There will be a number of Persona 5 Royal scene changes when that version of the game releases in the West on March 31. Most notably, Atlus has declared its commitment to remove homophobic scenes that had been in the original release of the game as a chance to make things right.
The Persona series is no stranger to homophobia in the West: Persona 4 party character Kanji Tatsumi had a running gag for the vast majority of his screentime that involved him constantly affirming that he wasn’t gay despite the various non-masculine hobbies he liked, to say nothing of his Shadow boss fight.
Persona 5 portrayed various effeminate male characters in the game as very sexually aggressive, especially towards the main character, who was still a minor in high school during the game, which received a good amount of criticism from players who thought the scenes were demeaning.
Ari Advincula, who serves as the communications manager for Atlus, has since said that the company has changed the dialogue in the scenes involving those characters to be less homophobic, both in their introductory scene and the beach scene they appear in later.
Persona 5 Royal is supposed to be this iteration’s version of Golden, with new characters and new content for players to discover and interact with while still playing through the game’s original story, barring new storylines coming as well.
While apparently reports about Persona 5 Royal’s Japanese version have said that dialogue remains unchanged in Japan (where homophobia is more widespread), the fact that Atlus is attempting to make amends with the Persona 5 Royal scene changes in the West is still something of a good sign.
Even though the changes aren’t actually happening in Japan, it’s good to know that Atlus realizes that not everyone in other regions where homophobia is frowned upon might share the Japanese sense of humor. However, we don’t know exactly how these scenes will be changed.
Either way, we’ll be able to see how the Persona 5 Royal scene changes go over when the game is released in the West on March 31 exclusively on the Playstation 4. Despite rumors to the contrary, the game will not be coming to Switch anytime soon.