ATLUS has released a statement regarding its decision to region-lock Persona 4 Arena being region-locked, promising it’s not the start of a “slippery slope, [or] the beginning of a dangerous and unnecessary precedent.”
In the lengthy statement, the firm said it was “completely unprepared for the force with which the community communicated their disapproval,” of the move but tried to reassure fans region-locking is not the beginning of a new ATLUS policy.
“This is an isolated case, a situation precipitated by a number of factors, some of which are simply out of our North American hands. Moreover, and perhaps there is no way to convince our fans of this considering the magnitude of the betrayal many are feeling, but we are not doing this out of malice or a desire to control,” reads the statement.
“Persona 4 Arena achieves a number of triumphs for our North American publishing house. For years, our fans have asked us to include dual language audio in our games. Finally, with P4 Arena, we were able to deliver on that desire and include the exact same content as the Japanese release for our North American fans. Moreover, our North American community is often forced to wait months for a localized release (a plight our friends across the Atlantic can relate to). Again, with P4 Arena, we’re able to release within two weeks of Japan. We pushed hard for these things. We know our fans want them–well really, EXPECT them–and we did our best to get as much for our release as possible.
“The unforeseen consequence in all of this was that we had a version of our biggest game of the year releasing within a couple weeks in two territories, both identical in content, but at radically different price points. Importing, as great as it is for gamers who otherwise can’t get access to a title, can also cannibalize the performance of a title in one territory to the benefit of another.
“While we’re all one big ATLUS family, the reality is that the dramatic difference between the Yen and the Dollar makes for a dramatic difference in price. So the decision was made, perhaps at the expense of some of our fans, clearly at the frustration of many, to region-lock Persona 4 Arena.”
The firm concluded its explanation by stating the choice to region-lock P4 Arena “was a business one, one that has very clearly affected how many perceive the project,” and reaffirmed the online multiplayer will be global, and not affected by the region-lock.
Persona 4 Arena hits Japan on July 26 and the US on August 7. Reports indicate it may arrive in Europe on August 31.