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P4: Arena fighter concept "an interesting change of direction", says Zen

The switch-up of Persona 4 from RPG to fighter with Persona 4: Arena is one that is "interesting" for even publisher Zen United, its told VG247, but has promised it will hold up to fans of both genres.

Zen and Atlus announced the European release of the fighter last Friday in a press release, but made a public announcement about it at the MCM London Expo at the ExCel Centre on Saturday at the GameSpot stage.

For Zen United director Geraint Evans, the announcement can be considered a "terrific" success.

"We've had an unbelievable amount of requests for us, specifically, to bring this over - which is very flattering, we're hugely appreciative of everyone's support, and the response to the announcement has been terrific," Evans told VG247 in the aftermath of Saturday's MCM announce.

"The hardest thing is always the waiting - you know so many people are looking to you to release, but you have to hold off announcing until the time is right.

"MCM seemed like the best place as we know so many of our closest fans enjoy coming here. The next step for us now is to get the community playing and we're hoping to be able to do that in the immediate future."

Evans added the swap from the RPG genre to the fighter genre shouldn't worry fans of the series or of either genre.

"It's an interesting change of direction, and the collaboration between Arc System Works and Atlus is really very exciting," he said.

"Atlus wanted to broaden Persona's audience - to reach beyond its traditional RPG fanbase, and working with one of the best studios for 2D HD artwork and hugely respected in its genre, feels like the perfect union to achieve this.

"How will it hold up? I think Persona's characters are a massive, massive strength, you've got memorable personalities that fans already know and love, as well as their distinctive Persona.

"I think this lends itself superbly to a fighting game. When you finally play it, you'll find that this dual-character style works brilliantly as it opens up some innovative elements to the genre. There are systems in Persona Arena that you simply won't see anywhere else. it's positively brimming with imagination.

"As a fighting game, it really is superb. Speaking objectively, as a fighting game player, it's undoubtedly up there with the very best the genre has to offer."

Persona 4: Arena launches later this year for PS3 and 360.

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