Some key points from the full interview can be read below:
- The essence of Persona came down to the story, the characters, and the world-building. Those elements were a focus to preserve the feeling of a Persona game.
- Kanada states that it took a very long time for them to finish the story [in a previous interview, he says that the story took the team three and a half years to finalize]. One of main goals with the story was to highlight the cast’s growth.
- After the decision was made that the story would revolve around visiting different locations in Japan, choosing the places to visit came down to determining the distance one could realistically travel in a camping car during a one-month summer vacation. Other elements considered were: “the scenery, regional characteristics, features of each location, and their relevance to the story.”
- One of the last major changes that was made to P5S came from the developers wanting the message conveyed in the ending song’s Japanese lyrics to reach overseas players, so they added an English version of the song.
- Sekiguchi states that it was more difficult to decide on Zenkichi’s appearance and tone of voice than it was with Sophia. As said in a previous interview, Zenkichi’s initial concept was to be a female, mother figure character instead of a male, father figure.
- The action elements of the game were designed to combine “easy controls” and “exhilarating,” along with the stylish movement the Phantom Thieves are known for. The “Phantom Dash” mechanic came from that concept, and other elements branched out subsequently.
- The feeling of traveling outside of Tokyo in a “road trip” feeling was created to both differentiate the game from Persona 5, and also to let the Phantom Thieves have fun together as friends when reuniting after six months.
- The developers believed that a core tenant of a road trip is cooking your own meals, thus they came up with Joker’s Kitchen to learn and make local specialties.
- Kanada states that one of the ideas behind Persona 5 Strikers was probably to explore the action RPG space in Persona and make P5S stand out, while preserving what defines the core series. The producer says: “there is no current intention to chase that direction for the future of the Persona series at large.” In the past, real-time combat instead of turn-based had been considered for Persona 5 during the early stages of development.