Persona 5 Royal does not feature the insulting portrayal of two gay characters as sexually aggressive toward one of the Phantom Thieves in its western localisation (via IGN).
With the revamped release of Persona 5, the developer added and adjusted a number of aspects of the original game. There is a new Phantom Thief, a new Palace, new Personas, new narrative features, an extra semester, and more, but Atlus also used the re-release to renege on past errors. In Persona 5, there is a gay couple that recur in various scenes to chase the male Phantom Thieves under the comedic threat of sexual violence. With Royal, the developer had a “chance to make it right.”
“We actually were able to go through some of the lines that players may not have received as well, look at that feedback, and then [update it] for the current generation,” explained Ari Advincula, Atlus communications manager, to IGN. The people working on the western localisation of the game were said to be “very on the pulse about what’s right and what to do,” and so these characters will no longer be shown in a “negative light.”
And, senior project manager Yu Namba elaborated on the work done to remove the controversial content. “As a localization manager, I really cannot do too much about what has already made it into the game,” he told GameSpot. “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.”
Persona 5 Royal is out now for the PlayStation 4 in Japan, and will be released in the west for the PlayStation 4 on March 31, 2020.