After the new reveals about Atlus’ Studio Zero, and its current fantasy JRPG project code named Project Re FANTASY, the American arm of the company Atlus USA followed up with an official press release including more information, and a comment directly from Producer and Director Katsura Hashino.
The press release stresses how the new game will be a “complete departure” from the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series.
On top of that, it also clarifies that, while Soejima-sensei, Meguro-sensei and the members of P-Studio will keep working on the Persona series and develop new games within it, Hashino-san will focus entirely on the new studio. This pretty much confirms that Hashino-san will not direct the next Persona game.
“ATLUS, the developers behind the award-winning Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series, and Katsura Hashino – director of ATLUS titles including Persona 5, Catherine, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, and others – are launching a new internal studio called Studio Zero. Within the studio’s new logo is a story in and of itself: The number 0 is the “Fool” arcana for tarot cards – the void from which all other things begin – and punctuated with the imagery of a young child on a journey.
For the game itself, though not much information is available as it is in the earliest of stages of development. But a few things are apparent from the outset – it will be a complete departure from the SMT and Persona series, and a return to the roots of where the Japanese games industry began with fantasy role-playing games. However, as ATLUS has always challenged the prevailing styles of RPG design, it is at the core of Studio Zero’s mission to do this again, imbuing the traditional fantasy RPG with a distinctively ATLUS flavor. Hashino is tapped to be the game’s director, along with other legendary ATLUS names. Along on the journey will be Shigenori Soejima from the ATLUS Artwork Team, responsible for creating the character art of the denizens of this new fantasy world, and Shoji Meguro from the ATLUS Sound Team, who will breathe life and depth into the new world as music composer.
While Hashino is focusing entirely on building Studio Zero from the ground up, Soejima and Meguro will maintain their responsibilities to the Persona series. Likewise, P-Studio, the production team in charge of Persona, will continue to operate at full strength to develop new entries to fulfill demand for the series. As the startup, Studio Zero will be a driving source of innovation for all ATLUS development.”
Hashino-san’s message confirms that platforms have not been decided and we’ll have to wait a long time until we get our hands on the game. Yet he promises to deliver “something new and incredible” for all of Atlus’ fans.
“We take seriously this goal of creating a game with the care and detail expected by the people who love ATLUS games and home console games. We haven’t determined yet what platform our new game will be, and I imagine this project will take a long time until completion. But we’ll be working hard at this challenge to truly deliver something new and incredible for all our fans.”
In case you missed it, you can check out the first teaser trailer of the game (which doesn’t show any gameplay, so don’t get too excited), and a video message from the team, giving us an idea of the men and women who form the core staff behind the upcoming title.