Why Is Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Set In Antarctica?

By Spencer . October 2, 2009 . 12:49pm

imageGood question. Many Shin Megami Tensei games, even spin-offs like Persona, are set in Japan. Core series titles Shin Megami Tensei I-III take place in Tokyo because players living there will be familiar with the area and feel connected to the story.


But, someone playing the game in London or New York, Kazuma Kaneko the game’s Producer / Creative Designer explains, won’t feel the same way. To better appeal to an international audience, Kaneko picked Antarctica as the game’s geographic location.


That’s right, Atlus is thinking about overseas (read: outside of Japan) gamers while designing Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. In fact, the location change is one of the reasons why Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey was not titled Shin Megami Tensei IV.


Really interesting to see Atlus attempting to appeal to an international market with a Shin Megami Tensei game. A few years ago the series was unknown outside of Japan. Now it’s a major JRPG franchise and Atlus is trying to broaden its fanbase further with Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey.


The game is set to come out in Japan on October 8. Atlus USA has not announced plans for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey at this time.

Read more stories about & & & & on Siliconera.

  • Ereek

    As long as the blonde woman isn’t Lucifer, I’ll be happy.

    Interesting that they’re developing for the west though. How will this change their perception on western mythos, though? They’ve practically been using Paradise Lost more than anything from Judeo Christian text.

    • QBasic

      “As long as the blonde woman isn’t Lucifer, I’ll be happy.”

      Louise Cypher.

      • Ereek

        I can see it happening already. Oh ATLUS, please don’t be so predictable that it’s true.

      • That’s almost insultingly obvious. Maybe… maybe we can hope it’s a tease. Like, the plot leads you to believe it is so, but then… it is not so.

        Low odds, but that’s how I gamble.

        • overlord_laharl

          I think there is another “blonde woman” in this game. I saw it D:

  • MisterNiwa

    Because its cool there.

    • CleruTesh

      Good one.

  • ryne11

    So from this I would assume that SMT IV will again be in Tokyo. Oh well. I always wanted one set in like the middle-east or something (though I bet there would be Muslim outcry if Muhammad and other Quran things were made demons)

    Nice to see that they are thinking about the world audience and not catering only to Japan like many Japanese developers. I wonder if the musical change was also a part of the more world wide market.

    • I think this is the real SMT IV so the next will be SMT V or better yet they shouldn’t be numbered anymore.

      • ryne11

        Shin Megami Tensei IV: Strange Journey

        The new main character sort of looks like an older version of Nocturne’s protagonist. Would be cool if they were the same person.

      • QBasic

        Hah… No.

      • jarrodand

        Agreed. Nocturne was so different itself, they probably should’ve dropped the numbering then honestly.

  • thaKingRocka

    i’d like to see the platform for a title added as a standard label at the top of each article. maybe it could follow the date or get an icon up near the flag. i often have to check the tags to find out which system a game’s on if it’s not directly stated in the article.

    • pedrron

      I second this. Even though there are tags at the bottom of the articles, I would like to know right away which system the game is for. Maybe you could add a little symbol for the system next to the symbol for country? About the game though, I like the idea of it taking it place in Antarctica. This is simply a good move by Atlus, broader appeal leads to more sales.

    • That’s a reasonable request we can handle :)

      • AllenSmithee

        Siliconera _ HOME OF ULTRO SERVICE

        Good job Spencer! Respect to you, since I was gonna chime in on this as well :D

        • CleruTesh

          Seconded. Siliconera (and those who make it happen) rock(s)!!!!!

      • thaKingRocka

        reasonable requests FTW! thanks. :)

      • CleruTesh

        So long as your taking requests, I was thinking it would be cool if Siliconera had a chat room. Hmm?

      • This has been one of my pet peeves for the longest time. But what are you gonna do for multiplatform titles?

        • We’re going to pretend one of the two versions doesn’t exist. Like, at all. It’ll never be referred to in a post and you won’t find a trace of it on the site. It’s a bit too late to pretend FFXIII is 360 exclusive but maybe with another game…?

          (Real answer: We could have more than one platform listed, couldn’t we?)

  • geosaferi

    Funny, a lot of people like these games because they take place in Japan

    • True but its time for a change they can always go back to Japan or better yet try hitting North America or the overlooked Central America.

    • Ereek

      The main series SMT may have taken place in Japan, but other than that it really has absolutely nothing to do with it. There are locations, true, but the games could have happened at any other large city in the world and nothing would be changed event-wise.

      You may mean the side series, especially Devil Summoner which fits extremely well in Japan, but this is a “semi-main series” game. That means that it has less to do with Japan and more to do with everything else.

  • ElTopo

    So excited for this game. I would have preferred a PS3 title, but I’m guessing from all the leaks we can expect Persona 5 on PS3. Thank you Atlus for being awesome.

  • vall03

    now there we have it! straight from the producer himself! Strange Journey is SMTIV! I hope people get over it, especially with the platform…

    • biwwy

      Where does it say that? The article said the game is not titled SMTIV b/c the game was not set in Japan.
      So when they make the next SMT take place in Japan, then they will call it SMTIV.

  • lostinblue

    Because if it was in Japan it would have to be called Shin Megami Tensei 4.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos