Persona (Japanese: ペルソナ, Hepburn: Perusona), also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, is a series of role-playing video games developed and primarily published by Atlus. The series is a spin-off from Atlus' Megami Tensei franchise, and was originally based on the high school setting of Shin Megami Tensei If.... The first entry in the series, Revelations: Persona, was released in 1996. There have since been eight further console titles (four main entries and four spin-off titles), with another (Persona 5) in development. The series takes its title from the beings used by characters in battle, manifested from a character's personality.
Persona began as a spin-off based on the positively-received setting of If.... Its trademark features include a high school setting, a group of students as the protagonists, 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 is directly linked to how Personas evolve. Central character designs are by series co-creator Kazuma Kaneko (Persona and the Persona 2 games) 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 and archetypes, along with multiple world mythologies and popular literature.
Revelations: Persona was the first role-playing Megami Tensei title to be released in the West. 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 4, the series also established a strong following in Europe. Since the release of the first Persona game, the series has sold six million units worldwide, forming a substantial part of the Megami Tensei franchise's total sales. There have been numerous adaptations, including anime television and theatrical series, novelizations, manga, and stage plays.
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