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Persona 4 Arena Director Discusses Home Conversion

PS3 and Xbox 360 version to have more volume than BlazBlue.

 

Persona 4 Arena is out in arcades as of the first of this month. So what's next for the development staff? 4Gamer got some answers from Kazuhisa Wada, director on the Atlus/Index side of the game's development.

Here are some key points from the interview:

On the project's origins

One of the reasons Arena exists is because Atlus felt that in order to expose the Persona 4 brand to new users, they would need to do things other than RPGs. They felt that it would be interesting to make Persona into a fighting game, which lead to the start of the project.

It just so happened that Wada, character designer Soejima and producer Hashino are all big fighting game fans. There was a time when they'd spend their lunch breaks playing fighting games.

Atlus first approached developer Arc System Works with the idea for the project about two years back, just before the Persona Music Live concert (held in August 2008 at Akasaka Blitz). 4Gamer's interviewer recalled having seen Arc's Toshimichi Mori at the event. This wasn't a coincidence. Wada had invited Mori to the event in the hopes of having him better know the Persona franchise, and to also ask that the BlazBlue team develop Persona 4 Arena.

On the game's development

P4 Arena is a joint project between Atlus and Arc. Atlus handled the character design, background music, world view, and scenario. Arc handled all the fighting areas.

Wada had great praise for Arc's development methods. While the game has 2D visuals, during development they created 3D models for the characters. These were used to make adjustments. The 2D visuals were placed on top of the final results.

On character selection

Asked how they went about selecting characters for the game, Wada said that they did investigations from a variety of views. Story is an important part of the game, so they wanted to makes sure that characters they added would not seem out of place with the story. They also used popularity as a determining factor.

Regarding the story, Wada reminded that even though the game mixes Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters, it does not take place in a parallel world. It's canon. Persona 4 takes place two years after Persona 3, so the Persona 3 characters appear two years older.

On future additions and the home version

Wada teased that there could be more characters through time release, but he would not share details.

4Gamer asked if Labyrs, who appears as a boss-like character, will become playable at some point. Wada replied that we'll have to wait and see.

BlazBlue is known for having a lot of content added to its home versions. With Persona 4 Arena's home conversion, Wada said that we can look forward volume at or beyond the level of BlazBlue.

New characters could be on the way for the home version. Wada said that they're considering adding new characters, but now's not the time when he can share details.

Wada also said to expect modes that even non fighting game fans can enjoy.

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