Atlus Former CEO Naoto Hiraoka On The Switch, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim’s Delay, And More

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In a recently published interview with then-Atlus CEO and now-board director Naoto Hiraoka that dates back to Taipei Game Show in January, he answered questions regarding Persona 5 coming to the Switch, Joker in Smash Bros., why 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim’s delay happened, and more. [Thanks, Bahamut!]


Here are the highlights:

On Atlus and Sega games releasing in Asia:

Naoto Hiraoka, board director: “While this time Catherine: Full Body is releasing two months late, as the game content is quite massive, in the future we will aim for simultaneous releases as our target.”


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On Joker in Smash:

Hiraoka: “This time, Joker joining Smash Bros. was mainly thanks to Masahiro Sakurai from Sora, Ltd.’s invitation, which led to this partnership. Sakurai-san is a big fan of Persona 5, and we are fans of Smash Bros., so when we received the invitation, we thought, “That’s great!” We’re happy to establish such a great working relationship.”


When asked whether Joker in Smash Bros might mean Persona 5 for the Switch:

Hiraoka: “On this regard, I have no detailed reply to give, but personally I think the Nintendo Switch is a very appealing console.”


Whether Catherine will become a series or an anime:

Hiraoka: “Because this is a title being rereleased after 7 years, we’ll need to see how players receive the game first.”



On Shin Megami Tensei V’s progress:

Hiraoka: “Shin Megami Tensei V is still in development. However, because this is Atlus’ first time developing for Nintendo Switch, we need to experiment a lot.”


On Vanillaware’s 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim and why the Prologue was released separately:

Hiraoka: “Originally, 13 Sentinels was to be a 2018 game, but it needed more time to improve the quality of the product, so it was delayed. In order to not have players wait too long, we decided to release a Prologue first for players to experience.”


On what new challenges Atlus will face in the future:

Hiraoka: “As Persona 5 is a very high-quality game, our greatest challenge is to release a game that can surpass this extremely high wall. This includes Project Re Fantasy, and some titles that haven’t been announced yet – we hope they will be refined and high-quality, and surpass Persona 5.”


On remaking Persona 3 and Persona 4:

Hiraoka: “Although there’s nothing I can say on this end, we’ve always received suggestions like this from fans, and when we have the chance, we’ll actively examine the possibility.”

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Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!