After a long wait, Persona fans in the western world finally get to play the Dynasty Warriors-esque spin-off that is Persona 5 Strikers. However, some fans are wondering if Persona 5 Strikers is a sequel or not, and for that matter, whether its a sequel for Persona 5 or the upgraded version, Persona 5 Royal. The answer is, well, a bit complicated.
To make a long story short, Persona 5 Strikers IS a sequel. That being said, it isn’t a sequel to Persona 5 Royal, but just the base game of Persona 5. Looking at this from the lens of the West, it may appear a bit confusing as to why its like this, but it makes more sense when looking at the development cycle.
Persona 5 Strikers has actually been out for over a year now, releasing in Japan on February 20th, 2020. Persona 5 Royal didn’t even come out worldwide until after Strikers was released in Japan, and even in Japan, Royal was only out for a few months before Strikers was released.
Apparently, both games were being developed at roughly the same time period, and as such, story decisions being changed or added in Persona 5 Royal couldn’t make their way into the story of Strikers. It may seem odd having a spin-off act as a sequel to what some may think of as an outdated version of the game, but that’s just how it played out.
In a way this is somewhat of a blessing, too. To those who played Persona 5 but skipped out on Royal, no catching up is needed and one can go right to Strikers. For Royal only players, the Third Semester events aren’t present in Strikers, but aside from a small change or two, the plot should still be easy enough to follow.
So yes, Persona 5 Strikers is a sequel, just not to Persona 5 Royal specifically. Even without the references to Royal, however, Strikers is being met with incredible levels of love from Persona fans and reviewers alike. Its rare to see Dynasty Warriors type games get this kind of attention and widespread appeal, but lately multiple series have been using this approach to tell canonical sections of their stories. Both Strikers and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity are notable examples of this.
Personally, I like the direction of these warriors type games being added as canon entries to established franchises. It allows for a generally lower budget game to tide fans over until the next big release, or alternatively add to the characters and world without making a full blown sequel entry in the series. Hopefully we will see more games of this type pop up, and to all of those who weren’t sure about whether or not to grab Strikers due to its odd sequel status, I hope I helped!