With all the turmoil going on in Europe right now, at least there is some good news for game fans across the Atlantic: Persona 5 will be coming to the continent.
This is undoubtedly huge news for Persona fans, especially those who have considered importing Atlus' latest blockbuster to their homes after it was announced in May that NIS America would no longer publish Atlus games in Europe because of difficulties in their partnership.
In fact, importing pretty much became a foregone conclusion last month, when Persona 5 was confirmed for a February 2017 release in the United States and Europe was notably left out of the announcement.
Now, Deep Silver, publisher of Killer is Dead and Mighty No. 9, will become a hero to Persona fans across Europe, after confirming on Twitter that it will serve as the wild card in this conundrum and publish Atlus games in the region.
— Official Deep Silver (@deepsilver) July 6, 2016
This isn't the only good news, either. Due to this partnership, other major titles, such as Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, Etrian Odyssey V and 7th Dragon III Code: VFD, will also be hitting European shores.
"In entering this partnership with Deep Silver, I am truly delighted we will be able to release our titles in the European regions," said Naoto Hiraoka, CEO of Atlus U.S.A., Inc. and senior vice president of publishing, Sega of America, Inc., in a press release. "Not only does the deal span multiple titles, but Deep Silver has a strong presence in European and PAL retailers. They have a strong passion for being able to deliver physical games to our fans in those territories, which we hold in high regard."
Of course, considering just how much attention previous Persona games have gotten (mainly 3 and 4) in the past, Persona 5 is definitely the standout.
While this is indeed huge news for fans, there are two major issues that remain unclear. First off, this is an incredibly unusual move: SEGA (which now owns Atlus), is a publisher as well, so it's odd that it would rely on Deep Silver to publish these games when it could easily do so itself.
Regardless of the reasons (a wider business decision, perhaps?), SEGA Europe's move will likely be a welcome one among gamers who relied on its publishing services in the past. SEGA Europe is known for having frequent release delays and suboptimal service, which fans would certainly not want to deal with, considering the games that are on the table.
The second issue is the release date for Persona 5 and the other titles that are covered by this deal.
Yes, we know that they are coming, but the question is: when? The fact that Deep Silver announced it would publish Persona 5 early on means that it's possible European fans will be getting the game around the same time as those in the United States; however, the same can't necessarily be said about SMT IV: Apocalypse or 7th Dragon III Code: VFD.
The former is slated for a Summer 2016 release in North America, so it's unknown if Deep Silver will work fast enough to get the title ready for a similar release date. Meanwhile, the latter is coming out next week, so there is no chance of it coming out within a similar time frame (then again, back in May, SEGA explicitly stated there were currently no plans to bring the game to Europe anyway).
In the meantime, those of us in United States will have to wait until Feb. 14, 2017 for Persona 5 to arrive stateside. At least we have Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE to tide us over until then.