Looks like the Phantom Thieves have finally made their international debut! Western fans of Persona 5 were treated to a real-life Phantom Thieves takeover, thanks to the video game publisher Atlus as part of a major advertising campaign celebrating the newly announced Western release date of Persona 5 Royal.
Yesterday, news regarding the Western release date of the long-awaited Persona 5 Royal broke the internet when Atlus announced that the game would be released on March 31, 2020. The release date confirmation came after a 12-day campaign on Atlus West's official Twitter and Instagram accounts, counting down the days until "the truth of Persona 5 Royal" would be exposed. Many dismissed this campaign to be nothing more than a release date announcement; however, Atlus had another surprise up its sleeves.
Last night around 7PM EST/4PM PST, the official Twitter account for Atlus West published a cryptic tweet hinting at some kind of public display of the Phantom Thieves in five major cities across America. Loyal fans living near the listed areas were quick to rush to the locations, frantically searching for a clue. Many hypothesized that a takeover similar to Shido's calling card in the game would be taking place at these locations, like when Atlus launched a massive public campaign this past October in Shibuya to mimic that exact scene.
Two hours after the tweet was posted, videos from different areas in the abovementioned locations surfaced on Atlus West's Twitter showcasing a large animated projection of the Phantom Thieves logo with the caption "#WearTheMask 3.31.2020" accompanying it.
As an additional treat, many voice actors from the English cast of the game made guest appearances at the Little Tokyo location, including Max Mittelman (Ryuji), Erika Harlacher (Ann), Erica Lindbeck (Futaba), Xanthe Huynh (Haru), Robbie Daymond (Akechi), Elizabeth Maxwell (Sae), Laura Post (Kasumi), and Billy Kametz (Maruki). Many of the voice actors documented the event on their personal social media channels, and even took the time to take photos with fans who had driven out to Little Tokyo for the occasion.
In true Phantom Thieves fashion, not all went to plan. A Twitter user who had driven out to Japantown in San Francisco recorded video footage of the Persona 5 Royal advertisement getting "killed by theater security" at an AMC Theaters where the ad was originally meant to be shown. Though the San Francisco ad eventually went up in a different location, some fans jokingly blamed Shido on the failed campaign.
Persona 5 Royal will be released in the West on March 31, 2020, for the PlayStation 4.
Insomniac Games' gorgeous platformer is one of 2021's brightest gaming sparks.