Persona 4 Arena on PS3 will be region-locked

The North American version of an upcoming fighting game will work only on North American and South American PS3 consoles; online servers will be global.

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Atlus has announced that the North American version of the upcoming 2D fighting game Persona 4 Arena will work only on PlayStation 3 consoles in North and South America.

Don't go parallel importing that PS3 copy from Japan just yet.

While both the Japanese and North American versions of Persona 4 Arena will be identical and will include both English and Japanese text and voice-overs, the Japanese version of the game will require a Japanese PS3 console.

Atlus also confirmed that the online servers for Persona 4 Arena's online play will be global. This means that players using the North American version of the game can fight against other online players from different territories.

No comment has been given by Atlus to GameSpot as to why the region lock has been implemented in the PS3 version of the game. For more information, check out GameSpot's recent coverage.

Discussion

114 comments
Rammone-X
Rammone-X

Noob question: Aren't games usually region locked?

91210user
91210user

I wasn't really looking for to P4: Arena however since I'm a techie, this whole PS3 region lock thing sounds pointless. I even taken the time to import when the PS2 was around and it still doesn't add up! 

 

I think it's another move cheap move from Atlus as always. I feel bad for Arc System Works because they make great games and have a great rep for fighting games and Atlus are messing it all up for them.

 

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

 @ZeroX91 @Warlord_Irochi The reason/point is so you can't buy it cheaper from the usa, rather than paying for overpriced local copy. It's unfair and should be against the law. Sony has always been a big proponent of region-lock. they were the ones that forced it into the DVD standard (and it's in Blu-Ray since that's a Sony owned format).

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

I don't see the point in the region-lock, but doesn't bug me any as long as I get it in English which is guaranteed at this point.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Ok, I think I know why... well Atlus... don't take 8 months to release a game in Europe after releasing it in the States like you did with Catherine and people will not import.Do things RIGHT, puting this kidn o block is just the easy and cheap way of doing things.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

The question is "why", makes no sense if you ask me...

iluvOP
iluvOP

Im 100% fine with this. I games cheaper from my own country funnily enough.

TBoneTony
TBoneTony

Anyone who wanted to read this...I got this from the IGN site and I felt that it is needed to be read 

 

<i>

Friends of Atlus,

The last week brought with it news that Persona 4 Arena would effectively become the first PlayStation 3 system game to be region-locked. We can today confirm that this is true; the game will be region-locked in all its respective territories of release.

As we've ascertained from your impassioned responses online, this is obviously a tremendous frustration for many fans. We understand the various perspectives on the matter. Those who fear this is a slippery slope, the beginning of a dangerous and unnecessary precedent. Those who import foreign hardware for a multitude of reasons and expect to be unlimited in their software selection. Those who aren't necessarily affected by this issue, but who are principally opposed to it. We are not blind to these concerns and we pledge to grow ever more informed as to exactly what our fans want. It should be added that we were completely unprepared for the force with which the community communicated their disapproval.

There are, however, a few points to clarify. This is NOT the beginning of a new Atlus policy, nor do we view it as a precedent or a slippery slope. If anything, your determination and dedication to what you believe in has certainly stood in the face of that. 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. Allow us to explain.

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 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.

For many of you, there is no explanation that resonates, no justification that atones for this fact. We can only endeavor to earn back your confidence and, to learn from your arguments. We absolutely recognize the fear that this is the beginning of a trend. We in no way view it as such. Please also keep in mind that the game's excellent online multiplayer is global, a fact that is in no way affected by the region-lock. Players can compete against fighters from all territories.

A tremendous team of talented developers and artists poured their blood, sweat, and tears into Persona 4 Arena, and every reaction we've ever received to the game has shown that those efforts are readily apparent. The decision to region-lock P4 Arena was a business one, one that has very clearly affected how many perceive the project, but we ask you to please not overlook the exceptional efforts of the people behind the game and to work with us through constructive dialogue.

Thank you.

 

</i>

TBoneTony
TBoneTony

I feel sad that Japanese publishers are wanting to go back to region locking their games on the PS3 all because of the strong Yen and not wanting gamers in japan to import from america. 

 

I just hope that Atlus of Japan eventually understands how much this can backfire against them. 

 

Also the reply letter was sent by Atlus USA saying that they could not do anything about the situation and that they understood how worried most North American and PAL gamers feel about Region Locking.

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

This is bad. I hope the game flops just because of this. I definitely won't be buying. Publishers only understand one thing : money. And they won't have mine on this one.

doomguy9
doomguy9

European and Australian/NZ gamers should boycott this out of principle.We're already in 2012 and Atlus is still pretending we don't exist. This only hits us the hardest as importing is the only way to go, unless you want to wait 6-8 months for Zen United to bring out PAL version, which will be released at full retail price while all the other versions have already dropped in price.If you still insist on getting it then buy it used.

Falru
Falru

Only possible feasible reason I can imagine is because of different video standards and specifications in the differing regions (the only reason we even have Region-specific PS3s in the first place). This is especially true with the rise of digital video and a move from analog video (NTSC in America, PAL in EU).

 

Really there's no reason to import the JP copy of this game at all so I don't see it being much of a big deal, the JP audio is there if you want to listen to it (which I probably will).

 

There are probably hundred's of games that are region-locked that we just don't know about yet, it's not done solely for marketing reasons.

Skakruk
Skakruk

atlus after releasing demon's souls - never got something clever done. i think this is just stupid move. another no-brain evidence of publishing company.

hell_player
hell_player

I thought that sony have a policy of no region locking

charltonkhoo24
charltonkhoo24

I just warn my regular game shop visit here in singapore and let them know about it and beside i am a member of that shop. Anyway i better get a AS version of persona 4 arena

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

i see region locking equal to a dev/studio shooting them self in the foot. it completely blocks any revenue for the game coming from imports as well as encourages piracy. well no piracy involved here though because its the PS3 we're talking about, but still WHY? it hurts both the fans and the studio

LVUER
LVUER

Strange, especially considering both version have both subs/text. Why the need to region lock?

acealexander702
acealexander702

can't believe we still region lock, hopefully this is for a good reason, and its for the better...

eliram1
eliram1

going back to the dark ages. I had greater expactations from atlus then this. 

 

majere613
majere613

I really hope this doesn't catch on. Region-free gaming is one of the finest features of the Ps3. Of course, if it does become more widespread all it'll do is increase the number of hackers trying to remove it.

supermariomelee
supermariomelee

It's because the japanese developers are paranoid that japanese gamers will reverse import the game. 

 

It's much like the anime industry at the moment.  Since the North America & Japan share the same region for blu-rays.    With the anime industry, some companies are refusing licenses for blu-rays releases right now.  Because they're paranoid that japanese customers will just import the U.S. version, since it's cheaper(even with import fees) to buy.  That's why most of what anime is released is on DVD, since it's a different region compared to Japan.

 

hobotech64
hobotech64

Region-locking is a nationalist form of DRM.

Sahle123
Sahle123

I remember back when the vintage PS3's could play PS2 games, until I found out that all my UK games didn't working on my US PS3... The horror is starting again D:

Miss_Ocelot
Miss_Ocelot

I'm a big Tensei fan. I love Persona, Devil Summoner and Devil Survivor. It's such a shame that Europe keep missing out on these games. I love Japanese culture so I'm into the computer games too. It's hard enough to buy manga and Anime series here (price wise and limited selection in most shops). People are more likely to hack because of these limitations, aren't they shooting themselves in the foot here? I worry about Persona 5 now, will we ever get to play it?

Romangelo
Romangelo

stupid decision. my PS3 is a Hong Kong made and I always play NA games. what do I do now? I knew the answer! just don't buy this game.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Persona 4: Arena region locked? Hmmm... I'm guessing they're planning to release different DLC on different versions maybe. Either that or there's something in the Japanese version they don't want us to see in our version.

darkouer
darkouer

But what about guys who imported their PS3 (FFVII AC ltd ed), I'm now screwed because I bought a Japanese PS3, precisly because it is REGION-FREE. I never thought I'd say this but F**K Atlus... They were my favourite comapany, I even bought Catherine for both PS3 and XB360, KoFXIII, for both, and now they announce this? I was planning to buy Arena for both, but now I will get neither...I guess they are starting to get the sense that people will just buy their stuff just because of their name being on it, and guys like me are to blame for sure. I hope they don't start getting cocky like capcom has, because they don't even have the resources to sustain such an attitude.

SuplexKirby
SuplexKirby

And people wanted PlatinumGames to partner with Atlus after that whole Sega west delayed AR bullshit. No thank you

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

Why now? These are the main reasons why there is region locking, but I don't see how they affect this game, someone explain!!!:

 

Pricing: different territories can have different prices for games without people simply shopping "wherever is cheaper".

 

Sensitive regions: Some games could be regarded as offensive for religious or political reasons.

 

Staged launches. If a console is region-locked, then staged launches of the games would be easier, as console producers could easily control the huge bow-wave of people wanting a game the moment it is released.

 

Piracy. Piracy is more common in some countries than others. For example it is particularly common in China as compared to North America. Region locks can prevent pirated games from these countries from being played on systems outside of their designated region.

Linh_dui
Linh_dui

 @Rammone-X well, many PSX and PS2 games are, but all PS3 games are region free. This is the very first region-locked PS3 game.

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

 @aussiemuscle Sort of curious you would single out Sony as being "a big proponent of region-lock," when PS3 is the only system this generation that has had entirely region-free games.  That's the only reason this article is here: this is the first region-locked PS3 game.  For 360 and Wii this has been par for the course for years.

 

I understand movies (and PS1&2) is a different story, but yeah... been enjoying importing stuff like cricket games from Australia, Demon's Souls from Japan (it came out way earlier there), ditto the Fist of the North Star game... and didn't have to worry about region locks.  Even ordered a disc-based Siren: Blood Curse from Europe, just because I like having games on disc, and in the USA it's download-only.

azuresky101
azuresky101

 @TBoneTony In rare instances i think region locking is acceptable, and this is one of those time-- Atlus is a business first and must do whatever it takes to secure it business side first otherwise we may miss some great games from them---  they are releasing the game 2 weeks apart with dual audio, what more can we ask-- yeah it sucks japan has to pay more for there content, but thats how the business economics work in japan-- I mean would you rather wait 8 months without region lock or 2 weeks with it? 

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

 @hell_player Not necessarily, but Sony pretty much leaves it up to the devs to decide if they wish to do it. Sony doesn't impose it one way or the other.

MajinSquall
MajinSquall

 @hell_player no they just told developers that they didn't have to use it if they don't want to

Shawn45
Shawn45

 @supermariomelee Another technique they use to try and dissuade Japanese buyers from importing is to have all the cool extras and stuff on the Japanese version, or make it so when you switch to the Japanese track in the English version, it auto-locks subtitles. 

 

It really sucks. 

Corrupted_Wolf
Corrupted_Wolf

 @Romangelo 

 

Just import it if you want to play. Don't if you don't want to. If you import it from anywhere else than Japan, you'll get the same price.

 

playasia.com 

 

there you go. 

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

@leeko_link I don't think so. I think it's to prevent importing, plain and simple.

Corrupted_Wolf
Corrupted_Wolf

 @darkouer 

 

... why do gamers always think the whole world is against them soon as they hear a news they dislike...?

 

As someone mentioned earlier it could simply be a legal issues they have to deal with regarding imports.

 

They had some trouble already when bringing Persona 3.

 

They make more money by keeping it region free. They have benefit nothing by doing this too.

 

So let's not be self-entitled babies and wait for the news to develop a little.

Corrupted_Wolf
Corrupted_Wolf

 @DarkNeoBahamut 

There are other legal issues too. I'm guessing it's either Sensitive regions or some legal lock they are in.

 

Legal issues can be caused by hundreds of reasons - reasons you might not expect like... advertisement, phrasing, date of sale, and etc.

 

Sometimes they do crazy things to go around that. 

 

Like I said, they make more money by keeping it region free. They know this. That's why PS3 always have been region free.

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

 @azuresky101 Atlus has a major fan base for there games. I dont see them having problems selling there games. Nor making a profit on those games by doing this they seem more likly to annoy those fans. And they tend to look a bit greedy if they where doing it solely for the money.

Corrupted_Wolf
Corrupted_Wolf

 @x-2tha-z  @leeko_link Except Japan makes more money by having Americans import because their prices are ridiculously high. 

 

Not to mention simply allowing importing allows them to make more money... that's why PS3s were initially  region free because they realize they can make more money that way.

azuresky101
azuresky101

 @Briantb_2008 Japan has different economic regulations than here in US, if the games wasn't region locked people would simply import games from there like how we import some exclusives from Japan. Atlus USA is subsidiary and will benefit for sure, however the bottom line revenue will impact Japanese Atlus sells and possible impact innovative title investment in the longrun, so you want a region locked title or wait for the title, cause Atlus has every right to expand there business model, or would you rather see them go under because you think "they are annoying fans and being abit greedy".

masterds64
masterds64

 @Romangelo Yes, you would, try ebay for psn credits, I get US for my australian ps3, it;d be no problem provided you dont get overcharged too much/find a bad seller

JollyAbyss
JollyAbyss

 @Corrupted_Wolf In this case, because there is going to be a North American version, this is probably being done to prevent reverse-importing by Japanese gamers. They are going to lose a lot more money from Japanese gamers buying the cheaper NA version than the money they would make from Americans importing the more expensive Japanese version.