The thing about gaming history is that you often don’t know what’s really happening behind the scenes unless it’s being told to you after the fact. For example, if a company is struggling, you don’t know about it until it is shuttered or bought out by a bigger publisher. And when a company is riding high, you’ll hear about it because of all the projects they’re putting out thanks to the capital they now have. Atlus is an excellent example of that, as they’re booming and getting ready to release games like Persona 3 Reload. But it wasn’t always that way.
As noted by Resetera, Director Katsura Hashino, who headed up the last three mainline games, admitted that at the time of Persona 3’s original creation, Atlus was almost out the door. He was doing a radio show in Japan and revealed that he and the other development team members were told that the third entry would likely be the company’s final title.
Given that they’re still around today, that means something changed, right? Indeed, it did. Hashino realized that if this was their last go at things, they couldn’t mimic the first two games in the franchise. He instituted multiple changes that would help the game stand out more and potentially reach a new audience. Ironically, the other staff members of Atlus, including the “old guard,” weren’t on board with many of the changes he wanted to make. But Hashino fought back by noting how if they didn’t change things, the franchise would be dead, and then they wouldn’t be making anything anymore as the company would be gone.
His changes worked, and Atlus was allowed to continue. Even with the company being saved, it wasn’t until the arrival of Persona 5 and its expanded version that the series would finally get the worldwide recognition it deserved. But even with that being the case, they wouldn’t have gotten the chance to make that title had they not been open for business, further proving that Hashino’s changes and ideas were the right path to go on.
As for the remake, it will bring the third title into the modern age with better graphics, revised UI that resembles what the fifth entry did, and slightly adjusted mechanics. While many are excited for the remake to arrive, many more are hoping that Atlus will give gamers insight into the next game in the franchise sooner rather than later.