North American version region locked

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#1 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

A rumor of this had started a few days ago, but it seems that there's been a confirmation that the North American versions (both the Xbox 360 and the PS3) of Persona 4 Arena will be region locked in Europe. So I guess those of you living in Europe who were planning on importing the NA version of P4A... don't. Japanese version might work, though.

Update: Atlus has issued an official statement saying the game will indeed be region locked on the PS3 (Xbox 360 was going to happen anyways).

Update #2: PR message:

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 Arenawas 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.

#2 Edited by jking47 (1246 posts) -

You can't region lock a game on the ps3, it is region-free.

EDIT:After reading that guys post I am not sure that he knows exactly what he is talking about. I would wait for something a bit more official than this.

#3 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

@jking47 said:

EDIT:After reading that guys post I am not sure that he knows exactly what he is talking about. I would wait for something a bit more official than this.

Yeah, that's what I'd like to think too. Apparently Stranglehold on the PS3 had gone through similar region locking threats, but community outcry prevented that. This is the staff member's second post on the issue, but I'm actually still very cynical concerning it.

#4 Posted by ESREVER (2703 posts) -

This is the second time I'm hearing that P4A is being region locked. What does this even mean on Ps3? Does it mean you won't be able to play against people in different countries? Surely it can't mean the game won't run on certain country's ps3s, because thats not a thing with the ps3. At least I didn't think it was.

#5 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

@ESREVER: The staff member's using the actual definition of region lock, meaning it won't run. I think something like this would be unprecedented, so I'm not convinced it will happen.

#6 Posted by Turambar (6849 posts) -
@ESREVER said:

This is the second time I'm hearing that P4A is being region locked. What does this even mean on Ps3? Does it mean you won't be able to play against people in different countries? Surely it can't mean the game won't run on certain country's ps3s, because thats not a thing with the ps3. At least I didn't think it was.

IIRC, long ago on the bombcast when discussing the PS3, they mentioned how there is region lock, but everything just happened to be in the same region.  I could be just imagining it all though.
#7 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Calling BS on it being region locked on PS3. The only truth to this could be that online play is region locked, I don't think you are able to make a game not run for specific regions on the PS3.

and Catherine wasn't region locked on PS3 either so that adds a little more doubt to this.

#8 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -

Damn, that sucks.
 
I'm sure he's telling the truth too. He answered that question a couple of days after he was asked if he was sure. Makes it seem like he confirmed it for himself, and checked with the PR if he was allowed to tell the fans about this.

#9 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

If this is true then I won't get P4A! as simple as that!

Though it does seem like an odd decision.

#10 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Cloudenvy said:

If this is true then I won't get P4A! as simple as that!

Though it does seem like an odd decision.

Why not? If its because you've got a Japanese PS3: no problem. Like the guy said, the Japanese version has English text and voice options.
#11 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@mutha3: European, and with the EU release being way further down the line I probably won't be as interested at that point.

#12 Edited by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Sooty said:

Calling BS on it being region locked on PS3. The only truth to this could be that online play is region locked, I don't think you are able to make a game not run for specific regions on the PS3.

and Catherine wasn't region locked on PS3 either so that adds a little more doubt to this.

They've confirmed that the online is not region-bound on one of those demos they gave at E3. This is definitely weird, though, and it sets a really worrying precedent.
 
@Cloudenvy said:

@mutha3: European, and with the EU release being way further down the line I probably won't be as interested at that point.


Ah. Well, for what its worth, Amazon UK lists the game as coming out on August 31st.
#13 Edited by Bocam (3809 posts) -

Well now I have to import a Japanese copy because of this bullshit. Well there's $120 down the drain. love your new avatar.

#14 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Bocam said:

Well now I have to import a Japanese copy because of this bullshit. Well there's $120 down the drain. 

Welp, you did it for Golden. Might as well do it again.
 


@mutha3 love your new avatar.

 
<3
#15 Posted by Vamino (215 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@jking47 said:

EDIT:After reading that guys post I am not sure that he knows exactly what he is talking about. I would wait for something a bit more official than this.

Yeah, that's what I'd like to think too. Apparently Stranglehold on the PS3 had gone through similar region locking threats, but community outcry prevented that. This is the staff member's second post on the issue, but I'm actually still very cynical concerning it.

I believe the issue with Stranglehold wasn't the game. The game was region free, but it came with a bluray copy of Hard Boiled, and bluray movies can be region locked (and it was.)

#16 Posted by Gaff (1849 posts) -

I wouldn't be surprised if Persona 4 Arena comes with some baked-in episode 0 of the anime. Boo idea how far the licensing agreement is with Sentai Filmworks (exclusive distribution rights in North America or whatnot), but it's telling that there's no word on the EU situation, where the anime is still unlicensed.

Of course, this is all speculation on my part.

#17 Posted by Pepsiman (2488 posts) -
@Turambar
@ESREVER said:

This is the second time I'm hearing that P4A is being region locked. What does this even mean on Ps3? Does it mean you won't be able to play against people in different countries? Surely it can't mean the game won't run on certain country's ps3s, because thats not a thing with the ps3. At least I didn't think it was.

IIRC, long ago on the bombcast when discussing the PS3, they mentioned how there is region lock, but everything just happened to be in the same region.  I could be just imagining it all though.
This is more or less correct. The system has region locking capability baked in, but publishers have opted to not use it at least up until now, with the official business reason being that Sony hoped people would just put NTSC and PAL data on the same disc and therefore only need to ship one SKU globally. In this instance, the only real possible justification people can think of is that either Atlus, or more likely the EU publisher, is worried that people will import the compartively cheaper US version instead of buying locally. I'm personally still skeptical since only a forum mod has stated this is happening so far, but yeah.
#18 Posted by ESREVER (2703 posts) -

@Pepsiman: Ooooh I see. Thanks for clearing that up! /salute

#19 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I'm pretty sure its coming to Europe now, Amazon lists it for later in the summer.

#20 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

It's getting a European release later in the year which stopped me from being too frustrated about this.

#21 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

@Hizang said:

I'm pretty sure its coming to Europe now, Amazon lists it for later in the summer.

We've known that for a while; Zen United is bringing the game out from Europe. That doesn't change the fact that Europe people will be getting the game later than the rest of us.

#22 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Pepsiman said:
@Turambar
@ESREVER said:

This is the second time I'm hearing that P4A is being region locked. What does this even mean on Ps3? Does it mean you won't be able to play against people in different countries? Surely it can't mean the game won't run on certain country's ps3s, because thats not a thing with the ps3. At least I didn't think it was.

IIRC, long ago on the bombcast when discussing the PS3, they mentioned how there is region lock, but everything just happened to be in the same region.  I could be just imagining it all though.
This is more or less correct. The system has region locking capability baked in, but publishers have opted to not use it at least up until now, with the official business reason being that Sony hoped people would just put NTSC and PAL data on the same disc and therefore only need to ship one SKU globally. In this instance, the only real possible justification people can think of is that either Atlus, or more likely the EU publisher, is worried that people will import the compartively cheaper US version instead of buying locally. I'm personally still skeptical since only a forum mod has stated this is happening so far, but yeah.
I've heard speculation that it might actually be Atlus JP worried that Japanese people might order it  from the states. Makes sense to me! I doubt Zen United has much sway over Atlus and Zen has never done something like this before.
 
Given the absurd pricing of this game in Japan(special edition with the soundtrack is, like, what? 90000+ yen?) and the fact that the Yen is strong right now and the dollar is total crap and if you consider that the US version has Japanese text and voice options...Importing is a very attractive proposition for the Japanese gamer. And Japan is Atlus' main audience, soooooooo...
 
@Gaff said:
I wouldn't be surprised if Persona 4 Arena comes with some baked-in episode 0 of the anime. Boo idea how far the licensing agreement is with Sentai Filmworks (exclusive distribution rights in North America or whatnot), but it's telling that there's no word on the EU situation, where the anime is still unlicensed. Of course, this is all speculation on my part.

The anime has been licensed in Europe as well. Koch media or something.
 
I think you are wildly overestimating the selling power of the anime here and the benefits Atlus/Zen United would reap from it. One look at the US cover of the anime DVD should tell you how seriously they're taking its release in the western territories and the price will tell you what they expect their audience to be. Besides, if there was some cross-promotion thing going on, you bet Atlus USA would have let us known about the anime through Atlus Faithful.
#23 Posted by Pepsiman (2488 posts) -

@mutha3: I don't deny the very possible worry of Japanese reverse importation; the main reason why I'd put it secondary to European worries was that the NeoGAF thread I'd been reading about this same issue made it sound like there was previous precedence for something similar happening with BlazBlue for one of its PAL releases and I'd assumed that it meant Zen. I'll admit that I'm not terribly on the up-and-up when it comes to European publishing politics since it's not my territory, but there was enough material in that thread that it seemed somewhat plausible given the general trend of lateness for Atlus games in general over there. If it's a reverse importation thing, I'd certainly bet my money that Japan would be the larger worry, but I wouldn't be surprised if Europe also contributed at least somewhat.

#24 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: That doesn't really bother me, I'm not dying to play it right now. It seems to be coming out at a nice time though, just at the end of summer when games start to come out again.

#25 Posted by Petiew (1355 posts) -

For some reason I didn't think this was coming out in Europe until October/November and was going to import. I don't mind waiting a few more weeks for it.
Though the PS3 and original Ds having no region protection was great for Europe, since we so frequently get screwed over with game releases, hope this trend doesn't become more widespread on the PS3.

#26 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -
#27 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -
#28 Posted by Doctorchimp (4078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Okay, so things have kind of escalated a lot. NeoGAF's going nuts, Atlus forums are going nuts and it actually seems that "Persona 4 Arena To Be First Ever Region-Locked PS3 Release".

Not good.

People just need to buy the local region versions. It's not that hard to comprehend, is it?

It's less to do than playing the "correct" version for yourself, and more to do with "Hey we're Atlus and we're going to do an extra step just to try and control your hobby a little bit more, we didn't have to but fuck you"

There was no reason to, yet they did it anyway.

#29 Posted by Petiew (1355 posts) -
@Hailinel: It's the slippery slope argument, it could lead to more and more games becoming region locked. People obviously don't want that.
#30 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

I will continue to believe this is a hoax until the game is out.

#31 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

@Hailinel said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Okay, so things have kind of escalated a lot. NeoGAF's going nuts, Atlus forums are going nuts and it actually seems that "Persona 4 Arena To Be First Ever Region-Locked PS3 Release".

Not good.

People just need to buy the local region versions. It's not that hard to comprehend, is it?

It's less to do than playing the "correct" version for yourself, and more to do with "Hey we're Atlus and we're going to do an extra step just to try and control your hobby a little bit more, we didn't have to but fuck you"

There was no reason to, yet they did it anyway.

That's putting words into the publisher's mouth, more than anything.

I'm not going to pretend to understand the rationale behind the decision, if it is in fact true that the game is region locked. I'd expect them to have better argument than pure Mr. Burns-style steepled-fingers malevolence.

#32 Edited by Doctorchimp (4078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Doctorchimp said:

@Hailinel said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Okay, so things have kind of escalated a lot. NeoGAF's going nuts, Atlus forums are going nuts and it actually seems that "Persona 4 Arena To Be First Ever Region-Locked PS3 Release".

Not good.

People just need to buy the local region versions. It's not that hard to comprehend, is it?

It's less to do than playing the "correct" version for yourself, and more to do with "Hey we're Atlus and we're going to do an extra step just to try and control your hobby a little bit more, we didn't have to but fuck you"

There was no reason to, yet they did it anyway.

That's putting words into the publisher's mouth, more than anything.

I'm not going to pretend to understand the rationale behind the decision, if it is in fact true that the game is region locked. I'd expect them to have better argument than pure Mr. Burns-style steepled-fingers malevolence.

If this rumor happens to be true what kind of rationale would there be other than making sure their European branch of the company gets their share?

#33 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

@Petiew said:

@Hailinel: It's the slippery slope argument, it could lead to more and more games becoming region locked. People obviously don't want that.

Why? They've always had the opportunity to do this.

#34 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Atlus has really fucked this up,

#35 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

@Hailinel said:

@Doctorchimp said:

@Hailinel said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Okay, so things have kind of escalated a lot. NeoGAF's going nuts, Atlus forums are going nuts and it actually seems that "Persona 4 Arena To Be First Ever Region-Locked PS3 Release".

Not good.

People just need to buy the local region versions. It's not that hard to comprehend, is it?

It's less to do than playing the "correct" version for yourself, and more to do with "Hey we're Atlus and we're going to do an extra step just to try and control your hobby a little bit more, we didn't have to but fuck you"

There was no reason to, yet they did it anyway.

That's putting words into the publisher's mouth, more than anything.

I'm not going to pretend to understand the rationale behind the decision, if it is in fact true that the game is region locked. I'd expect them to have better argument than pure Mr. Burns-style steepled-fingers malevolence.

If this rumor happens to be true what kind of rationale would there be other than making sure their European branch of the company gets their share?

Atlus has no European branch. A third party is publishing the game in that region.

#36 Posted by Petiew (1355 posts) -
@Animasta: That's why its called the slippery slope argument.  One company/publisher has to start it off, and in theory it then gets worse from there.
To be honest, it's unlikely to happen, and if it does it won't be on a massive scale. However it's frustrating for this to happen. There is no Atlus Eu branch and we often have huge delays or don't get the games at all. It's also more annoying when it is a competitive game such as this.
#37 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

Atlus has really fucked this up,

Kinda, yeah. Not only was an official statement only given a while after some random forum dude "leaked" the information (so they couldn't even message it to the consumers properly), but it's real unfortunate to have this happen at a time when people should be the most excited for Persona 4 Arena because it's finally coming out soon.

I pre-ordered the Japanese version off of Play-Asia to get the game a week earlier today and I'll hang on to my potential delusion that this is all just one big lie and, in the end, there will be no region lock. Coming from Atlus' statement, even the Japanese version of the game won't work on either European or North American PS3 consoles, which just sounds insane to me. All of this is crazy.

#38 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Phatmac said:

Atlus has really fucked this up,

Kinda, yeah. Not only was an official statement only given a while after some random forum dude "leaked" the information (so they couldn't even message it to the consumers properly), but it's real unfortunate to have this happen at a time when people should be the most excited for Persona 4 Arena because it's finally coming out soon.

I pre-ordered the Japanese version off of Play-Asia to get the game a week earlier today and I'll hang on to my potential delusion that this is all just one big lie and, in the end, there will be no region lock. Coming from Atlus' statement, even the Japanese version of the game won't work on either European or North American PS3 consoles, which just sounds insane to me. All of this is crazy.

Why would you pay more to get the game a week earlier than the domestic release? To my knowledge, you don't even understand Japanese, meaning that the story mode be incomprehensible to you.

#39 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@Hailinel: Being known as the first game to be region locked for the PS3 isn't good news for your game. While I don't care about this situation personally, I would not want to be in this situation and try to explain why they are the first company to do this on the PS3.

#40 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1732 posts) -
@Hailinel said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Okay, so things have kind of escalated a lot. NeoGAF's going nuts, Atlus forums are going nuts and it actually seems that "Persona 4 Arena To Be First Ever Region-Locked PS3 Release".

Not good.

People just need to buy the local region versions. It's not that hard to comprehend, is it?

Voting with one's wallet in this situation is understandable. I can just feel my beloved region-free gaming slipping through our fingers here. 
#41 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

@Petiew said:

@Animasta: That's why its called the slippery slope argument. One company/publisher has to start it off, and in theory it then gets worse from there.To be honest, it's unlikely to happen, and if it does it won't be on a massive scale. However it's frustrating for this to happen. There is no Atlus Eu branch and we often have huge delays or don't get the games at all. It's also more annoying when it is a competitive game such as this.

I don't think this would've happened if there wasn't a EU publisher already lined up, to be fair.

#42 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

Why would you pay more to get the game a week earlier than the domestic release? To my knowledge, you don't even understand Japanese, meaning that the story mode be incomprehensible to you.

The Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena is like the Japanese version of BlazBlue: essentially the same exact thing as any other version. Meaning, they both have the dual audio of English and Japanese as well as all of the English text.

And yeah, I'm paying more to get the game a week or so earlier than the NA release because I want to. So? I also have the NA version pre-ordered and I'll be buying that on the day of its release as well.

#43 Posted by Doctorchimp (4078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Doctorchimp said:

@Hailinel said:

@Doctorchimp said:

@Hailinel said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Okay, so things have kind of escalated a lot. NeoGAF's going nuts, Atlus forums are going nuts and it actually seems that "Persona 4 Arena To Be First Ever Region-Locked PS3 Release".

Not good.

People just need to buy the local region versions. It's not that hard to comprehend, is it?

It's less to do than playing the "correct" version for yourself, and more to do with "Hey we're Atlus and we're going to do an extra step just to try and control your hobby a little bit more, we didn't have to but fuck you"

There was no reason to, yet they did it anyway.

That's putting words into the publisher's mouth, more than anything.

I'm not going to pretend to understand the rationale behind the decision, if it is in fact true that the game is region locked. I'd expect them to have better argument than pure Mr. Burns-style steepled-fingers malevolence.

If this rumor happens to be true what kind of rationale would there be other than making sure their European branch of the company gets their share?

Atlus has no European branch. A third party is publishing the game in that region.

Replace european branch with third party publisher.

#44 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Hailinel said:

Why would you pay more to get the game a week earlier than the domestic release? To my knowledge, you don't even understand Japanese, meaning that the story mode be incomprehensible to you.

The Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena is like the Japanese version of BlazBlue: essentially the same exact thing as any other version. Meaning, they both have the dual audio of English and Japanese as well as all of the English text.

And yeah, I'm paying more to get the game a week or so earlier than the NA release because I want to. So? I also have the NA version pre-ordered and I'll be buying that on the day of its release as well.

Hey, it's your money. It just seems like a bizarre waste.

#45 Edited by Petiew (1355 posts) -
@Animasta: Zen United are publishing it, in the UK at least, but I hear they are notoriously bad with long delays.
#46 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

Hey, it's your money. It just seems like a bizarre waste.

I'm sure I could say the same about a lot of games you buy. This is a game that I've been anticipating and desiring for too long so I don't care about paying extra to import it and play it early.

#47 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Hailinel said:

Hey, it's your money. It just seems like a bizarre waste.

I'm sure I could say the same about a lot of games you buy. This is a game that I've been anticipating and desiring for too long so I don't care about paying extra to import it and play it early.

I typically don't buy two copies of the same game within a week unless I were intending to give one to a friend as a birthday present.

I mean, I'm looking forward to this game as well, but I'm not frothing to the point that I would pay in excess of double the standard cost in order to play it a full seven days (assuming it's shipped on time) ahead of most other people in my home country, and then drop that version for the domestic release.

#48 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

@Hailinel: That's true (I don't think I've ever bought two copies of the same game), but it's also the reason I got the First Edition Bundle of the PlayStation Vita: the fact that I absolutely want it asap.

#49 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4981 posts) -

This is a really odd and peculiar situation. Really curious to hear on why they are going out of their way to region lock the PS3 release.

#50 Edited by mutha3 (4986 posts) -

I knew that guy wasn't BSing. Laaaaaammmmmmeeeeeeeeeeee. I just hope Zen United manages to bring this game over...sometime this century.

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