The message opens with Hashino-san stating that it's very difficult for a Japanese development team to accurately gauge the reception of a game in the Western market. He laments the inability of the company to be more engaged with their fans.
Following that, Katsura Hashino speaks a bit about the tendency for stories to differ between Japanese and Western markets. In his estimation, a typical Japanese superhero story will have the protagonists facing off against outside invaders whereas a typical Western superhero story will have the heroes fighting against an internal threat. He cites the Joker as a standout example of the Western style of superhero storytelling. Although Persona 5 heavily features elements of Japanese culture, Hashino-san believes it to be more of a Western-style "fighting an internal threat" story and he was anxious to see how the latest game in the franchise would be received by the gaming public.
At its conclusion, he stated that following the 20th anniversary of Persona he would be handing off the franchise to his successors in order to work on a new fantasy-themed RPG. He concluded the message with thanking fans of the franchise and ATLUS games worldwide for their continued support.
Persona 5 had originally launched with strict restrictions on streaming and sharing screenshots or video of the game, a stance that ATLUS later softened. Audiophiles may be interested to know that the game's soundtrack is getting a vinyl release, and if you haven't yet checked the game out you might want to take a peek at our Early Impressions.
What do you think of Katsura Hashino taking the time to send out a special thank you message to fans of Persona 5? Do you think that he will be leaving the future of the Persona series in good hands? How have you been enjoying Persona 5 so far? Let us know in the comments below!