One of my favorite parts of E3 this year was seeing all the RPG announcements for the Switch. With titles like Trials of Mana, Dragon Quest, and Ni no Kuni on the horizon, the time has never been better for fans of the genre. Despite a long history of success with Nintendo, one notable absence is Atlus. With little on the horizon, now is the perfect time to put Persona on the Switch.
A Smashing idea
Before last December, I had never given any thought to the idea of Persona coming to Switch. But everything changed when the Fire Emblem nation attacked. In a surprise announcement at The Game Awards 2018, Nintendo announced that Joker was coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a DLC fighter.
This announcement raised a lot of questions among Persona fans. Why is Joker here? Was Atlus planning on bringing Persona 5 to Switch? How about other Persona games?
A Royal pain
Suspicions grew even higher when a few weeks later, Atlus teased a new Persona game. This game turned out to be Persona 5 Royal. Since then, Atlus has revealed more and more information about this enhanced edition. Unfortunately, among this information was the confirmation that Atlus has no plans of bringing it to other platforms.
Atlus isn’t leaving Switch entirely in the dust, however. Back in April, Atlus revealed Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers for Switch and PlayStation 4. Scramble is a Dynasty Warriors-like spin-off, which in itself seems rather exciting. But it’s not the Persona game Switch owners have been asking for.
A Golden opportunity
Even if Atlus doesn’t bring Persona 5 over in some form, the Switch would still make a lovely home for some of the older titles. From a technical perspective, previous Persona games were developed for systems developed at least eight years ago. Persona 4 Golden, for instance, was developed for the Vita, but its base version came out for the PlayStation 2. The Switch should be able to run these games with little to no problems.
Furthermore, many Switch owners have probably never played a Persona game. After all, the main games have always had a home on PlayStation. However, Persona 5 brought the series into the mainstream. Demand to play the franchise is higher than ever, as evidenced by the outcry over not getting Persona 5 is any indication. By passing on the Switch, Atlus is passing up the opportunity to draw in more of these new fans.
Lastly, Atlus should take steps to preserve the franchise. It needs to act, or we might lose the ability to play these titles going forward. Persona 4 Golden was only ever released on the Vita, a system now entirely discontinued. The base versions of Persona 3 and 4 are available digitally, but only on PlayStation 3, a console soon to be two generations behind the times. Releasing these titles on Switch would preserve these games for at least a little while longer.
A FEStival of disappointment
There’s never been a better time for Atlus to bring Persona to Switch. The Switch is quickly becoming an RPG machine, yet some of the most prominent modern RPGs are still absent. Persona 4 Golden could very well be the best game I’ve ever played, yet we’re running out of ways to play it. It wouldn’t be impossible to bring these games over. So why, then, is Atlus not doing it? Why tease us with Joker being playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if they weren’t going to put Persona on Switch?
Since the launch of the Switch, Atlus has done little in terms of support, except to drop the ball (though Shin Megami Tensei V is coming). I can only hope that one day, they come to their senses and make up for it.