Atlus created fairly a little bit of fanfare earlier this 12 months when it introduced that the Persona collection would arrive on Xbox in October. But that isn’t the one JRPG the writer had in retailer for Xbox homeowners this 12 months. Soul Hackers 2 was a giant get for Microsoft, bringing the Shin Megami Tensei fashion of gameplay to its programs with a recent launch. It launched on the finish of August with out almost as a lot pleasure as Persona — Persona 5’s Xbox launch date announcement appeared to overshadow Soul Hackers 2’s complete existence.
According to Famitsu, Soul Hackers 2 offered an estimated 51,861 bodily copies in Japan throughout its launch week throughout each PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. While this doesn’t embody digital obtain numbers, that is nonetheless properly beneath Shin Megami Tensei V’s launch week numbers of 143,247 bodily copies offered in Japan.
There aren’t definitive numbers on Soul Hackers 2’s gross sales numbers within the West, however taking a look at sure charts throughout platforms it launched on, we will see the way it’s performing. On Xbox, Soul Hackers 2 didn’t seem on the “Most Played” part on the Microsoft Store throughout its launch week, and was solely discovered on the eighth web page on the “Top Paid” chart.
Soul Hackers 2 might’ve been the proper recreation to usher in Microsoft’s rekindled relationship with Atlus – and it might have used Xbox Game Pass to perform that. The JRPG might have stood a greater likelihood at success had Atlus embraced the favored subscription service, because it’s the proper sort of recreation for the platform resulting from its size, DLC technique, and important reception.
More Japanese RPGs on Xbox
Given that Xbox is at the moment gaining reputation in Japan, locking down Soul Hackers 2 as a day one Xbox Game Pass launch might have been an ideal method to push that momentum. Since Persona 5 was initially a PlayStation unique, it’s no shock that Sony has gone arduous selling the hit RPG to hell and again. The similar goes for final 12 months’s Shin Megami Tensei V, which Nintendo touted as a top-tier Switch unique.
Since Soul Hackers 2 is a multiplatform recreation and gross sales on Xbox realistically wouldn’t have been as excessive as these on PlayStation (as Japanese video games are usually extra widespread on Sony’s consoles), placing the title on Game Pass might’ve given Microsoft an edge over its opponents, because it touted the RPG as a significant addition to the service. That might have been mutually useful to Atlus, too, as Microsoft additionally tends to make a giant deal out of Day One Xbox Game Pass bulletins comparable to Outriders and MLB The Show 22.
Considering that advertising a online game prices a considerable amount of cash on high of recreation growth itself, Microsoft might have aided Atlus’ advertising by means of its personal social media channels and weblog posts on Xbox Wire to compensate for the shortage of appearances on showcases like a Sony State of Play or a Nintendo Direct. A powerful Game Pass deal might have solved a few of Atlus’ points, have been it capable of negotiate a deal that financially made sense for each events.
Atlus DLC Practices
One perk of being an Xbox Game Pass subscriber is that DLC for a specific recreation could be purchased at a reduction whereas it’s nonetheless within the subscription service. A giant criticism in opposition to Atlus is the way it tends to cost fairly a hefty quantity for its DLC. Sometimes, it appears like the additional content material that it costs for might’ve been within the base recreation itself, and it significantly appears like that with Soul Hackers 2 and its Lost Numbers story enlargement.
Lost Numbers prices $10 and it provides a whole post-game dungeon to the sport, with higher-level demons that in any other case couldn’t be discovered within the wild, and a brand new supporting character together with her personal storyline. Soul Hackers 2 is way shorter than most Atlus video games, making Lost Numbers really feel extra like a lacking chapter than a bonus.
This is the place being an Xbox Game Pass subscriber might help. DLC reductions on titles in Game Pass sometimes provide as much as 10% off. Sure, $1 doesn’t seem to be a giant low cost however in case you think about buying the opposite Soul Hackers 2 DLC, together with bonus demons and costumes, the low cost that Xbox Game Pass supplies begins to really feel extra interesting. That’s to not point out that it’s a lot simpler to swallow paying for DLC in case you don’t must pay for the bottom recreation itself.
Give it a attempt
Soul Hackers 2 at the moment has a good rating of 74 on Metacritic on the time of this writing, the very same score as its 3DS predecessor. Even if the sport didn’t get the identical degree of essential acclaim that Atlus’s crown jewel, Persona, did, including it to Game Pass would’ve opened it as much as gamers who would in any other case be hesitant on dropping $60 on a recreation with blended reception simply to easily simply attempt it out.
Having a recreation like Soul Hackers 2 on Game Pass could be useful for each players and Atlus itself. If you ended up having fun with a title that you simply didn’t suppose you’ll and wish to maintain it, Xbox Game Pass affords as much as a 20% low cost on video games at the moment within the service. Many video games go away Xbox Game Pass finally, tempting gamers to shell out to maintain their assortment. Considering the essential reception, a fast stint on Game Pass might have given curious gamers that little bit of motivation they wanted to purchase the sport in the long term whereas making some DLC gross sales within the course of.
There’s at all times a chance that Atlus did pursue an Xbox Game Pass cope with Microsoft for Soul Hackers 2 and it didn’t come collectively (there’s a Windows PC model of Soul Hackers 2 on the Microsoft Store, which does typically coincide with a PC Game Pass launch). Given that Persona 5 Royal, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 3 Portable are coming to the subscription service, with the primary one having its personal devoted Windows 10 model, a dialogue about Soul Hackers 2 doesn’t appear completely out of the image, even when it involves the service a bit of later (much like the method Scarlet Nexus took, coming to the service properly after its launch).
Atlus is open to extra multi-platform releases in the intervening time, and that features Xbox. If it’s severe about that, it would wish to embrace Microsoft’s core enterprise mannequin, guaranteeing that future releases can attain the most important variety of gamers doable on the platform.