Some people have pledged to boycott Persona 5 Royal because of Atlus USA changing scenes that were deemed to be ‘homophobic’.
2020 is going to be an amazing year for the Persona series. Persona 5 Royal looks to be a major improvement for a JRPG that was already a 10/10 experience, and then a proper sequel in Persona 5 Scramble will arrive later on. Unfortunately, despite all the positive improvements to the Golden-like expansion, some people are pledging to boycott the game because of how Atlus’ localisation team have changed a few scenes that were deemed ‘homophobic’.
Persona 5 Royal has lately received a bunch of positive previews with many outlets agreeing that it feels like a brand new game that everyone will enjoy. There’s Nintendo Switch fans begging for it be released on their console of choice, but – as of this moment – it’s coming to the PS4 only.
However, despite being a magnificent improvement of an already near-perfect JRPG, some have pledged to boycott it because of a minor alteration that doesn’t really change anything.
Persona 5 Royal has censored ‘homophobic’ scenes
It’s become apparent that Persona 5 Royal has censored supposedly ‘homophobic’ scenes from the original game.
The Persona 5 scene in question saw Ryuji approached by two homosexual men who were very flamboyant and sexually aggressive in their lustful pursuit.
Those who complained about this scene deemed it to be offensive, and it appears that these complaints have resulted in the scene being altered for the western release of Persona 5 Royal.
Meanwhile, senior project manager, Yu Namba, told Gamespot that the men were “portrayed more like predatory” and that “the community had a very strong response to that”.
“As a localization manager, I really cannot do too much about what has already made it into the game,” Namba continued to say. “Our team members felt a little bit of awkwardness about when working on it. And with Royal, we were determined to see if we could do something about it at least localization-wise.
On our end, it took a lot of effort consulting not just the production department, but talking with our marketing, and how they would feel about it if we changed how things were in Persona 5 to this new way–what would the public reception be, what the company would think, whether it would be okay if we do make the change.”
Disgruntled Persona 5 fans have largely blamed ResetEra for the unspecified changes in dialogue and it’s not hard to see why.
The ResetEra community in April 2018 infamously posted a bunch of demands for Persona 5 and future Persona titles concerning its representation of the LGBTQ community and “pervert party members.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, a thread was then created in February 2019 to “name, shame and catalog” the “phobic crimes of Katsura Hashino” – the director of Persona 3, 4 and 5, plus Catherine.
Lastly, to make matters even worse, the ResetEra community is still not happy following the censorship/changes in Persona 5 Royal because the Japanese version has not been altered.
The representation of the homosexual men in the original Persona 5 was undoubtedly over-the-top and predatory, but they were far from the only sexual predators in the game because the narrative was about horrible and corrupt adults.
Kamoshida was just as bad with his perverted view of society and pursuit of Ann, so it wasn’t as if the predatory nature of the two men after Ryuji came out of nowhere.
The statement that dialogue has been changed for the west is worrying as even minor alterations can ruin a director’s vision and we shouldn’t be treated as a society that needs to be coddled. Plus, the western localisation was already criticised when Persona 5 was released back in 2017.
However, while we don’t agree with the changes in dialogue and censorship, we also don’t agree with the few fans threatening to boycott it.
Atlus West censors Persona 5 Royal after resetera users attempted to dox the game’s director to get him fired, boycotted Atlus entirely and spammed their social media with censorship requests— ResetEra Takes ️ (@ReeraTakes) February 17, 2020
But as always, it’s never enough. pic.twitter.com/W1NBdJuhfS
Persona 5 Royal boycott
Some Persona 5 fans have threatened to boycott the western release of Persona 5 Royal because of its apparent censorship.
Just when I thought that I had zero reasons to buy Persona 5 Royal, the censorship fiasco hits, and now I have negative 100 reason to buy this.https://t.co/skEGDy5wNc— BΣƧЦBΛЯЦ (@BesuBaru) February 17, 2020
I am not a blue check mark so my opinion doesn’t matter, but I read on IGN that @Atlus_West is censoring the western release of Persona 5 Royal. I have bought Every SMT and Nocturne is my all time favorite game. I will not buy P5R, because I will not support censorship.— Diamond Plate (@TheDiamondPlate) February 17, 2020
Persona 5 Royal censorship is unacceptable @Atlus_West , until you reverse course I’ll be buying your games used or not at all. I was looking forward to this special edition. #persona5royal #censorship pic.twitter.com/cOmWKUrfKl— Ryguy (@MAGARyLue) February 18, 2020
Don’t think ill be bothering with persona 5 the Royal. I don’t agree with censorship of any kind especially when the majority of people don’t want it to be censored. if you agree you shouldn’t buy it either. #persona5royal— generic fukwit #rat gang (@MrFukwit1) February 18, 2020
It’s easy to understand why these fans are aggrieved as aspects have been changed to appease a vocally aggressive minority.
With that being said, boycotting the title would rob of you of an incredible experience that won’t be massively affected by one scene having been changed.
Neither of the homosexual men are imperative to the plot so any changes to their portrayal won’t break the game.
Similar to the reported censorship of the brilliant Catherine Full Body, you probably won’t notice any of the censored dialogue and portrayals in Persona 5 Royal.
Yes, it’s frustrating to constantly hear stories about how Japanese games are being censored in the west because of a few complaints online, but in regard to Persona 5 Royal it’s not worth boycotting over.
Boycotts are never serious threats to begin with as evidenced by the remarkable sales of Pokémon Sword and Shield, yet it’d be still be nice if these disgruntled fans could instead focus on everything amazing Atlus Japan has achieved rather than what Atlus USA has slightly changed.