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Persona 5: The Phantom X - What We Know So Far About The Mobile Game Spinoff

While there's no concrete news on when — or if — we'll be getting "Persona 6," it seems Atlus isn't done with the jazzy, funky-fresh atmosphere of "Persona 5" just yet. It hasn't reached "Skyrim" levels of re-releasing the latest and most successful installment in a franchise, of course, but it's getting there: as of 2023, "Persona 5" has surpassed its predecessor as the "Persona" game with the highest count of installment-exclusive revamps and spinoffs, with "Persona 5: Royal," "Dancing in Starlight," "Strikers," and now, "Persona 5: The Phantom X."

Announced as a free-to-play mobile title developed by Black Wings Game Studio — and published by Perfect World Games instead of Atlus itself — "The Phantom X" seems to borrow the exact same Metaverse and Persona mechanics from the main game. Only this time, the story will follow an entirely new cast of heroes with seemingly no connection to the original crew. This will be a series first, as the "Persona" series has taken their characters into different Metaverse settings before, but not the other way around — here's everything we know about the upcoming mobile spinoff, "Persona 5: The Phantom X."

Does Persona 5: The Phantom X have a release date?

According to Gematsu's translation of the announcement, this mobile title was initially introduced in a teaser trailer back in 2021 as "Code Name X" before its official announcement on March 16 and has yet to receive a concrete release date. Developers are collecting signups for a testfire that'll happen on March 29, but unfortunately, it's limited to Chinese players only. With no mentions of North American or even Japanese playtests happening anytime soon — and all the initial material being in Chinese only with not even a Japanese official website or release date — the question of whether or not it will ever see a global launch or remain region-exclusive remains largely up in the air. Still, if the game is far enough along in development for player testing, fans should be getting definitive release details sooner than later — and at the very least, Chinese players should be seeing at least a general season or quarterly expectation for launch in the near future.

Interestingly, the signup page mentions that the testfire will be available on PC and mobile. Despite there being no mention of the game being available outside of mobile platforms, it seems there's a chance that "The Phantom X" will be available for Windows and/or Mac systems as well as iOS and Android. 

Is there a trailer for Persona 5: The Phantom X?

As befitting the general theme of "Persona 5," "The Phantom X" seems to be off to a flashy start with not one, but two announcement trailers — one "Concept Trailer" to introduce the story and characters, and one "Gameplay Trailer" to showcase how the game will actually look and feel like to play.

The concept trailer sets the stage for another eerie adventure in Tokyo with a shape-shifting mascot and taciturn protagonist. It seems that this time around, Igor will be inviting the new hero — codename "Wonder" — to a Velvet Room incredibly reminiscent of an aquarium, complete with an entirely new attendant. One thing to note is that, on the surface, it seems that the new attendant's name is a break from tradition. Where the previous attendants were all named after characters or individuals related to the novel "Frankenstein" — and its various adaptations — the new attendant in "The Phantom X" is called Merope, a seemingly unrelated name from Greek mythology. Upon closer inspection, she may or may not be named after the poem of the same name written by Matthew Arnolds in 1858 — around 40 years after "Frankenstein," thus keeping her at least within the same literary era as her siblings. With how the Velvet Rooms are always a key component of a "Persona" game's plot, only time will tell how this new interdimensional space — and the break from the attendants' naming conventions — will play into the story of "The Phantom X."

What will the gameplay in Persona 5: The Phantom X be like?

Running at a minute and 50 seconds longer than the 2-minute concept trailer, the gameplay trailer is packed with gameplay footage of the new protagonists in action. At a glance, it seems the game's actual playstyle will be entirely identical to that of "Persona 5," even featuring the exact same UI configurations. The new mascot — Luffy the not-owl — will also be able to transform into a car, indicating that movement within the Metaverse will also largely remain unchanged.

Same goes for the overworld minigames and tasks — the gameplay trailer shows the new protagonist visiting Joker's favorite spots in the city, from fishing at Ichigaya to picking up new gear at Shibuya's alley shop. However, the school uniforms are markedly different, probably signifying that the story won't be taking place in a younger class of Shujin Academy students but elsewhere entirely. Though we only got a glimpse, it also seems that "The Phantom X" will also be sporting a full team of Phantom Thieves in addition to the hero and Luffy.

Interestingly, this new spinoff won't be entirely separate from the story of the main game — hidden at the end of the gameplay trailer is a short cameo of Joker breaking into the scene with his signature flair. It remains to be seen if this indicates any plot ties to the original Phantom Thieves, or is simply teasing the potential Gacha mechanic fans speculate might be present in the games.