After the incredible success of the Sonic the Hedgehog film adaptations, it seems like Sega is all-in on licensing its properties for similar treatment. The company revealed to IGN that it’s putting up the beloved properties of subsidiary Atlus as options for live-action adaptations in future. This would include Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, and Catherine, though Sega has singled out Persona as a prime candidate.
In a statement to IGN, Toru Nakahara, Sega’s head of entertainment productions for film and TV said: ‘Atlus’ worlds are filled with high drama, cutting-edge style and compelling characters.’
‘Stories like those from the Persona franchise really resonate with our fans and we see an opportunity to expand the lore like no one has seen – or played – before. Together, Sega and Atlus, are working to bring these stories and worlds to life through new mediums and for new audiences.’
Nakahara also served as Sega’s lead producer on the Sonic the Hedgehog movies. Sega did not disclose any potential production companies it was interested in working with.
Persona is a spin-off from the Shin Megami Tensei RPG series, which revolves around befriending and fighting mythological demons in the present day. Persona games each focus around different groups of high schoolers, with a big emphasis on balancing daily social life with supernatural responsibilities, not unlike Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
On top of its engaging twist on turn-based RPG combat systems, the strong human element of Persona, as well as its recurring explorations of religion and the human psyche have earned the series a significant following in the West. Re-releases of Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5 are planned for a series of new platforms – Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, in 2022.
Persona 4 and Persona 5 have received strong anime series adaptations, which retell the events of the games in a abridged format. A live action adaptation would be very interesting to see, though the translation will likely attract a lot of apprehension from devoted fans.
Sega are far from the only game company looking to continue adapting their video game properties to film and TV. Netflix currently has a slew of video game adaptations in the works, as does Sony, with the live-action adaptation of The Last of Us debuting on HBO later in 2022 and others on the way.
There’s also a live-action Fallout show in the works at Amazon, a series of projects in the works at dj2 Entertainment (Disco Elysium, Life is Strange, Sable) and countless more in production. The Halo TV series recently wrapped up its first season, and is slated for a second.
And, of course, there’s the all-star Untitled Mario Movie led by Chris Pratt, and a rumored Donkey Kong film as a follow-up from Nintendo.
Given the quality of this source material, there’s hope at least some of these adaptations will be exceptional.