Persona 3 Reload: How Atlus Reimagined a Classic RPG

Persona 3 Reload Hero Image

Over the last year, Xbox players have received something of a crash course in one of the most beloved RPG series of all time – since October of 2022, Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden, Persona 5 Royal, and most recently Persona 5 Tactica have all made their Xbox console debuts.  

In just a few weeks, the bounty continues, as Persona 3 Reload launches on Xbox consoles and PC, available to play day one with Game Pass. The original Persona 3 is one of the most beloved RPGs of all time, and for good reason: it combines a thrilling story of a struggle against the forces of darkness with managing life and relationships as a relatable high school student, setting the tone for later titles in the series. 

Persona 3 Reload is not just a simple remaster of that original game; it’s a complete overhaul that modernizes the experience with updated graphics and interface, new music, gameplay features, English voice performances, and more. We recently had a chance to speak with P3R game director Takuya Yamaguchi and producer Ryota Niitsuma, who shared their vision and process for creating Persona 3 Reload, and what Xbox fans can expect from this epic RPG. 

Why Remake Persona 3

Persona 3 is a game that has a special place in the hearts of many RPG fans, and despite receiving a couple of revisions over the years (Persona 3 FES, Persona 3 Portable) – it seems fans still want to roam the halls of Gekkoukan High. 

“We’ve done a lot of surveys with users and fans, and whenever we did a survey on what people wanted to see as a remake for the Persona series, the number one answer was always Persona 3,” P3R Producer Ryota Niitsuma told me. “After Persona 5 Royal came out, the Persona team was ready for another project and we were trying to think about what to do. We were saying, ‘Hey, a remake could be pretty good. Everybody wants to see Persona 3, so this is the right time.’ The stars have aligned.” 

Respecting the impact that the original had on players, the team wanted to preserve the core of Persona 3, while also bridging the 15 year plus gap since it released, and all of the technological advances in that timeframe.  

“When [the original Persona 3] first came out, I really thought that both then and now that this game is just incredible, something that, even though many years have passed in the interval, the colors of them haven’t faded,” shared Game Director Takuya Yamaguchi.

“I wanted to leave all of the parts that made Persona 3 what it was, all the parts that made up the core of how beautiful it was, as-is, but then try to address the things that have changed in the interim…  I wanted users to think that when they played this game. ‘I’m playing, not a remake of something old, but I’m playing something that is the newest entry to the Persona series.’” 

Persona 3 Reload Screenshot

Game Pass Means New Persona Players 

Persona 3 Reload is set to be released Day 1 with Game Pass, making it accessible to millions of Xbox fans who may not have played a Persona game before. Niitsuma said that this was a great opportunity for Atlus to expand the Persona universe to a new audience: 

“Game Pass is a really easy way for a lot of new players to get a chance to play the game and it’s a great way for Persona to find a whole new audience that it’s kind of missed before. Also, it’s a great way of getting feedback from all these new people as well; what do they feel about the game? So all in all, we’re really positive about the Game Pass experience so far.” 

Yamaguchi also expressed his gratitude and excitement for the Xbox fans who have shown their love and support for Persona, and encouraged them to try out Persona 3 Reload on Game Pass: 

“Since Persona came out on Xbox, there have been lots of lovely responses from fans all around the world, and I’m really, really happy that people are able to enjoy Persona on Xbox. Also, just so you remember, Persona’s on Game Pass, and I hope that everybody  jumps on Persona and plays it like crazy from day one.” 

An Incredible Year for RPG Fans on Xbox 

While role playing fans may still be enjoying epic quests such as Baldur’s Gate 3 and Persona 5 Tactica, many more RPGs have been announced as coming to Xbox in the near future, including Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth (January 26), Unicorn Overlord (March 8), Dragon’s Dogma 2 (March 22), and Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes (April 23). While I had a few extra minutes with the leads of one of the most anticipated RPGs of the year, I inquired why they think we’re seeing such an explosion of top shelf RPG experiences as of late.  

Niitsuma credited the RPG boom to advancements in technology in hardware such as Xbox Series X: “The specs of all hardware for gaming has gone just way up in recent years and I think the RPG really is receiving the most benefit from all of these improvements and specs. The reason why is, an RPG is something where you really need to be able to express yourself in a wide variety of ways. Whether or not that’s visuals or videos or music or story, you need so much to come together to make a great RPG. And now that the specs are really, really high on all these various hardware devices, it’s a fantastic time for RPGs to really express themselves in new ways.” 

Persona 3 Reload is coming to Xbox on February 2, 2024, and is included in Game Pass for cloud, console, and PC. Don’t miss this chance to experience one of the greatest RPGs ever made, reloaded for a new generation. 

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Step into the shoes of a transfer student thrust into an unexpected fate when entering the hour "hidden" between one day and the next. Awaken an incredible power and chase the mysteries of the Dark Hour, fight for your friends, and leave a mark on their memories forever. Persona 3 Reload is a captivating reimagining of the genre-defining RPG, reborn for the modern era. Key Features: – Experience the pivotal game of the Persona series faithfully remade with cutting-edge graphics, modernized quality-of-life features, and signature stylish UI. -Fully immerse yourself in an emotional, gripping journey with new scenes, character interactions, and additional voiceover. – Choose how to meaningfully spend each day through various activities from exploring the Port Island to forging genuine bonds with beloved characters. – Build and command your optimal team to take down otherworldly Shadows and climb closer to the truth.