From its origins and the nichest of niche RPGs, Persona 5 can now credibly lay claim to being a mainstream hit.
Publisher Atlus has announced that it has shipped 1.5m copies of the game worldwide. Around half a million of these were accounted for during the game’s Japanese launch in September.
How does that compare to previous Persona titles? Well, Persona 4 Golden saw around 700k units shipped around the time of its launch in late 2013, although that one’s a bit harder to measure due to the even more staggered worldwide release.
It was also confirmed this morning that Persona 5 is the UK. No.1, boasting the biggest ever launch for a game in the series over here and claiming Atlus’ first All Formats crown.
Also note the fellow niche JRPG Nier: Automata enjoyed around 1m copies shipped for its launch recently.
It’s been good news for Persona 5, then, although there has been quiet criticism in some quarters over comments made in an interview regarding the game’s lack of a playable female lead option.
"Every time the development on a new Persona game starts, this subject always comes up at the very beginning," game director Katsura Hashino told Waypoint.
"When thinking about how much work goes into accomplishing such a feat, it’s a huge amount. Honestly, to put that option into the game, we’d have to cut out other things to compensate for the workload, and every time that’s the situation we’ll basically say, ‘it’s not worth it’."
Similar excuses were controversially made by Ubisoft back in 2014 when it faced heat for skipping female options in the Assassin’s Creed: Unity multiplayer mode.
Persona 5 has also been criticised for its lack of same-sex romance options.