Not Persona!

Everything we know about Project Re Fantasy

Persona meets high fantasy.

Persona is a revelatory franchise. Within the last decade, the Japan-made Persona franchise has grown immensely more popular in the west. Much of the series' success can be attributed to Katsura Hoshino, Shigenori Soejima, Yuichiro Tanaka, and Shoji Meguro. The quartet has been the backbone of every main Persona entry since 2006's Persona 3.

Following the Japanese release of Persona 5, the quartet founded a new studio within Atlus called Studio Zero, and they've been focused on bringing a new high fantasy IP to life.

Their first game, Project Re Fantasy, has been in development since 2016. Here's everything we know so far.

When is the Project Re Fantasy release date?

A firm release date for Project Re Fantasy has yet to be announced. In December 2020, Hoshino said in an interview that development on the game has "reached its climax." In the context of previous Atlus games like Etrian Odyssey V, Persona 3 Dancing, and Persona 5 Dancing, development reaching its climax usually means that the game only has around six months left before being released.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Persona franchise, it's possible that Project Re Fantasy will be released as a celebration of the series, given how many figures that are crucial to the franchise are overseeing it.

If Atlus does release Project Re Fantasy this year, we'll likely receive more information by late-February or early March, granting the North American release of Persona 5 Strikers some time to breathe.

Is there a trailer for Project Re Fantasy?

Yes! Kinda? There's a development trailer that leans closer to a behind-the-scenes video, but it does provide insight into Project Re Fantasy.

In the trailer, we get an idea of Project Re Fantasy's world. It seems that the populace is divided into tribes and a few of those tribes are currently at war. There are also kings and monarchs, but the world has begun to rebel against those high-status roles.

After the short introduction, the trailer takes us through a few classes. Classic high fantasy roles like Cleric, Mage, Knight, Warrior, Thief, and Lord are shown to be present in this world. It's unknown if these roles will be playable or if they're stand-ins for Project Re Fantasy's eventual cast.

The trailer shifts to describe a dream-like utopia where there's no magic, no war, and no divisions between people. The trailer uses a modern metropolis to depict this utopia.

Perhaps the game shows how we reached that utopia and the conflict that needed to be had for war to conclude?

Is there gameplay for Project Re Fantasy?

No, not yet. There's no hint at how gameplay in Project Re Fantasy will operate. Maybe it'll be turn-based like Persona or a puzzle game like Catherine. It could also be neither of those things.

What is the Project Re Fantasy story?

From the limited information we have, it seems that there's a way going on and you're going to try to stop it. Along the way, you'll fight dragons and other high fantasy creatures.

In an interview with IGN, Hoshino expressed a desire to showcase raw human emotion in his work, perhaps by joining multiple characters from warring factions in a single group?

In the same interview, Hoshino expresses avoiding traditional fantasy tropes like those found in Lord of the Ring and Dungeons & Dragons. Perhaps it'll have more modern sensibilities, closer to Persona 5?

Concept art from Project Re FantasyStudio Zero

How will Project Re Fantasy affect Persona 6?

We're not sure how it'll affect the Persona franchise yet.

In October 2018, Atlus company reps told Japanese gaming outlet Dengeki PlayStation, “We are working on mid- to long-term plan, including new numbered entries so that fans can continue to enjoy the Persona series.”

It's possible that new Persona games are currently being developed without involvement from the Studio Zero veterans. Alternatively, Lab Zero could helm new Persona games in addition to the Project Re Fantasy IP. Studio Zero previously helped develop Catherine: Full Body, which included a new character named Rin.

What platforms will Project Re Fantasy be available on?

This is a tough question. Project Re Fantasy was first announced as a PS4 game in 2016. With PS4 on it's way out, perhaps the game will become a PS5 exclusive? Or maybe it'll go multi-platform, adding Steam and Nintendo Switch to the mix as well? Sega previously announced an internal mandate to bring more games to Steam, following the success of Persona 4 Golden. We can see the results of this in action with the upcoming Steam release of Persona 5 Strikers.

Project Re Fantasy is currently in development.

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