Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more iconic Japanese games series find great success on PC. Series like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter and more have been huge successes on PC, selling to a large international audience of players who love these types of games. Of all the big Japanese game series with a strong potential to resonate with players on PC, by my judgment Atlus’s Persona series is the biggest one remaining. Perhaps not for long though, as signs are pointing to a release of Persona 4 on PC, and we’re not going to have to wait long to find out for sure.
The Persona games are actually a spin-off from the Shin Megami Tensei series, and they blend religious themes and visual concepts with high school drama inspired anime vibes, in a classic Japanese RPG setup. They’ve got a passionate and sizable fan base, but for whatever reason, the mainline Persona games have only ever been released for Playstation systems. It’s been speculated that Sony has some kind of exclusivity contract in place with Atlus, which would make a lot of sense to me given how long we’ve gone without a Persona game on PC. These games would no doubt be extremely popular with the PC audience, with the creatively designed demonic enemies, the dating sim elements, and overall polished and stylish aesthetic.
We've got some exciting news to share at the PC Gaming Show, this Saturday, June 13th!
— Official ATLUS West (@Atlus_West) June 8, 2020
Whatever the backroom shady deals have been in the past, it looks like finally Atlus is ready to start releasing more of their games on PC. Back on Monday, they tweeted that they had just launched a creator page on Steam. Currently, it’s only got Catherine listed on there, which was the first Atlus developed title to get a release on Steam, but they teased that they’ll be revealing some new information at the PC Gaming Show, which broadcasts on June 13th. This show is usually a part of the E3 lineup, but it is going ahead even with E3’s cancelation this year.
Atlus has a bunch of different games that could have feasibly been a viable target for a PC port, but one of the Persona games would likely generate the most excitement. The first two games are a little long in the tooth now, and would probably need quite a bit of work to get polished up for a rerelease, I think Persona 3 onwards would be fine released pretty much as they are. Atlus’s announcement that they would have another game coming out on PC inspired lots of speculation, but Atlus appears to have accidentally let the cat out of the bag ahead of their planned June 13th reveal.
The first hint of what the news might be is that some information was found over on SteamDB, a website that scrapes and archives all kinds of information from Steam. They craftily spotted that for a brief while Atlus had uploaded assets connected to Persona 4: Golden onto the Steam content delivery network backend. These include a logo and promotional artwork. These assets did get deleted from Steam, but not before SteamDB had copies of them saved. This isn’t 100% watertight confirmation that the game would be coming to Steam, since there have been times when other games companies have uploaded assets to Steam for projects that never actually materialized, but the circumstantial evidence is mounting.
The second blow was a bit more concrete, as the official customer support page for the Denuovo DRM service was updated to include support information for the PC release of Persona 4: Golden. They have a manual function for performing authentication on your game install, and the page for doing this got uploaded inadvertently. The page has since been deleted, but not before it was backed up on archive.org. There’s certainly a level of delicious irony to a company hired to protect the security of a game, instead leaking it’s existence prior to the official announcement. Maybe publishers and developers should reconsider including this kind of DRM in their games.
With the combination of the initial tease from Atlus that they’re going to be bringing some games over to PC, the files found on the Steam backend, and this inadvertently blurted out disclosure from the DRM provider, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that at least Persona 4: Golden is coming to PC shortly. Perhaps this is the only game that Atlus are bringing over for now, or perhaps they’ll be announcing more than one title, but assuming they do a decent job of the technical aspects of porting a game originally released for the PS2 over to modern PC systems, I expect Persona 4: Golden to make a huge splash on Steam if and when it does release. Keep an eye out for the PC Gaming Show on June 13th if you want to hear the official confirmation as it happens.