Atlus has shown their own hand by accidentally leaking a western release for Persona 5 Strikers, a spinoff and sequel to the acclaimed 2016 JRPG.
Though it’s been out in Japan since February (as Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers), the Dynasty Warriors-inspired spinoff was officially confirmed for English audiences via an unlisted YouTube video, which has since been removed. It will arrive on February 23, 2021 on PlayStation 4, Switch, and Steam.
A backup of the video is currently viewable on Gematsu, and it’s likely the announcement will be made properly at the Game Awards next week.
Persona 5 Strikers functions as a sequel, with the Phantom Thieves reuniting to investigate new cases on their summer break. Gameplay-wise, the spinoff is a major departure, a “musou” game taking cues from Hyrule Warriors and the Dynasty Warriors franchise instead of updating the original’s more traditional JRPG engine. Players can swap between characters mid-battle while battling hordes of enemies and exploiting mini-bosses’ weaknesses, and a mysterious new character will join Joker’s crew.
Despite the change in genre, Persona 5‘s signature style is still front and center, and vocalist Lyn returned to perform a new original song, “You Are Stronger.” Previous Persona games have received sequels in similarly different genres, like Persona 4‘s ryhthm game sequel, Dancing All Night, so the departure is almost a hallmark for Atlus at this point.
If Hyrule Warriors has proven that the musou format can be successful for other franchises, fans of the Persona series should find a worthy successor when Persona 5 Strikers launches in the new year. Those who missed the original can check out Persona 5 Royal, the definitive version released earlier this year.