News broke this week that Persona 5 Royal won't offer any kind of upgrade path for those who already own the game on PS4, but want to grab the shiny new PS5 version that's set to launch on the 21st October. And frankly, that's a disgrace.
Persona 5 Royal is itself a re-release of Persona 5 — and that didn't have an upgrade path either. But the initial release of Royal in 2019 was a lot easier to swallow because of its many enhancements. Royal's such an improvement that it basically makes the original Persona 5 redundant — and a lot of fans were willing to pay up for the work that Atlus had put in to make an already excellent RPG even better.
But here we are in 2022 and that same company is asking fans to pay up again — and this time, it's for the same game. Running at a better frame rate and apparently bundled with all of the previously released DLC, sure, but I don't think that's enough to justify a potential third purchase — a third purchase that, knowing Atlus (and SEGA), is probably going to be full retail price, or close to it.
You know what really annoys me about this approach, though? Beyond the fact that it's an embarrassingly blatant attempt to milk loyal Persona fans for all they're worth, it's a slap in the face to Persona 5's legacy. This is a game that many consider to be one of the best RPGs of modern times. A masterpiece in terms of design, visual presentation, and music. It's a game that I've given a 10/10 review score to not once, but twice. And those don't come cheap here at Push Square towers!
Persona 5 deserves better than this. It's a work of art that deserves to be celebrated, not dragged through the mud because of Atlus' greed. The lack of a free PS5 upgrade — or hell, even something along the lines of a quick £10 upgrade — is a stain on the game's record. A record that, it should be added, is already under some degree of scrutiny thanks to Atlus' shameless approach to overpriced DLC practices — but let's save that can of worms for another day.
Atlus doesn't need the extra income, by the way — it's not like Persona 5 is a hidden gem or anything. It's pretty much the company's most successful game ever, surpassing 1.8 million copies sold in 2021. That number's probably topped 2 million at this point, which, at the very least, suggests that Persona as a property has never been more popular. And again, the people who contributed to this success are being told that they need to pay up a second or third time for the privilege of owning a native PS5 version.
Free PS5 upgrades should be the norm, not the exception. And to be fair, a lot of PS5 titles do offer an upgrade at no extra cost — we've got a complete PS4 to PS5: All Games with Confirmed Free Upgrades guide that shows just how straightforward this situation should be. But if companies think that they can gouge, they will almost certainly gouge.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana may not have the universal acclaim of Persona 5 Royal, but it's another perfect example of a great game that deserves better from the companies behind it. The PS4 version is faultless when running on PS5 already, but a native PS5 version is planned for later this year — and no, of course you're not getting an offer to upgrade.
I think these kinds of decisions need to be pointed out and criticised, even if nothing comes of it. Sometimes, companies do listen — like when Sony backtracked on Horizon Forbidden West — but a game like Persona 5 Royal isn't going to attract the same level of outrage. Persona's relative nicheness might be why Atlus and SEGA think that they can get away with it — I don't know. But I do know that it's bullsh*t.
What do you think of games that pass on having free PS5 upgrades? Is something like this just pure greed from Atlus and SEGA, or is there more to it? Demand better in our poll, and then shout in the comments section below.