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When the Persona 3 remake was leaked on Instagram and subsequently officially revealed at the Xbox Games Showcase last night, fans were excited that they might finally get a definitive version of the game. Unfortunately, after an interview with the game’s developers following the announcement, it doesn’t seem like that’s the case.

Persona 3 Reload is a full remake of the original Persona 3, rebuilt from the ground up in Unreal Engine with a new voice cast, visuals, and more. In an interview with IGN, however, producer Ryota Niitsuma said that there won’t be any content that didn’t feature in the original release of Persona 3.

“So first I'd like to mention that since the basic concept of the Persona 3 remake was to remake the Persona 3, we don't have the FES and Portable contents included,” Niitsuma told IGN.

For those out of the loop, there are three main versions of Persona 3. There’s the original release, widely considered to be the worst of the three, as it was severely lacking in quality of life and had some pretty annoying balancing and AI issues.

Then there’s FES, an updated version of the game released a little after the original, which added new cutscenes and crucially, a whole new playable epilogue that’s generally considered to be canon. Players are typically drawn to FES, as it’s reasonably close to the modern Persona experience, and the epilogue helps tie up any loose plot points.

The third version is Persona 3 Portable, which added a new girl protagonist for players to choose and play as, but stripped out some of the anime cutscenes and exploration in non-dungeon gameplay, instead replacing it with point-and-click style gameplay. Portable was the version chosen for the remaster that was released earlier this year, and is the best version of the game from a quality of life standpoint.

The problem with Persona 3 up until now is that there hasn’t been a definitive version — no singular release that contains all of the content across FES, Portable, and the original game. And unfortunately that won’t be changing with Reload, which seems to be adding a third game to the debate of which one is the best to play.

It's possible Atlus will add the additional content to the game later down the line, either as paid DLC or as an entirely new, enhanced release. There's certainly precedent for this, but given this is the first total remake of a Persona game, we're kind of in uncharted waters.

Persona 3 Reload doesn’t have a firm release date, but is said to be launching in early 2024. So far it’s been confirmed for Xbox and PC, and will be available on Game Pass on both platforms, but other platforms are likely to be announced soon.

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