Atlus: Persona 4 Arena Region Locking Not A "Slippery Slope"

By Spencer . July 6, 2012 . 5:35pm

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In response to the universally negative comments about Persona 4 Arena being the first region locked PlayStation 3 game, Atlus sent members of the press a letter explaining the decision. The short story is the decision was made to prevent Japanese gamers from importing the cheaper US version, since it has Japanese and English voiceovers. The long story is below.

 

Friends of ATLUS,

 

The last week brought with it news that Persona 4 Arena would effectively become the first PlayStation 3 system game to be region-locked. We can today confirm that this is true; the game will be region-locked in all its respective territories of release.

As we’ve ascertained from your impassioned responses online, this is obviously a tremendous frustration for many fans. We understand the various perspectives on the matter. Those who fear this is a slippery slope, the beginning of a dangerous and unnecessary precedent. Those who import foreign hardware for a multitude of reasons and expect to be unlimited in their software selection. Those who aren’t necessarily affected by this issue, but who are principally opposed to it. We are not blind to these concerns and we pledge to grow ever more informed as to exactly what our fans want. It should be added that we were completely unprepared for the force with which the community communicated their disapproval.

There are, however, a few points to clarify. 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. Moreover, and perhaps there is no way to convince our fans of this considering the magnitude of the betrayal many are feeling, but we are not doing this out of malice or a desire to control. Allow us to explain.

Persona 4 Arena achieves a number of triumphs for our North American publishing house. For years, our fans have asked us to include dual language audio in our games. Finally, with P4 Arena, we were able to deliver on that desire and include the exact same content as the Japanese release for our North American fans. Moreover, our North American community is often forced to wait months for a localized release (a plight our friends across the Atlantic can relate to). Again, with P4 Arena, we’re able to release within two weeks of Japan. We pushed hard for these things. We know our fans want them–well really, EXPECT them–and we did our best to get as much for our release as possible.

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. Importing, as great as it is for gamers who otherwise can’t get access to a title, can also cannibalize the performance of a title in one territory to the benefit of another. While we’re all one big ATLUS family, the reality is that the dramatic difference between the Yen and the Dollar makes for a dramatic difference in price. So the decision was made, perhaps at the expense of some of our fans, clearly at the frustration of many, to region-lock Persona 4 Arena.

For many of you, there is no explanation that resonates, no justification that atones for this fact. We can only endeavor to earn back your confidence and, to learn from your arguments. We absolutely recognize the fear that this is the beginning of a trend. We in no way view it as such. Please also keep in mind that the game’s excellent online multiplayer is global, a fact that is in no way affected by the region-lock. Players can compete against fighters from all territories.

A tremendous team of talented developers and artists poured their blood, sweat, and tears into Persona 4 Arena, and every reaction we’ve ever received to the game has shown that those efforts are readily apparent. 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.

Thank you.


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  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    *brofist* as long as there are valid reasons like this

  • Neah

    <—–EU 

    Well f*** now I have to wait for Zen to release it ?

    Thank you, Atlus ;_;

  • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

    “This is an isolated case…”
    “…our biggest game of the year releasing within a couple weeks in two territories…”

    Oh, Atlus.

  • Alphabet Soup

    I understand people outside of the principal territories this has been releasing in being concerned, but otherwise I would hope that people are satisfied with Atlus’ very generous explanation.  Reverse importation is a very real concern and it has been this way in the anime industry for a long time.  I think it’s exciting that we are getting dual audio AND a very close release window – region-locking is a more than acceptable trade-off.

  • Zeik56

    I’ve felt bad for Atlus USA since this whole thing started and this just proves it. The US branch clearly has no real say in the matter but they’re having to deal with almost all the negative feedback due to a business decision in Japan. I respect them for giving such a lengthy a forthright response on the issue, but I doubt it will quell many.

    Well at least until they get bored and move on to the next outrage. This is the Internet after all.

  • Guest

    I think its probably because the release dates are so close. normally, Japanese games are released like 3 to 9 months earlier than the localized versions so the companies get to reap in all that time for exclusive sales. My only gripe is why do other companies region lock their games (like on XBox 360 for example) when there is no way shape or form that their games will be localized or translated and are in a niche audience anyway

  • Luna Kazemaru

     http://i516.photobucket.com/albums/u330/whitecat19/welpcole.png

    Let the Sh** storm begin.

    Well so it was about the prices.

    • malek86

      What, they mean they aren’t doing it just to spite us? My world crumbles! All that I believe in, gone!

      Ok, seriously though, this was 100% obvious.

      • Luna Kazemaru

        Yeah i’m so going to die now that we got the truth.

    • LynxAmali

      The greatest storm of the century is brewing, my friend.

      And it won’t be a pretty sight.

      Blood, carnage, deceased corpses and broken hearts will litter the landscape.

      • Luna Kazemaru

         And I can live with that.

  • RablaAndrews

    Now to wait on Zen and see what they pull off here. I got an email reply saying that their version of the game will launch in Europe and Australia at the same time, so that’s nice.

  • LunarKnite

    Well region-locking one game isn’t a big deal for me, but Atlus sending out a letter to explain the reasoning behind it just makes me respect and want to support the company more. This is how the industry should treat their consumers.

  • http://twitter.com/_appletree_ _appletree_

    Wait.

    If dual audio and closer release dates between JP and NA releases is supposed to be their new precedent for game releases going forward..
    And with the un-favourable yen to dollar conversion rate remaining…

    Would this not mean that we will in fact see more Atlus games region-locked to prevent importing, like in this very situation? 

    This is something they should have addressed in the letter.

    • Herok♞

       I don’t dual audio is a new standard because it won’t always be available and the letter never said dual audio would be a new thing just people have been asking for it.

  • rurifan

    Their candid response is nice, but it doesn’t change the fact that their decision is made purely out of corporate greed.  Region locking has always been all about price fixing.  Say no to greed, vote with your wallet and don’t buy this game.

    • Luna Kazemaru

       Still will be buying the game sorry.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Yeah, no one should ever be allowed to make money. Let’s all boycott every food product out there, too. And bottled water, while we’re at it. That’ll show ‘em!

      • Luna Kazemaru

        lol I love you man.

      • MrKappa

        I’ve noticed you always got these sarcastic remarks when it comes to companies doing anything based on making money in a scummy way.

        Not that I’m saying I’ll go as far as rurifan and not buy the game though…

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Maybe because I don’t think it’s “scummy” and simply a business reality. How much do you think the people that complain about these things know about those or bother to understand them before complaining? :)

          • MrKappa

            I know a lot of people don’t understand, much like all the ones saying to boycott as if it will mean anything, but even if they are just jumping on the band wagon that doesn’t make the point moot. There just ends up being a lot more complaints.

            And just because the number one rule of business is to screw everyone and anything if it is for money doesn’t mean it isn’t a scummy reality.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            “even if they are just jumping on the band wagon that doesn’t make the point moot”

            Um… Yes, it does. The major factor here being that there’s very little logical thinking involved on their parts.

          • Chippel

            I think part of the overreaction is a natural aversion to change. I’m upset with the 3DS’s region locking because my other handhelds are region free, and I want this one to be as well so I can get EVERY game I want (without having to buy multiple consoles), even though it also might make more games be considered viable to localize. It’s a double-edged sword. But I don’t care that the 360 has region locking. PS3 is the only current-gen home console without it and it came out after 360, so I’m not upset for them doing the normal and accepted thing (even though it makes the PS3 a sweeter deal for some). PS3 owners have been able to buy freely without thought and anything to jeopardize this experience is hard to take in and makes feelings of dread set in. I can understand both sides. It sucks that it’s at the cost of other gamers’ experience, but at least it’s getting released in multiple regions and with good options. And the price differences are definitely large enough to worry about on the companies’ end.

          • Guest

             50%  but it is true you white knight a lot….  :P

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            You can call me a white knight, but at the same time, I could call you ignorant. :P

      • rurifan

        Your sarcasm falls flat, but it’s your perogative to continue sponsoring bad behavior.  Myself, I will use the one lever consumers have, the one thing I know they want — my money — to reward only good companies.  I encourage others to do the same.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          I’m afraid you’ll find yourself running out of your definition of “good companies” very quickly. 

          • rurifan

            Certainly the process will accelerate with people like you defending every greedy anti-consumer move they make.

      • mirumu

        I agree with you in principle, and I’m all for companies making money. Legally though some countries do frown upon this as price fixing, and it’s not an unreasonable stance when you’re in the territories bearing the brunt of it.

        The culture of importing and console modding that exists outside of the US, Japan exists precisely because of such practises in the past. Region locking will only make the problem worse, not better.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          How is this price fixing in any way, though? If this were price fixing, literally every single industry on the planet would be guilty of it. The price of water isn’t the same in every country. The price of food isn’t the same in every country. That’s just absurd.

          • mirumu

            It’s not the fact that the price is different that’s the problem. Suggesting that would be absurd as you say. Water and food are obviously not region locked either so are irrelevant. 

            The problem is more that primary purpose of a region lock is to prevent normal open market forces from operating, and artificially enable global market price differentiation. They can raise the price in specific regions to a level that would not otherwise be viable. That much is blatantly obvious, and Atlus admits as much in this very letter.

            I’m not stating this as my personal opinion. It’s how the government here in New Zealand has instructed judges when interpreting local law, and they see region locks as purely detrimental to consumers. If you buy a DVD player here for example, it comes region free from the shop. Piracy is still illegal of course. The Australian government at least, and as I understand some countries in Europe, appear to feel much the same way.

      • Testsubject909

        Well. I live in Quebec. We have the world’s largest supply of clean water to drink right out of the tap. Testing have shown that our water is just about as clean or at times cleaner then bottled water.

        As such, if you live in Quebec, it’s not really boycotting bottled water as much as it is just not wasting plastic and wasting money needlessly…

        But I digress.

        *clears throat*

        YEAH! Let’s Boycott ALL the things!

    • Zeik56

      I don’t agree with this decision, but I have no desire to punish myself, the developers or US localizers because of a decision of a few bigwigs in Japan. Maybe if I actually believed this would have any legitimate affect on the industry I’d do it, but I think that’s total BS.

      Though these whole “vote with your wallet” style boycotts are the worst. If you truly feel strongly about the issue then you can’t simply sit on your ass and act like doing nothing is doing something.

  • Riian

    I guess that’s a rather reasonable explanation.

    I’ve never really understood the whole “Japanese + English tracks” begging/hype. It’s not like it’ll be easier to understand what’s going on in the game…

  • malek86

    “This is an isolated case”

    So, does this mean future concurrent releases are gonna be region free regardless of their release date?

    Or does it simply mean that we can expect no more concurrent releases in the future, so there won’t be any need for region locking?

    The latter would be kinda annoying. I’d rather have games released in all territories at the same time. If region lock is the equivalent exchange to pay, so be it. Importing should be a surrogate solution, not the preferred choice. We should be striving for worldwide releases instead (and Atlus is still not doing it well, cause they kinda forgot Europe here).

    • mirumu

      Agreed. I think if everything was a simultaneous worldwide release this problem would go away completely. Easier to say than do of course, but it certainly works for the AAA titles.

    • Testsubject909

      To specify Worldwide.

      That means to include Europe, Asia and Australia…

      Because as we all know… Australians always get the short end of the deal.

  • Ladius

    I appreciate them getting in touch with the fanbase, and I imagine how horrible their position must be considering the decision was probably made by Index, but:

    -their decision could become a “slippery slope” regardless of their intentions, since other publishers could choose to follow their example now that someone else has set the precedent and took the brunt of the importers and region free supporters’ reactions against the first PS3 region locked game.

    -also, if Atlus USA hadn’t any voice in this decision how can they guarantee Index won’t region lock other games in the future, since price differences between US and PAL games are always a concern?

    -there have been a lot of dual audio games (and even some dual audiodual script games) realased so far during PS3′s six years history, and yet no one even thought of region locking them. Why should we accept this move when Aksys, NISA, Sega and others did otherwise?

    -price differences in different markets have existed since the beginning of the videogame industry and, again, IndexAtlus is the first trying to price gouge PS3 software by region locking it, which is a blatant anti-consumer move even aside of region locking’s other implications. Why should we give Atlus a free pass when no other publisher thought that this reason was enough to christen region locking on PS3? Why should we hold them to a different standard?

    -the US release date is two weeks later than Japan’s, but Europe currently hasn’t even a clear release date, and Zen United is known for its horrible delays. With this game having global servers, this is a huge issue for European gamers interested to enjoy the game on a competitive level, since they could end up waiting weeks (or months, considering Zen’s history) to join the Japanese and US P4 Arena community.

    -I personally have no doubts about Persona 4 Arena’s quality, but that doesn’t mean IndexAtlus can use it to make us swallow a decision that could set a really bad precedent for anyone interested in region free gaming on PS3. Rather, it’s Index’s fault if such a wonderful game has become the center of a really annoying controversy.

    • HilariousNPC

      “there have been a lot of dual audio games (and even some dual audiodual
      script games) realased so far during PS3′s six years history, and yet
      no one even thought of region locking them. Why should we accept this
      move when Aksys, NISA, Sega and others did otherwise?”

      I think it’s pretty apparent from the letter that it’s the combination of the three factors: Dual audio, concurrent release, and the vast difference in the yen/dollar exchange rate.

      Also, Sega’s not niche, so I don’t see how this would apply to them. Once you get large enough, the number of people who are going to import isn’t enough to affect the title’s performance.

      • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

        It’s 9 about Yen and 1 about everything else. What do you expect them to say? Of course they’re gonna grasp at every straw they can find.

        • HilariousNPC

          And how exactly did you come to that conclusion? Do you know anything about the Japanese games market? Within days of any game coming out, you will find copies of it in every used game shop in Akihabara for 1000yen less than the retail price. If this was spaced out 3-6 months like the typical Atlus US release, the US version would actually be more expensive for the Japanese gamer to purchase.

          It’s not 90% the price of yen, or Catherine would have been region locked too, genius. The dollar’s been around 80 yen since 2010.

          • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

            They did say it in the their statement, take the time to read it.
             
            “both identical in content, but at radically different price points.”

            They don’t want Japanese gamers to import from the US, as if you won’t find very cheap used copies by the time your import US copy arrives in Japan.

            Their dual language excuse doesn’t work.

          • HilariousNPC

            Keep your blinders and earplugs in to shield you from everything you don’t want to hear, but the facts are right there in front of you.

            Catherine: Region free, no dual-audio, same exchange rate.

            P4A: Not region free, dual-audio, same exchange rate.

            What’s the differing factor? DUAL AUDIO. It’s a reason, not an excuse.

            Testsubject: Renting used to be illegal (which I only realized once I went down to the video rental shop with my friend to rent a game, and then put 2 and 2 together.) but I think that law got overturned somewhere in the 2000s.

          • Testsubject909

            On another note. Didn’t I hear something at one point about how renting games in Japan was illegal or highly discouraged because of how it affected video game sales?

    • Testsubject909

      There is still one ultimate question that will come to the mind of anyone making and publishing a game.

      “How will Region Locking or maintaining our game as Region Free affect our sales?”

      The sales of this one game will not provide something that I ultimately feel would enable any company to safely determine or judge whether or not a game will sell better or sell less. As such, it still remains a lot of shooting in the dark. This one decision was made based on other data outside of the idea of the financial effects of a region locked game and was more of an educated gamble as far as I can tell.

      Now, this is a bit odd of me to say but, in terms of details, charts and numbers pertaining to the possible profit of region locked games vs non region locked games, I’d actually look towards Nintendo’s region locked handheld as that would definitely bring up quite a lot of numbers, though even then, with so many different factors popping up. I have absolutely no idea how a financial analyst or anyone in the business would determine this to be beneficial or not.

      On another note though, from a marketing standpoint, you know how there’s no such thing as bad publicity? The whole racket about how this game is the first region locked game does provide it a lot more free publicity and spread of name, even if it’s negative, it’s still a spread of their name which by most marketing strategies I’ve seen, is seen as an ultimate benefit to their sales numbers.

      So… You guys making a lot of noise about it might actually incidentally cause it to be seen as an ultimate benefit and a form of free publicity. Because we know, the next few big name games that do choose to be region locked will indeed get a lot of free buzz about that one detail.

      edit: As such, now I’m wondering, from the marketing standpoint, is the cost of having a game region locked and the possible effects it might ultimately have on the sales be offset or offset the effects of the free publicity from the negative buzz?

  • Istillduno

    “We screwed you for the Japanese sales, please buy our game anyway”

    NO

    • Testsubject909

      Wow, you read that in an odd way.

      Japan’s home base was the one that ultimately had a say in the final product being region locked or not. The NA Branch is there mainly for the redistribution and publication of the product over here, ultimately they need to say yes sir to their home base as they’re, you knwo, a Branch of the Home company?

      It wasn’t “We screwed you for the Japanese sales, please buy our game anyway”

      It’s “The Japanese wanted it Region locked, please buy our game anyway”

      Sooo… way to misread things.

  • Herok♞

    Honestly I can live with Region lock if it means everyone is happy because we all know single audio would mean no region lock, which would make dub haters angry. so I think this is the way for the game to sell the most and keep most people happy.

  • mirumu

    I’m glad they’ve said something about this. They needed to. They’re right too that the explanation doesn’t “resonate” with me however.

    Plenty of games get a worldwide simultaneous release, and plenty offer dual languages without a region lock. I disagree completely with their claims it isn’t a slippery slope because they have no idea how other publishers will view this action. It isn’t within Atlus’ ability to control how other publishers release their games. It is good to know though that Atlus themselves will be reluctant to region lock in the future. They have listened to some degree at least, and I appreciate that.

    At this point I don’t really have much to say other than that if all PS3 versions are region locked then I won’t be buying any of them.

    • Testsubject909

      Though on the flipside, with the 3DS being a region locked console and mandatory region locked games, these numbers can factor into how multiple companies can look into the possible profit that can be made and safeguarded via the use of region locking, though I imagine some actually factor in the profit made from importers.

      This whole issue really doesn’t mean much to me, as the idea of region locking or not just seems like it’s far too random a factor for anyone to determine as to whether or not it safeguards one’s profit or not. As such, I think most companies will just stay the course for as long as they’re unable to safely determine the difference in profit hat will be made pending whether or not a product on a region free console is region locked.

      That said though. Products coming out from Japan are at a higher risk though as, if memory serves me right and last I checked, Japan is in some economical turmoil. Though again, it’s unsure how region locking ultimately affects sales, and as such I still am left to wonder if really anyone’s going to try to region lock more games.

      • mirumu

        The world is in economic chaos today, although Japan has certainly been living with these conditions much longer.

        In terms of the 3DS I can only speak of my own experience. Here in New Zealand Nintendo barely had much presence for many years. I only ever recall seeing one SNES in a store, where as the SEGA Megadrive (Genesis) was sold everywhere. Even when Nintendo have sold consoles here they only brought over a small section of games.

        This has led to them only having a bit less market share over the years. I never met anyone with a N64 or Gamecube although I owned the latter myself. Despite me knowing plenty of PSP owners, 3 Vita owners, and have two friends who plan to buy Vitas soon, I don’t know anyone with a 3DS. My 3DS is an imported US one too. I don’t know what it’s like in other countries, but I can’t imagine Nintendo’s sales here look especially good.

        • Testsubject909

          I’m very sorry for your situation…

          • mirumu

            Well, it’s always been pretty good with Sony consoles here. Even for the ones that were region locked we still got most games. I think many people in this part of the world have a good opinion of Sony for that reason. They treated us well, and their region free consoles like the PS3 and PSP have made it even better.

            I can only speculate about the situation in Europe, but if it’s anything like here I can totally understand why they like Sony so much and why Sony consoles have traditionally sold better there.

  • Istillduno

    You take that post everywhere you can and everyone else can either like it or quote it with +1 or whatever equivalent doesn’t count as spam on the particular place it’s posted, because that has pretty much summed up a lot of what is wrong with this situation perfectly.

  • Locklear93

    This is really a pretty good response.  The only thing I read in it that bothers me even a little is, “It should be added that we were completely unprepared for the force with which the community communicated their disapproval.” 

    It seems to me that the companies that deal primarily in localization of Japanese titles with (comparatively) limited audiences, such as NISA, XSEED, and Atlus, would be painfully aware of how much their fanbases hate region locking.  It’s not like it’s a topic our community speaks of in hushed tones.  We’re really pretty loud about it, often.

    • Testsubject909

      Not that often if you ask me.

      It pops up every now and again yes, but it’s pretty much drowned out by all the hype craze and hope for localizing this or that.
      Plus, if a game comes to your home area fully featured with everything from the original and everything required if you just want an English experience, it comes to no surprise that they were surprised by the effects here.

      Though on the flip side, it’s also obvious that a lot of people prefer region free items… Though the sales of the 3DS tends to disprove that general mentality, which may or may not mean that Gamers are very vocal about their dislikes of Region Lock, but in the end, will trade away their hatred of such business decisions for the games they covet.

      Depressing thoughts huh?

      • Locklear93

        It seems pretty frequent to me. Most 3DS threads around here involve at least some complaints about the region lock. When the lock was announced, there was raging, too. I’ll concede it’s a quieter topic than it used to be, thanks in large part to the PS3 going so many years without a locked title, but by and large, region locks are always badmouthed on boards like Siliconera and other localization heavy sites. I’m of the opinion that companies like those named, which tend to have avid, small fanbases and limited mainstream penetration ought to be aware of things like this. Atlus isn’t a Johnny-Come-Lately; they’ve been around long enough that they should’ve seen this reaction coming, in my opinion.

        As for your comments on 3DS sales, well… my best friend commonly compares many (if not most) gamers to crack addicts. In the end, if they want it badly enough, they’ll cave. See: The Steam group dedicated to boycotting MW2 for lacking dedicated server support. When the game came out, they were all over it anyway. http://www.digitalbattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/mwboyvott.jpg

        I’m not going to pretend to know who here will buy P4A despite saying they never will… but there’ll be a percentage.

        As for me personally, I hate region locks, but I’m satisfied enough with their explanation not to penalize them for it. I just feel like their surprise is either disingenuous, or a sign that they need to look a little closer at their fans’ general attitudes. Couldn’t hurt anyway; if nothing else, they’ll get a better idea of what we like.

      • British_Otaku

        Ultimately, we buy systems we can get the games we want for.
        So even if the NA or PAL 3DS wouldn’t be able to play Jump Omega Stars (hypothetical), people would buy one because it has Smash Bros coming up.

        My take is that as vocal as we are on a system being region locked, we can’t punish the system truely unless we are sure we don’t want to have any of it’s games. Perhaps, we may even buy three of the systems (more likely to be portables), though I’m sure they would rather have more game sales than more second hand portables sold on Ebay.

        If a single game is region locked, we can isolate that example and call them out for all it’s worth. We don’t want to miss out on a (portion of a) game library but we could miss out on a game to make a point.

        • malek86

          Like I said many times, that’s the reason why a gamers boycott never works.

          Nintendo: we are region locking the 3DS!
          Gamers: omg! Let’s boycott Nintendo! We’ll never buy their products again!
          Nintendo: we are also making a new Zelda.
          Gamers: … shut up and take my money!

          When boycotting a food brand or a clothes brand or something, you can just buy something else similar. With games, you can’t really do it. Want chocolate? Just get a different brand. Want Mario? Sorry, you won’t find it on another console.

          And that’s why P4A will probably sell a lot despite everything that is being said today, and those people who are speaking of boycott now, will just have to accept the fact that vocal minorities are still minorities. And then they’ll probably eventually buy the game too. And in six months nobody will speak of this again, except to tell as an amusing story.

  • http://twitter.com/RefueledPants Jordan Slovsaki

    This just shows how the consumer isn’t always right(or reasonable). It doesn’t take a business major to figure out why lots of importing could have bad financial implications for the companies involved. The game is also launching with the same content in multiple territories within a period of two weeks. That’s something almost unheard of and something that should be applauded, not criticized.

  • Sakurazaki

    This was exactly the reason I came up with to why they decided on region-lcoking P4A.

    ATLUS, I will continue to give you my money. Just keep trucking along with great games.

  • Jake Joe

    Now announce that Persona 4 will have Dual Audio and I will forgive Atlus.

  • SirRichard

    Good on them for at least responding without covering it in corporate speak and sugar-coating it, and at least they were honest. My biggest worry was that it was the start of a trend, because let’s be honest here, as far as Atlus releases are concerned the world consists of America and Japan, and this becoming a trend would just put us back to the old days of praying someone would bring that stuff over.

  • RaineNythra

    Yeah, it’s price fixing. What a load of rot. Dissapointing, and I doubt their claims about it not being a slippery slope.

    • Ladius

      There are no way for them to control that “slippery slope”: Atlus USA apparently had no part in this choice, and if Index decides to employ region locking for their future releases they won’t be able to do much.

      Obviously, the situation is even worse considering other publishers could use this feature now that Atlus has introduced it and importers and gamers have vented their anger on them. Being the first to do something unpleasant is always more difficult than being second, third and so on.

      • Testsubject909

        That last bit is an unfortunate truth.

        Though again, only time will tell. Well, sales charts will probably help tip the favor into whether or not other companies would consider region locking, as these hard fact numbers will help them determine if whether or not region locking would affect their sales and profit.

        That said though. I don’t know if I’d support the idea some have had of boycotting this. As again, I’m unsure what sort of effect this just might have.

  • $733987

    But there’s something important they forget. Not everyone in Asia are Japanese. In my country, we use NSTC-J systems. For most games, there are Asia versions, which is pretty much the same as the US English version, but are NSTC-J region games. Now the problem is, some companies put region-lock in their games and then forget about the English speakers in Asia. An example is Catherine, which is region locked on the Xbox 360 and doesn’t have an Asia English version. I had to get a PS3 just to play that game because it was only region free on the PS3.

    tl;dr
    I really hope that Atlus will release an Asia English version this time. I want to give them my money, too. Pretty please? =p

    • Zeik56

       The Japanese version also has English text and voices.

      • $733987

        Actually, it’s a bit vague in the article. They used the word “identical”, but also mentioned that they managed to “include the exact same content as the Japanese release for our North American fans”, which I take to mean only the NSTC-U version have dual audio. But that’s okay, ’cause I did a little checking and found that there will be an Asia version for the PS3 with English text. Yes! :D

  • MrKappa

    This is just like I said in the other article. It was clear as day to see that the choice to region lock came down solely from Atlus Japan. I honestly think they are overreacting as there will not be that many Japanese who will wait a whole week just to import for $20 off.
    Imports have only ever helped as they only lead to more sales of a game when a country doesn’t get said game. People who import for cheaper prices or to play earlier are so few and far between that this choice still makes little sense.

    • HilariousNPC

      I agree that this was probably a huge overreaction, considering that Amazon Japan already has the game on sale.

    • Strain42

       I agree. It actually makes me a little sad to see so many people acting like this is Atlus USA’s fault and yelling at them for it. I understand why people are upset, but sometimes people just throw blame in the wrong direction.

    • Testsubject909

      Makes you wonder who it was in the home base who was so worried about the effect it might have on their home sales.

      And also from which side it came from. Index Holding or Atlus?

      • mirumu

        I think justified or not it’s been a common paranoia amongst Japanese companies for a long time. It’s certainly not unique to Index/Atlus. The anime studios have taken it so far they’ve effectively killed their international markets and opened the door to fansubbing purely to prevent local Japanese customers from importing DVDs and Blu-rays from overseas.

        My personal view is that the damage wouldn’t be as bad as they think, and that they’d be more profitable if they removed such barriers and actively attempted to sell their content to other regions. I do understand reasons why they would be reluctant to do this however.

  • rurifan

    As a point of reference, Soul Calibur 5 is a recent PS3 fighting game released with dual audio at the same time in japan and the west and … it wasn’t region locked!  Not all companies succumb to greed and the temptation to price fix with region locking.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Because atlus is the same size as Namco…..Oh thats grand.

      • rurifan

        Funny, normally it’s the big companies we expect to be greedy calculating jerks.  And now the excuse for Namco not being greedy price-fixing jerks is … they are a big company.  Cool story bro.

        • HilariousNPC

          Maybe it’s because the big money grubbing company won’t get enough money out of doing this particular thing because they’re so much larger.

          Grocery stores in America greedy arms of greedy agribusiness, and they’re effing huge, but you don’t see them selling individual bottles of coke in a bag like the grocery stores do in Mexico to keep the recycling deposit on bottles because it’s not worth their time.

          When you get bigger, you have to get more efficient with your greed.

        • Luna Kazemaru

          Yeah because of ONE game they are greedy jerks ready to make your life sucks. Lol gtfo kid.

          • rurifan

            I see your capacity to discuss intelligently has very severe limits “kid”.  Would you like a second chance to address the substance of my posts? 

            Review: SC5 got a dual audio worldwide release and even a big company we expect to be jerks didn’t resort to greedy price fixing.  Why should anybody make excuses for poor little Atlus being bigger jerks than Namco?

          • Luna Kazemaru

            How much money does namco make a year again? How much does capcom make a year again (this is before anyone brings it up)? Now look at atlus and how much they make its a crappy thing to happen to the game sure but explain to me how they are greedy jerks for only doing this once.

            Also don’t come at me about lacking intelligence when you are using turns like ‘cool story bro’

          • rurifan

            @ValkyriaXEdge:disqus: I don’t understand why you think it excuses them that this is the *first* time Atlus has been bigger greedy jerks than any other company in the industry.  If anything, that should make us condemn them far more strongly for the even remote possibility that they start an industry trend.

          • Luna Kazemaru

             Ok since you feel so strongly about this whole then boycott Nintendo and Microsoft since they are doing the same thing basically with the 3ds and the 360 oh wait you all will come up with some bullsh** about it not being the same thing ect when effectively it is..Whatever..

          • Testsubject909

            Hmm… Well, thinking on it.

            Namco is a larger company that has a more stable financial income while Atlus had received enough of a financial blow that they ultimately got taken in by Index Holding who now do have a hand into any final decision Atlus makes.

            Being a smaller company, they need to tend to their profit, specifically their home profit as we’ve determined multiple times in the past that comparatively, the North American branch of Atlus has been doing fairly well financially, though despite that fact, the home base of Atlus in Japan still had to get fused into another company to keep it financially afloat.

            Between a company that’s economically stable versus a smaller company who also involves another company into the making of this odd calculated gamble in the form of a fighting game in a time when we’re relatively saturated by 2D fighters, while equally having blown a lot of money into more Persona 4 items which doubles as effective marketing and source of income.

            I’m not too surprised about this region lock.

            Am I glad about it? No. Do I mind it? Yes. Am I going to behave like you or anyone else complaining about it? Probably not. Do I pity the people who have no choice but to import? Yes. And THEY are the ones who I think have the right to complain.

            People like those in Australia. But if you’re in NA or JP and have a NA or JP PS3. You really have no reason to complain. The game is coming in all options to satisfy any of your personal desires pertaining to the game’s content.

            And if you’re an importer and you happen to have a NA PS3, you also have no real reason to complain… If you have an EU PS3, yeah, now you do, but it’s really just a temporary setback as you’ll just have to wait for the game to release over in EU.

            Does it make me worried about future games being region locked? Somewhat. But really only time will tell how this’ll work out.

          • mirumu

            @ValkyriaXEdge:disqus I believe that is actually part of the reason the 360 gets outsold by the PS3 in the rest of the world, and part of the reason for poor 3DS sales in those territories as well.

            I bought a 360 at launch, but barely buy any games for it precisely because of the region locking. There are 360 games I’d like to buy but can’t because they haven’t been released here. If a game exists on both PS3 and 360, I always buy the PS3 version to encourage region free releases. In practise I’ve only bought one 360 game since 2008.

            Nintendo’s traditionally awful support for their consoles outside of US & Japan meant I didn’t even bother considering a local 3DS. The vast majority of Nintendo games never come out here. Due to this I bought a US 3DS instead. Honestly I do feel kind of bad supporting them under those conditions, but it’s certainly been interesting to see how much better the US has it.

          • Luna Kazemaru

             @mirumu:disqus It still doesn’t change the fact people are still supporting it.

          • mirumu

            Well sure. I wouldn’t really expect any different. People will support whatever they want, but just because others do doesn’t mean I have to. 

            Your original point was about people being hypocritical, blaming Atlus for this, but ignoring the fact Microsoft and Nintendo do the same thing. That’s a perfectly fair thing to point out, and if someone that thinks that way I agree with you 100%. All I’m really saying is that I think you’ll find people living in the smaller markets who have experienced the downside of region locking for decades now know very well which companies are guilty of it and their sales are impacted accordingly. Living in such a market you run into the same issue of region locking again, and again, and again with games, movies, music, ebooks, online stores, etc. It gives you an extreme distaste for it very quickly.

        • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

          Well, there’s the little factoid that Bandai Namco has other means of income aside from their video game branch. Have you seen how big their toy branch is, and how many franchises they cover? Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, freaking Gundam, not to mention the various figure series like S.H.FiguArts – that’s just a few geeky franchises on the top of my head. And let’s not forget their arcade machine business either; especially since Namco became part of them, and they are big in arcade businesses too, like Tekken, for example. And speaking from my own experience, Bandai themselves don’t put much resources into their games, many of which are licensed tie-ins; it’s only on the Namco side where you get to see some actual quality.

          So yeah. While I’m not entirely content with this development, let’s face the facts: Bandai Namco was able to throw us a bone now and then because they’re already sitting on a pile of bones juicy meat.

      • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

        But I thought Atlus was the people’s developer, that it was poor man’s Valve.

        It turns out they opened a can of worms with a move that could influence many other publishers.

        • Luna Kazemaru

           Right because of one game they don’t care about any of the customers they have…..ok.

          • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

            So it’s fine for them to step on you since it’s -one game- and they want more money, it’s not fine for you to boycott as this is a nasty anti-consumer decision?

            They would still be great developers, you would still be an Atlus fan as you probably bought every game they made in recent years, it’s -one game- for you as much as it is for them. There’s no double standard.

          • Luna Kazemaru

             Because boycotting fixes everything..No. I’m slightly upset about this move that Atlus Japan has pulled sure but its in no way going to stop me from enjoying the game and quickly turning on them because of this one game. I don’t play every altus game but I do know they bring over some great games and can’t always make the fans happy this is one of those times. IF the game was released at the same time in the NA,EU,and JP this whole thing could have most likely avoided the issue is trying to get that to happen.

          • Ladius

             @ValkyriaXEdge:disqus  Boycotting doesn’t fix everything, but it allows us to clearly state our position regarding the introduction of region locking on PS3 and our unwavering support of region free gaming.

            Considering the issues we could face once other publishers start copying Atlus (and there’s little chance they won’t after the first step has been made, considering everyone in the industry is affected by some of those problems), I think taking a strong stance is really important to show that those policies won’t be supported by consumers.

  • gaiahatergaia


    The short story is the decision was made to prevent Japanese gamers from importing the cheaper US version, since it has Japanese and English voiceovers. The long story is below.”

    Eh, really? What loss do you have if they imported the US version? And what makes you think they’ll actually import it just because it’s cheaper? also, what does the game having two voiceovers has anything to do with it? Of course, dual audio is a must, regardless of the region, i’m not speaking for everyone there, but i sure as hell wouldn’t want to listen to english dubs.

    I don’t get it.

    • Luna Kazemaru

       ‘Of course dual audio is a must, regardless of the region, i’m not
      speaking for everyone there, but i sure as hell wouldn’t want to listen
      to english dubs.’

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH…
      http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/xxAgainstTheRest/ONTD/1j46ec.gif

      • gaiahatergaia

        Very funny, very very funny.

    • HilariousNPC

      “Hey, he’s not saying the thing I wanted to hear at all, so I’m not going to pay attention to any of it and pretend that he didn’t just address the things that I’m talking about!”

      • gaiahatergaia

        You sure you’re replying to the right comment?

        • HilariousNPC

          Yup.

          You, the “How does having dual audio cause this problem, I’m not going to listen to what was said in the message after that point, because dual audio is the only way to listen to anything ever” guy was who I was responding to. It’s very clearly stated in the letter how dual audio was an unintended cause for the region lock, and you chose just to ignore the crap outta it.

          • gaiahatergaia

            I clearly stated that i’m not speaking for everyone out there, can’t you read?

    • Brandonmkii

      The game has dual/audio and text. If a copy of the game from a region other than your own was 30 dollars cheaper, while still being in your native voice and  language, there’s going to be a lot of people from your region that would want to import.

      • gaiahatergaia

        If that’s the case then i understand what they’re trying to do, but when you think about it, what loss do they have if the japanese import it? and it’s not like they’re gonna wait Till the US version is out to buy the game.

        What, People are allowed to import from japan and japanese gamers aren’t allowed to import from other regions? makes no sense to me. Plus it’s not like the japanese are the only ones who’re gonna import it, you know.

        • Testsubject909

          Japan’s economy won’t win from this deal and it will also affect the general profit from the home company which did get into enough financial trouble that it got absorbed into Index Holding who now have ultimate say in their business dealings who may or may not have had a hand in their decision of region locking it.

          Also keep in mind that Japan’s economy is in turmoil at the moment so it would make sense if they’d want to maintain as much of that money in. Considering how many things in Japan are overpriced, it wouldn’t be that much of a reach that many gamers would opt for importing. Also, Japan being such a technologically prominent country, it’s quite likely a lot of gamers in Japan got a hold of this information.

          This is a decision made at home, focused primarily for their own country’s wellbeing and their own home base company’s financial wellbeing as well. More imports of the NA version is beneficial to the North American branch but it’s unsure if that is beneficial to the home base as well.

          So no. When I think about it. It makes sense to me.

          Do I like it? No. Does it ultimately affect me? I live in Canada so no. Do I see this as ultimately bad? Sort of, but really it’s mainly bad for those who live outside of NA and possibly EU who I’m thinking are also going to get this game. This is really going to hurt a lot of importers outside of those areas and also hurt a lot of people in more restrictive places like Australia.

      • shimrion

        weren’t both Blazblue CT and CS also like that, and both got released in the same month for NA as Japan?

    • MrKappa

      It doesn’t just have dual audio, Atlus has also said the game can be switched to complete Japanese text and all.

  • http://radiantloki.blogspot.com/ Mark Dinh

    Eh, it makes sense :). I read a comment about this being just another way to make money. Not really… :/, they could lose money if our prices are cheaper for Japanese consumers, and they will more likely buy it since it’s dual audio. I like games that have dual audio, especially games that are horribly dubbed x_x. They also state that they aren’t going to do this with other projects. ATLUS has made great games, and boycotting it cause of this is just ridiculous… economy these days… sooner or later there won’t be any games… that is what I feel. :/

    • Ladius

      As I said below, we have had many dual audio games and even some dual script ones (not to mention multi-language games released at the same time in the US and Europe), and yet this is the first time in six years someone tries to introduce region locking on PS3.

      Also, as much as I believe Atlus USA when they say they wouldn’t like this to happen again, this instance shows that they have no power to stop Index’s decisions regarding region locking a game, and in turn that means we could very well have more Atlus region locked games in the future regardless of what the American division thinks.

      • Testsubject909

        The best way I’d imagine to prevent this would be to delay NA releases, meaning that a mandatory wait of roughly 6 months or so to remove any worries from any big wigs of this affecting their home base economical gain would be lessened to the point where they would ignore the idea of region locking their basic content.

        Let’s also not forget that Japan’s economy is currently in trouble too, which does factor in their decision to attempt to maintain their profit over at home.

        Also. I do not deny the fact we’ve had dual script and dual language games before but I will note, in some cases we didn’t get these dual script games (Ace Attorney on the DS, I know it’s not the PS3 but hey) and dual script games are a great rarity. Seriously, thinking back on all the PS3 games I know of, I think I can only remember 1 game that’s possibly multi-language script enabled. And even then, it had a relatively spacious release date difference.

        Keep in mind the gameplay elements and how that factors in as well. Fighting games tend to require little understanding of the text and if all story segments are voiced, it makes text option relatively easy to ignore by the great majority of gamers.

        Am I asking you to forgive them? No. I’m just asking you to understand the situation and not just blindly complain about how we’ve had so many dual language games before and whatnot, as these details alone ignores a great deal of variables that ultimately led to this decision of region locking.

        If anything, I’d imagine, and I repeat myself, that to combat this region locking, localization of games will most likely have a mandatory spaced out time period between releases across other areas in the world or a mandatory lack of dual language to discourage reverse importers.

        • kroufonz

          no need to delay that long most of niche games sales come from first week sales a month delay already more than enough for that(long delay probably could cause loss of sales in the US version due to hype that will be not be as big), hell remove the japanese text (keep the japanese voice) I am sure the reverse importing will be minimum even if it is released one week after japan.(even for a fighting game).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q6NXXGMO5XNSMJ64NIHYHFP56A Vince

    So to sum this all up;

    “It’s just business?”

    • ThatBlackGuy

      Pretty Much

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

    I totally called it.

    You finally got what the dual audio you all wanted for so long, now pay the price.

    Gamers are insatiable. Atlus of all people should know that, so the only fault they committed was not announcing this sooner. Not like it would have helped any, but still.

    • Ladius

      This has nothing to do with dual audio, we have had lots of dual audio, dual script, multi-language etc games on PS3 and yet this is the first publisher who tries to region lock a PS3 game in six years.

      • Testsubject909

        This is a fighting game with dual audio choices enabling it’s own home market to fully comprehend and enjoy the game with no trouble whatsoever, with the close release date, it becomes a small sacrifice to save a or two dozen bucks.

        Knowing how gamers think, no matter where they live, they’re often cheap, wanting the best of deals. As such, this would affect sales at least in theory, heavily enough that the home base Atlus or it’s parent company Index Holding, opted to region lock the game to safeguard against reverse importing.

        I understand the decision. Though I might not agree with region locking, I can understand the business decision and mentality behind it well enough that I for one will not blame or blast the North American branch of Atlus as ultimately it is out of their hands.

        • Ladius

          I’m not blaming Atlus USA, either: as I said in my first post, I too believe the decision was made at Index and Atlus USA is currently scrambling to justify it somehow.

          That said, whoever made the decision doesn’t really change the multitude of issues linked to introducing region locks on PS3, and I can’t support anyone who push such an anti-consumer policy that could very well be adopted by other publisher after Atlus’ example.

          • Testsubject909

            Gotta keep in mind. These are companies, they strategize and calculate their efforts here into making profit (why do you think they have an estimated sales number and all that? Those aren’t arbitrary numbers, they’re well calculated numbers whose actual results ultimately affected by untold other variables outside of their own control).

            With no real means of telling just how region locking ultimately affects the sales of Atlus’ P4A, considering their marketing and whatnot, it really puts to question whether any company will seriously and actually consider taking in Region Locking.

            Really, the only way I’m seeing as to whether or not another company will choose to region lock a game is whether or not they think the negative buzz and uproar will cause enough free marketing for them that it’ll positively affect their sales while keeping in context that they’ll be barring themselves from importers who also factor into their regional profit.

            There’s also a few other ways to look into it, but I’m getting hungry and I’ve got a salad and hot dogs to eat.

    • SirRichard

      So what about those of us in Europe, who are at the mercy of a publisher with a track record of overlong delays for Arc System fighting games? Now what about those of us in that situation who didn’t ask nor care for dual audio tracks?

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

         What do you want me to say? The Europe market needs massive restructuring if it wants to be taken seriously by publishers.

        • SirRichard

          Plenty of other publishers big and small take it seriously and get by just fine, it’s not a fault of the market. It’s not as black and white as you make it out to be, simply, and Atlus aren’t entirely blameless in this affair.

    • kroufonz

      no people shouldn’t pay the price (region lock) for dual audio, especially for a genre where all other game have it/ japanese voice, the problem is it is identical with japanese version (because they are also including the japanese text on us version), audio option should not be blamed for that, other fighting game already have it for years hell some of upcoming fighting game have it and they are released simulteanously with just 2-3 day different in each region.

  • Nicolas Vasquez

    i really dont see whats the problem with this, unless you are autralian…

    • Testsubject909

      Man…. I’m happy I’m not a gamer in Australia… Poor folks there.

      • mirumu

        At least Australia is finally getting a R18 rating. Australia and New Zealand (where I live) are usually treated as the same distribution region by publishers so even though NZ has always had a R18 rating we’ve often been lumbered with the censored version of games designed for Australia.

        Regarding P4A however, I’ll be surprised if they release it here. It seems like one of those titles they’ll just consider won’t sell well enough to justify it’s release in this part of the world.

  • Niyari

    Sucks. I hope the whiners don’t ruin the chances of us getting more dual-audio Persona releases from Atlus. 

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

       Too late.

  • Nitraion

    Hmm….==” I agree for money reason but at least make it not obvious, sooo overreacting you just can make 
    simultaneous released for the game you know…
    The costumer will not gonna agree no matter what for money reason they will think you greedy no matter what you saying…
    Edit: i worry this might be an excuses for giving dual-audio……

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

      Atlus went out of their way to put in dual audio and close release dates when they clearly didn’t have to. They made a sacrifice for these and if the gamers can’t appreciate it, they don’t deserve any of it.

      • kroufonz

        the problem is the US version identical with japanese version (because they are also including the japanese text on us version which pretty much almost no one asking for japanese text, most only asking for japanese audio), audio option should not be blamed for that, other fighting game already have it for years hell some of upcoming fighting game have it and they are released worldwide with just 2-3 days different in each region.

  • Xeawn

    Honestly this is completely legit. It’s not like if someone region locked, say, Ragnarok Odyssey where we’ve had to wait seven months to get it in English. I spent a month in Japan, and you can spend upwards of $100+ USD to buy one Japanese PS3 game if you don’t know where to look and how to deal. If I lived in Japan I’d absolutely wait two weeks to buy the game for $40 less, especially being able to have it be completely identical.

  • http://twitter.com/saffire_sky Kjersti

    Even if Japanese gamers can get the game cheaper here in the USA, wouldn’t shipping costs offset the savings at least somewhat?

    In any case, regardless of whether you come to terms with region-locking, at least Atlus is being upfront about it. I can appreciate honesty, and them taking the time to address the issue.

    • HilariousNPC

      List price for the game in Japan is 7,329 yen, which is about $92.

      US price is $59.99.

      You can get the game shipped to Japan for less than $32.

      • mirumu

        That’s interesting. The current going rate for games here in NZ ranges between about US$90 to US$110. Maybe the real problem here is that games in the US are way too cheap. I can see an easy way for the industry to increase profits here simply by ramping those up…

        I kid, I kid, but that’s a pretty huge price discrepancy. Normally you’d expect games to be the cheapest in countries with a lower income per-capita.

        • HilariousNPC

          “Normally you’d expect games to be the cheapest in countries with a lower average income per-capita.”

          You’d expect that, but it doesn’t happen that way all the time. The crazy fluctuation in the price of PC components around the world never ceases to boggle my mind…

          • mirumu

            I know what you mean.

            It’s interesting though because that reasoning has always been used as the justification for regional pricing. Prevent bootlegs by selling it cheap in the poorer countries that can’t afford to pay the high prices, and maximise profit by raising the price in the richer countries. Of course that ignores transportation costs and local sales taxes, etc.

        • Anime10121

          Shh, Dont give em any ideas, I like my $60 game purchases :(

          • mirumu

            I’d like your $60 game purchases too.  ;)

            Honestly I don’t believe higher prices=higher profits.

          • Guest

             They know you’ll buy it. Japan does the same thing. Contrary to popular belief, not all Japanese play video games but the gamers are loyal consumers who will pay for anything. U.S. …..not so much but we have a bigger install base so..

          • mirumu

            I think perhaps you think this is a richer country than it is. The average income here is significantly lower than in the US yet the prices are significantly higher. There comes a point where people just can’t afford to buy luxuries like games, and I think for many that was exceeded long ago. Times are tough.

      • http://twitter.com/saffire_sky Kjersti

        …That’s quite the price difference.  I had no idea it was that big of a gap.

        • HilariousNPC

          I don’t think most of the gripers in here do.

          • http://twitter.com/saffire_sky Kjersti

            Probably. I was guessing it was about… maybe $20 or so USD at most, if that + shipping costs, I imagined the margins between prices would have been smaller.

            I can definitely see where the companies are coming from. That’s a hefty price difference when you’d basically be getting the exact same game and material with the dual-audio/script included. America would benefit, but Japan wouldn’t.

        • Ladius

          It isn’t, since you can already preorder the game for significantly less than its list price (it’s pretty much normal, too, especially on Amazon).

      • Ladius
    • Testsubject909

      No… I’m quite sure they’re going to be less.

      I mean, for example, I purchased a retail copy of Warriors Orochi 3 from Europe since we couldn’t get one here in NA. And it cost me just around the same as if I had purchased it digitally.

      And that’s while considering that typically the price for games in Europe are supposedly higher then those in NA. In this case, the prices are far more spaced out in terms of the JP pricing and the NA pricing. They would definitely save money which would mean a loss of sales over in Japan.

      Since the game is built in Japan, it’s up to Atlus over in Japan to determine whether or not to region lock their games, plus keep in mind that they’re held by Index which are their big boss here who ultimately can force them to region lock the game or not if they fear it’ll interfere with profit.

      • http://twitter.com/saffire_sky Kjersti

        Which is understandable from a business-profit standpoint, regardless of whether or not you like it. I can certainly understand where Atlus is coming from, even though I’ve never personally liked region-locking. 

        (I do wish the majority of games that are region-locked weren’t, particularly in cases where it’s not localized outside of their originating country, in which case I don’t see the point to region-locking at all.

        I know I was pretty tempted to order Xenoblade and The Last Story and just mod my goddamn Wii since NOA was being stubborn.)

        Maybe I should’ve went for it. Ah well.

        • revenent hell

          IN particular I wanted to do this for Pandora’s Tower but I still have a teeny hope left

          • http://twitter.com/saffire_sky Kjersti

            I don’t blame you. I generally prefer to support the company that brings and localizes the game in my region (such as Xseed and The Last Story), but sometimes that’s just not possible. 

            With any luck, Pandora’s Tower will come to the states for the people who have waited patiently for it. (Though tbh I’m still surprised Europe got that one.) I’ve watched playthroughs of PT, and PT strikes me as a game with a far narrower, more niche-like appeal than, say, Xenoblade. I can actually see why Nintendo (and others) are wary to localize it, though, as I’ve said before, I hope they still do. 

  • Ladius

    They aren’t making any sacrifice, rather they’re introducing an harmful, anti-consumer practice and justifying it with issues every other publisher has had till now without resorting to region locks on PS3.

    edit: Disqus screwed up, it was meant as an answer to another post.

  • scratchbach

    I’m okay with this explanation. As long is it doesn’t become a trend (which seems unlikely), then I don’t mind at all.
    Sorry for anyone affected though!

    • Ladius

      This practice becoming a trend isn’t unlikely, since other publishers are affected by the same issues as Atlus and they wouldn’t appreciate being limited to region free games once one other publisher has introduced the first region lock in the PS3 scene.

      Even in the Atlus camp, Atlus USA can’t really block any region lock decision from Index, so this could be only the first regional block from this publisher (we should remember every X360 game published by Atlus has been region locked so far, which is far more normal in that context but still telling considering other publishers pushed region free gaming even on that platform).

      • scratchbach

        I can’t say I’m completely convinced, but the possibility does exist. Regardless, I sincerely hope this does not become the norm. 

        That would be kinda lame.

  • MrJechgo

    Won’t both the Japanese and North American have both Japanese and English voiceovers ?

    What’s the deal ? Both versions will be 100% identical, except for the coding.

    • Alexander Aubert

      the deal is japanese import are expensive

  • Darkrise

    Can everyone just be happy that this will be the only ps3 game for now that’s region-locked just so that the companies can benefit? Can ANYONE be happy that all three regions are actually getting the damn game? *smh* All this ‘heat’ about region locking a game that has already been determined to come out everywhere is really giving me a migraine. Besides, we’re all going to be able facing each other off online in the multiplayer no matter what region and this is just to help out the companies in their respective regions. I’ve never been for region-lock but this here is justified. Just be happy we can all play and leave off from the idea of trying to save a couple of dollars from a company that worked their butts off for this game.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      You really asking gamers of this generation to be happy about anything? Hun you have alot to learn.

      • Ladius

        There’s a middle ground between whiny entitlement and accepting everything a publisher will do, though.

        We aren’t talking about Tales fans whining because the western edition of Tales of Xillia won’t be a dual audio budget release bundled with Vesperia PS3 and an action figure and an hand-written letter by Hideo Baba, we’re talking about a publisher introducing region locks to a platform that has been region free for six years, and about the consequences of this choice on other publishers.

        • Luna Kazemaru

           ‘ Ok since you feel so strongly about this whole then boycott Nintendo
          and Microsoft since they are doing the same thing basically with the 3ds
          and the 360 oh wait you all will come up with some bullsh** about it
          not being the same thing ect when effectively it is..Whatever..’

          This is all I have to say about the whole thing now. Its a shocker seeing that the ps3 has its first Region locked game I didn’t believe it myself but if people wanna do this boycott over it being locked alone they sure as hell better not be buying any 360 or 3ds games since they are effectively doing the same thing. I’m not behind region locking games i find it pretty pointless because in the end they are still making money some how but its not going to stop me from buying the game nor other people call me some ‘dumb sheep’ or whatever all you want but if anyone is getting mad over this whole thing for the lock along ps3 or not and are still buying games on a system and handheld that has been supporting this type of crap their post are meaningless to me.

          IMO this whole issue could clearly have been avoided tho if everyone got off their a**es and pushed more for games to be released in regions at the same time.

          • Ladius

            Luna, the fact that other companies have screwed consumers with region locking doesn’t mean we should excuse Atlus for doing the same.

            This is especially true considering P4 Arena isn’t a game on an hardware region locked platform like 3DS where you couldn’t make a region free game even if you wanted to, or one on a platform with tons of region locked games like X360 where the precedent of region locking has been there since the start: this is the -first- region locked game in six years of PS3 history, and with this move they created a precedent that could be exploited by other publishers and damage the region free environment many importers and gamers love.

            Also, I never called anyone a “dumb sheep”, nor do I think you’re one for having different ideas. I do think some of you are severly underestimating the risks this precedent could create, though.

          • Luna Kazemaru

             The sheep thing was aimed at anyone else who wants to come at me like what happen with this morning i generally have no issues when it comes to use with debates like this because you don’t come off like some a** so it wasn’t really aimed at you.

            I’m not telling people to excuse atlus for the whole thing I’m telling people don’t make themselves look like a Hypocrite saying we don’t support region locking yet they are supporting systems that have been doing it from the start. I get the precedent that it ‘may’ bring its the same thing when EA/Ubi brought ‘online codes’ into play for online gaming and everyone jump on the bandwagon saying it was the end of online gaming and everyone would follow them. Yet it hasn’t happen its a scary thought but most devs are smarter then gamers put them out to be and wouldn’t follow dumb idea’s like that not saying that devs haven’t been customer friendly but I would assume after seeing reactions to this alone most of them would not want to shoot themselves.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Except the problem here, Ladius, is that the same set of consumers–the exact same people, going by their usernames–are complaining about everything, ranging from DLC practises to region-locking to release date differences to dual audio. It’s a little hard to take any of them seriously when they complain about everything under the sun. 

          Frankly, I don’t even take most of these people seriously any more. How many of them really spend the money to import games in the first place?

  • Tom_Phoenix

    “While we’re all one big ATLUS family, the reality is that the dramatic difference between the Yen and the Dollar makes for a dramatic difference in price. So the decision was made, perhaps at the expense of some of our fans, clearly at the frustration of many, to region-lock Persona 4 Arena.”

    http://www.siliconera.com/2012/07/05/persona-4-arena-is-region-locked-but-the-online-servers-are-global/#comment-577559712

    CALLED IT.

    On a more serious note, while the fact that Persona 4: Arena is being region locked is unfortunate, the negative impact of such a decision is much lessened by the fact that this game will (eventually) see release in all three regions and that the servers are global.

    Also, I must say, I am extremely pleasantly suprised by Atlus’ honesty regarding this matter. Most companies would never reveal something like this (since, no matter what way you slice it, it’s a decision made solely for the benefit of the company and to the detriment of its customers) out of fear that it would damage their reputation. But what they often don’t realise is that it is precisely silence that ends up festering suspicions and doubt and undermines the faith the customers have in the company. By adressing the problem and honestly stating the reasons for their decision (as unfortunate as that decision may be), Atlus showed itself to be much more customer-centric than most other companies.

    As an importer and supporter of free trade, I cannot endorse Atlus’ decision (even though I understand their point of view) on principle alone. However, I CAN give credit where it is due, so Atlus gets a thumbs up from me for their honest response. In some ways, it shows why Atlus has managed to build such a loyal fanbase.

  • gquain

    well i am fine with that reasoning as we might not have to wait 2 years to get the exact same game localized in our cities.
    Just to clear a question which is currently flowing into my head:
    Is only the japanese version region-locked or also the american version?

    This question are not meant to mock anyone, i live in europe and therefore depend on import (as an european release-date was , in my state of information-gathering, not even considered)

    • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

      Each release is region-locked to its own territory.
      If you have a European console you’ll have to get the Euro release. 

    • Ladius

      Europeans won’t be able to play American copies of P4 Arena, they will have to wait for Zen United for the PAL edition.

  • http://www.starcreator.com/ StarCreator

    Business decision or not, as one who lives in the US but only uses a Japanese 360, this pretty much means I won’t be buying the game.  The region locking prevents me from playing a game released in my own country, and the exchange rate effectively makes an import of the game twice as expensive as the version I should be able to play in the first place.

  • Roberto Armando Iraheta

    “Yeah, let’s boycott a great game because we’re self-entitled idiots
    that gets easily bothered over legitimate business decisions that might potentially ruin the company! That’ll show em!”

    • Ladius

      Congrats for insulting people without providing any answer to any of the problems that came up during this discussion.

      That said, this has nothing to do with the masochistic urge to boycott a great game and much to do with P4A being the first region locked game in PS3′s history, the precedent it’s going to set and the potential consequences of other publishers adopting region locks for their PS3 games.

      • Roberto Armando Iraheta

        Because you obviously have good reason to rage, right? It’s not the first region locked game, it isn’t a greedy move, they explained themselves and you need to ask yourself why it even matters to you in the first place.

        • Ladius

          Honestly, if you are still asking that you have probably ignored every single post written in this thread, and I don’t think repeating what I and others have written countless times will make any difference.

    • MickyT

       “Yeah, lets make snide comments and take whatever companies care to dish out without thinking! Thoughts interere with my unthinking suckling on the gaming sectors teats! Who cares about companies reaping the benefits of globalisation without passing any of the benefits on to consumers? Who cares that this is the first company after six years and hundreds of game to set a terrible anti-consumer precedent like region locking?”

      • JustaGenericUser

        Oh wow, I was about to make a similar comment as yours and Ladius’, then wondered I couldn’t reply. I refresh, discover he got flagged. Hah.

        It’s probably a good thing I couldn’t reply, though, because what I would have said might gotten *me* flagged too.

      • Roberto Armando Iraheta

        And this one event ruins the game for you how exactly? Gotta love how you guys flag me when you don’t have any clear reason got against Atlus’ decision. How is this a catastrophic event that warrants a boycott? This is Atlus JP’s decision and Atlus USA had no part in it and they clearly explained why they had to do it? Did you honestly think they took this choice lightly? 

        All I see here are a bunch of self-entitled, whining babies that love to rage over any little thing companies do today. It’s honestly getting really tiring and old because you can’t go one second without throwing your collective internet fits over every new plan of DLC, *FREE DLC*, changes, delays, business decisions, etc. etc.

        This is exactly why people find gamers beyond stupid.

  • Irria

    The reasoning sounds like a load of crap.
    The japanese version on japanese Amazon is around 5900 yen. The american version from play-asia is 59.99 which equates to roughly 4800 yen at the current exchange rates. Even if you go for cheapest shipping option, altogether you will end up paying 5400 yen, give or take. So, all in all, importing from the US saves you about 500 yen (a price of a cheap lunch) AND you need to wait 3 weeks for delivery as opposed to getting it the next day. 

    Sure sounds legit, Atlus.

    • heartless141

       3 weeks delivery plus 2 weeks of slower release date.

  • Jonathan Keycross

    In other words, we can rest assured that japanese gamers won´t take our cheaper and limited shipments of Persona 4 Arena!

  • Niermyico

    I don’t understand why some people are raging over this. It’s not the end of the world. Why people make it seem like such a catastrophic event? It would have been some what a big deal if the online battles for this was region locked, which it isn’t.

    • MrJechgo

      Especially since both versions are identical, with dual audio English/Japanese (the Japanese will be able to enjoy the game in English)…

      “OH NO ! I’LL HAVE TO BUY THE GAME AT MY LOCAL STORE INSTEAD OF IMPORTING IT ! THE HORROR !!”

      Really guys… ?

      • heartless141

        try to think more than just one step.
        this means japanese people are forced to buy their own version, which is 2 weeks earlier than the US version they COULD import with SLIGHTLY lower cost (importing is still importing, you have to pay for extra fees).
        and the major part of it is people with imported machines like me are now forced to import a game with greater cost instead of getting it in our local store.

        really you?

    • zweii

      It is for Europeans who doesn’t want to wait for EU release dates. And also for those with custom/special consoles that was only released in Japan. They’d have to import a game that can be bought at the store locally and cheaply.

    • Cyberjin

      Atlus don’t publish in Europe. ;(
      When Cathrine came out, there wasnt any release date for EU.
      So I imported it because I couldnt get in Europe at that giving time.
      about 8 monts later it came to Europe.

      I want “Persona 4 Golden” for my PS vita.
      But there is no plans for european release. So I have to import the game.
      If Atlus is region-locking games, I cant play them.

      get the bigger picture?

  • maxchain

    Big ups for telling it like it is.  A lesser company would’ve given a machine-generated “YOU SHOULD ONLY PLAY GAMES IN YOUR REGION ANYWAY.”

  • ShinGundam

     Region-locking is NOT okay.What about countries without any major publisher?

    • Zeik56

      Are there any regions that are actually completely incapable of playing it? The Americas, Europe and Japan (and their respective regions) are getting it and they all have English and Japanese subs and dubs, so as far as I’m aware there’s no region that will be completely missing out, right?

      • heartless141

         i’m not there, but countries like phillipines have asia region PS3, but most of them have US games sold in store .

      • mirumu

        We simply don’t know what will happen. Maybe everyone will get it the same time as Europe. Maybe two years from now a different publisher will release the game in these places and we can play it then. Maybe it’ll never be published in certain countries. 

        That’s much how region locking worked in years gone by, and is the reason why some of us are really upset about this now.

        • Zeik56

           My question was asking if there were any regions that are not covered by those releases. I don’t actually know how many different regions of PS3 hardware there are, but as far as I’m aware those 3 encompass everything, am I wrong?

          • mirumu

            I don’t know if anyone outside of Atlus can answer that question. There are definitely more PSN regions than that, and DLC in Australia (traditionally part of Europe), is incompatible with games released in the UK (also Europe). I also know some Canadian games (e.g. Fallout 3) are incompatible with US DLC despite both having BLUS product codes.

            Blu-ray has three regions, but they are US/Japan, Europe and Asia so this is clearly not the same breakdown. DVD has 6 regions. Really when it comes down to it it’ll depend on how Atlus has implemented their region breakdown. It could be anything really and we just don’t know what they’ve done.

  • MickyT

    This is not the first game to have dual audio and a close release date, it is however the first one on the PS3 to employ region locking.  The press release confirms what most people suspected, the ban was a
    condition that Atlus US had to accept from Atlus JPN if they wanted to
    release so close together. Which would seem to imply that had Atlus US
    delayed the game they wouldnt have had to put the region lock in place -
    so it wasnt as if they had no say in the matter. Of course if I lived
    in the US I suppose I would probably be secretly glad that Atlus choose
    to push the game out as quickly as possible – even if it did set a
    worrying precedent and piss all over the EU fans. But as I dont live in
    the US Im irritated and once more reminded that the EU is too often seen
    as some kind of gaming ghetto. In previous console generations it made a
    bit more sense, the sector wasnt as profitable and physical products
    had to be shipped. With the current generation with globalisation at the
    level its at and with download games being such a big factor across all
    platforms delays like this often feel a bit like a slap in the face
    from publishers – as someone else said they are all too eager to benefit
    from globalisation while passing little or none of the benefits on to
    the consumer.

    To be honest Atlus’ official response was never going to make much
    difference, everyone suspected what the reason was and having it
    confirmed does little to mollify discontentment. Perhaps Atlus would be
    better served seeing if the can somehow convince their European partners
    to get the finger out and confirm a release date.

    • MickyT

       Also the implicit “We had no real control over this” message of the press release doesnt gel too well with “It wont happen again”. Atlus cant have been entirely ignorant of the kind of reaction doing it once will cause, surely it was factored in to some extent when the decision was made? If they decided on it once then its a little hard to be convinced they wont decide on it again.

      Finally, on a personal level the bullshit spin in the middle about how awesome Atlus are via backhanded bragging just rubs me the wrong way. I would have preferred a terser release that was more to the point.

  • Anime10121

     Atlus gets an A++ in the consumer relations department. I mean they
    really didnt have to explain their actions, but the way they did it, it
    sounds sincere and believable.

    • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

      They didn’t because the reason was obvious and no press release or apology would change that. Props to them for being bold enough to admit it, though.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q6NXXGMO5XNSMJ64NIHYHFP56A Vince

       Indeed. It’s a hard decision, but probably in fairness as well to their US branch to get a fair share of earnings without being splintered by this so called cannibalizing effect of importing, they had to make this decision despite there will be negative reactions about it.

      It’s just business in the end. Business that would give food on the table for Atlus staff in return.

  • Herok♞

    I can understand Europeans complaining about this, but it is kinda ridiculous for the people who are getting the best deal for the whole mess to be complaining about a one time thing that Atlus is saying won’t become the norm.

    • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

      It wasn’t supposed to happen period, the fact they did it because they want more money only adds fuel to the fire.

      • Zeik56

         The PS3 has had an optional region-locking feature for years.

        • Ladius

          Yeah, and no one used it till now.

          • Zeik56

             Point being that it was Sony that implemented the feature so they allowed it to happen. Atlus didn’t do anything they “weren’t supposed to do”. Whether they should have done it is a different issue.

          • Nemesis_Dawn

            Wow, I’ve seen people who like to blame everything on Sony, but that just takes the cake.

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

             It was Atlus’ decision to region lock this game. Not Sony’s.

          • Zeik56

              @Nemesis_Dawn Uh, what? I wasn’t “blaming” Sony, I was saying that Sony put the feature on the system. I see people acting like Atlus is somehow circumventing Sony’s rules or somehow implementing the ability to region lock of their own accord. It was Atlus’ choice to region-lock the game and I believe that was a mistake, but they did nothing they were not allowed to do.

          • Nemesis_Dawn

            Saying Sony “allowed it to happen” pretty much sounds like blaming them.

          • Zeik56

             @Nemesis_Dawn:disqus Well that wasn’t my intention.

            Although I’m not going to say they are completely blameless either. They gave the developers the option, it was only a matter of time until someone used it. It’s unfortunate that Atlus was the one to do so though.

      • Herok♞

         If you run a business, I don’t think you will always make the morally right decision but the one that will make you the most money.

        • Ladius

          The contradiction in your posts, as I see it, is that you appear to be fine with them reasoning as a business (which is understandable, of course), and yet you seem to question the reasons of consumers reasoning like consumers.

          Index/Atlus can very well avoid making the “morally right choice”, but that’s exactly why those of us who love region free gaming aren’t happy with this move or with its implications.

          • Herok♞

             The reason I question consumers acting like consumers is because in this case the North American fans aren’t really being effected yet they are in an uproar over region locking when the disc has both languages and everything else a person could want from the game yet they still need to protest against region lock which is a one time thing. I understand why European fans and English speaking Asian fans have problems with this but not the American fans, who weren’t going to have to worry about the region even if the game is unlocked.

          • Ladius

            While many gamers asked for dual audio, no one ever asked for Japanese texts in an American game, and if that’s the reason Atlus is introducing an harmful anti-consumer policy such as region locking I see no reasons to accept their behavior or to justify it.

            Also, the “one time” thing is pretty much moot considering Atlus USA hasn’t the decision-making power to stop Index from region locking other games, and that any other publisher interested in price gouging will see this as a precedent if it goes well.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/V6SO6SWD5RY7NAUUN4YIK6Y6FY Herbert

            Actually, only North American Fans that uses a North American PS3 will not be affected. Any American who by chance has been ‘unfortunate’ enough to have bought a PS3 from Australia or UK for example will definitely be affected. While such Ps3 owners might be in a minority, it doesnt change the fact that they exist. There are also those who uses a PSN ID of a different region as their main ID (eg: an American using an EU ID). This will affect their trophy collection. It might seem trivial but such problems still matter to the respective person affected.

            The ps3 has been out for over 5/6 years and many people have made their buying decisions (or lack thereof) based on the factor that PS3 games are never region locked. For Atlus to make such a move this late in the console cycle, its definitely gonna screw over many PS3 owners.

    • Ladius

      The issue here is that Atlus USA’s intentions, as much as I believe their irritation and good faith regarding this matter, really don’t make any difference: if Index decides to region lock another game for whatever reasons they will simply do it, and Atlus USA won’t have any authority to counter their parent company’s move.

      What is worse is that other publishers will look with interest at IndexAtlus breaking the region lock taboo on PS3, and if there isn’t a clear reaction from consumers we will probably see other region locked games on what has been a haven of region free gaming for six years.

      • Herok♞

        I think gamers as a whole jump to conclusions to quickly, this game was locked with a clear motive in mind. No other company will just lock their game because they saw Atlus do it, with this release it was a clear case of being completely dual language with text and everything, which is something that was easily exploitable by importers. can you name another game with this same exact situation of completely dual language and release for both regions within a month?

    • Tatsuya1221

       It’s the precedent it sets, the fact that it’s atlus (or index corp, whatever you wish to call them) just makes it a betrayal of their fans.

      While it is true that atlus usa may not be at fault, their parent company is, so in the end, atlus is still responsible for this, and it does little to alleviate my choice to not buy this game.

      • Herok♞

         If enough people take the stance of this is region locked so I won’t buy it then, I hope you aren’t upset if we never see another dual language Atlus game again because this was their most expensive localization because of DL. I can understand you want region free gaming but it is a problem when a company goes out their way to please fans but then the fans turn on them because they don’t like the conditions associated with fulfilling their demands.

        • Tatsuya1221

           Dual audio, as much as i like it, is something that is optional, this sets a precedent, as well as limits many people’s ability to play the game (not everyone in the US has a US ps3 for example), then there is the fact that it hurts people who may never actually get it in their region (australia, south america, etc).
          There is also the fact that companies have been making games with dual audio for years, even on the ps3, without region lock (pretty sure DMC4 had both english and  japanese text and voices in the japanese version, in fact i believe alot of capcom’s games are like this), so that argument doesn’t mean alot to me.

          Truth be told, all i can tell is that it comes down to greed, sure it’s a business, but i have a right to vote with my wallet too.

          • Herok♞

             Fair enough, I don’t care for Dual Audio either but some people go crazy over hating dubs for what ever reason, but I guess they should be ignored if it means more people can play a game.

          • Tatsuya1221

            Don’t get me wrong, i’m a fan of dual audio, that being said dual audio is not a necessity, as such i’d rather not have dual audio and region free than have dual audio and region locking, at least in that case everyone has a way to play the game.

            Oh and if it wasn’t obvious, i’m in the us on a us ps3, so this technically doesn’t effect me, but it sets a bad precedent, and as such is something i cannot support.

    • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

      Everyone should complain. Atlus put an useless feature nobody asked for (Japanese text in the US release, really?) so that they could pull this trick. There’s no other logical explaination to the presence of Japanese text in the American disk.

      • Herok♞

         Well even without dual text, dual audio makes the game import friendly because, I could switch all text to jp and leave the voices English and still understand the whole story if I listen to it, so they would have used that as the excuse. The only way to make the game import unfriendly is to make it single text and audio, which will cue the dub haters to start complaining but leave no reason to region lock it, making the English speaking Asians and Europeans happy. The more I discuss this problem the more I realize Atlus was screwed no matter what.

        • kroufonz

          dual audio in fighting game is pretty much a default option, almost every single localized japanese fighting game on PS3 have them, anyone using that for excuse of region locking are just bulls#$t, in other hands text does have more important role for deciding to import a game (especially for game that have story mode) and those could be a more logical reason for region locking .

          still it is hard to justify region locking especially for someone starting to region lock a game on a platform that for so long considered as paradise of region free gaming.

  • Alexander Aubert

    well i’m relieved that P4G is not region lock

  • Aisioux

    I too, have to give my recommendation and respect to Atlus for at least explaining. You don’t see that often. It’s sad this beautiful adaptation will be region locked. At the same time, they are protecting what they are making.

    I love the PS VITA!

    • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

      They are not protecting what they are making. Everyone was gonna pay for their game, they just wanted some people to pay more.

  • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

    I completely understand what Atlus is doing and commend the company for issuing a statement to truthfully explain the situation.

    But I disagree about this not setting some kind of precedent. It doesn’t mean the world is ending for those of us who own PS3s/Vitas/PSPs and want to import, but I do think other companies will watch and take notice. Just like developers and publishers were probably taking notes on what happened after that Mass Effect 3 ending debacle. 

  • akeboshi

    I’m not affected by the region-locking, so nothing for me to worry about.
    People who think this will anyway influence other companies to enforce region-locking on the PS3 are just paranoid.

  • LexiPlural

    Here is some constructive dialogue for you, Atlus.

    Go f*** yourselves.
    From Europe.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      So cute…ha

    • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

      And the best part of your dialogue is that it’s basically what they said to you in a nutshell, only that you haven’t got corporate apologists to defend you.

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

       Boo hoo.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Don’t do this again. Please read our posting rules and consider yourself warned: 
      http://www.siliconera.com/open-thread/  

  • heartless141

    So they are basically screwing the whole south ease Asia, who importing has been a big part ( us games Asia region hardware) and well, pretty much everyone like me who has a pal ps3 in a non pal region for profits in Japan, where games are already bloody overpriced.

    Smart move, Altus.

  • dahuuuundge

    I’m afraid this WILL set a precedent for OTHER publishers to region lock their games.

    • Ladius

      I fear that’s a given, and even Atlus itself isn’t safe considering Index is probably the one making all the decisions regardless of Atlus USA’s feelings on the matter.

  • Covnam

    The region lock doesn’t affect me, so I can’t really comment on that, but I do appreciate Atlus’s candor about it.

  • JustaGenericUser

    Whatever, Atlus. Just know that if other companies get the idea to start region-locking their PS3 games all of a sudden, I know who to blame.

  • superdry

    Does this really set a dangerous precedent?  Publishers surely have known that they always have had the option to region-lock a title, but chose not too.  So, now people think publishers will start to region-lock titles because they can even though they could have already?

    Maybe SONY highly discourages publishers to region-locking their titles, but granted an exception to Atlus due to the unique situation.

    • heartless141

       not just because they can,
      it’s because they can get a tiny bit more profits outta it.

    • http://ggftw.com/forum/ Monkey_T

      If Atlus manages to make a notable profit from the game, then their success could possibly encourage a few other companies facing similar concerns to region-lock their own games. And from there on everything keeps going downhill.

      Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong for companies to try to earn more profit, but this is one of the worst ways to do it and a big **** you to quite a handful of loyal consumers.

      • superdry

         It all depends on the game, though.  The thing is that region-locking a JP only title would not help increase profits.

  • Spekio

    What bothers me about this is that even though I only play Japanese games, I bought a US PS3 thinking that it was region free. I feel a little cheated finding out they can lock games. The next game that gets region locked is going to cost me another $400 for a new JP PS3.

    • Termsak Singhawungcha

      If it include dual language and came same time or may be delay 1 or 2 weeks, it is doesn’t matter whether it is region. becuase can play Japanese in US version.

      • Spekio

        There’s no guarantee that the next time a game gets region locked that the same would be true. Judging from the other posters here, people with European PS3s can’t even play it. And then there’s the worry of all regions getting equivalent DLC too.

        I find it ironic that they ask us to look past the region locking on behalf of the effort of their development team when if they really cared about them they would just repeal the region lock, especially after seeing the reaction. I’m also saddened that they don’t even recognize the precedence this sets.

  • http://stratege.ru/ Varyag Ericsson

    I hate region-lock, because it’s one of the most stupidest “inventions” in game and video industry. But ATLUS have their points, and they’re more logical than, well, Nintendos. If all versions of Persona 4 Arena will be exactly the same, then I don’t mind if it region-locked. Also I don’t think other publishers will follow step of ATLUS, because who another will publish English version of the game just within two weeks after Japanese? I fear nobody. In most cases localization lasts around the year of more. Remember White Knight Chronicles which came to us highly outdated. For example.

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

       Region locking has been around since the NES. It is not innovative and you are hopelessly naive for thinking so.

      • http://stratege.ru/ Varyag Ericsson

        Don’t you see any differences between “invention” and “innovation”? If so, see the light in dictionary, pretty please :)

  • samson7point1

    What a fluffy feel-good “straight-shooting” bunch of horse crap. The game isn’t out yet. If this isn’t a precedent, then they should damn well remove the lock before going forward. Nothing in that response was even remotely binding, and if they slip this one past the goal post and fans take the bait, then they will never stop. Mark my words, if fans support this game, they will get more region locked crap. The only way to solve this now is to boycott the game make it the worst selling Persona game of all time and remove their “business” justification. Nothing else will matter.

    • Herok♞

       Sadly boycotting this could lead them to the decision that dual language isn’t a feature that is worth having in anymore games. So my theory at this point is everyone is screwed no matter what happens at this point.

      • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

        Word has been going around to contact them about it. Even it is out of their control, they should be able to show Atlus Index in Japan how this affects their customers outside Japan:
        http://atlus.com/contactus.php 

        • rurifan

          This is a very good point.  Those of us who decide not to purchase the game should use this link to let them know (nicely) how their choices affected your buying decisions.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Still buying the game. Still see a number of people still buying it aswell still trying to see when a boycott ever helped anything in gaming.

    • Zeik56

      The more over-reactionary BS I read the more I feel like buying this game out of spite more than anything. (Which I realize is totally ridiculous, because I shouldn’t even give a ****.)

      Although I almost want to see you people actually form a legitimate boycott over this. How many times have I heard this kind of shallow outrage from Internet users about how they’re totally going to start a boycott and get everyone to not buy a game so they can totally prove to these companies they’re serious, but when push comes to shove at most they just don’t buy the game and hope others do the same, like that’s a legitimate protest that will change anything. It’s never worked before, it’s not going to work now. Get off your ass and do something if you actually feel so strongly about this.

  • samson7point1

    Those points are all logical and believable, but they’re also all lies. They will say anything to prevent fans from boycotting the game. Simultaneous US/Japanese releases are not new, and it never drove a company to region-lock a title on PS3 before. Don’t help to sell their PR bullshit; this is a powerr grab at the expense of gamers, and no amount of wordsmithing can change that fact.

    • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

      They are not lying, they are saying they are afraid Japanese could import from the US as the version is about the same.

      WHY they made it the same they won’t tell you.

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

    I can’t believe there’s that many people mad about this. We get dual language and near simulataneous release of a Japanese game…and people are crying over ‘the principle of region locking.’

    Japanese has been afraid of reverse imporation for awhile now. That’s why we’re in the same blu-ray region as Japan (so they can’t import for cheaper) and why Funimation can’t release some blurays of current anime. The same would apply for games if they can get everything in it that’s in the Japanese release (i.e. Japanese audio). Although they’d probably miss out on better pre-order bonuses like telecards and tapestry…  

    I have a lot of faith in Atlus, we should coincide and combine our efforts to support them. Asking their fans to buy a regular priced game with dual audio and preorder swag that has region lock that doesn’t affect player matching isn’t asking a lot.

    • http://twitter.com/Paracelso Paracelso

      They used a silly excuse like dual language for doing this.

      Who asked for Japanese text? Me? I wanted Japanese audio for Catherine.

      You? Did you ask for Japanese runes in your US copy of P4A?

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

        I didn’t ask for it, but sure why not? If I can get a simultaneous release for less than the Japanese are paying for it AND in both English and Japanese audio and/or text I’ll take it. Means we get to play the game sooner and if they feel they want to give other future games dual audio, they can region lock it again for all I care.

        You see, its not as if their witholding Tales of Vesperia for ps3 (Namco) or not bringing over Valkyria Chronicles 3 (sega). Their giving the fans a better deal in all ways, the only con in this is if you decide to import it…even though all regions are getting it at nearly the same time.

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          Ah, but what if this works for Atlus/Index?

          Namco Bandai and Sega could see this and decide to region-lock all their future PS3 releases. How would you feel if Bamco decided to region-lock Tales of Xillia 2, then eventually decide to not release it outside Japan? Or if Yakuza 5 were to be region-locked and then left in Japan.

          (Of course, both of those cases thankfully won’t happen. And I’m hoping Xillia does well enough to guarantee us all Xillia 2! :D)

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

             Your theorethical example supposes that there would be a delay due to the region lock, when the opposite is true in this case, we’re getting the game at nearly the same time.

            IF what you say happens, and there’s a delay because of the region lock…then it would be exactly the same as if we get the games later than the Japanese, as it was in the past. And IF the game doesn’t make it here, that they region lock it just to, what? Bank on the possible future release of their game that they would localize and prevent a small group of importers from getting their hands on a game to tell people who great it is and what we’re missing out on? That would be a cause for concern.

            What’s more likely to happen though, is that if enough people complain about the region lock, we just lose Japanese audio and we get games later than the Japanese (status quo).

          • Kyro B

            Your theoretical theory assumes that America and Japan are the only countries in the world and Europe doesn’t exist (and other countries for that matter).

            Jenni was not saying there was going to be a delay she was saying that it’s influence could inversely affect other companies’ decisions. If the game doesn’t make it here and it’s region locked. You’ll just never see it. Period. Many games have never made it in the US like that and major titles at that. SMT2 took years before that happened. Star ocean (SNES) took years to get to the PSP. Tales of Phantasia never happened. Tales of Innocence never happened. Tales of Hearts never happened. Final Fantasy X-FM and X2-FM never happened. I can go on.

            And if we lose Japanese audio then oh well not like Atlus ever did dual audio games. This was their first dual audio game. And it already caused me to get a refund from playasia (and debit/credit card refunds in my country cost 30% of the items price as a convenience charge); leaving me livid.

          • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

            You do realize that plenty of other companies do release dual-language games without region-locking the game?

            And that near simultaneous releases are happening more and more frequently lately?

            I hardly think people standing up to say they don’t like region-lock is going to result in Japanese audio being taken away or even more delayed releases.

            Also, I wanted to point out that my “theoretical” examples don’t involve delays.

            We know that Sega is cutting back on the games it has been releasing. Considering Yakuza is a niche series and it’s always been kind of a miracle that any were released outside Japan, I would be very surprised if Yakuza 5 does get released outside of Japan given the current state of the company.

            Not to mention Xillia 2 is probably dependent on Xillia’s sales.

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Personally, I would have been fine with an English-only dub.

  • splintered

    I understand their reasoning and as many thought, it was because of importing. Regardless, I can’t lie and say that this suddenly makes me approve of the decision even though I know that region-locking in general (every other system besides the PSP/PS3/Vita) is really the norm and that the PS3 has been the exception so far.

    I do however commend Atlus for actually saying something since I’m certain that it would have been far easier to just say nothing about the matter at all.

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    See, I don’t have a problem with this, by itself, because I can understand where they are coming from, business-wise, BUT it does definitely set a precedent for other companies. Suppose Namco decide to region lock Tales of Xillia 2 for Japan, in order to raise Western sales of Tales of Xillia. They’ve already stated that TOX sales determine TOX2 sales. Well, suppose they decide that’s the only way we’re going to get it?

    Not saying Namco is going to do that, but it’s the type of thing that can happen once a precedent like this has been set.

    • http://twitter.com/Laith_Rem Laith Rem

      That analogy is wrong by the fact that Xillia 2 and Xillia (1) are different games. Arena is the same game and the profits would be, as the thing above says, canibalized. The North American would go up, the Japanese would go down and, sadly, the important profits are the Japanese ones. But that’s getting into another horrible topic.

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Read my sentences again and maybe it’ll become clearer. I was giving an example of a different way that region locking could be implemented. I am not stupid. I am aware that TOX and TOX2 are different games. I even say it in my post. The setting of a precedent means that other companies could decide to do it for completely different reasons than the original reasoning. The end result is still the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000172099718 Dominic Hunter

    Okay, I get it, but that still kinda sucks. 

    Tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m paraphrasing this to mean “We region-locked it because we don’t want you buying the better, cheaper Western version and costing us money. But chill, cuz we *probably* won’t do it again.”

    Well, that’s business, I guess…

  • splintered

    Blazblue only has dual audio, not text.

    Edit: Disqus messed up, this was supposed to be a reply to someone. :(

    • shimrion

      I assume you were trying to reply to me, and I checked before I made my original posted, the NA version of both Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift (can’t say for CSExtend since I don’t own it) have English and Japanese voice over options and English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese text options. Calamity Trigger even has a X/O button flip option.

  • http://twitter.com/Saikyokoutei Saikyo

    Between region lock or japanese audio track, I prefer the first…also has the problem with reverse import.

    The only ones who can really complain are people from europe or from places where they sell whatever ps3 with whatever region they wanted.

    And still, it was know fact for a long time that sony made a free choice for free region or locked region, I dont believe EVERY game company is going to make locked region games.

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

    It’s a nice bit of PR damage control, but this doesn’t change the fact that this is only being done so Japanese gamers can be charged more.

    This is really despicable on Atlus’ part.

    What happens with the next game with dual audio?

    Do we need to worry about that one being region locked as well?

    • match13

      But if you were a business, would you operate knowingly at 80% of the profits you know you could possibly get simply out of the goodness of your heart and for your “fanbase”? Obviously, it’s an argument of profit vs. ideals, and I won’t pretend to understand much about wholesale/retail price differences in different regions, I can’t exactly blame Atlus for trying to make more money, because that’s what companies are supposed to do…

    • revenent hell

      There is a monetary value difference between the funds in different countries otherwise in Guatemala one ameican doller wouldnt be eight of theirs.

      What people dont take in to consideration is cost of living vs pay rates in different countries. Sure the game is cheaper here but to import a Japanese game it costs me a ton more than it costs them to import from America.

      It is impactfull to the economy one lives in even if Atlus is based here and there it does affect the company numbers for better or worse.

  • Robert Brady

    This reminds me of desperate housewives.

  • John Silver

    sounds to me like they’re almost asking some of the fans to install custom firmware on their ps3 to circumvent the block, which then begins the real slippery slope: 

    “hey, since i have this done and region locking removed, i can now watch bd movies without a lock.” and then  “oh, right, i can also download and play games for free with this.”

    • Elvick

      Because a game that’s confirmed for release worldwide is region locked? Bitch please.

      You’re stretching.

    • British_Otaku

      Yep, it is definitely a slope that the player could slip down. Many/Some (?) people only use firmware on their system to get the region lock removed and go on from there.

      I’ve stuck to buying games for the Wii as I like to… sniff the booklet, but can’t guarantee everyone feels the same.

  • Roberto Armando Iraheta

    Remember the days when people just enjoyed games without raging over everything? Man, those were the days.

  • AFatHouseCat

    So…even though the NA release is a near simultaneous release with dual audio people are still upset over region locking this one title? I’m so confused as to why.

    I live in Japan and games here are ridiculously expensive. I spend at least $80 US on a new PSP game here, but in the States they’re like what $30 at most? Reverse importing it would save me a nice bit of cash, and in turn the home market, in this case Japan, would take QUITE the hit if everyone did that. I can totally see region locking helping out in this case. It’s the same reason anime discs are locked, HUGE difference in price in Japan vs USA.

    I remember back in the day if we even wanted to play a game in the States with Japanese audio we’d have to import the game (which wouldn’t have any English text to help those who like JPN audio but don’t speak the language) and then either mod your PSone, play switch disc roulette or buy an imported system.

    Compared to that simply buying the game in your designated region just seems like such a little thing to me.

    • leadintea

      It’s more of a problem for those in Europe who planned to get the game early. I agree that anyone in NA that’s crying over this is not worth the time to talk to, but I really do feel bad for those in EU.

      • Alex Sargeant

        Not even really ‘early’ just in a time in line with all the other territories. We’re also at the whim of a publisher who still hasn’t announced an official release date so.

        Atlus don’t even mention Europe in the apology. Which seems a little callous. Especially since they aren’t ensuring that Europe get it in a timely fashion. Maybe it’s too far out of their hands. 

        I still think all of this is way too excessive. Releasing the US and Japanese versions so close together I don’t get even why people would be importing the JP version anyway. It’d almost take longer in just shipping the game than waiting it out. 

        • Zeik56

           Atlus USA really has even less control over what goes on in Europe than they did with this decision from Japan. I doubt they know any more about what’s going on with Zen than we do.

          • Alex Sargeant

            Ahhhh. It took me a while to get my head around this. So it’s actually their worry that Japanese gamers would import the US version because it’d be cheaper for them. That’s a hell of a thing.

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

       I don’t really see how you can defend consumers being forced into buying the more expensive version.

      It’s not cool. Not at all.

    • Kyro B

      …Just buy the Asia version of the game instead of JPN. They are cheeper with JP audio and English Subtitles. Most games in that region are done in that format. They are also NTSC-J.
      As for your confusion you say you live in Asia and games are 2.6 times more expensive, you could import the US version, but you would rather not save that money just because they want you to spend 80? 

      The reason why people are upset is because region locking sucks. Period.
      I don’t see how a 60 dollar game being imported and shipped which would bring the price to above 80 USD, is any reason to region lock a game even if the game is 100% identical.
      Let’s assume you have a US PS3 because you stated you lived in america. Now you have to buy a more expensive game for you. OR you have to find Japanese PS3 to play on. How is that tolerable?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KJH3EZTL44MHUAUARUC3VEPJNY Gamer Red

    Don’t forget they need to earn profit from two companies Atlus and ArcSys

  • http://www.facebook.com/JaeWhy SasuleUchiha

    What about this little asia guy. Will us get the game too?

    • PoweredByHentai

      Asia generally falls under the “Japan” umbrella.  If it is announced for Japan, odds are, an “Asia” version also exists.

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

     Exactly, I don’t want to sound dissmissive of people’s fears of ‘region locking’, and I’ve hated region locking since the 16 bit era. It prevented importers from getting games early or getting games at all since it wouldn’t play in their system.

    Now, I find myself defending this instance of region locking because it actually gives us what players have wanted for awhile, the game at the same time and the dual audio…Is that irony? lol

    • British_Otaku

      The definition of irony is an argument for another day so…
      I’ll just say I will never approve of region locking in any case and that your defense of it in this case is strange. There are plenty of games on region free systems which were released with multiple voices and/or scripts perhaps not always on the same date, week or year.

      However, they never did something that may punish importers, groups who happen to be in locations outside the typical big three and more. Multiple languages isn’t a result of region locks, it has never been a result of region locks. They just happen to be on most consoles currently and they locked the game for the PS3 to potentially secure cash.

  • Guest

    Why can’t Capcom make response articles like this.

    • Anime10121

      Because their fans, they care nothing for them :(

    • http://ggftw.com/forum/ Monkey_T

      Atlus has always been a company for the consumers, even after they’ve made quite a disconvenience for them.

  • epy

    I don’t really mind and I understand their reasons. I always prefer games with dual audio (although most fighting games have it by default, nothing groundbreaking here) so if they’re using that as an excuse, no complains here. I do feel that it does set a precedent that may or may not be dangerous. That’s the thing about precedents. Even if they never region-lock anything ever again, there’s the chance another company looks at this and says “We should do that too.”

  • http://twitter.com/Laith_Rem Laith Rem

    Completely understandable. It’s a business decision so I don’t blame them and the case is completely unique, so while some greedy publishers will take note of this, not everyone will region block their products, unless they have the same conditions that P4:Arena has (Dual Language and Text, coupled with an almost simultaneous release date.)

    • PoweredByHentai

      Yeah, the Dual Text and simultaneous release dates are pretty much the biggest deciding factors in this case.  Simultaneous release dates?  Okay.  Dual audio?  A bit iffy but doable for Japanese people who know the written English language.  Dual text?  Yeah, I can see people in Japan totally reverse-importing the game due to the weak US dollar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001370454030 Eliram Barak

    I still feel betrayed. 

  • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

    I never spected such a move from ATLUS, really dissapointed.

  • XaviIniesta

    If this was Capcom, they would have said: We region locked the game because the Jp version takes up 2 GB more disc space. We did it to save your disc space.

    • British_Otaku

      If this was Capcom, some people wouldn’t have taken any excuse.
      It’s difficult to think of a company that has surpassed their reputation for poor products, not giving what they are developing (MEGAMAN LEGENDS 3) or bad business practices in inverse proportion to the great stuff in the prior years and decades.

      On topic: Atlus are getting much more heat than I expected for this, even if it is a dick move. >_> Didn’t expect an official response this soon or at all.

  • Andar

    This is a very…particular issue. It’s not a matter of right and wrong, or a matter of black and white. This is a matter of grey and gray, so to speak.

    I don’t fault Atlus here. They’re actually doing what they can to remain fair in each territory, as they’re at least making it seem like there was a very real risk of the Japanese market being severely undercut by alternative buying options.

    I think this is a big move that portends a shift in the industry, but not the ‘slippery slope’ kind involving region locks. With region free software, once a game is released in any territory, anyone who knows that language can attain the game from that point on. What we have here is games of equally comparable content and (in one direction) localization, yet set at different price points because of different market practices in the two regions. It’s not like Atlus chooses to make the Japanese version more expensive; ALL games are, and honestly, software and technology are like that in general. Ever see what the price of a DVD is in Japan? It can seem a bit outrageous to those of us who live in the states. But who is responsible for that?

    One approach is to say screw it, and stop worrying about regions. To take games like Persona 4 Arena and release one main version, all main languages included, for sale through an online service. Except that it isn’t that simple. The service has to be rooted somewhere. No matter what, you’re either starting the process in one region or another. And if you were to, say, base this new operation out of the states, allowing Japan access to a cheaper alternative for some varieties of digital software on disc, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of balancing levy come into effect. Regions have their own markets. Trying to mix them up willy-nilly is just destined to cause trouble, usually with unforeseen consequences. The choice Atlus made might be problematic for many people, but I don’t think that they are wrong.

    • Zeik56

       Making a game online only is simply not feasible at all for any  company looking to make an actual profit. The fact is there are still way more people who buy retail than they buy games online.

      • Andar

        Sorry, I know I mentioned ‘selling online’, but I was talking about selling physical copies through an online service, such as, say, amazon. Which is why that is still problematic at present time, because the physical hardware itself…you get the idea.

  • Soran Kimihiro

    i really don’t get people,why are they disappointed in things that doesn’t touch them,when you must really be  a crazy to import the game from japan,when the game will be released almost 2 weeks after the Japanese one with the same content,and dual voice,maybe some don’t know but differences in money value can practically kill your wallet if the difference is too much a gap,and for the Japanese yen it is, as the yen is too strong for its own good 

    • chobitsza

       For me, I willing to pay for Japanese version than Asia version due to the quality of the box. I collect games too, and that’s why I won’t buy this game because they left me no choice.

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

    So they’re region locking the game so that Japanese consumers will be forced to buy the more expensive version of the game.
    That is Activision/EA/Capcom levels of sleazy. 

    • http://momentsreprieve.com/index/ Aushria

      You’re being FAR too assumptive.

      Here… the English version has English and Japanese voice-overs, it’s cheaper– and is the exact same game that Japan is receiving.

      With this locking, everyone pays the price designated for their country. The dollar is lower, meaning buying something in USD with yen will be quite a bit LESS than purchasing domestic.

      It’s not like how American’s and Europeans will import a Japanese game
      for a higher price in months– possibly a year or two before it’s released in their territory.

      You have to understand…since imports of that nature are usually in full Japanese–
      most importers won’t understand it and will still buy the localized
      version.  (It happens more often that people think– I myself am guilty of doing so countless times!)

      Now, with Persona 4 Arena, all three versions are coming out in the same time frame– it wouldn’t guarantee a future sale for a localization as with our importing. In fact! It would do the exact opposite, and remove multiple sales out of the equation for any designated region.

      This is all an issue of currency differences. And if you read the context of the article– this was a Japanese decision. Altus here had nothing to do with it.

      There is nothing unfair or sleazy about it, the Japanese have to buy their version, we have to buy ours, and Europeans buy their’s– no one is being ripped off or treated unfairly.

      I hate region locking as much as any one of you– but the hate people are giving them, even after this well written explanation is ridiculous.

      • Kyro B

        But…They can just buy the Asia edition of the game which is NTSC just like the JPN version, but a different box. I did the same with FF13 and FF13-2. JPN version costed 80USD vs asia which was 60USD and had Japanese voices with English subtitles (something no other region had).

        There is no saving to be had there is only loss. Importers mostly buy goods that aren’t available in their region regardless of the price, even for trivial reasons.Case in point Catherine which a lot of people at my college play the JPN versions just because of the artbook included and the boxart.

         It’s nothing commendable, it’s an unreasonable excuse. Especially since importers are a minority I don’t see how this is even close to defendable. 

        I am hoping this doesn’t become a trend.

        • Xerain

          Correction 1: The Asia version of FF13 was Japanese voices AND Text. That is to say Asia versions are usually I identical to the Japanese version, save for different packaging, lack of pre-order bonuses (though not always) and a multi-language insert in the manual to help non Japanese people figure out the basic controls.

          It’s the Hong Kong Version that received special treatment, and I do believe it is a special because Final Fantasy games are a big deal. IIRC, they actually got two version of FFXIII and FFXIII-2: Chinese/English (based on your PS3′s language setting) text with English Voices and Chinese/English Text with Japanese voices. I own both of those games with the Japanese voices and Chinese/English text. When you buy DLC for it on the HK PSN (a different PSN form Asia PSN) you have to be very careful and look at your game’s SKU because you have to buy the right DLC for the right version of the game… 

          Anyhow all of this is to my knowledge fairly atypical. In fact the HK region is to my knowledge the smallest PSN region geographically. It’s only for big releases like FFXII that warrant their own HK version. I think Hong Kong residents usually import the Asia versions, assuming they can afford to play video games.

          Correction 2: NTSC only matters if you are not using a HD TV with an HDMI connection. It’s fairly moot these days.

          I would say both of my corrections actually help support your points. So now for mine: I don’t think any of it matters.

          The word of god was probably handed down from a Japanese investor. He wants 0 chance of the theoretical USD crash he fears–to the point of losing sleep over– impacting Japanese sales.

          The Asia versions have been around forever. They are not new. They are not scary. Since when has reason triumphed over fear?

          • Kyro B

            Lol alright I could actually understand that being the case…but only because it was funny. Maybe they are just tired and they need some “Morning Rescue”?

            And ty for that correction, it is the HK edition.

          • Xerain

            I actually did have a bit more to support my claims, but my post was getting so long no one would read it. Also it’s my nature ot mix humor inwhen I’m being serious, and the above summarized everything so well…

            NIS America ran into something similar last year with their Katanagatari Blu-ray release. The Japanese company only licensed it to them on the condition that the English subtitles could not be disabled. NISA had a similar but less dramatic apology about it, as less people were upset. The reason I mention this is because I recently heard some forum posters blaming Aniplex for the crazy merchandising of the P4 franchise…. and was recently watching my katanagatari blu-rays and noticed Aniplex was involved with that too.

            Bit of a conspiracy theory, I know, but then look at other cases…The Fate/Zero bluray box, is priced teh same fo the west as japan: aroudn $500. This was even covered onthsi very site. The Haruhi still not having a western Blu ray release (japanese ones cost $500.) When teh Clannad blu-ray box was released in japan it too cost $500. We had to wait close to 2 years to get a very minimalistic release of Clannad on Blu-ray.

            I’ve been seeing this behavior from Japanese companies for a could years now. The Japanese market is number 1. The Western market is barely an after thought. This is nothing new. However I think a lot of stock holders on the board of directors for various companies are worried about the USD and need to be appeased before they allow the licensing of content for western release these days.

            Our economies were similar enough that when blu-ray came out we were given the same region as japan… then the USD starts weakening and the Yen starts strengthening.

  • Dantis

    Well at least they were honest.

    Still not buying.

  • chobitsza

    Whatever, no money from me too. I’m choose to not buy it instead of getting the Asia version which have a low quality box. Thanks ATLUS, you screw my Japanese version import which you want to sell though.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Uh, I don’t get it. Why are there so many complaints? They go so far as to give people who whine and cry about dubs the japanese VA too. I see no reason to boycott anything because it’s region locked. It’s coming out in like a month anyway.

    And they were honest and apologetic too. Better than Sega’s whole deal with Anarchy Reigns.

    • Dantis

       No release date for EU players. We just have to wait for PQube to get it together.

      And God knows how long that will be.

    • http://twitter.com/EdgeKun Ed Powell

      I personally have no idea what the schedule plan is (if at all) for countries other than Japan and the US, so I can understand people who wanted to import it into PAL countries (or the like) and are thus left unable to. If the release is in fact way far away (or not announced) for PAL users, I think it’s certainly justified.

      As for peeps complaining who live in either of said countries though, I wholeheartedly agree. In that case it’s gamers looking for any opportunity to complain.

    • British_Otaku

      Anarchy Reigns may have a stupid delay but there isn’t an attempt to section off profits, to push away people who imported systems or to harm late consumers who may go through the PS3′s library in the next five years when it could be expensive/rare in one region but not another.

  • Luna Kazemaru

    I find it funny that people who are lol boycotting the game are going after people who are going to buy the game now.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      As you’ve noted, it’s in part the result of a generation with a console that did not require some form of ‘modification’ to play another market’s games. 

      No one will be precluded from playing this game, or from playing with anyone they wish to around the world. At the moment we can’t even be sure the EU release WONT be in the same window (or the same day) as the US or JP versions.

      That doesn’t leave much of a hill to plant a flag in and die on.

      • Luna Kazemaru

         It’s just childish to me someone came at me and said that let alone going after others because of it. Normally I’d laugh it off but I see it as just sad.

      • Dantis

         Well, no, we can confirm that the EU release will be at least four weeks later. Same day is impossible at this point.

        I feel like EU users, at least, have every right to be upset.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Guess I will just have to admit I’m part of a different generation then. I never had expectations I’d have a title the same time on a Japan-centric title like P4A. Heck I can remember times when release dates were no more accurate than up to a full quarter window, and you just smiled when that magical call from the game store came in.

    • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

      Certainly not I.
      Buy two copies-all the units from Japan, U.S. and Europe, for all it’s worth. Please, enjoy it. I won’t pull an Atlus Index and block people from buying games they want to enjoy.

      All I’m adding to this; I won’t be buying a copy because I don’t support region-locks where it’s not needed or welcomed.

  • Dantis

    “A tremendous team of talented developers and artists poured their blood, sweat, and tears into Persona 4 Arena,
    and every reaction we’ve ever received to the game has shown that those
    efforts are readily apparent. 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.”

    I’d just like to point out that this is moot. EVERY game has a lot of work and love go into it, not just this.

    • http://www.thejaystack.com/ Jon Stachewicz

      What’s moot?  This is important because despite the region locking, the end result is still a product of hundreds, possibly thousands of hours of dedication from a team whose sole job was to make a game that fans of the Persona series and fighting games in general would love.  Though I don’t personally agree with their business decision, I can see where they’re coming from.

      Question the business practice, but come on, be reasonable.  Don’t drag the actual game down with it.

      • Dantis

         It’s moot because it means nothing.

        Every game is made with love. Have you watched interviews or maybe even met game developers? They are passionate beyond belief. We can’t be expected to ignore blunders like this just because the game was made with love. By that justification we should be buying virtually every title on the market.

  • VWinds

    I will not buy any region-locked game on a region-free system New, no matter if it’s from a company that I like or not. Such an anti-consumer tactic does not deserve to get rewarded no matter what PR Jargon is said (and in the above they openly admit that it’s to gouged Japanese [and by extension] and European consumers, only that it was the Japanese branch’s decision and not the USA publishing side’s decision).

    If we let this one get a pass without a huge backlash more games by more companies will follow the trend.

  • http://momentsreprieve.com/index/ Aushria

    I was still going to purchase it despite the region locking– after looking into it, I kind of came to the same conclusion they did.

    So I understand why– I just hope no other companies decide it’s a good reason to region lock their games when there is a HUGE gap in release dates for each region. If releases are close together– like a week or so?

    I can manage, with ease! I’m a patient guy, a week or so goes by so fast– it wouldn’t be a hassle at all.

    But if it’s months– or perhaps even a year, year and a half, or even longer? Why bother? They’re just taking more sales from themselves– since they’d likely receive two purchases– one from each region.

    This… dare I say it! Is a relatively good business decision– but region locking Japanese only releases, with minimal chances of being localized is NOT good business.

  • Elvick

    I understand, and because it is releasing everywhere I don’t see it as an issue to worry about. It may suck if your region’s pricing sucks, but that’s the way the world’s economy works. Not really their fault for that.

    • Dantis

       What about if you’re in the EU and have to wait months for a local release?

      • Enma_Kozato

        If I lived in EU and had to wait months for a local release I’d just wait and be grateful it was coming at all. It’s what I’m currently doing for Fire Emblem Awakening.

        • Dantis

          The 3DS is a locked-down system though. It’s not the same.

          Then there’s the online community. The player count will have drastically dropped by the time the game is released in the EU, and the remaining players will be super-pro.

          Hardly ideal, and completely avoidable.

          • Enma_Kozato

            Does it matter since the games are locked too? You still have to wait for the game to be available in your region by a publisher in order to play it.

            I doubt you’ll be the only inexperienced person playing online by the time the game comes out in Europe considering everyone else with a EU PS3 has to endure the wait too should they decide to buy the game. Those people alone will net you a good amount of experience before taking on the “super pro” NA and Japan players. I mean, it’s not like everyone who picks up a fighting game has to be a pro at it by the time they’re done with it right? You’re still going to find casual and inexperienced players in those regions. All you’re really saying is that you’re afraid of getting beat by a better player– which happens all the time.

  • Herlo Rerelo

    I feel betrayed cause PS3 always meant to be region free and this is bad cause i imported a Japanese PS3 back on PS3 launch date (the 60GB with 4 USB ports) now i’ll have to buy new PS3 US for this…. so yea this is betrayal for PS3 owners

    • Luna Kazemaru

       how was the ps3 meant for being region free…Unlike MS Sony gives them a choice in the matter to lock a game or not does not mean the ps3 was meant to be region free.

      • PoweredByHentai

        I thought you could play US region games on a Japanese 360?

        I was under the impression that the region-lock thing was also optional for the 360 but was up to the developers/publishers to implement.

        /does-not-have-a-360

        • Code

          It’s a mixed bag, some Japanese developers like G.Rev and Cave have both mentioned Microsoft policies saying Japanese releases should be regionally locked and has put pressure on them to stop releasing regional free. But then you turn around have have companies like Platinum doing it any ways, so it’s hard to tell just what is really going on. 

          But I’d say about 80% of US 360 releases are regional free, but I’ll say this, it’s releases like Deathsmiles that get ya on the 360. Being regionally locked in the US, ends up preventing importing it back to Japan which seems to be the case of what’s happening here o~o; Really though the best 360 model is a Japanese 360, because of most US releases are still regional free. It does provide you the most complete library. But there are still going to be many key titles it won’t play, and many games you’ll be paying through the nose to import versus, cheaper US alternatives.

          Really in this case Japan is getting screwed outta their money, and Europe is getting screwed outta their time, when it comes to regional locking on Persona 4 Arena.

          • PoweredByHentai

            Yeah, I dislike region-locking in general but I’d much prefer it to be up to the developer/publisher to decide rather than the console maker making the decision.  At least with developers/publishers, the region-locking is optional.  With a console maker, the f-ing hardware and all subsequent games are region-locked.

            While I’m aware that I like having options, I’m also aware that many more people prefer to NOT have options.

          • Code

            *shrug* Being regional free is something that can only benefit a consumers, taking the control away from consumers is always a pretty rotten move in my books. For a developer, publisher, or console manufacture to lock it upfront doing consumers no favors. 

            I get why Atlus made this move, because of the immense price gap between Japanese and American games, to prevent Japanese gamers from grabbing the cheaper NTSC version w/Japanese language options. But yeahh this is a case of padding there own pockets just a little more o__<' *scratches ear* 

      • Kyro B

        What…? Microsoft gives developers a choice to make their games region free. Check play asia the amount of region free games far outnumber ones that are region locked…

         And PS3 was meant to be region free I remember the first few e3s and TGS showcasing it. All the buzz was about it being region free, which is why the backlash for the first ever region locked ps3 game (P4U) is so negative, especially since there are people with PAL consoles who want to buy the game >_>.

        • Luna Kazemaru

           If that was the case there would be no ‘choice’ in the matter if it was meant to be region free -_-.

          • British_Otaku

            Regardless of being a choice open to the publishers, it is still worthy of critique that it took six years for one company to tick the boxes instead of leaving them blank. And here, they made a choice and ticked every box despite the universally perceived advantage of having a PS3 being region free gaming.

            The system is still region free by a massive majority and the only one who we can point at isn’t Sony or SEGA who seemed to consider region locking for Bayonetta at a point but Persona 4 Arena and Atlus (or the parent company, same thing to me).

          • Kyro B

            So when devs region lock an Xbox game it’s because it’s meant to be region locked and they weren’t given a choice (even a large number of games on XBox are region free), but when it’s a PS3 they were given a choice and it was never meant to be a region free console? I’m not getting the logic behind that. Please elaborate.

    • (vara/バラ)

      Why not just import the JPN game? They said both versions were identical.

      • revenent hell

        That makes to much common sence…

        • British_Otaku

          It’s more complex than that. Importing from Japan costs more money than buying a local copy. Prior he had the experience of being able to choose from the world’s plate…

          1) Which has the most features. (Here he may as well pick the US one)
          2) Which is the cheapest. (Considering delivery and the waiting time)
          3) Which is coming out earliest. (Considering the span of time or an unknown date – perhaps it is exclusive to one region)

          If you are in the US, you would obviously buy the local copy if it is much cheaper, releases not much later than Japan and isn’t going to be missing any features.

          It is a better choice to import from Japan than buy another PS3 for the US, but it still isn’t what would normally happen. If he was forced to buy the Japanese version of every game that came to the PS3, he would not only spent much more per game and miss out on NA-centric ones but lack language options on a whole bunch.

    • revenent hell

      It is not a betrayel import the Japanese copy and your good to go.

  • Oltheros

    I just hope this doesn’t affect chances of dual audio in the future for Atlus.

  • Muffum

    I kind of feel sorry for Atlus USA in this situation. The idea to region lock the game was obviously not theirs, and instead they’re being forced into it and bearing the brunt of consumers’ ire as a result. Furthermore, all those that are boycotting the game are only going to be hurting Atlus USA; any effect it may have on Atlus Japan/Index Holdings will be comparatively minor.

    I’m not going to yell at all potential boycotters “STOP THIS IS WRONG,” because it’s not. I respect that they feel betrayed by this action and are acting against it, but at the same time, I feel the enthusiasm may be misdirected. I wouldn’t be able to tell them how to direct it, but personally, I’m not going to boycott the company that I feel isn’t in the wrong here.

    • British_Otaku

      That’s one of the things with a good game and a poor service.
      Often people think that just shouting against the companies/parties who may be responsible isn’t enough to make an impact or be heard. Reducing the sales has a more immediate effect and doesn’t drive the message of “We like everything from the game to how you distributed it”.

      Hence the “Vote with your wallet” idea.

      Would be nice if with every “lost sale”, the company got a message indicating the lost sale with a polite and composed few words on the project. And if every sale came with a message of the same sort.

      It isn’t as black and white as “We bought and love your game, so we enjoy you making more money thanks to your tactics (for which it doesn’t matter if console importers, foreign players or late comers to the game get screwed over)” and “We boycotted and hated your game, as we can’t accept you screwing over console importers, foreign players and late comers”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

    Another one of those news hogger here lol. Can we call and Xillia biggest news of the year?

    And looks lk banhammer time here too….. Good thing this is the old DISQUS or else I will just get a dislike 4 posting this.

    • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

      I wasn’t available when this thread first went up, but I hear there has been bans, from users to spammers.

      And lo and behold… somebody already flagged your comment. Classy, guys. Real classy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

        Flagged?

        • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

          Eh, don’t think too much about it.

        • Anime10121

           It means somebody flagged your post as inappropriate.  If you highlight someones post the underlined word Flag pops up, if you click that button you can alert mods about people who are spamming, “flaming”, or otherwise using inappropriate speech such as racial slurs and what not.  Its an effective tool to let mods know when trolls, or other types of inappropriate comments are being made.

          Though a lot of idiots just use the button like a dislike/downvote button and click it for posts they dont agree with or for no reason at all, which was the case with whoever flagged your initial post:(

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Not by our dear wishes, but you know that. Bigoted remarks are of course going to force a quick hand, and you’ve been here long enough to know how many chances Kuro was given.

  • http://s932.photobucket.com/ usagi_san

    Well what has been done has been done. Though I won’t be picking this game up, whether or not Europe gets a release date confirmation anytime soon, I will be, however, looking forward to the first week sales figures to see how the Japanese will voice their concerns.

    As others have already said, the Americans have no real complaint though it does go against their ability to make a choice, but this “choice” is already being compensated with dual audio and cheaper pricing via exchange rate comparison.    

  • PoweredByHentai

    Hmm, do we have worldwide sales figures for Catherine divided by regions?

    The last time I checked, Catherine sold about 500k units worldwide before the European market got its release.
    http://andriasang.com/comyo1/ 

    I know that someone mentioned that Catherine sold about 200k units in the US but quoted vgchartz (which I am somewhat skeptical of).

  • sakushi

    lol deleting my post. WTF..

    • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

      That would be me. That comment earlier was your very first on Disqus, and it was really poorly worded (and spelled/punctuated, for that matter), so I thought it was just a troll post.

      • sakushi

        >_< i am not a Troll ..
        i just have dysgraphia…and my english is not perfect.. ;_;poor me.. it took me like 10 minutes to write thet..

        • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

          …Oh, don’t be such a thespian. I’ll explain in detail why your comment didn’t make sense:

          - “i won’t be importing the game form EU(i live in israel). and ill use everything in my disposal to hack the region locking .”
          Trying to hack the game is, at this point, just pointless and misplaced effort. You’re going to get the game anyway. At a much less cost than in Japan, at that.
          - “i have more then 100 ps3 a cross regions.”
          That’s just practically impossible. If you have enough money for 100 machines, across all 4 regions (Japan, Asia, Europe, US) you don’t even need to worry about region-lock anymore.
          - “i won’t spport region locking becose it hurts me.”
          I don’t think I even need to explain why this line is inconsiderate. Not to mention that if you have that much money to buy 100 machines, you’re not really being hurt anymore because you can import consoles and games freely.

          So, you’ll have to excuse my skepticism here. And arguments on both sides have already been said by many others throughout this thread anyway – some with better wording and reasons, even.

          • sakushi

            LOL.. you rock man..
            till you explained i didn’t know thet my writing is a salad.
            sry LOL… and i meant 100 games. not machines.. LOL..
            hope some one develop a program for correcting dysgraphia.
            hahaah.. aney way what i meant. thet i live in a PAL region(middel east) thet
            normal EU publishers don’t publish here (JRPG’s or japanes gmaes) and i force to import . and it is way easyer to import form US/CANADA then form EU.
            because US/CANADA shops ar more friendly to israeli customers.
            and EU kinda antisemitis . sry if i am offending some one .
            aney way i don’t like hacking and i buye all my games.
            but region Locking so far forced us the israeli video game community to hack .
            all most all xbox 360 here in israel ar hacked.
            but ps3′s ar not. Atlus just hurting the international gaming community in small countries thet have no publishers thet publish japanes games.
            and beginning of region locking on ps3 it will hurt more.

            took me all most half an hour to write it .

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            All right. Just be more careful in the future. In this case, I’d think just getting your regional release would be the most practical choice. And Atlus has openly said that this is a special exception, so they’re going to have to hold on to their word, and won’t be able to pull another case like this as long as they value their credibility.

      • Setsuryuu

        And here I was thinking it was related to the apology and claims of hacking the region free, geez, I’m so naive…

  • http://twitter.com/roneryotaku Phantom Lich

    hope this doesn’t start a region locking trend for ps3 games, but my problem is that i’m living in an asian country that sells region 1 or region 3 games but my ps3 same from europe, guess i gotta buy a new ps3 before persona 4 is out.

    • artemisthemp

      NISA has no plans to and we all know NISA region lock their titles would effect EU (special Scandinavia and Polen) more than Atlus

  • Kyro B

    I think it was dual audio moreso because it was a fighting game with Arksys’ involvement. And their games are almost always dual audio or JP voices english text. Not because Atlus wanted to please the fans… In fact if they wanted to take a risk with profit why not try it on a game that was guaranteed to do well in every respective region, such as P4G and Catherine?
     Demands like this is like being in a place where prearranged marriages are the norm. Nobody in the relationship is gonna be happy. And the rest of the world looking at documentaries on their life is watching with eyes filled with scorn and disgust.

    • Ladius

      That’s a nice point already brought up on another board, the dub licensing probably was made by Arc System (the developer) rather than by Index (the publisher), and that’s why this game’s dual audioscript situation is so like every ArcSysAksys game and so unlike every Atlus USA game. Well, aside from Atlus region locking it.

  • Kyro B

    I think most people hate dubs because a lot of voice actors sound pretty out of character. Like Mao from D3 or Lelouche from Code Geass. But I must admit Atlus chooses a good cast a most of the time (even though I prefer the Japanese voices because you can understand the character’s attitude a bit better). But that’s just coming from a guy who is bilingual.

    • http://ggftw.com/forum/ Monkey_T

      Mao from Disgaea 3? Out of character?
      Please tell me you’re kidding.

      • Kyro B

        No I like his Japanese voiceover more than his English voiceover. Once again I said it’s my preference. In English he sounds like a nasally annoying kid, I don’t know of anyone that sounds even close to that annoying. His Japanese voice (IMO) sounds more believable. But that’s just because I have friends who speak like that it’s just my preference.

  • kroufonz

    we’ll see atlus no one know what the future hold and let’s hope other company does not follow your lead, i am gonna really hate you if there will be a niche PS3 japanese game i want, that never localized get region locked and those make it impossible to import. just remember that you are the one starting this region locking crap on PS3 (especially for japanese games).

    and I don’t buy the dual audio reason the japanese voice shouldn’t be a problem at all, tekken and DoA 5 (yes i know it is bigger game) will have them and both are almost simulteanously released world wide, beside they could choose to not include the japanese text (and still keep the japanese voice) in US version and those make the game not identical, and it is weird if the purpose of region locking is to prevent US –> JP import, then there is no need to make the japanese or asian version region locked too.

    • chobitsza

      Yes, that’s what I think too. Why lock Japanese version if they want to prevent US version import to Japan only? This is what pisses me the most.

  • Kyro B

    He’s probably from Europe or from a region under British Governing like I or any other person who is legitimately pissed.

    Your generalization of the globe is tiresome. Amazingly enough there are people outside of America who are disheartened by this decision.

  • Anime10121

    Oh to all the people saying that Atlus isn’t losing money because of reverse importing, because you still have to pay shipping and handling and it would equal out to the same price.

    WRONG.  Atlus only gets the principal value of the game in said reason.  They dont receive any profit from shipping and/or taxes levied on the game.  Heck they dont even get a full profit from the games price itself since they have to pay retailer fees and other prices.  So if everyone were to import the game from the US where it is MUCH cheaper, it’d be a big loss for Atlus. 

    Games in the US are normally $60, where as this game in Japan is ¥ 7,329 which = $92 US dollars (not including tax/shipping) so Atlus is effectively loosing $32 each game thats imported from America.  Even if you take into account Amazon JP’s discounted ¥ 5947 price thats still $76.00 in US money, so they’d effectively still lose $16.00 on each copy imported from America.

    Now that IS a problem for a company, Reverse Importing is a major problem/headache for Japanese companies selling product in America, tis why we get anime releases usually almost a year later on dvd/blu ray in the US.  Because with Anime releases being dual audio, if they released them a couple months/weeks close to the JP release, the Japanese would just wait on the cheaper American version.  If anime were only released in Dubs, I have every reason to believe (nowadays) that we would get the releases MUCH faster, because said release wouldn’t be in Japanese and reverse importation wouldn’t be as big an issue.

    Now whether Region locking the game is the right answer, I dont know (I dont import many games anyway, so it does little to affect me).  But they have to come up with SOME kind of way to keep things legit in each country without bleeding money.

    • Mark Fate

      Your math and English is terrible. The difference is $32 at retail or just $16 based on Amazon JP’s price.

      “Japanese would just wait on the cheaper American version”

      No, a majority wouldn’t. Japanese retail prices are expensive HOWEVER the only people that buy these games brand new at retail are those who want limited edition and/or pre-order bonuses or simply need the game immediately. Used game purchases are significantly cheaper and pop up quickly (often from the same people that just wanted the bonus items or simply blitz the game) so very very few would even bother to go through the hassle of importing which costs them almost as much and takes weeks to arrive.

      “If anime were only released in Dubs, I have every reason to believe (nowadays) that we would get the releases MUCH faster”

      This is a ridiculous assumption. Dubbing takes much more money, time and effort than subbing. It is true that anime DVDs are a lot cheaper in the West than Japan due to interest but professional localization is going to take at least a couple of months regardless and most DVDs make a large chunk of their sales in that time. Again, importing is a hassle. It takes time and always costs a significant amount of money for postage and then there is the fear of it not arriving if you haven’t paid extra for insurance.

      • Anime10121

        Thank you for correcting my math, which I admit was terribly off (typed all that up when I first got up this morning).  But forgive me for not being an English major and not structuring all of my sentences in “correct/proper” English.  I’m not writing a book, I’m writing my feelings on the subject.

        Unless you work for a major publisher and have statistics to prove otherwise, how can you say that.  Im basing my stance on reverse importing on what many companies (not to say that you can trust everything that major companies/corporations say) and my own logic dictates.  How can you think that the majority of the people that buy new in Japan are doing so only for LEs and/or preorder bonuses is beyond me?  I always thought that most people buy new because, I dunno, people actually want their stuff to be NEW and not having already been handled by a 2nd (or more) party. 

        Of course the used game purchases are cheaper than the new ones and they pop up quickly, but that happens EVERYWHERE, not just in Japan.  And plus the whole used game situation doesnt matter in this case anyway, because Atlus still wouldn’t be profiting from the used game sales.  The people who wanted the game new but significantly cheaper (even if my original math was off $10 bucks, which I thank you again for correcting) could still import which would make Atlus lose money for that particular sale.

        On the topic of the dubbing anime thing:

        Its not ridiculous to believe that. Of course dubbing is an extensive procedure and takes more effort to produce.  But even saying that I still think we would see releases on DVD/Blu ray much sooner than the time we have to wait currently.  You can see this happening in effect right now with Funi’s Blu ray release of Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.  I still think that if they were to take out the Japanese audio and remove subtitles from the blu ray, we would have a P/S blu ray release (but then people would cry about it not having dual audio). Because of fear of importing Funi’s been banned from releasing the show (among others) on Blu ray for an unspecified time frame.  Maybe I should have specified that its affecting Blu ray more than DVD but, oh well.

        Importing is not a hassle as I have done it quite often and shipping is not expensive at all depending on who you place your order with.  I’ve never had a package get lost in the mail and only pay for insurance if I absolutely must (because just like any other type of insurance, even when you do pay for it, its more a hassle to get them to reimburse you if anything does happen to it).

    • British_Otaku

      So how many people do you think are you going to pull out their cards from their wallets to import a copy from the US which may or may not arrive before it releases in Japan to make a saving?

      The game goes for 5947 yen (roughly $75) on Amazon Japan, hardly an obscure site if they really want to save a bit. I would assume that there are other sites which get cheaper and if you really want to save, you may have to sacrifice shipping speed.

      Cheap or fast.

      The former means you get the game late.
      The latter means you may spend more than other people in your country.

      • Anime10121

         Who says they dont mind waiting a bit to get it a little cheaper, I know I wouldn’t. 

        Even then, supporting the game outside of your region is giving false demand to another country, and lessening support for games to be released in your own region.

        • British_Otaku

          If they don’t mind waiting a while to save money even with their release being first, perhaps you have stumbled upon the type of customer who isn’t going to buy that game first hand anyway. Second hand = Cheaper. Import = Cheaper. Second hand import = Cheapest (?). It wouldn’t be a sale in any region if they don’t want the game that quickly and want it cheap.

          Region lock increases the chance of this buyer going for a second hand release hypothetically. Even if you fear misrepresenting sales in regions, at the least it would be a sale or someone who doesn’t need to turn to piracy (region unlock or download) to get their game at a point.

          How likely do you think is it that the next Persona/Atlus game won’t release in Japan as a result of importers in Japan? Seems pretty unlikely to me, sounds like more of a risk in America or Europe, where in which case, no one will be able to play the game without buying another Xbox 360 or PS3 perhaps.

          I read some people suggesting that importing kills sales in other regions, however for One Piece’s PS3 game, there were plenty of NA/EU importers which only increased awareness of the game who have been demanding it be localised long in advance. Those few people increased interest in the game, especially if they were relatively big YouTubers.

          • Anime10121

             Yeah you’re right but I’m specifically talking about customers who would usually/only buy their games new (and believe me when I say there are people who dont buy/trust second hand copies of anything). If they can get it cheaper by importing and waiting a bit, thats lost money for Atlus.

            Dont get me wrong though, as I AM against Region lock (I think it is stupid to lock games/movies to particular regions), its just I understand why it exists.  I dont think its the best option (especially considering this is effectively the ONLY PS3 game to use one), but there are legit reasons for it to exist.

            I know that reverse importation wont have an effect on Persona/Atlus releases in Japan, but it could have an effect on the type of console its released on.  If Japan see’s diminishing sales for Persona on current gen hardware, it could theoretically make them decide to release the games on handhelds (or basically 3DS considering Vita has still yet to take off, and many Japanese devs have already said that developing for Vita is like developing for a home console).  There is already a shift with the next mainline Shin Megami Tensei title releasing exclusively on the 3DS, and one can argue that Strange Journey (the last game) was also a mainline game, though it doesnt have a number, which released only on the DS.

            In the case of One Piece, we dont know how that will effect sales of the game in the US or EU yet.  It sold well in Japan to the tune of 700K copies first week sales(but Japan is CRAZY about One Piece anyway), and there is no way to know if even 2000 of those were from western importers.  So there really is no way to tell how much of an effect importers had/will have on One Piece.  All that said, I still dont think Namco has much confidence in the game considering they aren’t giving it a dual language release like they do all their other anime games, and are releasing it sub only.

          • British_Otaku

            Any of the three options I mentioned would be lost money, from importing to second hand to both combined. I can relate to someone who doesn’t trust second hand products for some things but if you are looking for a cheap copy of a game, you would take anything that is guaranteed to be a cheap copy of that game from a trusted seller.

            Your take on how reverse importation sales could influence the system chosen in the future is pretty interesting but on the note of the One Piece sales…

            We had hints (trademarks) that the game would reach worldwide prior to the release so many importers noted that they were only importing as the Golden Limited Edition PS3 or Limited Edition Treasure Box game would probably not be and these unboxings and playthroughs earned hundreds of thousands of views even individually.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA8NVScJcOE

            The amount of hype that a video like this or a coop video generates easily outweighs any loss from perhaps a dozen people or so on Youtube (or more if a decent number of watchers or subscribers decided to import). The hype is there and if it never got imported or any non-Japanese talk, the word of mouth would happen after the game releases to little promotion and negative reviews from IGN.

  • Dantis

    I’m just going to throw this out here: Let’s pretend Atlus’ reason for the region lock is justified (Which I feel it isn’t). As a business, it’s in their best interest to make as much profit as they can.

    As a consumer, it’s in our best interest to spend our money where we best feel it deserves to be spent. It is entirely illogical to go “Well sure they’re screwing us, but otherwise they’d be losing a small amount of profits!”. As a consumer, it is not in my interest to care. They don’t care that I can’t play their game, so why should I care that they are potentially losing money?

    Businesses aren’t your friends and there is no reason to ignore a company’s present errors and justify a purchase based on the fact that the business has done good things in the past. This region lock is bad for consumers. Straight up. If you don’t mind that, then bully for you, but please don’t try and say that it’s a nothing and that Atlus deserves to be let off.

    • Ladius

      Yeah, I think this point is often lost during this kind of discussions. There’s nothing strange with publishers reasoning as companies, but at the same time no one should be surprised if we reason as customers and aren’t happy about an anti-consumer move such as this.

  • Klaus00

    The decision of making it region-locked most likely will backfire

    • Exkaiser

      The decision of making it region-locked will most likely have no notable affect on sales or people’s overall opinion of the game and it’ll be forgotten in a year’s time.

      • British_Otaku

        If this game perhaps goes out of print in Europe/North America and you see people asking “Where can you find this game?”, it will be remembered. The first few people who say “Look on Amazon.com/Amazon.co.uk” will be informed that they are interested in getting the one that works on their PS3.

        Aside from that if there is one other game in the future which practices region lock on a PlayStation system, perhaps not even the PS3 as the PSP, PS3 and PSV have been pushing region free well the PS4 would be a shock if it wasn’t region free. White knights will arrive claiming “This isn’t so bad, Persona 4 Arena did it first and it didn’t even release every region in the same month”.

        This event will be anything but forgotten, Exkaiser.

        An anti-consumer move always comes back to bite the consumer after the initial sting when you think it isn’t so bad.

        And in digital media, anti-consumer moves happen to encourage piracy. Getting what you want, when you want, for free. That or people taking their money elsewhere, perhaps to a second hand copy.

  • Klarktastic

    They really think they will get MORE profits like this? a retarded amount of European  people bought blazblue from the states, since it took an unreasonable amount of time to get the game released here

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TI5IY23F3VNRJACDXKUZ26VYYI Ashton

    So basically they put a region lock because they don’t want Japanese to import the game from the US? And what would they get? 5 more $ for each game sold? Nice profit there considering that European players can’t get this game at all which would have probably got them even more money but that’s ok, business is business i guess haha.
    I’m not about to rip my a$$ to get a US/JP Ps3 just for 1 game.

    • Anime10121

      More like, between  $15-$30 each import, depending on where its ordered from.  The dollar is REALLY weak right now.

    • Exkaiser

      It’s coming out in Europe.

  • British_Otaku

    A decent response from Atlus. Shame that there are many games which release in regions besides Japan/North America/PAL which reach over to those regions, weeks, months, years late without going out of their way to add on a region lock for a non-region locked game system.

    I can’t really take the excuse. It isn’t a significant enough span of time that the Japanese would go out of their way to import a copy, it harms the community who imported systems when there wasn’t a single issue for hundreds of games and it means that if one region of the game becomes rare in the future, you won’t have the freedom of importing another.

    Still a dick move, though at the least this isn’t being done to Anarchy Reigns/Max Anarchy.

    • Dantis

       At least Anarchy Reigns is Region Free though. If you want to import that, you can.

    • Exkaiser

      “It isn’t a significant enough span of time that the Japanese would go out of their way to import a copy”
      I think a lot of people would be willing to wait two weeks to get the American version on the cheap. That’s the problem here, not getting the game early or whatever.

      • British_Otaku

        When I typed that comment, I was under the impression of America getting the game first . Sorry, I read some comments and checked Wikipedia since.

        I disagree with a lot of people (meaning a big amount – Subjective? Yes) being likely to wait few weeks to get a copy as the first round of sales is typically within the first weeks aside from there being cheaper options through waiting more weeks, buying from Amazon, buying second hand and borrowing a copy.

        If they want to buy it cheap that much, they probably wouldn’t be a sale in the first place through the last two of those means. It also means they may be patient and won’t mind waiting for the game to ship (or get cheaper), if they want it at the same time as other Japanese people, they wouldn’t wait AND pay more for the game to come quickly and weeks late.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Man……nowadays, it seems no matter what company does will never win here lol. Even though Atlus here took their time to explain about the decision(which is clearly because of currency rate problem.) Gamer will just complain almost everything here.

    While everyone complained that maybe this will cause many of the upcoming Atlus game being region locked, if the game indeed comes here like this, why should we even be afraid here? As long as we can play the game and enjoy them to the fullest without any(DLC problem.) i am more than okay supporting this as “Company main objective is to get profit. Not to please all of its customer”

    I hope that this whole “boycott problem” will not end up backfire and leading Atlus never adding anymore Dual Language for their other series. If that happens, those people who complained can just blame themselves.

    Hell. i am still going to buy this game here just like how i bought Dragon’s Dogma.
    As long as the game is fun, i will surely keep supporting that game there.

    • SirRichard

      “if the game indeed comes here like this, why should we even be afraid here?”

      But that’s just it; for anyone who doesn’t live in America or Japan, Atlus simply doesn’t care. I can guarantee that the only reason we’re getting this game is because it’s an Arc System Works title, which Zen United exist solely to publish in Europe (and they take their sweet time, we still don’t know when we’re getting it). If this were developed in-house at Atlus Japan, we wouldn’t be seeing it at all at worse, at best a year after everyone else has stopped playing. Knowing Zen United, that might still happen.

      It isn’t as simple as “But if we get it anyway, why complain?” because frankly, a lot of us don’t get them.

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        The problem here, is for all the U.S fans who complained here. While i do understand for outside for U.S they are kinda screwed.(Well i am also here in South East Asia not U.S)

        But i mean, Zen United is going to bring the game there isn’t it? While the most problem here which i can see is only for Australia which i don’t know whether they are going to be able to play the game or not.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Richard, here’s what I would ask. 

        Is there EU gaming news about this title that says something different? Can’t not having an official release date announced just as possibly mean a joint/near joint release rather than the months later worst scenario? Everything I’m reading here and elsewhere is that at least ENG/JP localization work was being done at the same time on this title.

        Is Zen United just that infamous for no reason delays? I’ll admit Ghostlight is the only EU pub I have anything of (the PS3 Agarest1). Or are we just dealing with the additional time needed to handle a Spanish/Italian/French/German translation which are legal/practical hurdles unique solely to the EU market.

        More curious for my personal information than anything else.

        • Ladius

          Yeah M’iaut, sadly Zen United is one of the worst European publisher regarding delays (BlazBlue Calamity Trigger had almost one year of delay, and Continuum Shift had six months), and while they could surprise us I don’t think it’s very likely and there isn’t still an official release date for P4A’s PAL release.

          That’s only part of the issue, though, since personally the thing I’m most worried about is the precedent set by the first region locked game on PS3, the obviously ambiguous wording of the PR text and the complete lack of assurance regarding this being a single, isolated case, both in Atlus’ offer and regarding other publishers’. PS3 has been one of the few haven of region free gaming, and anyone interested in importing games and Japanese gaming should feel the urge to protect this environment.

        • SirRichard

          Zen United/PQube are known for being terrible about release dates, with the most infamous example being the first Blazblue taking nearly a year to go from the US to Europe, suffering several delays all the while. Their average release time is several months after the US one, the only exception being Continuum Shift Extend which came a week after the US got it. That could be a sign of them improving, it really could, but Extend didn’t have much more content over the last game (it’s just a revision), it’d be hard to mess it up.
          I’m not following your logic there, either; how could no release date given mean it’ll be near the US launch? If anything, that they haven’t said anything about even a release window shows that they’re not entirely sure themselves, which isn’t very encouraging.

          Maybe they’re turning it around, but their track record so far hasn’t been at all encouraging, honestly. It’s hard not to assume the worst.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            The point I’m trying to make is no release date posted yet doesn’t necessarily mean it will be 6 months to a year out either. In the case of Atlus Japan/Atlus USA we are talking about two halves of the same company, so PR is far more likely to be linked.

            In the past Atlus USA has almost waited until launch days to make their ‘official’ release day announcement. If this Zen United does indeed behave much as our niche publishers did in earlier days — poor information releases, open release schedules — I’m just thinking we should wait until something is heard from them before the worst is assumed up front. They indeed might be improving.

    • Ladius

      Again, tons of games have had dual language without anyone introducing region locking on PS3. The issue here are the Japanese texts in the American edition, something no one ever asked for and the only legitimate reason to even consider the issue of Japanese people importing the game from the US (something that isn’t as advantageous as the list price would make it seem, if you see the links I posted previously regarding P4A’s preorder prices).

      Why did Atlus keep the Japanese texts in the western release, in the first place? That’s one interesting question they failed to address, among many others.

      Regarding region lock, even if this game doesn’t pose a problem (and it does, there’s still no European release date) you must consider the risks of it being used as a precedent to further employ region locking in other games. This time the game is announced for all markets, but what will you do when one title of your interest is playable only on Japanese or European PS3?

      • Nightmare637

        I asked for it, its something i wanted in the game so you really can’y say that nobody asked for it because you don’t know everyones thoughts on the subject, and anyway the only people who really have a right to complain are the EU gamers who rely on imports to play these great games.

        Even though i say this I believe everyone is entitled to there own opinion on the subject as long as they don’t take it to far like this boycott is doing, remember the old proverb ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds’.

        Remember I respect your opinions on the subject but I disagree with them in the long run so I will go with something I think all can agree with and that is to Agree to Disagree.

        EDIT: Actually could you explain your point in Detail? so I don’t have to go through 400+ comments to learn the full nature of your Plight.

  • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

    Okay, as someone living in Asia, what will I get, the HK version? Really?

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Asia version?

    • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

       Asia version = US version

      • kroufonz

        Asia version could also be Japanese version

        i checked Play asia and looks like based on the price the asian version
        is based on the japanese one, since the pricing using the standard asian
        japanese version game instead asian us/english version

        so probably asian stuck with more expensive asian version of the game.

  • mrlokievil

    The problem I have with it is Japan and the US are in the same blu-ray region, so it goes beyond just region locking.  They are locking a game between two countries in the same region code.  That’s the thing that I’m worried a decision like this could start.

    Fine with it as a business move but as a consumer I don’t care for it at all.

    • Spekio

      That’s why I was so surprised with this game being region locked between Japan and US. I always thought even if they locked a game, I’d be safe since they’re in the same region.

      • malek86

        Games and movies have always had different region coding.

        It makes sense because the movies region locking system is enforced for different reasons than for games (although those are quickly disappearing, hence why HD-DVD was created region free and BR often doesn’t use the region lock).

        For example, Japan and Europe shared the same region code for DVDs (both Region 2), but that didn’t mean you could play a japanese PS2 game on an european console…

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

    This is fantastic. So we are getting the game faster, with dual audio, and each region can only buy its version (the unfortunate side effect being that it scales with that region’s currency) because of the region lock.

    The people against the region lock don’t want to support the game on the basis they can’t play it if they import it. So the problem is not wanting to wait for that region’s version. That’s all the problem is. People can’t say they’re being excluded because its been announced for nearly all regions (July 26 Japan; August EU and NA).

    People are right though, it is stopping consumers from importing the game. Japanese consumers that don’t want to pay for their region’s prices, which they’ve had to live with for a long time now. Its stopping EU consumers who would import from NA? What about the EU company that decides to publish the game there (Zen United)? Not going to support a company that localizes games for that region? Wasn’t that the point of importing games previously from NA? So that someone in the EU can localize and give a domestic EU release because there’s a demand for it.

    • Dantis

       I am getting incredibly tired of posting this:

      THERE. IS. NO. ANNOUNCED. RELEASE. DATE. FOR. EU.

      Good lord…

      • Ladius

        Also, he completely failed to consider a metric ton of things discussed in this thread. I’m fine with people having completely diffrent opinions, but if you want to dismiss other people’s you could at least read them and understand them all instead of selecting a few to discuss separately.

  • http://myanimelist.net/animelist/OnyxSyaoran OnyxSyaoran

    I think ATLS made a good decision, I mean EU is getting the game, still no release date I know, but they are getting it. If all regions got all the games I wouldn’t mind the region lock at all. And people can complain all they want with all the reasons they want, at the end the game industry is a business and they must look after themselves, and with a company like ATLUS who has been working really hard to bring over so many awesome games that otherwise wouldn’t have come (Catherine for example.) I think they can do whatever they want at this point of the game. 

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

       Right, ideally, the goal is to make the point of region lock moot. People can get their game for their region, and play with everyone else in every other region, without having to resort to importing. Without anything being cut out of the game itself.

      • Ladius

        Yeah, except most of the history of gaming shows that region lock impeded people from playing tons of games unreleased in their regions, either completely or without significant delays.

        Worldwide simultaneous releases are the exceptions, not the rule, and since no one will ever be able to guarantee them for every single game released for each system (it would be absurd to even think about it) region locking is, and will continue to be, a huge issue for anyone interested in import games and specifically in Japanese gaming.

        Since this instance is setting a precedent on the only home console that hasn’t been plagued by region locking so far, you will probably understand why people are upset and concerned, even if you set aside the issue of European gamers not having a release date for P4A and their publisher, Zen, being famous for delays ranging from six months to a full year (without actually altering the localization work in any way).

      • British_Otaku

        It is definitely a close attempt. The game is going everywhere (eventually Europe and Australia) and the online will reach worldwide. However, the game isn’t being released everywhere at the same time, or at least the same week.
        And it is unnecessarily punishes anyone who moved from Europe to North America with their PS3 or for other reasons isn’t in the region of their game they need.

        It would be moot if the game was identical (having all of the same characters and enough languages is enough, some may want EVERYTHING though), the game was released everywhere in the same week – fortnight (some want closer but a week to a fortnight is easy enough right) and if they had no region lock as people may have imported their system from the beginning and never had to worry about a game refusing them since the beginning. Worse yet as regions aren’t as easily split or fairly priced as some think.

        Odd huh, the only way to make it moot is to make it region free.
        Of course for the Xbox 360, it is a wee bit more simple as there isn’t the expectation of region free for their games.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Leafy_Cam Leafhopper

       A matter of people being impatient.

  • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

    This is no reason to boycott them. people are saying that this is bs, but its not. prices are dramatically different between japan and us. and they need support from sales in both regions to continue giving us the games that we want/need. Gamers are feeling entirely too entitled these days and need to give these companies a break. Im still getting it day one.

    • Ladius

      What you said could be applied to every publisher affected by price differences, and yet no one used this excuse to use region lock on PS3 till now.

      Also, please consider what could happen if region locking started taking hold on PS3, and you will find out why being worried and sad isn’t “entitlement” but a legitimate worry about PS3 turning into the same situation as X360 after having been a region free haven.

      What’s more, if you are ok with companies acting like companies (which is perfectly normal) you should also be ok with consumers acting like customers, and yet you seem to consider any form of dissent as whiny entitlement.

      • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

        well region locking on the ps3 doesnt affect me, any. not right now, at least. And i am totally fine with consumers acting as such, except threatening to boycott a product because you dont get your way is whiny entitlement. i dont care what anyone says. i do, however, believe that some people have valid points on why they are upset about the region locking, but boycotting an otherwise attractive product for these reasons are ridiculous. if you like the game, get it. if not, then dont.

        • Ladius

          You seem to ignore that every game is a complete product, and that this product is made by the game itself and by the way it’s marketed, localized, priced, released, DRMd etc by a publisher.

          Is Persona 4 Arena a good game? I believe so.
           
          Do I want to help Atlus make it the first successful example of region locked, price gouging PS3 gaming? Sorry, but no, since this precedent could bite me hard in the future by completely preventing me from playing other games, just as it has done with region locking on any other home console except PS3 (till now). I have really no options other than to pass on it, unless Atlus decides to change its region locking (and I fear it’s too late).

          Also, your idea that consumers must swallow every decision by a company just because that company uses a good product to push them is a path that leads to a really bleak future for every consumer. You’re free to do what you want with your money, but please understand that other people have that freedom, too, and will use it.

          I’m really sorry to see P4A of all games at the center of this controversy, but this isn’t Arc System or the consumers’ fault (and probably not even Atlus USA’s), it is Index’s.

    • revenent hell

      Ive more or less been repetedly saying this myself. Companies need to protect their assets even if the company is based arround the world each has different statistics attached to it as far as sales go.
      Personally region locking games or console systems does not bother me I honestly have no idea why this isnt more comonely used for a game that gets a fairly world wide release,I know people who import the game get upset because now they have to buy the regions system but I think of it more or less as supporting the economy of the country I currently live in and that dosent realy bother me,so yes importers now face a dilema because this may or may not become a running trend for game developers  but I think realistically itll only realy affect world wide releases of those games and I think its only fair to support the company in my country if it gets a release. I doubt very highly games that arent released the world over would be region locked whats the point? Theres no dual adio in most Japanese games and if its not released world wide they dont have to worry about competeing sales or losing funds if anything it might be a pushing effort for more games to get localised…Though this kind of makes me want to say what gets said to me when I complain about DD games and DLC “Its how the gaming world is goiing just get used to it”

      • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

        yeah, sometimes it gets sad to see some of the trends that are forming in the world of gaming. however, all we can do, besides complain, is to do what we can to support the companies that we want to keep supporting us. 

    • mirumu

      Heh, your post is somewhat ironic. If anyone too entitled here, it’s Americans wanting to retain their much cheaper game prices and regular flow of releases. You do realise that in this situation Japan is in effect actually subsidising your cheap copies of P4A? They pay more so that you can pay less. It’s no surprise you’re getting it day one when you have it so good.

      As to any boycott, (although I’ve only actually seen about two people suggest a boycott) if people consider it a big enough deal then it’s their choice. I know it probably seems like a really tiny issue to you, but that doesn’t mean everyone feels that way. We all have different priorities when it comes to buying games.

      • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

        im sorry, mirumu, but you are on a bit of a high horse there. im entitled because i like buying games from my country of origin because they happen to be cheaper? hmm…idk about that. and i work, go to college, pay bills so i can live independently and every now and then i get to buy myself a video game. remind me of how i “have it so good” again?

        also do not fill in the blanks and assume why i said what i said. i know people have differing opinions and priorities on video games, pricing, localisation, etc. i respect everyones opinions, beliefs, and feelings on the issue or any other issue. therefore, i should be able to state my opinion without people throwing the fact that they are allowed to have an opinion in my face. tell me something new. 

        • mirumu

          You can buy games for US$30-$40 less than most other countries. I’d say that’s pretty good.

          I wasn’t trying to throw anything in your face, but in your original post you’re dismissing the opinion of others as outright incorrect. That doesn’t really gel with your claims respecting everyones opinions, beliefs, and feelings on the issue. If I was simply reading it wrong, then I apologise.

          • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

            i think its good, too, but i wouldn’t say i have it made or anything. 

            no hard feelings here at all. i always sound harsh when voicing my opinions. lol. but i was simply trying to iterate that i dont agree with peoples’ disapproval of the region locking. i wasnt trying to mark anyone as wrong, nor was i trying to mark myself as right. Just voicing my views.

      • Nightmare637

        No offense but if you care about this to the point of boycotting you need a life.

        Seriously walk outside, enjoy the whether, talk to a girl(or guy) instead of wasting your time on something so pointless.

        mirumu I’m not talking to you in this post i’m talking to those who seem to think boycotting is a wonderful plan.

        • mirumu

          I do see where you’re coming from.

          My only concern with the boycott talk is that some seem to be using it as a kind of strawman argument to suggest the concerns about region locking aren’t valid. Very few people seem to actually be calling for a boycott.

          • Nightmare637

            I see then I officially apologize for my lack of info., I had thought this was a working plan not a few people making small threats(Thank you for pointing this out)

            I’m not For or Against Region Locking, overall I think it’s a good buisness tactic and aplaud them for it, and of course as a Gamer myself I do fear the Reprucustions of Region locking as in they could begin doing it on a larger scale and Myself and others woulden’t be able to play the games we love.

            But at this point in time I don’t see it as an immediate issue, I do know that it could be an issue in the future but since this is an isolated incedent(for the time being) I will wait and see if this actually does become a Trend to voice my overall concern.

            Again thank you for pointing that out.

  • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

    This is the price for dual language audio lol =P

    • British_Otaku

      Crazy huh?

  • British_Otaku

    Just like when Namco Bandai region locked the PS3 version of Dragon Ball Raging Blast (the first DBZ Tenkaichi HD game complete with Dual Audio everywhere but Japan I believe) which released November 10th (USA), November 12th (JPN), November 13th (EU), November 19th (AU) to prevent the some latter groups from saving a few dollars, getting more language selections or the limited edition exclusive to Europe + Aussie Land… Nope, it didn’t happen.

    I’ve heard plenty about Namco Bandai being bigger, presumably meaning they can afford to lose those precious higher priced sales to the curious who know North America get it cheapest or that PAL got exclusive bonuses. I still see anyone who makes an anti-consumer move of this scale as one who shouldn’t get away with it.

    Games nearly always release in America at the lowest price, meaning that every time that a game releases in America before or soon after Japan (this case), it could be considered a threat to their sales on more expensive copies. Of course, ignoring that few who buy games for the lowest price want to wait and if they do, they may as well cut out the delivery, not buy the game at the Recommended Price in their country and go second hand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kane-Turner/734310890 Kane Turner

    I’m butt hurt by this because I have a Japan PS3 and my Launch US ps3 YLOD on me. Luckly, I have a Xbox 360 so I can grab it on that system but would really rather have it on PS3. 

  • Repede91

    Surprised people were so upset when the NA release is cheaper, has more features and costs significantly less.

    The only drawback being it releases here two weeks later.

    • Dantis

       EU users.

      • Repede91

        Is the NA version locked out to EU players?

        The way the article is phrased, the point of region locking this game to begin with was to prevent Japanese players from reverse importing. Seems like Atlus/Index wouldn’t care if there was importing between other regions was going on, as long as the Japanese territory isn’t involved.

        • Dantis

           Yes, unfortunately it is.

    • http://ggftw.com/forum/ Monkey_T

      I like how it seems almost everyone thinks that’s the only issue here.

  • eilegz

    well since im in my rights i guess we should all just wait for the reduced price and the sales slowdown…

    The same excuses with online passes and DRM have been always a “business decision” im really happy that they localize fast and have dual audio content but region locking it can cause more harm than any good imagine i bought a game console here in latin america and the game wont work because its not an US console (while most of the time will work) this create confusion and angry potential customers that wont buy your game because it dont know if it will work on your console.

    • revenent hell

      Thats where consumer awarness comes in to play. Know wich console version you own and buy the appropriate game for it. Its not a products company’s problem to inform you of what you buy as a consumer it is “our” own respocibility to find out these things

  • Hinataharem

    To those “boycotters” where the game is ACTUALLY coming out in your system’s region, suck it up and stop being so spoiled. Obviously you weren’t going to buy the game in the first place. And people in the UK are fine, you guys can wait. I don’t have Pandora’s Tower in my country, so get over it.

    • Dantis

      Homebrew channel. Import.

      Done.

    • Ladius

      Yeah, we have been spoiled by every other company in the world releasing all their PS3 games without region locking for six years. Atlus is the only exception, not the rule nor part of some pre-existing minority of publishers who are already doing so.

      Also, you really can’t comment about people “not wanting the game in the first place”: I had to cancel my preorder since I value region free gaming in this industry more than any single game, as hyped as I was for P4 Arena. If a company wants to push an anti-consumer policy using a great game that doesn’t mean that consumers should just bow down. You’re free to “suck it up”, if you want, but not to think other people must do the same.

      Your comment regarding EU users is also rather childish, not to mention it has no bearing on the legitimate concerns of those who must depend on a company like Zen United that had delays ranging from one year to six months for BlazBlue CT and CS.
      Also, if it makes you feel better Europe never had a chance to enjoy most of Atlus USA’s DS and PSP games, importers aside.

      • revenent hell

        If people choose to cancel their pre orders based on some “moral” they should feel free to do so its their loss.
         It is being released world wide ,this is not a game with a sole “japan” release Atlus wants to protect their investment and get their rightfull due from their respective companies in the locales they are in. I for one support this decision because I understand their footing,people dont take alot of factors in to consideration when complaining about a region lock,If I could get a 3ds by importing one from a country for my U.S value 50$,hypothetically and if it was region free,I would but that would also be taking money out of their hands since I live in the US and my money value is  higher they are bennefitting by my buying it here and losing out by my buying in in whatever world it would be 50$ in. Money in other countries have different values attached to it.
        Atlus just wants to protect the rightfull value of their game a game that is being released not just in Japan.

        • shadowind

          You don’t happen to work for Atlus or work for their PR company by any chance, do you, seeing as you’re basically saying that as long as Atlus/Index get their money, you don’t see what the problem is and that you couldn’t care less if European gamers have to wait months for their release because they can’t import it.

          • revenent hell

            Talk to your european localisers I dont know what process they implement in doing what they do or why the games take longer to release there but I think that kind of falls on whatever process’ they use to be honest.I realy have no idea who’s fault it is a game gets released later there but it is being released if you all as gamers want the games faster go complain to your respective companies. So your right I could care less about European gamers having to wait for their local company to release a game and them not being able to play it as fast as another country because it was released later. Thats not a problem I particularly care about. I have to wait daily for games that either Europe or other countries get,sometimes with no localisation at all here.
            No I do not work for Atlus or any other game developer/localiser but I do know basic economy and buisness wich people seem to forget when they are tirading about the unjusts of the world.
            Developing or even localising a game is  funded threw the country the process takes place in,in my case America,there for my doller value is much different than Atlus Japan’s yen and the value behind it.
            Any company wouldnt want the loss of revenue  because people could import,not in my case,cheaper than buying the game at their local establishment when a game is released or announced to be released fairly world over.

            Edit: I sound quite hatefull towards european gamers…..But that was because when this complaint comes about it seems like american and Japanese companies are to blame for the companies in your country,in my view,fault for being slow in doing their job.
            I do apologise for sounding quite so hatefull.

          • Nightmare637

            Why should ATLUS USA, an american company care for what the Europeans whant?

            No seriously do you have anything Constructive to say or are you just going to whine and Whine that “Oh no the little american gaming company doesen’t care about europe! I’m going to go whine to a bunch of people who don’t care! WAAAAHHHHh!”

            People have already said that the Release isen’t confirmed that doesen’t automatically mean it will take months.

            And another thing you are Aware that ATLUS is a “Buisness” don’t you? so why  shoud they not care about making money? Believe it or not money really does make the world go round, everything outside of human emotion is dictated by money.

            I really do feel sorry for Europe, but complaining to an American company about European problems is just stupid…

            but I digress, So unless you have something “Constructive” to say instead of bashing on a comany that has no promises to keep in Europe, you should just stop and I quote “GET OVER IT”^___^

            EDIT:I replied to the wrong the wrong post(thank you mirumu for helping me realize) go about 3 up thats the one.

          • mirumu

            Shadowind didn’t mention USA at all, and “Atlus/Index” clearly refers to Japan.

    • shadowind

      To you and all the whiners who say that we in the UK and Europe should just suck it up – Why should we Europeans suck it up? At least you Americans are getting the game a week after the Japanese release. Unfortunately, we have to wait until who knows when (as long as it’s not after the Apocalypse!) because PQube/Zen United has a bad reputation of releasing games months after their North American release.
      It’s obvious that Atlus have been taking lessons from the Sega School of Business Marketing when it comes to bad PR as a result of this incident.

      When it comes to both Index and Atlus, I wouldn’t be too surprised if this game ends up in the bargain bin in Europe as a result of both companies’ greed due to the game coming out a lot later here.

      On another note, if people have no problem with region-locking, it’ll only end up telling the companies that publish games that basically “Hey, if people want our games to be region locked, we’ll give the public what they want!” or in other words, there won’t be any winners, only losers. The consumers lose out, especially in territories/countries which aren’t covered by the publishers and the publishers lose out in lost sales due to their greed when it comes to sales in certain territories, especially Japan.

      I have no problem with importing games; in fact I imported Catherine last year because I wasn’t too sure if it was coming out over here in the UK or not and I’ve been buying import games since the mid 90′s (one of my first being the US version of Phantasy Star IV as I wanted to play it so bad, in fact it was a good thing I did so seeing as it wouldn’t come out in Europe until a year later!)

      As for you not being able to play Pandora’s Tower because it’s not available in your territory, all I can say is: “Get over it!” ^_^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicolai-Grude/1117146030 Nicolai Grude

    85% sure that this is an Index decision and not an Atlus one.

  • http://twitter.com/NintyBound Ninten

    Why cry over something this stupid, when everyone’s going to get the game? Can’t you just chill and wait patiently?

  • ThatBlackGuy

    Whoa the comment section has turned into an all out warzone.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      yep 400+ comments of it and its mostly circle jerking.

    • revenent hell

      haha yeah people dont get this riled up over  horrible happenings on the news,I think the lil girl stripper pole that was sold years ago,mabey even now? got less wrath than this topic

  • Jirin

    Oh, so the reason you’re making a game on a non-region coded console region coded isn’t to control anyone, it’s for pricing discrimination.

    Well, that explains everything!  Our apologies, Atlus, for our overreaction!  All you’re trying to do is force some of your fans to pay more than others.

    • revenent hell

      OMG you people.
       Different countries funds have a different value example Guatamalia is eight dollers for every one american doller. So what may be 100$ there is probably the equvalent of our paid for price of 60 bucks for a game.
      Their cost of living and rate of pay is also different. Companies unlike random people take this in to consideration.

      • mirumu

        That example is completely true, but for virtually every other product price is determined by the market. Region locking does not allow normal market price discovery to function. It’s a tool used by oligopolies to increase profit, and that’s precisely how Atlus are using it in this case since they say as much in their letter.

        I’d also point out that the country getting this game at the cheapest price, the USA, also has some of the highest pay rates in the world. So no, this is not how the market normally operates at all.

        • revenent hell

          A countries econamy dictates the value of their currency.
          I believe region locking does indeed play a factor of the market price for a designated country, it affects the value of units sold for the designated area taking away the option of importing a game/console for cheaper in this case I suppose guarantees the company in the production location gets their propper value for the product created. They dont use american currency value in this process they used Japan’s so I feel they are entittled to their fair market share.
          I think they are not gouging people but getting the correct value of what the production cost dictates by their location. Importing for cheaper does affect the company for that area and its stats.Essentially making demand low as well for that area.
          Atlus U.S.A is  getting their fair share from the location they reside/localise in if a game is priced at 150$ in japan but its sister company here localises and sells the game for 50$ is it fair to the japanese company to lose out on the cost of production for their area simply because the value is different in the U.S.A currency? I say no not at all since they didnt use america’s currency value in the production process.

          • mirumu

            That isn’t how it works though. It’s not Index producing copies of the game for the rest of the world. Publishers like Zen United license the game and produce their own copies. Yes, the costs will be different in different regions, and there’s a lot of variation around transport costs, sales taxes, compliance costs and labor costs around the world. Prices around the world will always vary to some degree. That doesn’t account for the huge price differences we see between regions however. Production costs tend to be an extremely small part of a game’s cost. Discs, cases and slip cases cost mere cents to produce.

            In theory you’re completely right in saying that countries econamy dictates the value of their currency (I’m ignoring market manipulation here), but let me ask you this. In the last few years the exchange rates between various countries have shifted considerably. Have you seen the price of new release games move in tandem with the exchange rates? Personally I’ve seen some prices in various countries go up. I haven’t seen any go down.

          • revenent hell

            hmmm very valid point….. The best defence I could even give to the question would be “games have always been pricey” type of thing and thats not a very good answer anyways.
            I shall think on this a bit.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Got to say I think one of the reasons US games are cheaper is that the US market has told the industry that a 40-60 USD price point is what today will bear. American consumers are not responsible for a Japanese customer willing to accept an 80+ USD equivalent or the 70-80 USD that has been the case in Europe.

          • mirumu

            Agreed. Although there’s also the matter of supply and demand. We know a certain percentage of people will pay $80+ USD prices, but is that the optimal price? Same with the 40-60 range in the US.

            I wouldn’t claim to know, but I suspect the reasons behind the various price points used across the world today are more due to historical factors in the 70s and 80s rather than current economic conditions.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            80 was certainly not unheard of stateside in the SNES era and many Saturn titles were 50-60 at launch. PS1 special collections like Working Designs did also were launch day 69.99 or 79.99. 

            The 39.99-49.99 became kind of the N64/Ps1 baseline which did continue into the days of the PS2, but ‘collector level’ US pricing certainly was not unknown historically.

      • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

        one day people will understand…

        • revenent hell

           Takeing some econamy and buisness courses would probably help.People want to feel a certain way about this and they will continue to do so.

  • http://www.jb2x.com/wordpress/ JB2X

    Erm… I still don’t see what the big deal behind this is.  It’s being released in the U.S. and Japan, respectively region coded for the region of their readers.  But they’ve said that the two countries will be able to fight against each other over the internet, so I don’t see what the big hubbub is all about.

    Is it just me or are people entirely misunderstanding what region coding means?

    • heartless141

      no, it’s because you assuming everyone have their respective region console, everyone can get the game for their respective region at ease.

      but nope, alot of people and places doesn’t have that joy.
      Phillipines: Asia region PS3, but alot of places sells US games instead.
      Brazil: US region, but no spanish option if there ever gonna be one.
      people with imported console, like japanese only limited edition consoles.
      and many more.

      so they basically screwed all of those sales in favor of forcing
      - People in japan who would import the game for cheaper, which is not that much cheaper, even much more expensive for some >_> i know it because i do it sometimes for games in japan that doesn’t support english.
      - People in Europe want this game early.

      to pay more and pay later.

      not to mention how long they waited till they announced this? many people already placed preorder, arranged tournaments, events, etc. now they have to cancel everything, even with a cost.

  • noctis_nox

    I don’t want region locking to be a trend. That’s all.

    I like buying  games from different region especially if there’s a CE exclusive for that region.

    If region-locking becomes a trend becuse of this then I’ll hate Atlus big time. I’ll buy their games but not day 1 with the exception of Persona. 
    I am doing it with Capcom.

  • Levin_Scorpius

    I… don’t see the problem here? Their trying to keep everyone to buy the game in their own territory so that sales don’t fall through on one end because one place has it cheaper then another and so that they don’t have a bunch of copies of a game that barely sold because it’s cheaper in another region. They are business, they want money, and overall they have gotten their money without being jerks, so what’s the problem?

    Except for the Europeans though, I guess they have the right to complain about this kind of stuff. (though maybe they could have bought a foreign system and stuff but what do i know)

  • l777l

    Atlus has done a number of good things over the years. This region-lock decision, in my view, is not a very good one. I intend to follow how things develop and how Atlus handles things in the future. I’m still open to buying Persona 4 Arena. But I will not buy it anywhere near full price. Don’t misunderstand that, I still have a positive opinion of Atlus, overall; Atlus earned that. However, a moderate negative reaction seems to be in order here. And yes, this is a slippery slope.

  • ivanchu77

    There´s other games like blazblue that were in identical situations and didn´t get region-lock.

    But of course, they got greedy and screwed the japanese users forcing them to pay more and at the same time the europeans are now forced to wait until “sometime in 2012″.

    They can say “I´m sorry” all they want, the point is that the game is still region locked, so I won´t accept any excuses.

    • Brandonmkii

      Iirc, CT was released a week’s time in NA after the Japanese, but CT was released in NA a month after the Japanese, and CS Extend was 2 months. Maybe the nigh-simultaneous of CT release hurt them somehow, and that’s why the rest of the games had at least a month between releases. Having at least a month in between wouldn’t call for a region lock.

  • http://twitter.com/hatsuyuki Neon

    I live in a territory that doesn’t even release games locally (not NA, EU or Asia – or Australia/NZ, I guess, but they barely ever get anything). I can’t buy games (or even consoles) in my own territory in the first place.

    I got a JP PS3 because I knew games weren’t region locked. If this trend continues I will be forced to spend over twice the local minimum (monthly) wage on another PS3 (or a 360), or suck it up and deal, I guess.

    It’s a pretty big deal to folks like me who don’t want to have to resort to piracy to play games, and who have already purchased their consoles based on the knowledge that games weren’t region locked.

    • revenent hell

      With all do respect games and the way they are released change daily,back when I was a kid there was no such thing as DD or DLC.
      One never knows what new trend will catch on in the gaming world.
      Just because most games for a particular system had/have yet to be region locked didnt/does not mean it would never happen assuming it wouldnt was soley your own choice. Sony nor any game developer have ever stated,to my knowledge “Our games will NEVER be region locked” so assuming this to be a fact and not considering that it might happen well realy is your own fault

      • http://twitter.com/hatsuyuki Neon

        Region locking isn’t a new trend at all, it’s a step backwards. All this does is tell me I should be like nearly everyone else in my country and mod my console so I can play whatever I want in it.

        Also yes, Sony stated back when the console was released that it would be region free for gaming.

        • revenent hell

          Right when I was about to hit send I hit a key and it put me on a different page………………..
          As I said above in regards to Sony I didnt neccisarily mean the console but the games for it and by new I didnt  mean “new” I realy only used the word because of peoples complaints about how this will be a trend in the gaming world  ect ect fall of man ect ect…I read a post that said new trend so I figured id use the wording.
          I cant tell you what to do with your consoles they are your property after all and for you to do with as you see fit.
          I think if you dont want to tweak your/a system the best advice I could give would be to get the Japanese copy of the game,if in this case you realy want the game,its a fighter so the menues and options wont be that hard to figure out.
          Who knows this might be what happens in future with games with world wide releases or it may not  but untill that time comes this is just one game for now you are either going to get the game or not and  this applies to future games as well wether they be region locked or not.

          • http://twitter.com/hatsuyuki Neon

            I would get the Japanese copy, except it ends up being a lot more expensive for me, so it’s not worth it. Between shipping and the taxes we pay here (brace for it – 60% import tax over the cost of the game AND shipping AND insurance), the actual price of a game tends to end up more than double what it would cost if purchased in its own territory – the price difference adds up. It would actually be cheaper to pay someone to mod my console and buy a pirated copy than it is to buy a single Japanese game (let alone many, if the trend continues).

          • revenent hell

            Ok I may seem a little rude in asking the following question but some remarks in your comments dont quite add up to me so I hope you dont mind clairafying these things for me.
             Orriginally you said  “I live in a territory that doesn’t even release games locally (not NA, EU or Asia – or Australia/NZ, I guess, but they barely ever get anything). I can’t buy games (or even consoles) in my own territory in the first place.” and yet above you state “I would get the Japanese copy, except it ends up being a lot more expensive for me, so it’s not worth it. Between shipping and the taxes we pay here (brace for it – 60% import tax over the cost of the game AND shipping AND insurance), the actual price of a game tends to end up more than double what it would cost if purchased in its own territory – the price difference adds up” according to you you cant even get the games in your territory,so you have to import games anyways at these costs.  Do you only save a few bucks by importing from a closer territory since the thats the only thing I think you can save on since you have to pay the other fee’s regardless. You stated orriginally you only have the option of importing games  yet here im getting the idea you can buy them in your territory? I mean with these prices no matter what territoy you get the game from it would be double the cost of the game anyways,perhaps in America or EU it would be slightly cheaper for the game itself but it sounds as if its still double the game cost.

            I have no right to interogate you but like I said the differing statements botherd me since sometimes people over dramatise their situation to prove a point or reflect they have a right to do something  such as pirating games,wich not just hurts the industry but gamers themselves because then to prevent pirating they implement standards sufferd by legal consumers of a product but anyhoo  its not that im saying you are but thats why I asked these things so I dont run on assumptions.

      • mirumu

        Region locking has existed since the dawn of consoles, although back then it was more a matter incompatible TV standards. On systems like the SNES it was as simple as the cartridges being shaped differently, so circumventing required the use of a saw. The gamecube had a series of pins on it’s motherboard and you could change region by moving the jumper changing which pins connected. Over time it’s become more elaborate, and avoiding it has required more effort.

        When it came to the PS3 Sony said it was region free. No, they didn’t say region locking would “never” happen, but it was a perfectly reasonable assumption. When you live in a territory that misses out on games all the time because of region locking this is a big deal, and a lot of people bought a PS3 instead of the 360 primarily because of this. Sure, things change, but to many this is as bad a thing to change as it gets.

        If this was the 360 we were talking about no one would bat an eyelid at this news.

        • revenent hell

          hmmm im rethining how ok I find region locking to be in a ps3′s case,no offence not because of your post but because of someone elses. I understand a bit better why its a “ps3 game region lock issue” thing…hmmmm
          Though I shall like your post because it was quite informative about the process of how past consoles where region locked. I enjoy learning new things.
          though when I mentioned sony i didnt mean their console I meant the games being played on it but eh its slightly a moot thing now

          • mirumu

            That is something I like about this place. Sure there’s a bit of flaming, but it’s a lot less than virtually everywhere else and you can also have a good discussion. I learn stuff here all the time too.

            With the past consoles…well I grew up as a kid in the early 80s so I remember all sorts of weird and normally unimportant facts about them. They were fun times.

          • revenent hell

            Yeah im stubborn in my thinking as im sure alot of others are to so it can probabley make for some interesting conversations to say the least.

            But yeah im realy a sucker for being  informed about..well anything. I like being able to be told about something I otherwise probably wouldnt have actively thought about or looked in to. Wich is normally those things most people learned in life but probably consider unimportant but its  so cool to know to me.

            The only wierd facts I can remember are about cartoons…..At one job I had people would constantly ask me about this or that so they wouldnt buy the wrong toy item for their kids/grandkids…Talk about useless knowledge hu? :D

  • kroufonz

    another thing about PR statement I can’t help to think that it is probably atlus set up for the future

    atlus: hey we give you dual audio but the price is this will be region locked!
    (this is ofcourse just their bulls%#t since there is other dual audio fighting games have been/will be released with close release date in each region, hell atlus publish king of fighter XIII have japanese voice and released first on the US why not fear reverse importing at that time, IMO it is japanese text that really matter not the japanese voice for reverse importing)

    what i fear is some time in the future some atlus game announced for localization on region free system,when people ask for japanese audio  atlus would come up with crap reason using dual audio as an excuse:

    atlus : lol you want dual audio. see last time we give you we have to region lock so sorry we ain’t gonna give you audio option.

    let’s just hope i am just dreaming and this thing would not actually happen in the future.

    • Nightmare637

      You seem to have forgotten the Dual text feature which seperates it from other fighting games that only have Dual audio, so using other fighters as examples doesen’t make a good argument.

      and anyway it’s not really even ATLUS’s fault it’s Index.

      • British_Otaku

        Why would Japanese text be a factor?
        I can navigate any of the menus in the Japanese games I’ve imported, I’ve imported fighters, RPGs and visual novels and managed to complete the majority with little prompting from FAQs, decent understanding of the game but nothing that should be called “knowledge of Japanese”.

        If they want to understand they can quite easily listen up in other cases.

        I hardly see anyone in Japan importing a game from America perhaps getting it a month late in comparison to their friends just to save a bit of money. They lose money if they want it quick (which means they should have preordered the Japanese one), they lose time if they choose slower delivery (means they are patient enough they could have waited for a second hand copy, borrowed from a friend or sat out on the game completely not being a sale at all).

        • Nightmare637

          I’d wait if i could get it cheaper and I’m sure many others would wait aswell especially in a seperate economy, and considering living conditions(put yourself in someone from japans Shoes)

          and sense this isen’t to hurt American gamers but Japenese using american consumers the way you did is a bad argument(of course i understand your plight abit since it seems your an EU gamer and this affects you much more then it does me)

          • British_Otaku

            Assuming I was a Japanese person, who wanted this game but cheaper and was willing to wait. I would buy the game from second hand, borrow it or wait till the next year or so when it is on a classic line up/ in the bargain bin.

            The hypothetical “I want it cheaper and will wait” person that many created for arguments here shouldn’t have any reason to want to support the company at all. Nor sure they be interested in getting the game near immediately. If they want to join the online community fast, they would have been part of the first week buyers (often most of the interest is in the first few weeks in Japan).

            From the Japanese perspective, they aren’t saving money (ordering it fast from America) and they are never getting the game within the first weeks of it being released (whether they choose cheap delivery or not).

            My issue isn’t so much with waiting for Zen as much as it is antagonistic to consumers who got their console in another region on the assumption that even if the PS3 lost the abillity to play PS2 games or Linux, that region free will always come through. Aside some those in non-regions and who may look for this game or others in the future.

            I am not petty enough to only complain when it is my problem, any issue in the gaming industry is my problem to look at and perhaps criticise.

      • mirumu

        Japanese schools have mandatory english classes, and they encounter English in a lot of the countries’ media. I’d honestly be surprised if dual text is really that big a deal for them. Especially in a fighting game.

        • Nightmare637

          I’m not saying it’s an important factor just that it seperates itself from other fighting games and this and the Release dates being so close is the Reason for the Region lock.

        • Shane Guidaboni

          Almost every fighting game I’ve imported from Japan has the menus in English. 

    • revenent hell

      While I think most audio is done better in the native tongue the game is developed in(hell anime’s and movies to) I tend to play them in my language,english that way I can understand them as I play. 
       I have no idea why people think this is remotely a factor as far as region locking goes…..even so im fairly certain most games localised people beg more for english speaking VA’s over the orriginal audio,regardless of wich is better.
      A company that localises games does so to bring that game over in the language of the country its in even if dual audio ceased to be if people are hellbent in wanting it they can import the game if they want the orriginal developers language used. Personally the only reason most niche games arent voiced over is so the localisers can save money on va’s…..

  • Ethan_Twain

    I’m not convinced that this is a big deal! Atlus has done a great job of endearing itself to the niche audience it serves, and I hardly think this one event reverses all of that. Yes, they made a non-consumer friendly decision. However, they’ve been up front and honest about what was done and why. Also, the gap between release dates is only 12 days. That’s not bad at all guys – in fact that’s really good!

    And since it’s more expensive in Japan anyway, it’s not the American consumer who’s missing out on a bargain because he/she can’t import, it’s the Japanese consumer.

    The American release even contains Japanese voice work, so if anyone is dead set on non-localized voices that option hasn’t been taken away either.

    So, to conclude, every business is occasionally gonna need to make decisions that aren’t consumer friendly. That’s just part of being a business. Atlus deserves praise for making very few decisions like that, and for handling it well (with honesty) when they do. This infraction against the consumer should be considered negligible and the Atlus faithful should remain, well, faithful.

    • Nightmare637

      Its more of a Deal for EU consumers(who rely on Imports), Thats why people are so against it(well mostly that is, Japenese whant it Cheaper and some are paranoid but I won’t say it’s justified or not without more info. on their viewpoint)

    • Dantis

      You seem to be forgetting Europe. As apparently, does all America.

      I’m told there’s a few people over here, and I’m sure a couple of them would like to play the game.

      • malek86

        Honestly, as an european, I’m already used to Atlus making trouble for us. This isn’t even the worst thing to happen to Europe.

        But it’s an indirect effect, so I’m not really blaming them. After all, they are an american company, working in the american market. Asking them to consider europeans too would kinda go outside their normal aims.

        And hey, it’s not like we won’t play it. We know the game is coming here, albeit later. In the meantime, I’m still waiting for Devil Summoner 2. I almost wish people had made such a big fuss for that game, not the one we are getting anyway. I guess it’s more of a principle thing, but it seems misguided to me.

      • AFatHouseCat

         Can you guys kill the time by playing Pandora’s Tower in English? I sure would like to;_;

  • Luna Kazemaru

    Ok how much longer is this going to go on isn’t there a thread for this somewhere because you all clearly aren’t doing anything anymore but just posting the same thing.

    • heartless141

      and you still stick around and moan at the moaners. pretty much the same thing mister it doesn’t affect me.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eUbnkVFQuE

      this just plainly show how much we care about this title and how bad it was.
      if it was some random company , people just oh ok eff you too and leave

      (beside, this is still on the first page you know)

  • AFatHouseCat

    What is up with Atlus thinking it can get away with trying to make these games profitable in different countries with different economic climates?! It’s almost like they’re a business or something.

  • Freud_Hater

    …Okay, uhh… I really don’t get why everyone if freaking out over this. I could understand going crazy if the game was region locked and released only in Japan, but… It’s going to be released in NA… What’s the problem?! Oo Just buy the American game, for christ’s sake…

    • Nightmare637

      It’s the European gamers who are getting the Short end.

      • David García Abril

        We almost ALWAYS get the short end. Looks like Americans have forgotten about that with all the Operation Rainfall shenanigans.

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

         I’d say it’s the Japanese since they’re being forced to buy the more expensive version.

        • Nightmare637

          Thats true, but in the long run if this becomes a trend then I think The Europeans will get the butt end of the deal.

        • Shane Guidaboni

          Won’t the majority of the Japanese play it at the arcade anyway? 

        • David García Abril

          Eeeer… Not really.

          It’s not that the Japanese version will be more expensive nor the American cheaper. Japanese will have to pay the same as they always pay for this kind of games. The same for Americans.

          It’s a matter of currency exchange, which has been REALLY messed up due to the global economic crisis.

          Especially in the last couple of years, the dollar and the euro are droping their worth dramatically, while the yen’s has been increased in the same fashion.

          And ironically, that’s REALLY hurting the Japanese economy, since it’s based on their exportations. It’s the main reason why Japanese companies (both in and out of the video game industry) have been reporting huge losses recently.

  • JustaGenericUser

    I like how almost everyone who support the region-locking don’t even bother to guess or even read peoples’ reasons for being angry about the region-locking.

    I thought I entered Siliconera, not a porn studio, what with all the posterior lips-planting I’m seeing.

    • raymk

      I don’t think anyone’s supporting it just that they don’t care if its not effecting them.  For example like me I don’t really post anything I just don’t really care because this doesn’t have anything to do with me as I can still play.

  • David García Abril

    Well, at least they are being honest. Any other company most probably would lie and come up with some half-assed excuse.

    And yeah, the yen over-appreciation is a HUGE problem for the Japanese economy in general, and since the global crisis isn’t going to get resolved anytime soon (because political leaders, especially the Europeans, just can’t get their f****** shit together!) , it’s not so surprising.

    Not that video game fans will take this into account, but still…

  • tridus

    Pretty sure there’s a lesson to be learned here for Atlus. Sadly, that lesson is “don’t listen to what people tell you they want online.”

    Because if you do something silly like give them a dual audio version of the game with near simultaneous release, what you’ll get is endless whining.

    Don’t worry folks, next time they’ll go back to delaying it for a year and making it single audio in order to reduce the bitching.

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

      As an expat working abroad, I’d rather wait and be able to import.

      PS3′s region free gaming has been fantastic for me.

    • heartless141

      imagine McDonald making a damn great new burger, but then only sell it to local people because they wanna keep the burger to that region until they can sell it to other region.

      would you, sir, be pissed? if you were the tourist?

      bad/weird example i know, but you get the picture. and that is exactly how weird this decision is.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/6OHLCDJZTGNSK5ICX5L44DAQUY Brianna

        I’m sorry, but your analogy kinda fails… since McDonalds DOES have different menus for different regions, and some things are region exclusive.
        So it’s not as weird as you seem to think. Different regions have different economies. The Japanese aren’t getting jipped like people seem to think; they’re paying a price that’s rather reasonable for the region they live in. Atlus Japan probably can’t afford to lose those profits to Altus U.S.. Yes, it was a misguided move, but I really think people are overreacting to something they are clearly misinformed about. Business isn’t as straight foward as the dissenters here seem to think.

        • heartless141

          it’s not the different menu, it’s the aspect that they won’t sell it to tourist.

          i totally understand the reason behind this decision, but i can no way bring myself to agree with it.

          and we ARE getting jipped (whatever that means), i live in japan, i know. say the price for a Big mac set in US is 6 USD ish, over here it’s 620 yen. though 620 yen have much more value than 6 USD, that will give you and idea of the living standard over here.

          that would make normal 60 USD games = 6000 yen here. but no!, alot of games are sold here at 6500 or 8000, some even go up to 9000. reasonable? really? that shadow of the collossus was divided into 2, sold at 3800 yen each, while you guys getting both of them into one disc at 40 bucks.

          that, is why i understand the reason behind this decision, (though really, importing games here are expensive anyway, the import store sell the new spiderman for 7500 new. no preorder bonus no nothing, may be if you get them off the net)

          but i can assure you that importing is not essentially a big market here. may be the foreigners who want their region 1 games for censorship and english, and some japanese who actually know about the outside world (which is pretty rare here)

          and i’ll leave this here again:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eUbnkVFQuE

          • David García Abril

            Comparing prices between countries based on currency exchanges is not a valid argumentin this kind of situations. Currencies change every single (working) day.

            Two-three years ago it was cheaper for an American to import from Japan, but now the roles have been reversed. Still, prices and salaries in both territories have been mantained roughly the same during this time.

            In other words, 60 USD have now more or less the same value for someone living in the US (with a salary in USD) as they had two years ago. At the same time, 7000 yen have more or less the same value as two years ago for someone living in Japan with a salary in yen.

            However, if we talk about someone living in America trying to buy something in yen and viceversa, the situation is completely different, and thus we have this problem

            What’s failing here is the currency exchange, not the pricing (or at least, not in that way). It’s a side product of the global economic crisis plus the aftermath of the last year earthquake, so it’s much more complicated than that.

          • heartless141

             you don’t get what i’m saying, i put the Big mac example there to show the living standard. 60 USD can still buy you, say a week worth food in US right? that’s what 6000~6500 yen would give you here as well. (home cooking)

            so i’m comparing the price to the living standard, not the currency exchange.
            now a week worth of food in US for a brand new game, and 10~12 days worth of food in japan for a brand new game. see the different now?

            games in japan has always been overpriced. the only way people are getting cheaper games are those foreigner who import from sites that have free shipping worldwide like zavvi.com etc

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/6OHLCDJZTGNSK5ICX5L44DAQUY Brianna

            I really don’t want to argue economics to a native of a country that I freely admit that I have a limited understanding of. But as the previous poster mentioned, you cannot simply just take the pricing of one object and expect everything else to to follow that pricing trend. That’s just not how it works.

            For example, from what I’ve gathered, a liter of milk can be anywhere from 130 – 190 yen in Japan. Correct me if I’m wrong, because that’s a distinct possibility, but it should be within range. A gallon of milk goes for about 3.60 USD. So, if 1 liter is equivalent to approximately .27 gallons, then it would be .97 USD a gallon where I am from, or approximately 77 yen. If there are such wild discrepencies in just the food industry alone, then it’s not a very strong argument to claim that video games should follow the trend of one completely unrelated item. There is more to consider in pricing than conversions, such as supply and demand, and overhead costs that need to be met. But in the end, it’s less about how much the game is, and moreso where the money is going. I can’t comment on reverse importing from a Japanese standpoint, but if Atlus claims that it will take revenue from Atlus JP, then I’m inclined to take their word for it, even if I don’t entirely agree this should be the way to counter that.

            I’m certainly not trying to support anti-consumer moves, because I do agree that this was a mistake on their part and does set a bad precedent. I just feel as though the fanbase is reacting in a counter-productive way by boycotting and canceling preoders. In the end, no one is going to benefit from this. Atlus is going to lose money, and the fans are probably going to have to miss out on good stuff as the company tries to recoup costs. I doubt Atlus U.S.A. is going to be able to publish smaller, more obscure games for awhile because of this, and work on games such as Persona 5 and SMT IV might suffer as well. But if the cause is worth that to you, I have no qualms with you expressing that. I just hope both sides are aware that it’s not just this one game that will be affected, and that things aren’t black and white by any standards. 

          • heartless141

             i see your point now. also i did state that because of the price thing i understand the reason behind it. so we are somewhat have the same understanding here.

            i’m sure this game will still sell, at least to the people who are not affected by the region lock and the die hard fans. and we all know that’s the majority.

            those who boycott this game are those who are affected by this, EU players who has a slow start (this, is important, since TTT2 and DOA 5 are coming out soon) , those who are forced to import from oversea like me (which cost alot more time and money), and other cases, like the non-persona fan who are just interested in it for the fighting but got turned off looking at all the scandals (like me to SFxT, since i bought it just because tekken was there, but soon abandoned it, knowing the game is still pretty fun). we are but the minority, who the company just don’t even care about for this particular case.

            it was a bad decision in every single aspect. and if this game die like SFxT, it’s atlus/index, whoever had that idea’s fault, and can’t really blame the consumer for their loss. they said it themselves this is a business decision, good or bad, it will reflect on the sale.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Wow, almost 500 comments on this. I’ve never seen anything like it on Siliconera. So much drama.

  • revenent hell

    Ok question time So can anyone explain to me the process of european localisers? I imagine its akin to the USA but im honestly trying to figure out what the reason is for the games to be released so slowly there.

    All I can assume  is its the fault of the company releasing the game perhaps do to its differing policies? or just being lazy,dont get me wrong I understand some game developers can make life harder for these companies by being slow but I was realy rather shocked when someone below mentioned they still havent gotten Devil Summoner 2…and thats been out here in america for a long while unless they meant Devil Survivor 2….Thats still TBA for europe regardless without bashing any company can someone clearly explain why it does take so long in europe? Is it the rating system…..?
    Its hardly an american or japanese companies fault in my view since they are releasing the games in their teritories  so I do believe ultimately the fault falls on the European gamers companies releasing these games but it would be good to know exactly why the process in europe seems to be so slow

    • British_Otaku

      In short, when a game comes to Europe, companies can either choose to have the game support more languages in text (Multi 5) then distribute it, leave it with the language selection for the North America release or release the game with different languages for the German/Spanish/UK and so on release.

      It is optional whether they want to provide more language options on a single release or make us search the internet extensively to find the French version, though that is usually something reserved for times where there is less space on the cartridge and bs in this day and age. Many games just arrive in English as if they came straight from the US, naturally leaving out anyone who isn’t capable in English and causing headaches for those who dislike Americanisms (it’s worse for manga, where they NEVER print a British English version of sorts but whatever)…

      The rating systems vary from country to country but if we take the UK, we have PEGI, Pan-European Game Information which covers most of Europe and the BBFC who mostly do films but have rated some games recently. I don’t believe I’ve seen a game with both ratings in the UK.

      BBFC refuses games (and movies) on occasion and requests a cut version if the game is topical enough. PEGI more or less takes everything and slaps a rating.

      Germany has their own system and I don’t believe ever uses PEGI, they tend to refuse more games likely because of historical connections and such.

      I think the rest of Europe is less complex.

      As for who to blame for games not getting here. It’s the gaming companies worldwide. I see it that way as we don’t really have branches for companies here more often than not, with SEGA closing branches recently as well. They should have enough funds to collabrate or extend their reach like they do when they don’t have branches in the odd country/region.

      • SirRichard

        “I don’t believe I’ve seen a game with both ratings in the UK.”

        As far as I’m aware, games can use both, but not on the same box. It’s lead to funny moments, where one copy of, say, Bayonetta is rated 15 and another on the same shelf is rated 18.

        • British_Otaku

          That’s interesting, SirRichard.
          Opens up a new can of beans for parental confusion and faux-limited editions along with PEGI changing their rating presentation over the last few years to make it more obvious.

          Glad we never had the redundancy of having BBFC + PEGI on one case even if it means that someone may be refused one copy of a game, come back when there is a different clerk and pass through thanks to inconsistency despite them being the same disc.

          The BBFC (15) edition should be super rare as it only reaches the UK (unless shipments get mixed up but they should be smaller), while the PEGI (18) cover goes everywhere.

          No censorship according to BBFC: http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ADM260171/

          So I’ll be hunting that on the Xbox 360 and PS3 to make a fortune, thanks for the advice.

      • revenent hell

        Thank you for clairifying some of these aspects for me. With this and the other Atlus announcment thred I think I grasp why the games do release slower in EU

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    OK, I think everyone’s had a chance to give their input on this matter. I feel there isn’t much else of value that can be added here, since all that’s happening now is people repeating the same arguments and counter-arguments over and over. This thread is now at over 500 comments, too, so anyone that wants to join in will have to wade through a whole bunch of them before they even figure out who or what to reply to.

    For further discussion on this topic, let’s do it in the newer post about Zen’s plans for P4A in Europe: http://bit.ly/N61EL0

  • http://twitter.com/janssen4444 Robert Janssen

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about, there is only a 2 week gap between releases. I’m sure everyone has a backlog of games, spend the 2 weeks finishing some of those off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1637067517 Markus Clark

       The big fuss is called “Europe”. How come everybody seems to fucking forget us?

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Please leave racist comments elsewhere. Warned.

  • DEATH_METAL_FAN

     That is an anthropological term. It is not a racist word.

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Sir, that word certainly has been used to defend racist actions and viewpoints. Further I cannot understand what purpose such an ‘anthropological’ term has in this discussion. The inference any common sense reader would take is clear. Banned. 

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