Persona 4: Arena Is Region Locked, But The Online Servers Are Global

By Spencer . July 5, 2012 . 4:34pm

imageAtlus USA mentioned on their forums that Persona 4: Arena will be region locked for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. While many Xbox 360 games (usually those from Japan) are region locked, PS3 titles are almost always region free.

 

Persona 4: Arena will have a near simultaneous launch in North America and Japan with just a week between regions. Japan gets the game on July 26 and it’s slated for August 7 in North America. Zen United will release Persona 4: Arena in Europe sometime in 2012.

 

Even though the game is region locked, you’ll be able to fight against pals in PAL territories or challenge players in the Land of the Rising Sun. A representative from Atlus USA confirmed to Siliconera that the servers are global so US players won’t be on a separate server like Demon’s Souls.


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  • http://twitter.com/TenshiHoshino Stephen Thompson

    Seemed that was to be expected. Glad it will be getting a release date over here though in North America. Hope Europe won’t be left in the dust too long.

    • Code

      Yeah there was no-way P4A wasn’t going to get NA/EU release; but at the sametime the regional locking on PS3, was rather unexpected o3o; 

      • http://twitter.com/TenshiHoshino Stephen Thompson

         Yeah sorry guys. I got the wrong idea, yes region-locking was unexpected.

    • MickyT

       It was to be expected? How so? Its literally the first PS3 game ever to be region locked and the story only “broke” because someone happened to ask on their forum. To be honest I dont see how it could be more unexpected.

      • http://twitter.com/TenshiHoshino Stephen Thompson

        I think worded this completely wrong. I should’ve said: In light of Atlus’s fear of import ruining sales, it was expected they’d make a region lock to boost sales in regions. Well live and learn.

  • Code

    Yeah it’d have been REALLY rotten if the servers were separated, it’d also be one of the first fighters this gen to do that >___3<;

    • PoweredByHentai

      I don’t know what the sales of Catherine are in the EU but they probably looked at that data before coming to the decision to do this.

      • http://twitter.com/RyougaSaotome Elliot Gay

        Ignore this. Accidental post.

      • DawnWolf

        Based on VGChartz, Catherine US sold 185K, Catherine EU sold 40K. To break it down further, the only other main English country in the EU (The UK) bought 8K units. Seems like the game was imported a crap ton to me.

        • cj_iwakura

          Slap some numbers on a board and start throwing darts. Congratulations, you can post sales data at VGChartz.

  • Jirin

    I thought PS3 was always region free.  And I thought Atlus was cooler than this.

    Why on Earth would anyone ever region lock a game?  Don’t they profit the same whether you import it or buy it locally?  Why would any company decide to micromanage the way their fans get to enjoy their product?

    • malek86

      “Why on Earth would anyone ever region lock a game?  Don’t they profit the same whether you import it or buy it locally?”

      The american company would profit, but the european company would lose a sale if the european player imports the game.

      I get the feeling this region lock was requested by Zen United more than Atlus (although it certainly was a joint decision), because releasing the game late in Europe could have ended up with many people importing it from the USA.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        While that IS a possibility, another one is that Atlus was afraid of reverse-importing. Fighting games tend to be one of the most import-friendly games due to their relatively straightforward gameplay. Not to mention the fact that the Japanese and NA releases of this game are preety close together and that P4:A also features a dual voice track. 

        Considering the high prices in Japan and the current state of the yen, it’s possible that Atlus was afraid many of their Japanese customers would opt to reverse-import the NA version if the game was kept region free.

  • http://twitter.com/RyougaSaotome Elliot Gay

    Sets a dangerous precedent. I’ll leave it at that.

  • malek86

    Uh. I really didn’t think the first region locked game on the PS3 would come from Atlus of all companies.

    I guess they are afraid of importers, but if Zen United really wants to release the game relatively soon (I’ve heard September), it seems a little unnecessary. Then again, since it doesn’t cost them money, I guess they have no reason not to do it either… except for their reputation among hardcore fans.

  • http://papped.webatu.com papped

    Not terribly worried about this particular title being region locked since the release date is soon for NA anyways…

  • http://ggftw.com/forum/ Monkey_T

    This is total BS.
    I live in the US and I have a European PS3. This being region-locked means I can’t go out to the local GameStop to buy a copy, and instead I have to pay extra friggin’ money to import one from friggin’ Europe.

    ****. I really wanted this game too. REALLY wanted it.
    What is even the point of region-locking this thing anyways?

    • raitouniverse

      It’s been said a few times here, but I’ll just reiterate. Euro didn’t want to lose sales due to importation. You can say it’s their fault for delaying the release in other territories despite the fact that it’s coming to NA/JP around the same time. Your situation really sucks though, sorry brah’

      • MickyT

         It might have been said a few times but that doesnt make it true. The official announcement from Atlus, which can be seen here – http://www.egmnow.com/articles/news/persona-4-arena-to-be-first-ever-region-locked-ps3-release/ states thats its locked for all regions i.e. NA, EU and JPN. Theres no way Zen United are responsible for the JPN region lock (and its ludicrous to think they are responsible for the NA ones – they couldnt manage to get Aksys – a smaller company – to region lock stuff no way they got Atlus to). Atlus US are entirely responsible for it (possibly at the urging of Atlus JPN), its certainly not Zen United

        • raitouniverse

          Fair enough, while it’s not a fact, the reasoning makes more sense than anything else, because there is no other reasonable reason for this to happen. If they choose to not give us the details, then we’ll just speculate like this.

          • MickyT

             It doesnt make any sense to blame Zen, if youre going down that route surely it makes more sense to blame Atlus JPN as the strong Yen and weak dollar makes “reverse importing” (or what normal people call exporting) to Japan much more lucrative than importing to the EU from the US (which isnt any or much cheaper). Japanese anime comapnies have also started trying to curtail US BD releases to avoid this.

          • raitouniverse

            I’m well aware of reverse importation with Japan. And I was already blaming Japan. It could be either one of these two, but seeing as an English release benefits English speaking territories more than Japanese (regardless of dual-audio), I’m more inclined to place more of the blame on the English speaking territories.

          • MickyT

             “I’m well aware of reverse importation with Japan. And I was already
            blaming Japan. It could be either one of these two, but seeing as an
            English release benefits English speaking territories more than Japanese
            (regardless of dual-audio), I’m more inclined to place more of the
            blame on the English speaking territories.”

            The US version doesnt just have dual audio, it has dual text as well i.e. its functionally identical to the Japanese version. The idea that a tiny publisher like Zen United could force Atlus US to make a wildly unpopular decision such as region locking a PS3 game is frankly ludicrous. Atlus has been quite happy to not release their games in the EU in the past, theres no way theyd let Zen dicatate terms for this particular game. If people insist that it isnt Atlus US behind it the only reasonable alternative is Atlus JPN

          • raitouniverse

            Wait, it has dual text? First I heard of that, okay, it’s totally Japan’s fault now.

          • MickyT

            Yeah it was mentioned over in the thread on Neogaf that it had dual text

          • http://eonhack.blogspot.com theclaw

             I thought Atlus literally does not exist in EU. That they have no office and conduct no official business for the territory?

        • HilariousNPC

          “Atlus US are entirely responsible for it”

          So, the region selling the absolute cheapest version, the one who would be theoretically getting the sales from the other 2 regions is the one you think is entirely responsible for locking the game out, thereby denying itself all the sales from those other regions?

          Would love to see how you came to that conclusion.

          • MickyT

             Atlus US are the ones publishing the game, theyre the only ones who can actually enact a region lock on it. While external factors may influence them they are ultimately responsible for the manner in which they publish their games. But feel free to ignore this if you prefer tinfoil hat theories about niche EU publishers controlling them.

          • HilariousNPC

            Because Europe’s the only side the equation here. I’m not saying it’s Europe. I’m just saying it’s definitely NOT the US.

            Your logic is akin to calling every poisoning a suicide because the victim ultimately had the final say over whether or not to put the poison in their own body.

            I don’t know who’s responsible, but I would bet my entire internet life savings that it’s not the US side. If it was their call to region lock the game, why don’t they region lock every game? If they have a pattern of not locking, and they’re ALSO the side the benefits from every possible side effect of not locking the game, wouldn’t any sensible person assume that they didn’t choose to do so?

            Think about it.

          • cj_iwakura

            The JP release has that as well. Atlus USA is OWNED by Index Corporation, a Japanese company. Do you think they can just tell them no?

          • HilariousNPC

            CJ: Yeah, I know, that first line of mine was supposed to sarcasm, because apparently, MickyT felt that if I didn’t believe Atlus USA was the perpetrator, I was part of a tinfoil hat brigade.

  • CirnoLakes

    Not too happy, either.

    Atlus should at least give Japanese voices to Westerners and such to compensate.

    • Anime10121

      Unless Im mistaken, this game is already confirmed to be dual audio (although I’ll never understand why its such a big deal).

      • jello44

        BECUZ GAEMS ARE BETTER IN TEH GLORIOUS NIPPON LANGUAGE!!111

        DUBS R TEH SUX 

        • revenent hell

          Not unless you want to listen to them and understand what the charecters are saying at the same time,everyone who buys a Persona game dosent speak Japanese and sometimes its nice to you know and understand what the charecters are saying if you dont want to read subtittles threw out the game.

          • Tien Ron

            i think atlus did right by doing dual audio it’s a nice addition but i don’t think they should start to always do it 
            i speak English so English is fine. 
            Japanese is nice to hear i admit.
            but region locking this is not hard because we aren’t missing anything the Japanese are getting it’s still dual audio and worldwide play.

        • Testsubject909

          Fsteak.

      • mirumu

        Because as with everything, we don’t all like the same stuff.

    • malek86

      They already said the US version will have dual audio.

  • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

    ” PS3 titles are almost always region free.”  Until this game, it was always. P4A is the first region-locked title. For real.

    Sorry if I’m coming across as nitpicky! But its just so baffling to me…

    • katzedan

      I just hope this region lock style start and stop in this game!

      I would really rage if the other companies start to mimic this and the Project Diva f for ps3 comes locked for non japanese PS3 >_>

  • ivanchu77

    So ridiculous, really dissapointed with ATLUS

    Europeans getting screwed once again,now i have to wait “sometime in 2012″ , at least give a concrete date -_-

    I planned to get this game day 1, but now i´m not sure if i ever getting it when it gets released here
     

    • doubleO7

      You would really boycott it just because of this? At least its confirmed for an EU release, if it wasn’t then I would completely agree with you. Come on, a little patience never hurt anyone.

      • mirumu

        I’d definitely boycott it because of the precedent it may set. If this goes well for Atlus, then others will start region locking PS3 titles too. Since I don’t own a US PS3 however, I no longer have the option of buying the US version even if I wanted to.

        Oh, and I’m not from Europe, so it’s entirely possible I may never see a version of this game I could buy. We don’t know what kind of region breakdown Atlus are using after all.

    • Mike Pureka

      yes, because it is TOTALLY a good idea to not support the games you like because of region locking. Totally.

      See you next thread where you are complaining that all anyone plays is browngrey shooters and why doesn’t anyone make/localize games that YOU want to play.

  • Alexander Aubert

    do you know japanese import are expensive atlus USA?

    • RablaAndrews

      It’s not for Japanese import. It’s for American. The US version comes out BEFORE the Japanese version, and this is to stop people in Japan buying the US version instead of their own.

      • splintered

        But the Japanese version comes out before the US one…

        • RablaAndrews

          Nope. Persona 4 Arena hits North America on August 7, while Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena hits Japan on August 26.

          North America gets it more than two weeks before Japan.

          • Shane Guidaboni

            Did you even read the article? “Japan gets the game on July 26 and it’s slated for August 7 in North America”

      • British_Otaku

        So how is the risk of Japan importing this a worse risk than other games?
        Such as cases where America may be ahead by many weeks or months of Japan or Europe or Australia?

        Why is it that a case of release at nearly the same time, with the typical bonuses for non-Japanese releases (more voice tracks, more subtitle sets) needs to have a region lock now? It can only be seen as a dick move when done out of the blue.

  • Nitraion

    THEn What’s the point region locked if server is global?!!! D:
    i have to wait for reg 3….

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

       Same reason as always, to keep sales in their respective regions.

      • Nitraion

        heh talk about lame excuses…-_- at least my ps3 is reg 3 do you know when asia version release? usually same as reg 1  but i dunno

        • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2014

          Try saying that to an accountant’s face.

          • Nitraion

            Lol how ironic i’m in college studying for become accountant XD
            i know for money reason is somewhat good but still lame excuses….-_-

          • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2014

            You should at least have an idea of the economic benefits of restricting sales by geographic regions then. No one is making any excuses here.

  • revenent hell

    I get region locking games from an economy wise point of view,But at the same time its odd  CD’s/DVD’s(I wont mention the ton of other stuff since it would be hard to say “This shirt can only be worn while in this country) I buy from other countries arent region locked so uhm…..why realistically should game be?

    EDIT: I was trying to ask what the post below me was ackting up about…..while it was being deleted apparently…..FYI just because this game can go online dosent mean its mandatory to be played online…Just incase he feels so inclined as to post again without being literate enough to read the above article first

  • Strain42

    This news does absolutely nothing to affect me because I have a stateside PS3 and plan on buying a stateside copy of the game…but honestly, I totally understand this decision.

    • MrKappa

      You’re selfish and don’t care about anyone else is basically what you are saying. But you understanding a stupid decision is the baffling part.

      • Tien Ron

        how? i have a pal ps3, i am going to get a pal persona 4 arena title….end of. whats difficult about it?
        if you want a cheaper price wait till somebody trades it in 

        • Radiosity

          Yeah, except some of us don’t import because of price. We import because we spent months and years studying a language and like to play games in that language. Atlus clearly doesn’t give a toss about that though.

          • Mike Pureka

             This is probably because all 14 of you don’t make a major dent in their sales bottom line. Seriously.

      • Strain42

        First of all, anyone who imports is equally selfish, so I don’t wanna hear it. Secondly, I didn’t say it was a good decision, I didn’t say it was a smart decision, I didn’t even say I support it. I said I understand it.

        Please think before you decide to go and attack someone you don’t even know over such a trivial matter.

        • MrKappa

          A trivial matter only to you. And what insult? I simply said that you being understanding of a stupid decision is odd.

          A good handful of people will be getting screwed because of this choice Atlus has made and in the long run they made it because they are being selfish and greedy. All the Japanese who import because of cheaper prices and all the Europeans who import because they don’t want to wait or for cheaper prices are not gonna hurt them in the least. It’s laughable to even think imports make up 1% of sales.

          So no, importers are not selfish. I don’t even know how you came to such a conclusion.

  • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2014

    You know what else is region-locked with global servers? Every online game on the 360.

    • Whoomp

      Not true.

  • Luna Kazemaru

    Some people need to chill out and relax 

    • heartless141

       well no! due to multiple reasons, this news mean i’m pretty much lost access to the game itself, and even if i somehow magically get the game, no DLC for me.

      • Luna Kazemaru

         Because acting like a chicken that lost its head is a great way.

        • heartless141

          Refer to the part that I acted like a chicken lost its head.
          If you are talking about the whole whiner things. Not all of the people against this are. A lot of us have valid points and opinions that’s the righteous fanboys just keep dismissing just because it doesn’t affect them or the fanboyism.

          Refer to the thread on neogaf with 16000 views ish.

          • Luna Kazemaru

            because blindly raging at atlus when they may have not had no choice in this matter is very smart. I wasn’t talking about you no tho if people honestly think this is hurting the game they clearly missed the evo showcasing for the game.

  • Settsuo

    Well a weird move, but I guess whatever the reason is it’s important?

  • Nicolas Vasquez

    the answer is quite easy, games in the US are cheaper than in japan, that move is  to prevent people from importing the game rather than buying the domestic release in japan, this also the main reason why they dont include japanese audio in US releases.

    • MrKappa

       Atlus Japan is the one who made the end choice to region lock this game and thus it is a choice that befalls everyone. Atlus USA and Zen aren’t to blame like many think but it is sad that they think a few Japanese people importing the game from the US really hurts their sales. Imports barely make up any part of a games sales as it is.

    • Brandon001

      bruh, this is dual-audi

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LSXK6H5DIAWZWFQ252ZC3XIUGM .

      Right, the fear of ‘reverse importation.’ I think that’s why the US and Japan are also the same region of blurays…meaning a lot of anime in Blurays are Japanese prices, so the Japanese have no use for importing them as theorethically they would pay the same price (US consumers too). Quite a few of the Japanese blurays come with english subs now.

      This region lock of P4A doesn’t really hurt US consumers though, so no objections here. Plus, really, I have a lot of faith in Atlus, they’ve been doing right by their fan base.

  • noctis_nox

    This is bad. :(
    If there will be a CE edition I hope there will be one for the asian version. 

  • superdry

    That’s interesting…the first region-locked PS3 title that I know of. 

    Info for people who don’t know: Just like the 360, it was always up to the publisher to region-lock their title (it seems making a game region-free is always easier with SONY than Microsoft).

    Stupid question – when Atlus USA says the 360 and PS3 version are region-locked, they are only talking about the US release, right?  Or is the JP PS3 also region-locked?

    • Guest

       I never understood why Japanese publishers would do it for Microsoft. Completely stupid since they are catering first and foremost to a niche audience so they need to take what they can get and if thats also potential overseas fans then hey free money

      • gaiahatergaia

        Persona doesn’t have a “niche” audience though, It’s known worldwide, pretty much any guy who has a console, and is an RPG fan, has played The Persona series. i’ll admit, i’m not a big fan of fighting games, but i’m definitely getting this.

        • Guest

          I wasn’t talking about Persona actually. I was talking about niche Japanese only XBox 360 games that are region locked and never localized in the West anyway.

    • Radiosity

      All of them, Japanese one included.

  • http://twitter.com/manasteel88 Mana

    I’m confused. Is importing that major of an issue for niche publishers in Europe?  I’m not sure what the conversion rate here (USA) is, but I would be remiss to think its enough to cause a publisher to switch to region locking.

    I haven’t been following this close enough as I haven’t even played P4, but I figure the game has enough of a selling point among fight fans and rpg fans to be able to sell enough regardless of the importers. 

    Unless Zen is planning on publishing this in 2014 or something…then maybe I can understand the concern.

    • RablaAndrews

      Already confirmed for ’2012′.

      …just nothing past that. No month given.

  • Guest

    I almost don’t care anymore now that there is a JoJo game comin out

  • Alphabet Soup

    Yeay for global servers, nay for the fact that now I can have my butt kicked by fighters the world over. :D

  • Go2hell66

    well i’m screwed…

  • http://twitter.com/Nephlabobo Neal Power

    I don’t really care who’s decision it was, it’s simply a poor decision.

    There’s no excuse for a decision like this.

    Won’t be supporting this game. 

    • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2014

       Are you so sure?

      Do you really think that Atlus and Arc System Works, both of whom have released on the PS3 before, would turn on an established convention for no good reason other than spite?

      • http://twitter.com/Nephlabobo Neal Power

        I never said it was out of spite. I just said it was a poor decision.
        This is a perfect example of poor decision making, judging by the reaction to the announcement.

        • malek86

          Fans reaction doesn’t necessarily mean a good or bad decision, especially because internet fans tend to give themselves more importance than they actually have.

          Example: Activision announces COD map pack for $15, general reaction on the internet is extremely poor, actual reaction by consumers is to buy a million units in 24 hours.

          Overall, we need to see the game’s sales before we can say anything. It’s highly possible that only very few people will boycott (as it usually goes…), and therefore the issue won’t affect sales at all.

      • Dantis

         I think whatever the reason turns out to be (If we even find it out) it will be dumb.

        • cj_iwakura

          The generally accepted theory is that either Atlus JP or Zen EU put them up to it so the US launch won’t hurt other region’s sales. Index senses tingling.

          • Luna Kazemaru

             Its amazing how people do not have the brain power to rule any of them into this at all.

          • cj_iwakura

            It’s much easier to point the blame at the most convenient scapegoat. 

          • Luna Kazemaru

             You know it would be funny if they came out and said it was Index and even more funny if it was Zen’s idea. Boy how dumb people would be feeling would be god like because this honestly doesn’t sound like something atlus would add extra work in for no reason to do.

        • Mike Pureka

          Yeah, it’s totally, totally stupid to try make players in Japan pay for a Japanese copy of the game rather than a cheaper US region copy. Totally. -_-

          C’mon people, stop and think.

          • Dantis

             Every other developer has managed to avoid it. What makes Atlus any different?

            This was a business decision which had zero consideration for the user base. There’s no reason we should just accept it and move along.

  • Crevox

    This doesn’t matter at all to me, but I will find it amusing to see how this unfolds.

    *rappy with monocle and wineglass*

  • Klaus00

    *sigh* welp I guess I’ll have to wait…. I’ll fight you guys later this year when you all got yo combos down and know setups and *cries*

  • Luis Camargo

    Now thinking about it, this is ridiculous. I live in Brazil, where usually we receive american games, but my PS3 is european as far as I know. 
    Also I’m traveling to Japan and I could get the game right there.

    Sorry but I think this is ridiculous especially when a whole continent has to wait even more to get the game.

  • neonsword13

    Not quite sure why they made that decision, but global play is a plus.

    Make sure you guys keep up with the European release date.

  • Istillduno

    Well I want the game but sure as hell not buying it new now, @#&% whichwver fools are screwing over the fanbase with this descision, if they want to stop imports they should either release it at a competive price with other countries or a reasonable timeframe.

    And if Zen turn out to have requested this, they will never see so much as a penny from me again and I hope others follow suit.

  • Dantis

    Atlus, we are now enemies.

  • Enma_Kozato

    I hope the people bellowing “boycott because of region lock” are doing the same thing for Wii, 3DS, and Xbox360 games.

    And I really wish people would realize they should be taking their complaints to Atlus Japan. I bet now would probably be a good time to demand an Atlus Europe branch.

    • cj_iwakura

      PS3ers(myself included) treasure the console’s region-freeness. I’m not surprised this sent off such a shockwave, since the console’s importers have a very(very) vocal community.

      • Enma_Kozato

        But aren’t importers also a very vocal minority?

        • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

          If importers were “a vocal minority”, they wouldn’t have been a big enough deal for a region lock.

          • Enma_Kozato

            But are importers the reason the region lock was put in place? No one knows that answer except for the higher ups who made the decision.

    • British_Otaku

      It is the opposite in a sense. The two current Nintendo systems are
      region locked so region free isn’t even a novelty, it is unheard of. So I
      chose to wait for the 3DS and probably import one from Japan, wasting
      cash which could be used on buying actual games. For the Wii, I hacked
      my system so that I can play games from other regions. It is a system
      weakness that we address Nintendo for.

      The 360 is as I hear it optional as far as regions go, better than
      completely region locked but a mess if a game isn’t released (or rare)
      in your region but dual region for the others. There it is easier to
      blame the companies as they seem to control the flow of games.

      Here with the PS3, we have every prior PS3 games being region-free then
      suddenly a single game being locked. The blame lies with the companies
      who created that project, so it makes sense to boycott them (I guess)
      but not every time that a game is region locked on a system which always
      does it.

      • Enma_Kozato

        Novelty or not, if someone is seriously against region locking they would not support ANYTHING with the practice. I don’t think it’s farfetched to assume I’m seeing a lot of people here playing the double standard card.

        • British_Otaku

          So your suggestion is that because we don’t like it when we are told “You aren’t allowed to play this print of this game”, we should also not buy any console or game related to region lock through being region locked on the system.

          Nope, that sounds like an anti-gaming policy (I don’t want to play games) more so than an anti-region-lock policy (I won’t support instances where a company must have went out of it’s way to piss us off this time). 

          I can’t single out Rising Star for No More Heroes being region locked on the Wii (every game does it), I can do so for this game and Atlus in this case (this is the first one I believe to fail to meet the region free standard).

          We want to play games, we want them to be avaliable as long as we have the money and the system in question. There isn’t a notable hardware difference in systems anymore (see ones that can’t display some forms of text in prior generations), games are for the most part reaching every region fairly timely (less importing) and awareness of products leads to more sales.

          • Enma_Kozato

            Woo boy. My “suggestion” is that when you’re told “you aren’t allowed to play this print of game” you don’t buy that print of game or anything else with a regional lock on it. Region free console, game, or DVD? Go for it. Locked console, games, or DVDs? Nope, because you’re supposed to be against separating media. I’m not “suggesting” to stop buying anything related to region locks, only things with locks on them. Those are two different things as you’ve pointed out.

            (@ n @) my brain isn’t meant for thinking these things out.

  • Hinataharem

    Why do people care about the region lock? Is it impatient people outside of US/Japan? People have a Jap/Pal/whatever PS3 in the States or Vice-versa?

    Help me out here.

    • Alexander FromUkraine

      I personally care because if this crap will continue and spread out I will have to again use modchips and custom firmwares to play my legally bought games. I thought those times are over, at least for my main consoles. And I really don’t want to come back there any more

    • mirumu

      Games aren’t always released in every country/region, so a region lock might prevent you from ever being able to play it. 

      The PS3 has made it a bit of a non-issue in recent times, but one of the more recent examples that especially annoyed me was Muramasa: The Demon Blade on the Wii. For some reason Nintendo and the publishers just decided not to release it in Australia and New Zealand (where I live). I ended up hacking my Wii just so I could play an import US copy of the game, but without that option available I’d have just been out of luck and unable to play it.

      Back in the day the amount of games that never got released here was fairly huge. Most of my DS, 3DS and PSP games are imports, and about half my PS1, PS2, Saturn, Dreamcast and Gamecube games. Of course most of those consoles had to be modded or jailbroken to play the games I’d legally paid for. Like Alexander I really don’t want to go back to those days.

      • Hinataharem

        I only know the PaL, NTSC and JAP region codes. Can Australian systems use PAL? Who is missing out on this game?

        • mirumu

          That’s the problem really. We don’t know. There’s never been a region locked PS3 game so we don’t know what different regions Atlus are using here. It might just be US, Japan and EU as you suggest and everyone else can play one of those versions. Hopefully that’s what it is. Often with the PS3 though publishers release different disks in various countries each with their own matching DLC on the local PSN stores. e.g. A game bought from the US cannot necessarily use DLC purchased from the Canadian PSN store.

          About all we do know for sure is that if you see a copy of the game in a local store, then it will work with that region’s local consoles. It’s possible they just won’t release it in every country however. Where I live in New Zealand, publishers often decide the market is so small they won’t make a profit releasing a game here so they just don’t bother. There are plenty of other countries in a similar position.PAL and NTSC are standard definition TV standards that are incompatible with each other. Japan uses NTSC too by the way. Even without region locking a NTSC game would only play in black and white on a PAL console/TV and at a different speed. PAL games would play incorrectly on NTSC gear too. That’s why they needed separate PAL and NTSC game versions. Modern consoles with their world standard 720p and 1080p outputs have made this largely irrelevant however.

          • Hinataharem

            That makes more sense. I was genuinely confused on how this affected anyone, because it is confirmed to be released in the 3 aforementioned region areas. I feel sorry for those who pre-ordered theirs in a different country. 

    • Sardorim

      Eh, I don’t like region locks on things lik the 3DS since many japanese games will never come out in the west. Why must I be punished for owning a 3DS just because I want to play the future SRW titles? Glad the Vita at least isn’t region locked so I can get my SRW fix there.

  • Stranger On The Road

    I’m missing some good 3DS games from Japan for no other reason than Nintendo’s decision to regional lock the bloody console.

    I’m missing many games on the Xbox 360 because small developers don’t want to go the extra mile make their game regional free. But there were still some good title that got localized…. so I swallowed by pride and bought the brick. And I am still waiting for Otomedius Excellent to be released in the EU!

    With anime, I am stuck with some BD that won’t play on my PS3 because they are only for regional ‘A’. (I’m still disappointed that “Cat Planet Cuties ( Asobi Ni Iku Yo!)” was regional locked).

    With all the above, I have come to accept that some titles will be regional locked. And had P4Arena been a Xbox 360 exclusive, I would have accepted the fact that it was regional locked. But the game isn’t an Xbox 360 exclusive, it is coming out on the PS3, therefore, I don’t have to waste money on getting the regional locked copy (this is a way for me to protest, when I can, I make a point of always getting a game on a regional free device).

    Atlus, you didn’t just support regional lock, you endorse it when you went to the extra mile to add it! To my knowledge, this would be the 2nd game on the PS3 that come out regional locked out of the hundreds of games that are on it.

    So here is my message to you Atlus, since you have gone to the extra mile to add the regional lock, I will protest your decision by not buying this title. Even thought I was planning on waiting and getting the EU version any way, I will avoid this title in protest of your support for the regional lock.

    I really am disappointed by this.

  • Alexander FromUkraine

    Was thinking of trying to get into fighting games genre with this one, but hell no! Not with region lock. It’s like some horrible evil is resurrecting when you thought it’s defeated once and for all.
    DOA5 now maybe? Really like new character design, but heard those grabs are pretty tricky..

  • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

    Love is over, Atlus :(

    • Shane Guidaboni

      It’s not Atlus’s fault. 

      • Dantis

         How is it not Atlus’ fault?…

        They’ve made no statement on the matter, you’re just making assumptions based on nothing.

        • cj_iwakura

          Probably meant Atlus USA. I imagine they had no control over this.

      • Mike Pureka

         er, why not? Aren’t they publishing the game in both the US and Japan?

  • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

    This doesn’t make sense to me…. 

    Even if the “reverse-importing” scheme is true, it’s not like Atlus lost a sale or something… 

    If it’s the regional sales control(US imports hurting EU sales), then it’s the EU publisher’s fault for releasing the game late… Even if the EU release date has been already set for “Sometime in 2012″ as reassurance that it’s gonna make it to EU shores, you’re making the eager fans wait regardless and thus, they’re itching to import… Period….

    Not only that, you’re also losing respect from the fans as well…

    I hope Atlus opens their eyes on what they’re doing now and this influence doesn’t spread to other publishers as well…

    Edit: PQube(EU publisher of P4A) is “working” towards 31st August release date…

  • Victoria [Rokuso3]

    Well, as long as the game is confirmed in all regions, region-lock isn’t so bad this time; at least not in the same way as you know the 3DS is locked and Europe will probably not be able to play Etrian Odyssey IV.

    I mean,  if they bring it to the US and Japan almost at the same time, it’s quite normal (I’d also prefer not to have it, but at least they’ll bring it over everywhere). Europe is confirmed this time, so it’s not that bad; maybe the problem is that, by the time we get it, the Turbo Alpha Revival Version will come out in Japan and US and many people won’t buy the normal version.

    Of course all of this is merely based on what happened here with P3 & P3FES, or some Blazblue titles.

    • mirumu

      Unfortunately it’s not quite as simple as that. There’s also the issue of DLC as PSN stores don’t fall neatly into the categories of “US, Japan or Europe”. 

      For example a copy of Fallout 3 purchased in Canada cannot be used with DLC sold on the US PSN store. A copy of Record of the Agarest War bought in the UK cannot be used with DLC purchased on the Australian PSN store. Even if the game is released in, say, England for example I have no idea if that game will work where I live in New Zealand. If if does work, and I want to buy DLC then I’ll need to load funds on a UK PSN account. I honestly doubt the game will ever be released here.

      We also don’t really know how Atlus has implemented the region lock, or what level of regional breakdown they are using. We do know it’s not the same as Blu-ray because if it was, copies from the US and Japan would both be region A and Japanese gamers could import the cheaper US version. If I had to guess I suspect the regions may well equate directly to the PSN store regional breakdown.

      • Stranger On The Road

        and let me add, some games go out of print in some regions while they are still available in another.

        example, Magna Carta 2 and Tales of Vesperia, even though I can find both games new in the US at a reasonable price. In the EU I could only find an overpriced 2nd hand copy of MC2 and an overpriced new copy of ToV (I bought ToV for more then 50 quids! almost double what I would have paid for it when it came out).

        I already played MC2 on my -now dead- NTSC Xbox 360, but I really felt like playing it this weekend :-(

        regional lock, it only hurt paying customers

        Edit: to clarify, ToV is available on XBL, but at the time I had a limited connection at home, so downloading the 6GB game wasn’t an option.

  • splintered

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a second and say PS3 has always been the exception to region-locking and not necessarily the norm since almost every other system has region-lock. I’m pretty sure having most of the games region-free is a big selling point for the PS3/Vita/PSP products.

    However, do I like or support region-locking? No, I absolutely hate it because it prevents me from getting games that I’m willing to pay the costs for.

    In one of my cases, for example, there are games that I want that are already out in English. So yay! I have the ability to play and understand what’s happening but oh what’s that? I don’t have an EU Wii to play the Fatal Frame 2 remake? And NoA haven’t said anything about it so I have no idea when/if it’s coming? Oh well, guess I’ll just have to settle on watching others play it and live vicariously through them! *insert copious amounts of sobbing here*

    (If you switch a couple of words like “Fatal Frame 2″ to “P4:A”, “Wii” to “PS3″ with region of choice, “NoA” to “*insert publisher here*” this can work for the topic at hand lol.)

    But I digress.

    I can understand reasons on why they would do it if they gave them to me (maybe), but I still wouldn’t like it.

    I feel really bad for the people in EU since they have no idea when this is coming out for them besides “2012″ and especially bad for those who are unsure whether ANY of the regions stated will work for their PS3 if it’s different from the ones listed. I’m really hoping you guys will get it/be able to play it soon!

  • Crevox

    This is how this is going to go, okay?

    A small to medium portion of people will be affected by this and will not like it. Bummer.

    These people will begin an outcry that will radiate across the internet.

    Suddenly, a bunch of people who, normally, would not care the slightest bit whether or not they do this, will suddenly care and act like this is a huge deal. Of course, they will deny it, act like they really do care and that it’s so important, or say things like “Atlus shouldn’t do this!”… etc etc. All the while, of course, ignoring the reasons why Atlus did it to begin with, which is perfectly justifiable and in fact is the fault of the consumer, not the publisher.

    …carry on I guess. Kudos to the people that are 1. curious as to why people are bothered by this and 2. shrugging and saying “it doesn’t affect me” instead of going on a rampage about Atlus, when Atlus didn’t do anything wrong.

    • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

       Let’s see you hold that tune when Persona 5 finally rolls around.

      • Radiosity

        This is my main worry, I don’t want a localised Persona and will be importing as usual… but only if they’re not idiots with this region locking. I can’t afford to buy a £400 import console just to continue playing games that shouldn’t be region locked in the first place. Region locking was always idiocy, I thought we were finally starting to see it die. Guess not ;_;

        I’m just glad this didn’t hit Persona 4 the Golden, given that game is the prime reason I bought a Vita in the first place.

    • mirumu

      Fault of the consumer? The consumer has no obligation to do or buy anything ever. Companies misjudge consumer sentiment at their own peril.

      • Crevox

        They did this because too many people in Europe import the NA version and distract profits from the EU localization. 

        • MickyT

           “They did this because too many people in Europe import the NA version and distract profits from the EU localization. ” Thats massively unlikely. And its not particularly strange for people who are “unrelated” to get upset as after six years Atlus have set a dangerous precedent by region locking a PS3 game. Of course to appreciate that concern requires one to rise above their self intrest.

        • mirumu

          I do think the culture of importing is very different in other parts of the world. I’ve no doubt it’s uncommon in the US and Japan, but they’ve tended to get games faster and more regularly than the rest of us. I’m from New Zealand, not Europe, but the only gamers I know personally who don’t import games are those who don’t have a credit card. So in that sense, I’m sure what you’re saying is correct.

          The reason for this different attitude however was because the local publishers have been extremely unreliable in the past. They often don’t release games here, or release them much later. Sometimes years later. We often didn’t get special editions, and with PAL we often got shoddy conversions that were letterboxed or ran at slower speeds. We’ve always had to pay quite a lot more. We’d sometimes get one game in a series without it’s sequels or prequels. Given that I think it’s rather perverse to say it’s the problems we have today are the consumer’s fault.

          Region locking isn’t going to fix this either. We’ve been here in the past, and all it meant was that everyone mod chipped or otherwise hacked their consoles. Some just imported US or Japanese consoles directly. I have a US 3DS myself specifically because of region locking. In New Zealand law region locking is actually treated as anti-competitive and a form of price fixing. Mod chips are perfectly legal here for that reason.

          A solution that would actually work is simultaneous worldwide releases.

    • Dantis

      It’s not all that impressive to ‘predict’ something a day after it’s already occurred. That all already happened yesterday.

      Pretty funny that you say it’s the fault of the consumer though. COULD IT POSSIBLY BE THAT YOU’RE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS? :O

      • Crevox

        They did this because too many people in Europe import the NA version and distract profits from the EU localization. 
        Again, ignoring the reasons for them doing this, just like I said.

        • Dantis

          Way to make up your own justification.

          You’re very clever and we’re all very impressed.

          • Crevox

            It’s not a justification. I could care less if they do this or don’t. It’s common sense and a very good reason for doing it.

            I also don’t have to be “clever” to figure it out. Just have to think “why” and the answer comes up.

          • Dantis

             Yes sir mister boss man.

          • mirumu

            It’s common sense to someone who is unaffected by the problem and only has a superficial understanding of the markets involved.

    • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

      Oh, sod off. I’ll be the judge of who deserves my money, thanks.

      • Crevox

        By all means, decide who deserves your money. I just think it’s funny when the game gets region locked and someone who had no intention of ever importing suddenly gets all butthurt about Atlus and takes it that far… when Atlus didn’t do anything wrong.
        If you don’t think Atlus “deserves your money” (that sounds kinda arrogant :D) that’s fine. It makes me wonder why you’re here talking about it though, because it’s far too late for them to change it.

    • Ladius

      The “only those directly affected should care” argument is appalling and will bite people back as soon as Atlus or someone else region locks a PS3 game unannounced for the USEurope.

      That’s exactly why a lot of people are against setting a precedent that could damage other series or titles as soon as publishers see no one cares about them using region locks on a so far region free console.

  • l777l

    I don’t like this. What’s the reasoning behind this (uncommon) decision?

  • cj_iwakura

    Personally, I thought the removal of Innocent Sin’s content was more offensive than this, and no one talked about that.

    For the unfamiliar, the game’s JP release had a quest creator and additional DLC quests created by Satomi Tadashi. Atlus USA quietly removed all of it, and even though we had a thread at their MB for months, no one addressed it until an email got a response regarding it days before the game came out.

    • Strain42

       Because that wasn’t Persona 4 or 5, so…y’know…most of the people posting here don’t give a crap. Which is a shame. I was hoping at the very least with that mode in P2 we could’ve gotten a few more of the ones made by Atlus themselves, even if they didn’t want to keep the quest creator itself.

      • Dantis

         In my opinion, this is a much bigger deal (For EU players at least). The quest creator would have been nice, but this has the potential to ruin online play for European players. Not to mention that the videogame community’s response will have a dramatic effect on future region locks.

    • British_Otaku

      I will always believe that harming/removing game content for a region’s release is a greater threat than locking the regions specifically for one game which is apparently going everywhere.

      However, I need to hear about the game in question to be part of the unit ranting against it. I was against Professor Layton removing the London Life bonus for the UK release after all, but I wouldn’t have been against it if it wasn’t for playing the games and reading the news. And I am against Unlimited Cruise being split into two halves for Europe.

      Both are poor moves which harm the gaming experience for no profit for anyone. Removing content harms a game directly, region locking out of nowhere puts those who import systems (or are in a “non-region”) in trouble and makes those who want to have the game earlier or in two versions hard out of luck.

  • cj_iwakura

    Here’s some supporting media in P4A’s favor, just to stop any crazy people from cancelling their preorders.

    http://andriasang.com/con1u7/p4arena_screens/images/2430d/full.jpg

    This game looks incredible, and deserves the support.

    http://andriasang.com/con1u7/p4arena_screens/ 

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Its not going to stop the whiners honestly tho I’m still getting it because its a good game. We still don’t know why this is happening to the game but its no where end of the world which version you getting it on? I’m getting it on both.

      • cj_iwakura

        PS3. I actually had planned on importing the JP version like I did for Catherine, but the US release is much closer, so…
        (You can imagine I would be pretty ticked if they announced the JP version being region locked and the US version was still months away.)

        • Luna Kazemaru

           Hmm I might see you online then yeah I was upset because its the first time I heard a ps3 game being locked. Still not the end of the world to me and we don’t even know the real reason like I’ve been stating before this could still be a one time only thing I’m trying to wait for more information comes out before I pass judgement on the whole thing.

    • Dantis

       I… Would be inclined to disagree.

      The game is going to sell regardless. If it gets noticeably less sales, it sends a message. If it sells well, that also sends a message.

      Any repercussions that arise from the situation are the fault of Atlus or Index or whatever silly entity demanded a region lock.

      And as for EU players, it’s not like we have a choice besides cancelling now, is it?

      • Luna Kazemaru

        While I understand the EU playerbase getting upset I do because I would be pissed to. It still doesn’t excuse the fact that some of them are turning it into A) a EU vs NA fight
        B) blindly attacking altus without having all the information on the table.

        • Dantis

           Well, if Atlus put the information on the table, then it wouldn’t be blindly attacking, would it?

          I know Aram Jabbari is at EVO at the moment, but it hasn’t been on all week. If they’d squashed this when it first came out they wouldn’t be in this situation.

          This whole thing has been one mess-up after another.

          • Luna Kazemaru

            True this whole thing is just turning into what happen with AH3 all over again IMO. I’m still trying to wait and see what they have to say on this whole thing I’m sure Aram is going to get pressured at EVO about it aswell.

          • Dantis

             Someone on NeoGAF said they were interviewing him about P4U and that they’d bring it up, so we’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

          • cj_iwakura

            @Dantis I bet cash money Aram will not directly comment on the reason, and no one ever will.

        • Ladius

          While the background info on this decision would surely be very interesting (my personal theory is that Atlus USA has nothing to do with this decision and that this is an Index idea), that doesn’t change the fact that the end result is an anti consumer move that potentially sets a very bad precedent for anyone interested in import software on a platform that, so far, had been untouched by region locking.

    • Ladius

      The game’s quality has nothing to do with the absurdity of being the first publisher to introduce region locking on a platform that has been absolutely region free since 2006, something not even publishers like EA, Activision or Capcom have tried to do so far.

      If you don’t have a problem with this, feel free to enjoy the game, but please don’t call people “crazy” just because they consider problematic supporting a game that involves an anti-consumer move that could set a really bad precedent.

      I love the game and I had it preordered, but as soon as the news about its region lock was confirmed I had to cancel my preorder.

  • amagidyne

     Wow, this is stupid. When they first announced the lock, I thought it was being done to avoid lag by having people play against people who are (more or less) in the same area. But if the servers are global..

    I get that they want to stop people from importing cheaper copies, but this is such a backwards and hostile way to do it. So I’ll be locked to “sometime in 2012″, which could mean almost anything coming from a video game publisher.

    The worst part is that if the release dates were even remotely similar, there wouldn’t be that much of an incentive to import where I live. Import taxes and shipping tend to bring the price up to what you’d pay on day one at a retail store.

    • Dantis

       My thoughts exactly.

    • Crevox

      Too many EU people import the US version of the game, and this subtracts from the profits of the EU publisher because they never end up buying the EU version of the game. So, region lock, fixed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VW2SOKE43GW2JHDK3BULDCKX54 Zeta

    Cool, glad I have a J PS3

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WPGDGULMOAZSIEIA5Y4BEHL6JU wtfhappenedtoallthenames

      Glad I also have a J PS3 :)

  • artemisthemp

    Bye Bye Persona 4: Arena #votewithyourwallet

    • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2014

      God I hate that phrase. Gaming is not a democracy. If people could vote with cash, this country would cease to exist.

      If you really think it’s a democracy, vote to have business executives in line with your views on how games should be released to replace the ones running the game companies now.

      • Dantis

         It’s a figure of speech, silly.

        • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2014

          It’s a toxic one that gives people the idea that they have the power to affect the organization charts of private companies. It needs to go because it represents a misleading ideal that causes more harm than good.

  • heartless141

    I find those “Altus isnt doing anything wrong” people funny.
    Why? Here’s why
    - Altus being one of the most loved company right now. On par with NIS and stuffs. Yet BAM. They screwed some of us up just because of profits. Yes. A company supposed to aim for profits. But the importer market isnt even that big. Since for most of us, import price is much more than retail price. And more than half of us import because we have our reasons, not just because we want it 2 weeks( or a few months for eu players) early. tournaments, events, birthday and stuffs like that.

    Now I won’t call this betrayal or anything. But in my opinions: this is stupid, pointless, creating scandals for small profits and losing reputation in the process.

  • Kamion

    Well, damn. Time to get a Japanese PS3…

    This is a very sad day.

    I will not get this game now out of protest. Not because I care so much about THIS GAME in particular since there’s Japanese Text in the EU Version as well… but this might become a thing…

  • Oltheros

    Nice anti-consumer move…you look cool, Atlus.

  • Ladius

    The game looks really good and I had it preordered since some time ago, but after the announcement of its region lock I had to drop my preorder, as sad as it is.

    I really can’t understand why a beloved publisher like Atlus would be the first to adopt an anti-consumer move such as introducing region lock on a platform that has been completely region free since 2006, but considering their move sets a precedent that could be followed by other publishers I think importers and people interested in promoting regional openness should take notice and react accordingly.

    I imagine it’s a PR nightmare for Atlus USA, too, but even if the decision was made by Index in Japan that doesn’t mean it’s more acceptable, or that it warrants a different reaction from us. It’s really a shame such a controversy had to be born around this game and this publisher, but the principle of region free gaming is one of the cornerstone for gamers invested in Japanese games (whether localized or imported), and I don’t think there can be many compromises on this issue in this particular context.

  • InfernoCommander

    I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. A global server and the same game. Hell even for the people who hate English dubs, it has dual audio. 

    • Ladius

      Because this is the first game to introduce region locking on a platform, PS3, that hasn’t had region locked games since its release, and it could very well set a bad precedent that could affect us in unexpected way if some other publisher decides to region lock its game after seeing IndexAtlus introduce this practice. Some Japanese publisher could start locking its Japan-only games (something that’s painfully common with J-X360 games), forcing the importers that have played their games on US or PAL PS3 to import a Japanese system, for example, and the same could happen with US-only or PAL-only games (think about what’s currently happening with 3DS).

      Also, European gamers are bummed because Zen Unlimited is notorious in its delays, and with the US version locked they could be unable to play the game for weeks or months and will be at a disadvantage in the global online community (servers being region free and all) and in the FGC. It’s such a shame this controversy had to hit this game, of all fighters :(

  • Haohmaru HL

    that’s awful
    and add to that my ps3 WAS imported from japan once until the motherboard died and service swapped it with european one, ugh

  • RablaAndrews

    Friggin BAAAAAAAW.

    It’s already confirmed to be coming out in all regions. Learn to be patient. All of you will get your game eventually.

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