Persona, previously marketed as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona outside of Japan, is a video game franchise developed and primarily published by Atlus, and owned by Sega. Focusing around a series of role-playing video games, Persona is a spin-off from Atlus’ Megami Tensei franchise. The first entry in the series, Revelations: Persona, was released in 1996 for the PlayStation. The series has seen several more games since, with the most recent main entry being 2019‘s Persona 5 Royal. Persona began as a spin-off based on the positively-received high school setting of Shin Megami Tensei If… (1994). Persona’s core features include a group of students as the main cast, a silent protagonist similar to the mainline Megami Tensei franchise, and combat using Personas. Since the release of Persona 3 in 2006, the main series has used a social simulation function called Social Links, which are directly linked to how Personas evolve. Character designs are by series co-creator Kazuma Kaneko (Persona and the Persona 2 duology) and Shigenori Soejima (Persona 3 onwards).
Its overall theme is exploration of the human psyche and how the characters find their true selves. The series’ recurring concepts and design elements draw on Jungian psychology, psychological personas and tarot cards, along with religion, mythology, and literature themes and influences. Revelations: Persona was the first role-playing Megami Tensei game to be released outside of Japan. Beginning with Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, the English localizations began to remain faithful to the Japanese versions at the insistence of Atlus. The series is highly popular internationally, becoming the best-known Megami Tensei spin-off and establishing Atlus and the Megami Tensei franchise in North America. Following the release of Persona 3 and Persona 4, the series also established a strong following in Europe. The series has since gone on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide, outselling its parent franchise. There have been numerous adaptations, including anime television series, films, novelizations, mangas, stage plays, radio dramas, and musical concerts.
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