HomeVideo GamesThe Many Publishers/Distributors of the Persona Series in Australia

The Many Publishers/Distributors of the Persona Series in Australia

-

When it comes to the Persona line of Megami Tensei games, it has been pretty easy to guarantee a publisher in North America considering that for many years now, ATLUS have operated a US-based division of their company since the PS1 era. But while there may have been a single company behind the localization of the game, down here in Australia publishing has been a bit more volatile – with one publisher currently not having much to do with more than one or two installments in the franchise.

Last week saw ATLUS in Japan announce four brand new Persona titles for release in Japan during 2014 – Persona 5, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Persona 4: Dancing All Night and Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold. Therefore for something a bit different, I have decided to go through and share just how many company’s have been behind bringing the series to Australia – and leave you wondering just who might be involved in publishing the series during 2014 onwards.

Revelations: Revelations / Persona 2: Eternal Punishment

While all regions outside of Japan never received Persona 2: Innocent Sin, reportedly due to references made to Hitler and a scene involving homosexuality, both Persona: Revelations and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment were purchasable in North America thanks to ATLUS USA.

Unfortunately while I assume these titles were importable, I have not found any record of either title being officially licensed for Australia – meaning that the first time the Persona series ever game to the general gaming public’s attention was through…

Persona 3 / Persona 3 FES

A teenager who was orphaned as a young boy returns to the city of his childhood. Shortly after transferring to Gekkoukan High School, he is attacked by Shadows–creatures that feed on the minds of their victims. The assault awakens his Persona, Orpheus, his only chance of defeating these creatures of the night. He soon discovers that he shares this special ability with other students at his new school. From them he learns of the Dark Hour, a hidden time that exists between one day and the next, swarming with Shadows. He joins the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES), and with his new friends, confronts this evil threat…

While the Persona series was non-existent during the PS1 era over here in Australia, this changed in the advent of the Playstation 2 era of games where both Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES were distributed by THQ Asia Pacific in collaboration with Koei during 2008. Unfortunately despite the popularity of both titles at the time, they didn’t seem to remain on store shelves for very long – resulting in them being hard to come by as anything other than pre-owned copies.

Persona 4

A mysterious chain of deaths remains unanswered and only you and your team of gifted supernatural sleuths can uncover the truth. Will you thwart this hidden evil before it is too late? 

Shortly after an urban youth begins a year-long stay in the countryside town of Inaba, the rural town’s peace is shattered by a horrific murder that leaves no clues or suspects. As the lone incident develops into a series of bizarre crimes, he discovers that only he and his friends have the power to solve the baffling case, bring those responsible to justice, and restore harmony to his new home.

Given the short period of time between the release of Persona 3 and Persona 4, you may have expected the title to be also distributed by THQ Asia Pacific. Surprisingly this was not the case, with Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed / Rayman) taking the reins of distributing the game in Australia. As with earlier PS2 Persona titles, it really seemed to only have a limited release and soon became hard to find on store shelves.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

Dark, philosophical, and complex, Persona sets you up in a modern day Japan that has gone into chaos. Demons run free, and you and your team must navigate corruption, mental frailty, and an alternate version of your world to bring your reality back into order. 

Offering a second opportunity to experience the beginnings of the acclaimed Persona series, this remake boasts a fully relocalized script, revamped user interface, faster battles, expanded soundtrack, and new in-game movies with voice work added just for the North American release. 

The inner selves known Personas are your key to progressing through the adventure, adding skills and incredible depth to your battle tactics. Expand and improve your collection through the Demon Negotiation system that offers spell cards that you can later fuse into new Personas.

While never receiving a physical release in Australia, the Playstation Portable remake of Persona Revelations was made available in Australia through the Playstation Network. For the first, and currently only time this title was distributed directly by ATLUS USA themselves, and initially drew attention to itself when a misprint on its classification notification indicated that it may have been for Persona 5.

Persona 3 Portable / Persona 2: Innocent Sin

A teenager who was orphaned as a young boy returns to the city of his childhood. Shortly after transferring to Gekkoukan High School, he is attacked by Shadows–creatures that feed on the minds of their victims. The assault awakens his Persona, Orpheus, his only chance of defeating these creatures of the night. He soon discovers that he shares this special ability with other students at his new school. From them he learns of the Dark Hour, a hidden time that exists between one day and the next, swarming with Shadows. He joins the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES), and with his new friends, confronts this evil threat…

—————————————–

The story takes place in Sumaru City, Japan, population 1,280,000. Its protagonist attends Seven Sisters High School (“Sevens” for short), whose emblem is considered a status symbol even amongst students from other schools. Soon, though, a rumor that Sevens’ emblem was actually cursed, and that wearing it would disfigure one’s face, had spread around the city. 

The next two Playstation Portable releases in the Persona franchise were also unavailable at retailers in Australia, instead only being available via the Ghostlight online store or through digital download on the Playstation Store. Unfortunately unlike North America, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has never been classified for Australia and is therefore unavailable as a PS1 Classics purchase.

Persona 4 Golden

In the past year or so, Nippon Ichi Software America have begun being more chummy with ATLUS USA, the company who first brought Disgaea: Hour of Darkness to the international gaming market with critical acclaim. As they have done with titles like Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers and Etrian Odyssey IV, NIS America also brought Persona 4 Golden to PAL regions and enlisted Namco Bandai Games Australia (Formerly known as Namco Bandai Partners Australia) to serve as the ANZ region publisher.

To date this relationship has been going well between all three company’s, and without any delay being present between PAL and ANZ release dates, hopefully this partnership continues for many years to come.

Persona 4 Arena

You may have expected that with the above comment, it was Namco Bandai Games Australia that published Persona 4 Arena in Australia and New Zealand right? However as the rights to the game in PAL regions went to Zen United, they chose to work with All Interactive Entertainment. This is not a major surprise however, given the publisher’s prior handling of Blazblue titles.

Despite being published in North America during August 2012 on both the Playstation 3 and Xbox360, it was approximately nine months later that Persona 4 Arena finally made its way to PAL regions citing a variety of reasons. This delay was not assisted by ATLUS’ decision to region lock the PS3 edition in return for being able to include dual-audio in the release.

Therefore….

Therefore unless I have missed one of the earlier releases that may have received a limited release in Australia – between eight installments in the series, Australia has seen a grand total of six different distributors – Ubisoft, ATLUS USA, Namco Bandai Games Australia / NIS America and All Interactive Entertainment holding one each while THQ Asia Pacific and Ghostlight hold two apiece.

This is in addition to Madman Entertainment holding the rights to Persona 4 the Animation which only a couple of months ago saw its third and final dual-language blu-ray release in the region.

Information provided in this article were acquired from a number of sources including the Australian Classifications Database, tweets, press releases and game manuals.

Sam
Sam
Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fifteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.
Advertisment

Recent Posts