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Atlus output strategy | Discussion thread

Joseki

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Very skeptical that P6’s biggest platform would be PlayStation if the game received a simultaneous multi-platform launch. And the rumors of its exclusivity seem to have their origins in very inconclusive posts on Era without much evidence.

Could still happen, but not something I’d bet on right now.

I am doubtful, but I also think there is little chance of this ever being a scenario tested in reality.

I can't see P6 not being a priority for SIE and I don't see ATLUS having much desire to say no to a deal.
 

reksveks

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The one interesting thought in my mind is what impact is the GP deal going to have on the internal thought process from Altus POV? They have a nice little figure to take back to Sony despite the output of the deal not being the same. Would be great to be a fly on that wall.
 

J-Cat

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I am doubtful, but I also think there is little chance of this ever being a scenario tested in reality.

I can't see P6 not being a priority for SIE and I don't see ATLUS having much desire to say no to a deal.
I think that could be argued for old SIE, but for Jim Ryan-controlled-neo-PlayStation? I'm not sure. I've never seen them promote or market a single turn-based game at a State of Play or Showcase. All since the Jim Ryan era.
 

Tungsten

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I am doubtful, but I also think there is little chance of this ever being a scenario tested in reality.

I can't see P6 not being a priority for SIE and I don't see ATLUS having much desire to say no to a deal.
I can. SIE is clearly moving towards GAAS and where singleplayer games are concerned even if P5 blew up, it doesn't really have the multi decade AAA prestige like a Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid or even lend itself well to a realistic adventure ala Silent Hill 2. That's not to say Sony won't, I just don't think it's as high on their priority list.
 

AruanaRiva

I will never doubt Harada-sama ever again!!!
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Persona 6 even if it is released on same day and date with Switch and PC will still remain PS majority sold platform title guys.

There is a reason why building audience is really important. Persona is still considered newcomers to Switch ecosystem while PC is still in growth phase.

Most of Persona fans has breath and live on PS ecosystem for years. It is going to stay like that for long time to comes.
 
Persona 6 even if it is released on same day and date with Switch and PC will still remain PS majority sold platform title guys.

There is a reason why building audience is really important. Persona is still considered newcomers to Switch ecosystem while PC is still in growth phase.

Most of Persona fans has breath and live on PS ecosystem for years. It is going to stay like that for long time to comes.
In Japan? No way.

Worldwide? I'm very doubtful.
 
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After the great success of SMTV on switch I would say the Persona audience was already in the switch.
Heck if Soul Hackers 2 were released in switch at the same time with the others consoles we probably would get a better imagine of the persona audience on switch.
 
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Were the UK charts not posted here?


Yes, FIFA 23 still holds onto the top spot like a leech, but this week has seen two great openings for Nintendo. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope comes straight out of the gates in at number three, proving itself to be a franchise which is ever-growing in popularity despite being a somewhat unusual pitch, and Persona 5 Royal lands the number six spot with an impressive 79% of sales coming from the Switch (Playstation 5 made up 17% while Xbox Series X|S accounted for 4%).

79% of sales of P5R were on Switch. Granted apparently this is physical only (explaining the near non-existent XB sales), but still.
 

AruanaRiva

I will never doubt Harada-sama ever again!!!
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In Japan? No way.

Worldwide? I'm very doubtful.

Considering till now we still see IP like Atelier still sold a bit more on PS vs Switch despite the difference in userbase. I think u underestimate the power of long time ecosystem locked IP there.
 

MegaXZero

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So with Soul Hackers being mostly confirmed to have underperformed Sega’s expectations, guess it’s time to reflect. The difference from reveal to launch on expectations, including mine, was big. Whatever plan Atlus had seemed to have gone off track. While the western marketing was pulled back, the Japanese marketing was pretty high and it was still their first self published simultaneous release. I do feel like there is a few reasons for the game suffering this fate:

The game wasn’t great and so it couldn’t build a new audience as a new pillar off of critical reception. Critical reception built persona into a power house at 5. So they’d have to rely on built in audience and then hopefully wom.

Then it’s skipping the SMT audience on switch/Nintendo ecosystem which was most likely a big mistake. That’s a built in audience that would have gone for the game at launch.

And finally one of the few things the marketing did do was try to lean into the persona audience, but it really seems that the persona audience is hyper focused on Persona as opposed to the larger SMT series and so don’t transfer very easily.
 

ILikeFeet

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but it really seems that the persona audience is hyper focused on Persona as opposed to the larger SMT series and so don’t transfer very easily.
that was Atlus's fault for announcing the ports of Persona before SH2's release, and P5R coming so soon after SH2. not that it would have helped all that much, but Atlus seemed to already have written off the game
 

cw_sasuke

Member
that was Atlus's fault for announcing the ports of Persona before SH2's release, and P5R coming so soon after SH2. not that it would have helped all that much, but Atlus seemed to already have written off the game
They just overestimated how much pull they have with the audience on non-Nintendo systems outside of Persona. If the massive global PC/Xbox/PS market cant handle the first orginal Atlus RPG in years + a ReRelease of P5R that paints a disappointing picture.

Maybe that reality check will help them for future projects, just fear that is gonna make them depend even more on Persona.
 

mousielilone

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They just overestimated how much pull they have with the audience on non-Nintendo systems outside of Persona. If the massive global PC/Xbox/PS market cant handle the first orginal Atlus RPG in years + a ReRelease of P5R that paints a disappointing picture.

Maybe that reality check will help them for future projects, just fear that is gonna make them depend even more on Persona.
I don’t think think that’s it at all. There is no way they assumed that Japanese Xbox/PC owners could have made up the difference on Switch. There aren’t even that many Xboxes in Japan.

Something went fundamentally wrong over there and they aren’t admitting it. Which is pretty evident by the P25 anniversary annoucement blunders.

Also like to point out people expecting Soul Hackers 2 got a brand new IP not a sequel. That didn’t go over well at all with older fans.
 

cw_sasuke

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I don’t think think that’s it at all. There is no way they assumed that Japanese Xbox/PC owners could have made up the difference on Switch. There aren’t even that many Xboxes in Japan.

Something went fundamentally wrong over there and they aren’t admitting it. Which is pretty evident by the P25 anniversary annoucement blunders.

Also like to point out people expecting Soul Hackers 2 got a brand new IP not a sequel. That didn’t go over well at all with older fans.
I wasnt strictly talking about Japan though, but the general global performance. Game released worldwide on the same time, translated in multiple languages and might not even crack half a million despite a retail release. Thats quite bad considering the potential pillar talk previously.
 

mousielilone

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I wasnt strictly talking about Japan though, but the general global performance. Game released worldwide on the same time, translated in multiple languages and might not even crack half a million despite a retail release. Thats quite bad considering the potential pillar talk previously.
Except there was little to no marketing in the West at all. It’s like the PC/Xbox versions were afterthoughts not planned. They didn’t even handle them internally.

Personally, Sega/Atlus expected Sony to pick up some of the tab, when they didn’t; Atlus pivoted to add the PC/Xbox versions. I think that’s what happened to half of these Square Enix’s Games we’ve had recently to.
 

Oregano

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Something fundamentally went wrong in development.

Whilst not having a Switch version wasn't the issue, it definitely now looks like it was a symptom of the issue. A game using assets from Persona 5 and Shin Megami Tensei 5, using a relatively well supported multiplatform engine and being conservative tech wise shouldn't have any performance issues on anything more powerful than a Switch.

That's without mentioning some of the poorer elements of the presentation, like animation and dungeon design that seem to be a massive step back from Tokyo Mirage Sessions.

Except there was little to no marketing in the West at all. It’s like the PC/Xbox versions were afterthoughts not planned. They didn’t even handle them internally.

Personally, Sega/Atlus expected Sony to pick up some of the tab, when they didn’t; Atlus pivoted to add the PC/Xbox versions. I think that’s what happened to half of these Square Enix’s Games we’ve had recently to.

They handled the Series S/X versions in house. XBO was done by Artdink(alongside PC).
 

mousielilone

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Something fundamentally went wrong in development.

Whilst not having a Switch version wasn't the issue, it definitely now looks like it was a symptom of the issue. A game using assets from Persona 5 and Shin Megami Tensei 5, using a relatively well supported multiplatform engine and being conservative tech wise shouldn't have any performance issues on anything more powerful than a Switch.

That's without mentioning some of the poorer elements of the presentation, like animation and dungeon design that seem to be a massive step back from Tokyo Mirage Sessions.



They handled the Series S/X versions in house. XBO was done by Artdink(alongside PC).
Whilst it's a bit more complex than what my statement might imply, the Series X/S versions are patches into the XBO version. In other words, Artdink made the base version and Atlus added to it. That's not exactly the same as making the version from the base up if you catch my drift. That's not to simplify the process, keep that in mind.

Which lands on your entire post and I agree something happened there. Budgetwise the game reuses too many assets and is massively padded out with the "Soul Matrix" segments. The base game on it's own is maybe 25 hours for completionists. The DLC dungeon is the only dungeon that really reflects how the sabbath mechanics actually are supposed to work. They are adding a run in November three months after launch. Again, I think they intended this to be Sony Exclusive, and when their half the budget fell through they pivoted it.
 

Oregano

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Whilst it's a bit more complex than what my statement might imply, the Series X/S versions are patches into the XBO version. In other words, Artdink made the base version and Atlus added to it. That's not exactly the same as making the version from the base up if you catch my drift. That's not to simplify the process, keep that in mind.

Which lands on your entire post and I agree something happened there. Budgetwise the game reuses too many assets and is massively padded out with the "Soul Matrix" segments. The base game on it's own is maybe 25 hours for completionists. The DLC dungeon is the only dungeon that really reflects how the sabbath mechanics actually are supposed to work. They are adding a run in November three months after launch. Again, I think they intended this to be Sony Exclusive, and when their half the budget fell through they pivoted it.

Isn't it actually one of the rare games that have the Series X version on disc? I had assumed that meant Series X is the primary build but I guess I'm not sure how that works in practice.
 

mousielilone

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Isn't it actually one of the rare games that have the Series X version on disc? I had assumed that meant Series X is the primary build but I guess I'm not sure how that works in practice.
Like you I don’t know all the ins and outs. However, it is a Smart Delivery game. That means both versions are still tied to the same SKU. Thus, it could have a native version on disc, but it’s still tied to the XBO. Which is why I don’t think you can immediately assume both versions were entirely worked on separately. Unlike say Tales of Arise where they are completely separate versions.
 

Refyref

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Like you I don’t know all the ins and outs. However, it is a Smart Delivery game. That means both versions are still tied to the same SKU. Thus, it could have a native version on disc, but it’s still tied to the XBO. Which is why I don’t think you can immediately assume both versions were entirely worked on separately. Unlike say Tales of Arise where they are completely separate versions.
That's not what Smart Delivery means. SD just ensures that the appropriate version of the game is installed to the system. That can be either the same version with altered settings and different quality resource files, or a completely different build.
 

mousielilone

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That's not what Smart Delivery means. SD just ensures that the appropriate version of the game is installed to the system. That can be either the same version with altered settings and different quality resource files, or a completely different build.
That’s what I said. We don’t know if the game shipped on disc is a different build or an altered build because it is Smart Delivery

However, I’m 100% right in that the way smart delivery works is that games versions are 100% tied to the same SKU. And I know this because the PS5 version requires an upgrade fee in Japan because they are different SKUs but Xbox version doesn’t because Same SKU.
 

Refyref

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That’s what I said. We don’t know if the game shipped on disc is a different build or an altered build because it is Smart Delivery

However, I’m 100% right in that the way smart delivery works is that games versions are 100% tied to the same SKU. And I know this because the PS5 version requires an upgrade fee in Japan because they are different SKUs but Xbox version doesn’t because Same SKU.
They're the same SKU in the original meaning of SKU; a single purchase option available for the customer to buy (with a single store page), like how a single Steam purchase can include Windows, OSX and Linux versions. It doesn't have any relation to the actual technical side, like the code\build of the game. And of course, on PS5 they're split into two different SKUs, as their infrastructure doesn't support multiple options under one database entry (Which, in combination with local laws, is why PS5 upgrades cost money in Japan while they are free on Xbox).
But the point is, this is just how the two systems work. You can't use it as some sort of proof that the Series version is "patched into the XBO version", or that ArtDink did the initial work and Atlus built on their work for the Series version, as that's a complete misunderstanding of how SD and game versions of Xbox games work.
 

mousielilone

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They're the same SKU in the original meaning of SKU; a single purchase option available for the customer to buy (with a single store page), like how a single Steam purchase can include Windows, OSX and Linux versions. It doesn't have any relation to the actual technical side, like the code\build of the game. And of course, on PS5 they're split into two different SKUs, as their infrastructure doesn't support multiple options under one database entry (Which, in combination with local laws, is why PS5 upgrades cost money in Japan while they are free on Xbox).
But the point is, this is just how the two systems work. You can't use it as some sort of proof that the Series version is "patched into the XBO version", or that ArtDink did the initial work and Atlus built on their work for the Series version, as that's a complete misunderstanding of how SD and game versions of Xbox games work.
And you are completely misunderstanding what I’m saying. Oregano said because the game shipped on the disc they assumed it was a completely ground up new build of the game. I said because it’s smart delivery I.e. not like Tales of Arise with two separate discs it could be in fact a patched version of XB1 game. There is simply no way to know.

But the reason I think Artdink made an XB1 version and Atlus patched rather than ground up is given the lack of polish period.
 

Refyref

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And you are completely misunderstanding what I’m saying. Oregano said because the game shipped on the disc they assumed it was a completely ground up new build of the game. I said because it’s smart delivery I.e. not like Tales of Arise with two separate discs it could be in fact a patched version of XB1 game. There is simply no way to know.

But the reason I think Artdink made an XB1 version and Atlus patched rather than ground up is given the lack of polish period.
There is a way to know, by checking the file info for both versions in the OS. However, that would require owning the game and having it installed on both systems, something which I can't do. However, it should be said that most Series games, especially after the launch period, are separate versions and not just patches.
As for the lack of polish, that's true for every version of the game, isn't it?
 

mousielilone

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There is a way to know, by checking the file info for both versions in the OS. However, that would require owning the game and having it installed on both systems, something which I can't do. However, it should be said that most Series games, especially after the launch period, are separate versions and not just patches.
As for the lack of polish, that's true for every version of the game, isn't it?
And neither can I. So my point still stands that just shipping on the disc doesn't automatically mean it’s a native port. Was all this necessary for that?

Even if it’s native port Atlus didn’t apply a big budget to Soul Hackers 2. I simply suspect they didn’t bother with a completely native Series version. Maybe I’m wrong there, yeah if I am. Does it fundamentally change anything really? Can you really say a native Xbox Series X version was made with the idea of it selling a lot of copies? It’s still an after thought compared to the PS4/PS5 version.

An yes- no version of the game looks good. I just assumed they went extra cheap, maybe they didn’t go Uber cheap. Still something happened during development and it looks to be budget related.

I don’t think Atlus ever intended the other versions to sell well.
 

enpleinjour

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The one interesting thought in my mind is what impact is the GP deal going to have on the internal thought process from Altus POV? They have a nice little figure to take back to Sony despite the output of the deal not being the same. Would be great to be a fly on that wall.

It's still going to be incredibly easy for Sony to moneyhat Persona since the majority of the fanbase are already on Playstation, and in Xbox's case the numbers are very small. I don't see that calculus changing.

Xbox also seems to be only doing deals that guarantee GamePass D1 from what I see, something Sony contracts are against and something that would be a lot more expensive for Atlus.

They could profit maximise and take money from Sony and then from MS later for GP.
 

MegaXZero

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Except there was little to no marketing in the West at all. It’s like the PC/Xbox versions were afterthoughts not planned. They didn’t even handle them internally.

Personally, Sega/Atlus expected Sony to pick up some of the tab, when they didn’t; Atlus pivoted to add the PC/Xbox versions. I think that’s what happened to half of these Square Enix’s Games we’ve had recently to.
They didn't do a worldwide simultaneous reveal and release on 3 platforms if that wasn't planned. If they expected SIE to pick up the tab that would have been at the beginning of the project, and so shifting to more platforms would hardly be an afterthought. There would have had to been an expectation that they could build a new audience and build off the current persona audience (western journalists were told it was persona with adults) for their new pilar. Clearly though both failed and the math that told them the SMT/Nintendo audience wasn't needed was bad.

Although while the quality of the game could have been addressed, it does seem to reinforce that the persona audience doesn't transfer to the rest of the atlus catalog easily.
 

WD-M01

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I see there is a lot of consensus in the matter that Sony would moneyhat Persona 6 no matter what. Of course, Persona 6 being exlusive would benefit Sony, but that doesn’t take into account other factors. Like:

- Sony has never moneyhated Persona. The decision of keeping these games exclusive to one ecosystem was on Atlus alone.

- Like it has been said, accepting a moneyhat would the exact opposite of what SEGA is telling us that are their plans for the franchise.

- At this point it should be evident that Persona fanbase isn’t exclusively based on Playstation users. In fact, PS exclusivity is preventing the franchise for reaching higher heights.

- Sony is making very clear what kind of games they have interest to. Persona is none of them.

For me the question isn’t is if Sony would moneyhat P6. The question is if SEGA would let Atlus do a “strange” decision like they always do. The most safe bet for me is that the game would be developed for PS4, but will appear on everything except Switch.
 

mousielilone

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They didn't do a worldwide simultaneous reveal and release on 3 platforms if that wasn't planned. If they expected SIE to pick up the tab that would have been at the beginning of the project, and so shifting to more platforms would hardly be an afterthought. There would have had to been an expectation that they could build a new audience and build off the current persona audience (western journalists were told it was persona with adults) for their new pilar. Clearly though both failed and the math that told them the SMT/Nintendo audience wasn't needed was bad.

Okay if they were trying to “build” an audience for the Xbox/PC version, why was all the promotional material in Japanese? Plus Sega/Atlus just admitted a huge chunk of the Persona fanbase is non Japanese players.

Again, the logic here keeps going in circles over “simultaneous world wide release” but that doesn’t seem to be that big of impact on their decisions.

Although while the quality of the game could have been addressed, it does seem to reinforce that the persona audience doesn't transfer to the rest of the atlus catalog easily.
The quality of the game could have been addressed?

A) it’s a vastly shorter than most Atlus games
B) it lacks AA of any kind
C) there are really only 6 dungeons. 3 of which are split up to make “new dungeons”.
D) Camera position was a day 1 patch
E) Run is coming three months after launch

Seems like a very half baked attempt not a solid planned release.
 

MegaXZero

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Okay if they were trying to “build” an audience for the Xbox/PC version, why was all the promotional material in Japanese? Plus Sega/Atlus just admitted a huge chunk of the Persona fanbase is non Japanese players.

Again, the logic here keeps going in circles over “simultaneous world wide release” but that doesn’t seem to be that big of impact on their decisions.
A simultaneous release is a huge impact on their decisions. They just don't press the magic localization button and call it a day.
The quality of the game could have been addressed?

A) it’s a vastly shorter than most Atlus games
B) it lacks AA of any kind
C) there are really only 6 dungeons. 3 of which are split up to make “new dungeons”.
D) Camera position was a day 1 patch
E) Run is coming three months after launch

Seems like a very half baked attempt not a solid planned release.
The most likely answer is Covid screwed them over in development, but still I don't get this statement in bold. They stated outright they had big plans for this revival. They specifically even mentioned "Soul Hackers" in their IR as a major IP prior to reveal. They had every intention of this being big.

It is likely that seeing the issues with the game later on (we know devs do mock metacritic reviews) they pulled back a bit on the western marketing. Granted the Japanese release then also flopped.
 
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Phantom Thief

Phantom Thief

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So with Soul Hackers being mostly confirmed to have underperformed Sega’s expectations
I don't disagree with this point at all, to be clear (nor do I disagree with any of the excellent discussion your post prompted!), but did this ever get confirmed? The last fiscal report only mentioned SH2 as a new major launch for Atlus, right? It didn't actually get into the performance?
 

MegaXZero

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I don't disagree with this point at all, to be clear (nor do I disagree with any of the excellent discussion your post prompted!), but did this ever get confirmed? The last fiscal report only mentioned SH2 as a new major launch for Atlus, right? It didn't actually get into the performance?
Their results for the quarter: "New titles and repeat sales were slightly below expectations". Lelouch pointed out in the thread for it that Two Point was noted by the devs earlier to have "exceeded all expectations". That really only leaves Judgement ports and SH2, and if Two Point exceed expectations, then the rest need to reverse compensate.
 
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Phantom Thief

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Their results for the quarter: "New titles and repeat sales were slightly below expectations". Lelouch pointed out in the thread for it that Two Point was noted by the devs earlier to have "exceeded all expectations". That really only leaves Judgement ports and SH2, and if Two Point exceed expectations, then the rest need to reverse compensate.
Thank you very much!

Yeah, that confirms that SH2's sales are disappointing either way. In the worst case it tells us that Sega managed to be disappointed with Two Point after all, but regardless of however that part is read, there is no ambiguity when it comes to the other games, they appear to have underperformed.
 

mousielilone

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A simultaneous release is a huge impact on their decisions. They just don't press the magic localization button and call it a day.
True but the game is short. Super short compared to their normal affair. This isn’t a Persona game with 100+ hours of nuanced dialogue. Some scenes hardly have dialogue at all. At this point I would hope a game of this size with a developer of this sized would be able to do a WW release.

The most likely answer is Covid screwed them over in development, but still I don't get this statement in bold. They stated outright they had big plans for this revival. They specifically even mentioned "Soul Hackers" in their IR as a major IP prior to reveal. They had every intention of this being big.
Covid played a factor sure but Covid didn’t effect their budget. They didn’t even have separate dungeon themes for each dungeon. That’s pretty standard these days. And there are more weird corners cut like Flamma’s Japanese voice actor is an actual child with no Voice Credits previously. I can keep going on these odd ball things.

I agree the game was said to be a big game for them. A third tier. But if you removed all the third pillar and Persona comments, you’ve got a game that has less of the budget of SMT V (which was also developed during Covid) expected to do closed to SMT Vs numbers? That doesn’t add up. Even with Covid playing a factor.

It is likely that seeing the issues with the game later on (we know devs do mock metacritic reviews) they pulled back a bit on the western marketing. Granted the Japanese release then also flopped.
This idea of mock meta critic scores being low falls apart when they never started market to the West in the first place. Even the World Wide reveals were vastly different between the two groups. Not to mention, why bother patching on Run at this point? Why bother fixing the camera?
 
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MegaXZero

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Covid played a factor sure but Covid didn’t effect their budget. They didn’t even have separate dungeon themes for each dungeon. That’s pretty standard these days. And there are more weird corners cut like Flamma’s Japanese voice actor is an actual child with no Voice Credits previously. I can keep going on these odd ball things.

I agree the game was said to be a big game for them. A third tier. But if you removed all the third pillar and Persona comments, you’ve got a game that has less of the budget of SMT V (which was also developed during Covid) expected to do closed to SMT Vs numbers? That doesn’t add up. Even with Covid playing a factor.
COVID can absolutely affect their time though, especially if they needed to have the game out at a certain point, in a specifica fiscal year, etc. Sometimes you can delay a game to meet your scope, other times you cut your scope to meet your deadline. In the end we know this game at one point was supposed to be big, but if they cut back on western marketing, there is also the distinct possibility they also lowered expectations too along the way.
This idea of mock meta critic scores being low falls apart when they never started market to the West in the first place. Even the World Wide reveals were vastly different between the two groups. Not to mention, why bother patching on Run at this point? Why bother fixing the camera?
They were at Summer Games Fest, so there was some kind of marketing in place. They also still released english trailers as launch approached. As for why bother patching? I mean that's like asking why SE and Platinum bothered updating Babylon's Fall after day 1. There was a dev plan that had already resources used so they pushed out what they have.
 

mariodk18

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I may or may not have said it in this thread (if so please let me know), but I could see Sony paying for P6 full exclusivity, while the expanded rerelease is multiplat day 1. Or maybe just timed. Persona 5 OG is locked to PS3/PS4 after all.I can see a similar situation with SMT V happening. SMT V is a unique situation because NoE assisted with the FIGS localization and publishing? in Europe, so I find it hard to believe it would leave Switch. Although it could end up like that JP Bayonetta 1 dub releasing on Steam, which was funded by Nintendo for the rerelease on Wii U.

I would imagine SMTV+ is being worked on right now and in the final stretch (hopefully as DLC). They could announce it next year in celebration of the 30th anniversary for the series and bring it to all platforms. I'm actually more curious about what the platform strategy for PRF will be.
 

shoptroll

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I cheekily hit on this in the current MC thread but the big problem I think SH 2 had is that there's not really a clear reason for it to exist as a "third pillar". As someone who hasn't played the previous game it really looks like Atlus was taking a second dip at the Persona well, rather than trying to put resources into something like Devil Survivor which taps into a different and underserved (at least prior to 2022 :LOL: ) audience by being an SMT TRPG game.

Like SMT and Persona are quite distinct from each other. TMS while being more akin to a Persona game was at least distinct due to the Fire Emblem ties and lacking monster collecting. What exactly makes SH 2 different enough from the other branches to warrant existing?
 
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