Persona Sequels About Starting Adulthood Have a Lot of Potential

Historically, the Persona franchise has had a curious relationship with sequels. Occasionally, Atlus releases a follow-up game that acts as a sort of sequel, but doesn't preserve the JRPG structure that the Persona series is known for. The action-heavy Persona 5 Strikers is a great example, as are the Persona 4 Arena games. At the same time, Persona fans still occasionally long for direct sequels to installations in the franchise. The games sometimes wrap up in a way where there isn't a clear path towards a sequel, but the premise of the franchise actually establishes solid potential for sequels with a slightly different story angle.

If Atlus ever decides to make proper sequels for some or all of the modern Persona games, it could focus on those characters' journey into adulthood, rather than exploring their high school lives a second time. Adulthood results in a lot of different experiences for all people, and the Persona franchise themes of self-discovery and identity are perfect for sequels showing how the Persona protagonists change as they age. This premise is also great because it would allow Atlus to revisit a wide range of Persona games, rather than limiting it to Persona 5 for recency's sake. The time spent waiting for Persona sequels could make a game about adulthood even more meaningful.

RELATED: The Potential of Persona 6's Green Motif

A Mature Take on the Persona Franchise

Although the details of each Persona story differ dramatically, each game tells a similar story about young people searching for their place in the world and their true selves. Each Persona user can only wield their inner self once they confront their fears, acknowledge their deepest desires, and commit to the principles that they hold dear. Persona's stories about high school are therefore highly appropriate. After all, the years before adulthood compel all people to think about themselves and what they want out of life.

The process doesn't stop after high school, however. On the contrary, gaining maturity in adulthood often moves people to rethink their lives, their past actions, and their goals. This is extremely fertile soil for a sequel to a Persona game. Atlus could consider bringing a group of Persona protagonists together, whether it's the Phantom Thieves or the Investigation Team, and have them return to the world of Shadows and Personas in adulthood. The protagonists may need to confront their inner selves and awaken to their Personas a second time after the concerns of adulthood sway them from the convictions they once held.

Persona protagonists in adulthood would benefit all sides of Persona gameplay. Playable characters and NPCs alike who have aged a few years could spawn unique dungeons in the Shadow world, inspired by fears about their careers, families, and legacies, as well as memories of previous Persona adventures. New Confidant and Social Link stories would also greatly benefit from the change of pace. These social sim elements usually result in Persona characters committing to a certain life goal or a change in outlook; Persona sequels could turn those established goals on their heads, with characters either reconsidering their previous choices or recommitting to paths that they strayed from. All in all, Persona sequels about adulthood seem like they could be very refreshing.

RELATED: Persona 6's Theme Could Lead to Major Mechanical Changes Like in Persona 5

Persona's Generations are Ready for Sequels

If Atlus decides to make a traditional Persona game sequel, Persona 5 seems like a natural candidate. Persona 5 Strikers has already offered a glimpse at what such a sequel might look like, examining how the Phantom Thieves' experiences lead them to help others in the physical world and see their enemies differently. A direct Persona 5 sequel taking place a few years after Persona 5 Strikers could see the Phantom Thieves grapple with the long-term impact of their actions while showing how vigilante justice affects their lives differently as they mature.

Atlus doesn't have to limit itself to a sequel to Persona 5, however; on the contrary, Persona 4 is fertile soil for a direct sequel. The PC remaster of Persona 4 Golden has been a massive success so far, reigniting interest in the previous generation of Persona games and the Investigation Team's story. Atlus has kept these characters relevant enough to justify revisiting them long after the original Persona 4's release. There's definitely something to be said for bringing the Investigation Team back together in Inaba to face a new threat in the Midnight Channel while using their time in the countryside to reflect on the directions of their lives.

Even Persona 3 isn't entirely out of the running for a sequel, in spite of its 2006 release date. The long-rumored Persona 3 remaster may not have reared its head just yet, but 2018's Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight proves that Atlus isn't afraid to release Persona 3 material long after the original game's time has passed. Persona 3's heavy themes would definitely still hold weight even as they take on a different light thanks to an older cast of characters.

Hope for Persona Sequels

Persona may not have a reputation for frequent sequels, but Atlus has become increasingly unpredictable in recent years, often surprising fans with ideas like Persona 5 Strikers. What's more, if Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers can get a sequel after 20 years, there doesn't seem to be anything stopping Persona 3 and its successors from getting follow-up games in the future. Interest in all three recent core Persona games has only gone up in recent years, so Atlus has plenty of reason to consider revisiting any and all of these games.

For the time being, a Persona sequel probably isn't on the horizon, since Persona 6 has started production. Atlus may find it more practical to focus on making Persona 6 the best game it can be, rather than trying to juggle a variety of major Persona projects. Still, until Atlus officially confirms that it'll never produce sequels for these games, there's still a slight possibility that sequels will crop up. Persona sequels about aged-up protagonists have a lot of potential, and Atlus has shown little fear of releasing sequels and spin-offs long after a game's time. Fans will just have to keep their eyes on Persona 6 and hold onto hope that Atlus will surprise fans with sequels for Persona 5 and its peers one day.

MORE: Persona 6 Should Preserve Persona 5's Variety of Damage Types

Persona's Anniversary Celebration Has Fallen Flat
Related Topics
About The Author