Persona 5 Royal's Western Release Changes Gay Characters' Depiction

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

In an interview with GameSpot's Michael Higham, Sega and Atlus senior project manager and localization expert Yu Namba announced that the English-language release of Persona 5 Royal will include a dialogue change between Ryūji and two gay NPCs.

In the original release of Persona 5, character Ryuji Sakamoto and the main character encounter two gay men in Shinjuku. One is named "Scruffy Romantic" and he evaluates Ryuji's appearance as "85 out of 100." His cohort is "Beefy Trendsetter" who tells Ryuji he is the "the naughty troll of Shinjuku" and plans to "eat him up." Ryuji becomes distressed and asks the player for help. The two NPCs continue to flirt with Ryuji despite his objections. If the player chooses not to help Ryuji, he yells while apparently being taken away by the two men to "party."

Namba stated in the interview that the localization team felt awkward about the scene and decided to see if they could do something about it for the release of Persona 5 Royal. Namba described the characters' original depiction as "more like predatory" and the change in Royal reframes the situation so the NPC characters are "very strong enthusiasts for something they are doing."

Namba explained that the change was no easy feat.

"On our end, it took a lot of effort consulting not just the production department, but talking with our marketing, and how they would feel about it if we changed how things were in Persona 5 to this new way--what would the public reception be, what the company would think, whether it would be okay if we do make the change," Namba said. "Ultimately for Royal, we did go with it and I think we're pretty happy with what it is. It's not a significant change, but I think there's enough of a change that people who weren't comfortable going through that part in Persona 5 would feel better this time around."

The Persona 5 Royal (Persona 5 The Royal in Japan) PlayStation 4 role-playing game launched in Japan on October 31. The game will launch in the West on March 31. The PlayStation Stores in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia are listing the English/Chinese version of Persona 5 Royal with a February 20 release date in Asia.

The game will include all DLC from the original Persona 5 game. The Launch Edition of the game will include a Steelbook case and a PS4 theme. The game will also have a Phantom Thieves Edition, which will include a Joker mask with stand, collector's box, art book, soundtrack, Steelbook, and PS4 theme. New DLC bundles will include a Kasumi costume bundle, battle bundle, and Persona bundle.

The game features the new character Kasumi Yoshizawa (voiced by Sora Amamiya in Japanese) and the new confidant character Takuto Maruki (voiced by Satoshi Hino in Japanese). Additionally, the game reveals the untold third school semester and has new school life and phantom life content. New features also include Status Assist, more songs, and enhanced graphics with PlayStation 4 Pro support. The game will feature subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish — a first for the Persona game franchise.

Source: GameSpot (Michael Higham)

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