Persona likely Xbox exclusive after Microsoft strike SEGA deal

SEGA have reportedly signed a deal with Microsoft which means their games will be exclusive to the Xbox Game Pass. This might include the Persona series.

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Microsoft have reportedly being negotiating a deal with SEGA for the past year for some kind of long term exclusivity for their current backlog and future releases.

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According to industry sources a partnership deal between SEGA and Microsoft has been penned. The details of the partnership have not been disclosed to the public but industry analysts are confident that it is related to the Xbox Game Pass.

In addition to the plethora of SEGA games available with the Xbox Game Pass more and more of their games are being added every month. There are currently 14 titles available including Sonic The Hedgehog and Alien Isolation. The entire Yakuza series is also now available for Xbox Game Pass holders.

Analysists believe that the two companies are working close together because SEGA have been aggressively advertising Xbox Game Pass and the console recently. SEGA’s brand manager has been sharing a lot of tweets from Xbox lately.

Even the most recent financial report filing states that “recorded one-off revenue from transfer of titles and offering of titles” was made and “the Group recorded transient sales such as title transfers and offering titles.” This is a good indicator that Microsoft have — at least — purchased exclusivity to some titles.

Special edition Sonic Xbox console
Special edition Sonic Xbox console.

Early this month an unknown source leaked concept art for a Sonic and Tails branded Xbox Series X|S consoles adding more fuel to the rumour fires.

If a deal has been made it means that extremely popular action JRPG series, Persona, will now be exclusively to the Xbox.

Until recently the Persona series has been mostly available on the PlayStation and has been regarded as an exclusive even though technically it isn’t.

ATLUS only released most Persona titles on the PlayStation because it is primarily a Japanese game. The PlayStation 4 had a much larger install base in Japan because more independent Japanese game developers support the console.

The Xbox One sold extremely poorly in Japan and therefor companies like ATLUS opted not to develop/port the title to it.

P5S
Persona 5 Strikers PlayStation 4, Steam and Nintendo Switch, but not Xbox.

However, more and more Japanese studios are now interested in developing for the the Xbox Series X|S because of how accessible it is for indie developers and, more importantly, the size.

The PlayStation 5 has proved to be too big for many Japanese homes, so even PlayStation loyalists have found themselves converting to Microsoft’s console.

Considering ATLUS is one of SEGA’s biggest subsidiaries it is very likely that the new deal stipulates that the Persona series should be ported over to Xbox and made available to all Xbox Game Pass holders.

Persona 5: Strikers has currently been announced for both Nintendo Switch and Steam (PC). Sadly the official webpage for the game does not sport the official Xbox logo. Since Persona 5: Strikers (P5S) is only a few days from being released (23rd February, 2021) it is very unlikely that will see a massive exclusivity announcement for that game. But it does mean that there is hope to see that game make its way to the Xbox some day soon.

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