The unprecedented decision to region-lock the PS3 release of Persona 4 Arenawill not lead to a "slippery slope," Atlus PR and sales manager Aram Jabbari said in a statement (available in full after the break).
"This is NOT the beginning of a new ATLUS policy, nor do we view it as a precedent or a slippery slope," Jabbari said. "If anything, your determination and dedication to what you believe in has certainly stood in the face of that. This is an isolated case, a situation precipitated by a number of factors, some of which are simply out of our North American hands." He admits that Atlus was "completely unprepared for the force with which the community communicated their disapproval."
Jabbari explained that the North American release contains both Japanese and English audio tracks, and will be released very close to the Japanese version (August 7 in North America and July 26 in Japan). "The unforeseen consequence in all of this was that we had a version of our biggest game of the year releasing within a couple weeks in two territories, both identical in content, but at radically different price points."
Because of the difference between the yen and the dollar's values right now, this situation could lead to mass importing, which would "cannibalize the performance of a title in one territory to the benefit of another." For reference, the Japanese retail price of Persona 4 Arena is ¥7,329, roughly $92, versus $59.99 in North America.
"The decision to region-lock P4 Arena was a business one, one that has very clearly affected how many perceive the project," Jabbari concluded, "but we ask you to please not overlook the exceptional efforts of the people behind the game and to work with us through constructive dialogue."
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