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The upcoming release of the Atlus and Arc System Works co-produced 2D fighter Persona 4 Arena will be the first PlayStation 3 title ever released to be region locked.

Initially this news came via a moderator over on the official Atlus forums, stating that the North American release of the game would work on PS3 consoles released in North and South America—but that the game would be locked out beyond that for other territories.

I reached out to Atlus to get an official statement, and was given the following:

“Persona 4 Arena will be region-locked in all territories on both PS3 and 360.”

So, this is indeed fact—and does mean that Persona 4 Arena will officially be the first PS3 game to make use of region locking on the console.

The exact reason for this decision isn’t clear at the moment, and Atlus has made no official statement on the matter. It could be due to some concern on the part of Zen United, the European publisher for the game. If that’s the case, however, then why has this never been an issue for other games previous? What it is about Persona 4 Arena that has brought up the need for this move?

Until we know more solid details, all of this is little more than speculation. Speaking from the consumer side, however, I hate to see this happen. We should have less region locking, not more, and to have a system that has not pushed such requirements until now get its first game to do so is disappointing.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Big deal, or much ado about nothing?


About Eric Patterson

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Eric got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights.