Persona 5 Royal is updating controversial homophobic scenes for its Western release

By Emily Gera, Monday, 17 February 2020 16:46 GMT

Persona 5 Royal publisher Atlus has confirmed it is changing a number of scenes for the game’s Western release following backlash over homophobic content.

Dialogue from a number of scenes, specifically ones which involve Persona 5’s Ryuji and two effeminate male characters, will be updated so that the men will no longer be shown in a “negative light,” Atlus communications manager Ari Advincula told IGN.

“We actually were able to go through some of the lines that players may not have received as well, look at that feedback, and then [update it] for the current generation,” Advincula said.

Dialogue from Persona 5 was widely criticised following its Western release as many considered these characters offensively stereotypical and sexually aggressive towards Ryuji, who himself is portrayed as a high school student. According to Advincula, Persona 5 Royal was a “chance to make it right.”

These characters were “portrayed [as] more like predatory,” senior project manager Yu Namba, who worked on Persona’s localization in the west, told GameSpot. “I think the community had a very strong response to that, and you saw that, and that was definitely altered for Royal.”

“As a localization manager, I really cannot do too much about what has already made it into the game,” Namba continues. “Our team members felt a little bit of awkwardness about when working on it. And with Royal, we were determined to see if we could do something about it at least localization-wise.

“On our end, it took a lot of effort consulting not just the production department, but talking with our marketing, and how they would feel about it if we changed how things were in Persona 5 to this new way–what would the public reception be, what the company would think, whether it would be okay if we do make the change.”

Persona 5 royal releases in the West on March 31. Take a look at our preview for the game right here.

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