Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night Development Details

Header image featuring Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight.

Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night were released in Japan today, and today’s issue of Dengeki PlayStation Vol. 663 includes an interview with members of the development team on the games’ production.

The P-Studio members interviewed are Kazuhisa Wada (producer), Nobuyoshi Miwa (director), and Ryota Kozuka (composer).

Early Development

  • During the early stages of development for P3D and P5D, Kazuhisa Wada was the director of the games, along with being the producer. However, because he was working on multiple projects, he asked Miwa to be responsible for the general direction during the middle of development. Miwa was originally a programmer and sub-director for P4D, so he assumed that role after grasping everything about the production.
  • Originally, with the knowledge of P4D’s development, Miwa wondered if it would be possible to make two different games with 1.5 times the work. This was how the schedule was planned at first, but it turned out to be tougher than that.
  • At the beginning of development, a list of songs that would be included was formed and modified. From the start, there was a name there called “Featherman’s Theme,” and it’s only later on that Miwa found out that such a song didn’t actually exist. Wada wanted to do a song like that from the start, though he didn’t know what it would entail. Initially, the animation accompanying the song would be Yukari-focused animation from Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, but it eventually evolved into an original, nicely made animation.

  • While Wada was thinking about planning for P3D, he was confident that P5 would become popular prior to its release. He then thought that it would be interesting if one could play dance games of P3 and P5 together, which is where development for both proceeded.
  • Wada thought of combining both titles into one game early on, but thinking back to  P4D, each original game has a strong sense of individuality. So Wada then decided to release both independently. With the chosen form, everything would not have fit into a single release.

Character Models

  • The main difference in model animationin the new games compared to P4D is that they have a lot of “double joint” parts set for bone structure, allowing for characters to move more smoothly and express themselves better.
  • Making the new P3 character models was relatively difficult, since there had been many representations of the characters since the game’s original release with manga and anime. So it was necessary to imagine how the latest forms of each character would be conveyed for their models.
  • Aigis was by far the hardest character to model. With the body of a machine, how her joints work is special, moving firmly without altering shape. It was also difficult to choose a dancer [for choreography] for her.


  • Thinking about the choreography this time was really hard. Before, Wada assigned dance genres to each character. This time, however, he thought, “how would this character dance?” and moved from there.
  • Choreography in P4D was limited because each characters’ potential ability to dance was taken into account to match the game’s setting and story. This time, the characters’ individuality can truly be felt without a limiter, which the choreography takes advantage of.

Commu Mode & Jika Net Tanaka

  • As a substitute to story mode, dialogue scenes with “Commu” mode were decided in talks between Wada and Miwa. P3’s setting is a dorm, so backgrounds for that were simple, but almost everything for the rooms in P5 is completely new. The artwork team worked hard to design rooms unique to each character. The CRT TVs and VCRs in the P3 rooms give a nostalgic feeling.
  • In P4D, “Jika Net Tanaka” was originally going to be included with a very high level of difficulty, but they had to abandon that due to a lack of time. This time, Wada is glad it is able to be included as free DLC.

Downloadable Content

  • Wada was worried about including Lavenza as a DLC character since her existence is a spoiler. However, in order to balance the number of characters, they decided to include her. Since she is DLC, the game can be experienced without her.
  • For the DLC delivery schedule, there will be frequent releases. There will be free DLC every week. There will also be paid DLC, balanced out between music, costumes, and accessories. This will continue until the end of August.

Persona Series Future Development

  • Persona Q2 is in active development. In order for fans to keep enjoying the Persona series continuing next year, they are working with established mid-to-long term plans, which include numbered titles. Additionally, collaboration projects are also actively planned. Previous collaborations include “Puzzle & Dragons,” and “Phantasy Star Online 2.” The latter’s collaboration with P3D and P5D reproduce those games to a large degree, even including the UI for a taste at the rhythm action.

Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night was released for the PS4 and PS Vita on May 24, 2018 in Japan. They will be released for both platforms in Traditional Chinese on September 20, 2018.