Atlus announces new RPG, development studio helmed by Persona 5 director

As was teased several days ago, Atlus had a big announcement about an upcoming, entirely new RPG series, but it’s not exactly what we were expecting.

Today, they announced that they’re creating a new internal development studio called Studio Zero, which will be led by Katsura Hashino, the director of Persona 5, Catherine and Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, to name a few.

They’ve also launched the official website for its new game, which is tentatively known as Project Re Fantasy, here. The official site lists the main staff working on the game, in addition to some concept art and the above video. Atlus said that Project Re Fantasy will “be a complete departure from the SMT and Persona series, and a return to the roots of where the Japanese games industry began with fantasy role-playing games.”

“We take seriously this goal of creating a game with the care and detail expected by the people who love ATLUS games and home console games,” Hashino said. “We haven’t determined yet what platform our new game will be, and I imagine this project will take a long time until completion. But we’ll be working hard at this challenge to truly deliver something new and incredible for all our fans.” 

Atlus also said that artist Shigenori Soejima and composer Shoji Meguro will lend their talents on the new RPG while also maintaining “their responsibilities to the Persona series.”

See the full press release below:

IRVINE, Calif. — Dec. 23, 2016 — ATLUS, the developers behind the award-winning Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series, and Katsura Hashino – director of ATLUS titles including Persona 5, Catherine, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, and others – are launching a new internal studio called Studio Zero. Within the studio’s new logo is a story in and of itself: The number 0 is the “Fool” arcana for tarot cards – the void from which all other things begin – and punctuated with the imagery of a young child on a journey.
 
For the game itself, though not much information is available as it is in the earliest of stages of development. But a few things are apparent from the outset – it will be a complete departure from the SMT and Persona series, and a return to the roots of where the Japanese games industry began with fantasy role-playing games. However, as ATLUS has always challenged the prevailing styles of RPG design, it is at the core of Studio Zero’s mission to do this again, imbuing the traditional fantasy RPG with a distinctively ATLUS flavor. Hashino is tapped to be the game’s director, along with other legendary ATLUS names. Along on the journey will be Shigenori Soejima from the ATLUS Artwork Team, responsible for creating the character art of the denizens of this new fantasy world, and Shoji Meguro from the ATLUS Sound Team, who will breathe life and depth into the new world as music composer.
 
“We take seriously this goal of creating a game with the care and detail expected by the people who love ATLUS games and home console games,” said Hashino. “We haven’t determined yet what platform our new game will be, and I imagine this project will take a long time until completion. But we’ll be working hard at this challenge to truly deliver something new and incredible for all our fans.”  
 
While Hashino is focusing entirely on building Studio Zero from the ground up, Soejima and Meguro will maintain their responsibilities to the Persona series. Likewise, P-Studio, the production team in charge of Persona, will continue to operate at full strength to develop new entries to fulfill demand for the series. As the startup, Studio Zero will be a driving source of innovation for all ATLUS development. Keep an eye out on the official website, rpg.jp for additional updates. 

About Chris Powell

Chris is the editor-in-chief at SEGA Nerds. Over the years, he's written for publications like Joystiq, PSP Fanboy, RETRO magazine, among others. Oh yeah, he's also been a diehard SEGA Nerd his entire life.

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