Persona 3 Reload Is The Latest Example Of Why Atlus Needs Better DLC Management

If it's coming out on day one, it should be part of the game.

Story Highlights

  • In classic Atlus fashion, Persona 3 Reload features day-one cosmetic and gameplay DLC.
  • Atlus has been questionable with downloadable content for over a decade.
  • Despite my hopeful optimism, Metaphor: ReFantazio is probably going to follow suit.

Atlus is known for delivering premium JRPG experiences and Persona 3 Reload is no less a masterpiece. It manages to evoke the magic of the original while modernizing itself via integration with the Persona 5 aesthetic. However, despite everything it does right, the latest entry in the Shin Megami Tensei spin-off series stands as the next symbol.

The symbol of Atlus’ bad DLC practices. 

Persona 3 Reload, Day One DLC, And Rumors Of FES

So back in June 2023, it was reported that Persona 3 Reload won’t contain any FES or Portable content. The main draw of the latter was the Female Protagonist aka FemC. Atlus made it clear to IGN that the remake isn’t aiming to be a definitive version.

So first I’d like to mention that since the basic concept of the Persona 3 remake was to remake the Persona 3, we don’t have the FES and Portable contents included. We wanted to really genuinely work on recreating the Persona 3 experience.”

And that’s true. Persona 3 Reload doesn’t have FES or Portable content right now. The problem is that the game was datamined and it revealed a very high likelihood of it getting the missing FES content (but no FemC, sorry).

"Episode Aigis" was found under an expansion pass directory after Persona 3 Reload was datamined.
“Episode Aigis” was found under an expansion pass directory after Persona 3 Reload was datamined.

Following its launch last month, Persona 3 Reload was datamined by X user @ruinedstego who posted screenshots of the internal files and folders. References to six pieces of DLC were found, all under a “P3R Expansion Pass.” Said content included an exploration item set, P4G and P5R EX BGM sets, Velvet Room Costumes & BGM, and Episode Aigis followed by its soundtrack as well.

Episode Aigis is the extra scenario introduced in Persona 3 FES back on the PlayStation 2. The story itself is rather divisive as some fans are against it while others are not. I never even doubted the possibility of Reload getting an expansion pass with FES; now it’s official. The expansion pass is heading our way in 3 waves, the last one being an extra story. On to the real issue with this remake then.

YouTube video

Why does a game have day-one DLC? 

I don’t have a bone to pick when it comes to downloadable content; having it out on day one though? That sends a horrible impression. What should have rightfully been in the game is being sold as a source to generate extra revenue. Not to mention the broken Personas from past entries that not only ruin the power balance (where’s my Izanagi-no-Okami by the way?) but also mess up the fusion table.

Atlus Has Been Bad With DLC For A Long Time

And it’s not like this is a one-time thing either. Atlus has been horrible with DLC for years now. Its practices with downloadable content, in my opinion, stand in stark contrast to the phenomenal quality of its games. I first discovered Shin Megami Tensei in 2014 with the fourth mainline entry. On my way back from school, my friend introduced me to a “Pokemon game but better.” I’ll admit, he was right.

Even in 2013, Atlus released day one DLC with SMT 4.
Even in 2013, Atlus released day one DLC with SMT 4.

Coming back on topic, even back then Atlus was hard at work trying to milk more money. Shin Megami Tensei IV had day one DLC. Three free hairstyles which raises the question of why they weren’t in the game itself. Then there was the silver costume that cost 100-200 yen which was even “effective for tackling areas early in the game.”

To top it all off, you could even purchase a Challenge Quest for 250 yen that allows you to grind experience and level up fast. To be honest with you, I’m a bit biased when it comes to this particular DLC. It provides an avenue to players who wish to power up fast by spending a couple of bucks. SMT IV: Final had the same deal. But this content is where I draw the line.

Day one dlc thoughts?
byu/Troddydotty inJRPG

Even so, try to think about how that’s not pay-to-win.

Though that’s not a problem, to many of you, this won’t matter. It’s just a few dollars, right? How’s that gonna put a dent in your wallet or even matter since you’re already dropping a premium for the full game? That’s true if you look at the surface level but the point I’m trying to make is about ethics.

PERSONA 5 TACTICA will feature day 1 DLC with a brand new story episode titled “Repaint Your Heart.”.
byu/Lulcielid inPERSoNA

Fast forward through the years, Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal, Soul Hackers 2, Shin Megami Tensei V, and Persona 5 Tactica all had day one DLC. If it’s coming out the same day as the main game, it should be a part of it period. Come on, Atlus.

I Can Only Pray Metaphor Gets Treater Better Than Persona 3 Reload

But let’s face it—that’s not going to happen. Metaphor: ReFantazio is a whole new IP from Atlus. Catherine feels like it came out centuries ago even though I recently replayed the PC version. As Project ReFantasy, Metaphor has been in the oven for a long time now. It’s a fresh experience from the makers of Persona 3, 4, and 5 which has me convinced that the established fanbase and those outside of it will propel the title to great heights.

Despite my hopeful optimism, Metaphor is likely to get day one DLC as well.
Despite my hopeful optimism, Metaphor is likely to get day-one DLC as well.

Needless to say, it will have DLC, especially the kind that comes out on day one. Unlike Persona 3 Reload and the other Megami Tensei games, Metaphor: ReFantazio isn’t part of the connected universe. However, it’s an RPG that’s very similar to Atlus’ flagship franchise. I’m expecting it to have purchasable add-on content that allows players to level up fast and earn more money.

Much like Soul Hackers 2 and Persona 5 Tactica, I wouldn’t be surprised if it had launch day story DLC as well that you’ll have to pay extra bucks for. At this point, it can all be chalked up to Atlus being Atlus but I digress.


The video game industry is in a rather critical state. With every phenomenal game that makes landfall, more and more developers are being laid off, studios are being shut down, and companies parade the flag of inflation and rising development costs to smash microtransactions into whatever they see fit, as unethically as possible.

Destiny 2‘s gradual fall, Helldivers 2’s phenomenal success & handling of GAAS systems, Tekken 8 coming under fire for utilizing dark patterns, bad DLC practices, and the consistent layoffs are just some of the many indicators of why I believe it’s prime time for this industry to get a remake of its own.

While something like that can’t happen anytime soon, I hope Atlus at least starts doing DLC right.

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Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

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