
This is an event that was made public in October 2015 for Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse.
SMT V Production
Full-scale production of Shin Megami Tensei V has been confirmed in the recent interview, alongside the annual shrine visit:
4Gamer: Thank you for inviting me for this great opportunity. With the fact that prayers are being made for success, does that mean full-scale development of “Shin Megami Tensei V” has begun?
Yamai: Yes. At the start, the production of this project only had a few people at its core, with more and more people gradually becoming involved. Although this number is still increasing, I feel that the production staff has come together considerably to a point—and reaching a milestone—where we can say we’ve started full-scale development.
In December 2017, Yamai had stated that the development of Shin Megami Tensei V was in a “scrap-and-build phase.”
SMT V Console & Portable Concept, Demon Models
The interview goes on to address the superstitious rumors behind the annual shrine visits.
Like in a previous interview, Yamai reiterates that, as the first Shin Megami Tensei game for home consoles in a long time, he wants to make a game that has impressive content for television, but that he also wants to include elements that lend to the casual feeling unique to a portable device like there was in Shin Megami Tensei IV and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse for the 3DS. He wants to make a game that will work well for both home consoles and handheld systems.
They also want to include many demons, and for them to be developed to suit high hardware specs. He believes that the production time for one demon’s model is about three times as much as previous titles.
Shin Megami Tensei V will be released in Japan, North America, and Europe for the Nintendo Switch.