Shin Megami Tensei IV Was Made To Show That Social Games Aren’t Everything

By Sato . June 3, 2013 . 12:00pm

Atlus is enjoying Shin Megami Tensei IVs success after selling 188,562 copies at launch, which was roughly 80% of its shipment according to our earlier report. Meanwhile, director Kazuyuki Yamai talked to NicoNico News about the game that he feels contains a hint of life.


Yamai considers Shin Megami Tensei IV to be a role-playing game about young men and women who’ve been caught up in the fight between God and evil, and their various conflicts while their lives open up in front of their eyes. He believes that the story and its unique view of the world is something that can only be experienced through this title.


When asked about what the “selling point” of Shin Megami Tensei IV is, Yamai replied, “During the game, there are various scenes where the player will be faced with necessary decisions. For example, you may agree or disagree with one of your allies. Sometimes you’ll have to decide between finishing off a dying enemy or letting them live. Such choices will have a large impact on the story’s development.”


“The story you experience will vary according to each player,” Yamai says. “It’s an attractive feeling of deep devotion that I believe can’t be experienced through television shows, films, or light novels.” He jokingly mentioned that he hoped to see people on the Internet brag about their own unique stories they’ve experienced in the game.


According to Yamai, the concept behind the starting plans of Shin Megami Tensei IV was the thought of wanting something to wipe away mindsets such as “games are childish” and “social games are good enough”.


Yamai explained this as, “Something that can move people. Something that can give some sort of hint to those who are living hard lives, and perhaps even provide an unforgettable feeling of shock. This title isn’t only for younger people, as it’s also a bitter and serious drama we’ve accomplished, that even adults can play and say ‘I see’.


When asked about any struggles or funny thoughts on Shin Megami Tensei IV’s development, Yamai joked, “To bring out a ‘serious and bitter drama’ in a game, it couldn’t be done with your average efforts. For this reason, we worked hard on development, as if our lives depended on it, for almost four years. Fortunately, no one actually died, you won’t be cursed  or anything for buying the game. Please don’t worry!”


Shin Megami Tensei IV will be released on July 16th in North America, while Europe will be seeing a release date in the future.


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  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu


  • Wait what

    I bought a 3DS for this. I am ready.

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      good…. >:D

    • Testsubject909

      I didn’t buy a 3DS and I don’t own one currently.

      I still pre-ordered the hell out of this game.

      • Shane Guidaboni

        You would be wise to purchase a 3DS ASAP!

      • zeta

        you pre-ordered one and you’re not going to play with it? you made your copy cry.

        • komiko12

          Yup. The essence of a game is to be played.

        • Testsubject909

          Money dude.


          Buying a game is a small cost. Buying a console is a larger one.

          Also, I’ll have you know. I opened up a factory sealed shrink wrapped Persona 2 for PS1 copy because I wanted to play it.

          I’m sure I made a lot of collectors cry by that act alone.

          Edit: PS. That was a LONG time before there was any hinting that we’d get a chance of getting Persona 2 on PSN. Before we even got Persona 2 IS on PSP.

    • NimbusStev

      I bought my 3DS a year ago and SMT4 is still going to end up being my first game for the system. I am soooo ready!

  • Satonaka CP-Four

    “According to Yamai, the concept behind the starting plans of Shin Megami Tensei IV was the thought of wanting something to wipe away mindsets such as “games are childish” and “social games are good enough”.”

    Hear hear!

    • AuraGuyChris

      Take that, Squenix.

      • Herok♞

        wow I knew someone would bring square into this, now the only question is why, they are a business and they all do things differently. Social games are profitable if you remember because they are easy to make and low risk if they fail.

        • Testsubject909

          Okay. How about this then?

          Take that EA!

          • JustThisOne

            How about just “Atlus, you’re awesome!”

          • Herok♞

            that works.

          • Testsubject909

            Or “Atlus. Marry me”?

            But then Love might be Over if you cheat with another company…


          • Herok♞

            well I can agree with that since EA is really bad they were yup getting rid of online passes(but only for Xbox Stuff so screw you other guys)

          • KnifeAndFork

            Square-Enix is pushing really hard to take EA’s title (even though that seems kinda hard).

            Also Capcom….

          • Herok♞

            no not really, square is fine right now, they aren’t nearly as bad with DLC as EA or Capcom.

    • Testsubject909
    • Yan Zhao

      Amen, let gaming go back to being great before these damn social games plagued our market.

  • Michael Connell

    Atlus, in the world of games you’re my heroes :)

    • Testsubject909

      *Insert Henrique Iglesias’ “I can be your hero” song here*

      Been loving them since I was a kid.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Insert AwolNation

  • Herok♞

    Now this is the kinda thing that would make me run out and buy this game if I didn’t plan on getting it.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Atlus freaking gets it!!! yeahhhhhhhhლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

    • Testsubject909

      They always had.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        and forever I hope

  • transferstudentx

    .Shin Megami Tensei persona 4 golden. was awesome bought a vita for it and now a 3ds xl for this one both games are great thanks atlus

  • $39420547

    always liked Atlus keep it up

  • AzureNova

    Thank you ATLUS.

  • Natat

    Thank you ATLUS. Thank you.

  • kassandra

    karoshi means death by overwork in japanese, i really hope the devs are ok.

  • Ethan_Twain

    I sure hope the actual product turns out to be as exceptional as it’s ambitions. I think highly of Atlus’ internal development, and hearing that they worked on this for four years raises my expectations somewhat.

    I mean, I can’t think of many publishers that would fund four years of development on a single platform handheld release. I think the list is basically Atlus and Nintendo.

    • Ben Ruiz

      There are a lot of positive things being said from the Japanese release.

  • KnifeAndFork

    200K sales is decent but not really that impressive but I agree that social games are kinda annoying shovelware and need not be the main focus of any major game company….SQUARE-ENIX…

    social games are a fad

    • Ben Ruiz

      It is impressive when it is nearly your entire first printing.

      • KnifeAndFork

        Implied that 200K printing is “A lot”, ie. setting low expectations

        • MegamMix

          Well, I see your point there lol
          But at the same time, you dont whant to set unrealistic expectations. You dont want to piss off your shareholders :P

    • Tatsuya1221

      Keep in mind that atlus isn’t square enix, they don’t expect or plan for a million sales, nearly 200k games in a week for a niche title is impressive, my guess is their goal was somewhere around 400k, which is almost definitely going to be surpassed.

      Either way, i agree with you on social games.

      • KnifeAndFork

        SMT has been around for 25 years. It really shouldn’t be considered “niche” anymore than DQ and FF…

  • Chim_era

    You know Atlus I adore you :D

    It’s a shame so little people pick up their games where I’m from.
    Or maybe I just have a bad attitude against AA games and social gaming.
    I just hope we will keep seeing games like this and that not everything will have to be mobile or just …. egocentric (modern warfare DIE!!!)

  • Ethan_Twain

    Atlus couldn’t have put together an interview to better appeal to Siliconera readers could they? SMT + Talking about games not being just for children + Bashing Social Games. What did they miss? I feel like the only thing they could have done to align themselves more closely with the Siliconera commenting community’s popular outlook would be to slip a jab at Square Enix in there.

  • ChiffonCake

    This is why I love you, Atlus.

    • ChiffonCake

      Oh whoops, it looks like I accidentally ended up posting this three times. Sorry. :E

  • Alexander Aubert

    thank you ATLUS you know how i feel

  • Keima88

    Atlus you are my number one ^^.
    It used to be SE but it went mental…
    Sure I am still looking out for him but its hard to stay with someone thats insane in the wrong way…

  • brian

    That selling point was around since SMT3, for anyone intrigued by it.
    I never really considered that it may curse people that buy it, until now.
    But now that I think about it, the first one had a creepy easter egg prank.

  • Teddy

    I see.

  • Alestaos

    I love Atlus’s range of games especially Persona. Basically got a vita for Persona 4 Golden. I hope they announce a release date for this in EU soon. Cant wait looks amazing, i love how there desgins are different but universal across there products. (Persona, Shin Megami, Devil Survivor)

  • MrTyrant

    “Shin Megami Tensei IV was the thought of wanting something to wipe away mindsets such as “games are childish” and “social games are good enough”.”

    Thank you based Atlus

    • Equinox K

      -sobs gently-

      Does that mean Atlus is going to screw all our women now?

  • Rogerrmark

    I love Atlus/Gust/NIS sooooo much

  • Sam

    Can’t wait for this, although I’m really enjoying Soul Hackers at the moment, so I’m not too antsy.

  • Will Jay

    Truly one of the heroes gaming needs.

  • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

    Are social games really that famous?

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Inflated numbers are inflated

    • Testsubject909

      They’re profitable.

      • Syn

        to a fault

    • Isaac Newton

      Yeah as far as I remember Zynga is swimming money during the Farmville rage….

  • Nitraion

    LOL I always like difficulty setting from atlus games…

  • colorblindnightmare

    And thisthe reason I love Atluys, they put work into their games, and they have a “no nonsense” kinda approach. once i have a 3ds this is on the top of my buy list.

  • MegamMix

    for me, ATLUS games tend to start of strong. Then take an unfortunate turn into repetitive and boring gameplay. But the stories are nice.

  • Ishaan

    Because those cost a lot of money and don’t sell enough to justify the cost of development. Also, as people grow older and start to have responsibilities, they find less and less time to play lengthy games on consoles. Thus, the handheld market.

  • Tiredman

    Have to ask you, do you hate handheld gaming without having tried it recently?

    I went a decade bad mouthing handhelds, and then they released the DS XL and I kept badmouthing. Then I finally figured what the heck, price is low enough, so many games that look interesting. I buy a DSi XL a year ago, and it opens my eyes. I doubt a normal DS would of done that, but the XL version makes it a lot easier on my eyes, since I have bad eyesight and wear glasses, and a lot of the games are very well done.

  • Nitraion

    Well same I not really like handheld too…
    Because last time i own PSP i play at home too…. it same really….
    also i am I tend to call my friends at home look at same screen and play together….. even just one player everyone can see it and laugh it together…
    Handheld sounds so individual to me if your friends doesn’t have one and most of my friend doesn’t have it…..well me and my friend so busy doesn’t really have time to play even you bring handheld it’s not really comfort to me so just find time after work sitting on the couch and play the game… :)
    but i guess giving reason these days everyone go handheld… well its okay to me i guess.. ._. maybe VITA/PS4 pair can solve problem in the future…

  • Haseyo

    I’m with the older peeps train. I used to love sitting down and playing games over handhelds. Now, I seldom have time to sit down and play games. I’m always at work, college, or just somewhere else. I’m all for the handheld market.

  • MrTyrant

    Sadly for me I cannot go ouside and play with my hanheld like most people. Climatic problems and lot of thief makes things complicated, I live in one of those places. I only take it ouside when I travel to another place.

    So it’s the same for me but handhelds are more convenient to play while resting xD

  • Ishaan

    Same here. I still love me the occasional AAA, no-holds-barred console game (I’m having a hell of a time with Tomb Raider these days), but 90% of my gaming is on portables, just because they’re so much more manageable.

  • MrTyrant

    Like most games honestly if it weren’t for the story I wouldn’t play them (those who have it) yet I always ended playing those “repetitive” games because I want to face and strong foe (maybe secret one) while recruiting stronger demons (always curious about who are they and what they have to offer) so yeah I expend lot of hours and in the middle I have an story to follow and makes things more interesting. Hey in the end is not that boring the game and most of atlus weren’t that way…

  • Testsubject909

    Curious. Define “True Gaming”.

  • Tiredman

    The PSP connects to a tv. I wish the others did too, but maybe someday.

  • Isaac Newton

    I will try…
    True gaming is when you play games during the 80′s 90′s and 2000-2006……

  • MegamMix

    Well, I am glad fans like you enjoy both aspects of the immersion. I was able to watch the Persona Anime because of dedicated fans taking an interest in the games. I do really enjoy the stories. So in my eyes, the anime gives me exactly what I like about the series. The last persona I completed was part 2 for psone. If ATLUS’ fan base enjoys the gameplay as it is then that works great for me as I am still able to enjoy the series in other formats. I enjoy the characters so much i have a shelf dedicated to the figma line of persona characters. Dungeon crawlers tend to sap my gaming experience due to my OCD which wasnt so much of a problem when I played persona 2, but I was a bit younger than lol

  • MegamMix

    It kind of bothers(used loosley) me that the SMT series was last on the list of titles users would like to see on the PS4. Persona was #7 on the list. The theory behind this is that games that have not had recent console entries rank lower. Which to me makes sense considering the influx of quality and appreciation these games have been recieving in multiple regions.

  • MegamMix

    TBH the wii-u should have just come with a slot to slide 3DS titles into…
    They have the technology to connect the 3DS to the Wii-U and display games on a TV. And with the gamepad, It eliminates the argument of the bottom screen (albeit it would be a bit more annoying to focus on 2 screens)

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