Following the action puzzle game with a romantic twist will be the new IP bearing the temporary title Project Re Fantasy: A Fool’s Journey Begins. In production by many of the lead developers behind the modern Persona games—who moved from P Studio to Studio Zero—Katsura Hashino’s (the producer and director) goal for it is to tackle the fantasy genre in a new, “uniquely Atlus” way.
So the question is, knowing very little about it now, what are you hoping to see from Project Re Fantasy: A Fool’s Journey Begins? How do you think Atlus will explore the fantasy genre in a new light? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
Overview of the Details
- The leads behind Project Re Fantasy all worked on the Persona series, and were all leads on Persona 5 specifically. This includes the producer / director, character designer, sound composer, scenario writers, programmers, designers, and the project manager.
- Regarding platforms, Hashino has stated that the game is being made for those who like home console games. Relatedly, the game is not targeted to be an “AAA” title, but similar to the scope of games Hashino has worked on in the past (including Persona 5).
- A job listing in July 2017 indicated that Studio Zero was hiring an animator for a new PS4 game. Assumed to be Project Re Fantasy at the time, this could have also been Catherine: Full Body.
- Some of the game’s primary themes will entail that of a “journey” (which Hashino wanted to explore a while ago), the conflict between races that result from it, and “bonds.” Hashino wants to explore people’s “anxiety” in a setting that will be more relatable globally.
- Tabletop RPGs are a significant source of creative inspiration for Project Re Fantasy.
- The player character is designed to be different than the common model of the youthful, high school aged protagonist.
- Shigenori Soejima (character designer) will not be adding subversive elements to his designs this time, in order to convey the common point of familiarity that most have when it comes to fantasy (so a dragon will look like what we think a dragon looks like).
- December 19, 2016: Project Re Fantasy: A Fool’s Journey Begins is officially announced, alongside Studio Zero.
- December 23, 2016: Atlus begins large scale recruitment for Studio Zero, along with the release of a concept video.
- December 28, 2016: In a Famitsu interview, Hashino states that 2017 will be the year where full-scale production on their fantasy RPG will begin.
- December 19, 2017: The ideas and concepts for Project Re Fantasy are confirmed to have been solidified, alongside the announcement of Catherine: Full Body.
- December 22, 2017: The second concept video for Project Re Fantasy is released, with hints of the game’s setting and the type of fantasy the team wants to explore. Hashino says that there will be more news to share of the game in 2018.
- June 2018: A Project Re Fantasy character portrait is released as DLC for Etrian Odyssey Nexus.
- September 21, 2018: On a TGS 2018 live stream, Hashino states that he’ll be able to progressively give updates on Project Re Fantasy after the release of Catherine: Full Body.
- December 13, 2018: In a Holiday Greetings card, Hashino seemingly implies that Project Re Fantaasy is midway through development.
- December 19, 2018: In a Famitsu interview, Hashino states that he is aiming for a formal announcement of Project Re Fantasy in 2019.
- January 11, 2019: It is discovered that the music from the Project Re Fantasy concept videos is included in Catherine: Full Body‘s jukebox.
What I Think
Based on the small amount of information that has been released, these are my current thoughts regarding some elements of Project Re Fantasy.
Release Date & Platform
- The game will be released for the PlayStation 4 in Q3 2020 at the earliest.
The Main Character
- The game will feature a main character with at least a modicum of appearance customization options.
- The story will follow the main character from a young age to an older one, with a journey throughout years, contrasting with Persona‘s daily progression.
- The main conflict will consist of a great war between nations.
- Travelling across different locations and gathering allies of different fictional races, some of the goals will be to assuage the war and fight for a future where all races understand each other and are seen as equals.
- The game’s core progression will be “episodic” in the way Persona 3-5 are, but on a larger scale. Instead of being set in a single location, the game will take place over several vastly different ones.
- Each location will revolve around different races of characters, with the focal ones joining your party in those “chapters.” A main focus will consist of how your party, as outsiders, interact with the different races and acclimatize themselves to their different cultures and environments.
- Project Re Fantasy will have real-time action RPG mechanics, if it is not an action RPG entirely.
- The game will have a system akin to Persona‘s “Social Link” / “Confidant” one, emphasizing the bonds between characters.