Recently, Atlus announced that the Playstation 3 version of Persona 4 Arena will be region locked. However, no explanation for that decision was given at the time. All those who have been wondering can now look into the reasoning behind Atlus’ “decree.”
A statement by Atlus PR and sales manager Aram Jabbari said, “This is NOT the beginning of a new ATLUS policy, nor do we view it as a precedent or a slippery slope. If anything, your determination and dedication to what you believe in has certainly stood in the face of that. This is an isolated case, a situation precipitated by a number of factors, some of which are simply out of our North American hands.” To answer the outcries in response to the region lock, he admits that Atlus was “completely unprepared for the force with which the community communicated their disapproval.”
Going into further explanation, Jabbari said that the North American release (July 7th) contains both the Japanese and English audio tracks. Its release date will be fairly close to that of the Japanese version (July 26th). “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.”
Yen value versus the U.S. dollar value could lead to mass importing, which in turn would “cannibalize the performance of a title in one territory to the benefit of another.” Let’s compare: The Japanese retail price of Persona 4 Arena is ¥7,329 (around $92) while it is only $59.99 in North America. Yep, a big difference.
Jabbari concluded his statement by saying, “The decision to region-lock P4 Arena was a business one, one that has very clearly affected how many perceive the project, but we ask you to please not overlook the exceptional efforts of the people behind the game and to work with us through constructive dialogue.”
What do you think? Do you agree with the decision of the region lock? What about the reasoning behind it?