While watching The Game Awards tonight, a surprising thing happened. The lights went out, and Persona 5′s Joker appeared. Was it something Persona 5 related? An expansion perhaps? Was this the next Persona tease? After some clever back and forth dialog between the game’s main characters, it was unmasked to be-
What, am I seeing this correctly?
Persona 5’s Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? What in the fresh hell even is 2018 in gaming anymore?
That’s right. Persona 5, a game that has only appeared on PlayStation platforms thus far, has its main character headlining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s first DLC pack, which includes Joker as a combatant, a Persona 5 stage for the game, and a number of Persona 5 music tracks to fight along to. Yup, that’s a PlayStation exclusive character appearing in a Nintendo exclusive game. Even Persona 5 Dancing is a PlayStation exclusive, so Joker’s never made the leap off of Sony’s platform until now (unless you count Persona Q2 on the 3DS).
Now, to be fair, Atlus is not a Sony studio, so Sony doesn’t have any explicit rights to Persona 5 or the Joker character. In a lot of ways, this is similar to what we saw with Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake or Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud Strife appearing in Super Smash Bros. (and now returning in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate). Characters that were traditionally thought of as PlayStation icons were recruited into the fray alongside Nintendo’s classics. But even Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII had ventured off of the PlayStation platform by the time their characters appeared in Smash.
Does this mean that Persona 5, a game from a series largely heralded as a PlayStation exclusive series, is about to make the cross-platform leap? Or is this Atlus’ consolation prize to Nintendo Switch owners, allowing them to play as the Phantom Thief of hearts in Nintendo’s beloved brawler? For the time being, it appears to be the latter, but who knows what crazy things might happen in the future. I mean, this just happened, and I don’t think anyone saw that coming.
The Game Awards were full of great reveals, from the ones we expected like Far Cry: New Dawn and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, to the completely insane announcements like this and that Dragon Age 4 tease. I’m not going to lie, as someone who exclusively plays PlayStation games, the Joker reveal is making me continue to consider that Switch purchase. Kinda hard to believe that a PlayStation exclusive character just got announced for a Nintendo exclusive game, but if this is a sign of things to come, video games are just going to continue to get more crazy and unexpected.