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PS3 Region Lock For Persona 4 Arena Defended by Atlus

July 7, 2012 Written by Zak Islam

Atlus has defended its decision to region-lock the PlayStation 3 version of Persona 4 Arena, despite the console itself being region free.

Issuing a lengthy statement on the matter, Atlus stressed that the decision isn’t the start of a “slippery slope, [or] the beginning of a dangerous and unnecessary precedent.”

This is an isolated case, a situation precipitated by a number of factors, some of which are simply out of our North American hands. Moreover, and perhaps there is no way to convince our fans of this considering the magnitude of the betrayal many are feeling, but we are not doing this out of malice or a desire to control.

Persona 4 Arena achieves a number of triumphs for our North American publishing house. For years, our fans have asked us to include dual language audio in our games. Finally, with P4 Arena, we were able to deliver on that desire and include the exact same content as the Japanese release for our North American fans. Moreover, our North American community is often forced to wait months for a localized release (a plight our friends across the Atlantic can relate to). Again, with P4 Arena, we’re able to release within two weeks of Japan. We pushed hard for these things. We know our fans want them–well really, EXPECT them–and we did our best to get as much for our release as possible.

The company’s statement continued to defend their decision, which included both the positive and negative aspect of importing:

The unforeseen consequence in all of this was that we had a version of our biggest game of the year releasing within a couple weeks in two territories, both identical in content, but at radically different price points. Importing, as great as it is for gamers who otherwise can’t get access to a title, can also cannibalize the performance of a title in one territory to the benefit of another.

While we’re all one big ATLUS family, the reality is that the dramatic difference between the Yen and the Dollar makes for a dramatic difference in price. So the decision was made, perhaps at the expense of some of our fans, clearly at the frustration of many, to region-lock Persona 4 Arena.

Atlus’ statement was concluded with the firm stating Persona 4 Arena‘s region-lock decision ultimately boiled down to a “business one, one that has very clearly affected how many perceive the project.” The game’s online multiplayer, however, won’t be affected by the region-lock and will be playable globally.

Persona 4 Arena releases in North America on August 7th. Japan receive the fighter on July 26th.