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Persona 5: Royal Card Game

The heart-stealing game that was re-released (like four times now) is now being re-re-released in tabletop format! Pull up your MetaNav apps, don your masks, and let’s breakdown what we know.

The Phantom Thieves of Hearts in their student outfits

ATLUS + Pandasaurus = New Game!

ATLUS, the company behind the Persona franchise, has teamed up with the hobby and board game company Pandasaurus to bring the world of Persona 5: Royal to your tabletops. Moreover, the brilliant mind behind games such as Century: Golem Edition – An Endless World and Foundations of Rome, the incredible Emerson Matsuuchi will be the designer of this new iteration of the game.

The Real Phantom Thieves

Matsuuchi, You Tease!

Matsuuchi made the following statement to tease his plans for the game: 

“Players will take on the roles of their favorite Phantom Thieves and fight to change the world in this cooperative card-based strategy game.”

Matsuuchi, (2022)

The ‘co-op strategy game to change the world’ perfectly lines up with the video game, but the question is whether he can translate the spectacular gameplay to a card game. Can we expect to see special moves like 1 More, Hold-Ups, and an All-Out Attack? Are the silly, but devastating Showstoppers going to be available combo moves for the players? What about our eclectic band of confidants? We need to know!

Some of the Confidants in Persona 5: Royal

McNair’s Hints or Hot Air?

Co-owner of Pandasaurus Games, Nathan McNair, added to the announcement:

“…cannot wait to bring the Palaces, Velvet Room and world of Persona 5 Royal® onto tabletops everywhere.”

McNair, (2022)

His statement seems to suggest that we will be seeing the Palaces and the iconic Velvet Room appear in the card game. The Palaces are where the Phantom Thieves do their best work fighting shadows, stealing the Treasure (a physical embodiment of a person’s heart), and taking down the corrupted version of the Palace’s ruler. However this begs the question, with Palaces being accessible in the tabletop game will Mementos (the Palace of the Collective Unconscious) be featured as well? 

Igor, the warden of the Velvet Room in Persona 5: Royal

More exciting is the inclusion of Igor’s Velvet Room! It does leave us to wonder how one of the Persona franchise’s best known features will function in this card game. Unlike other Persona games, the Velvet Room in P5R takes on the appearance of a jail with Igor as its warden and his assistants acting as your prison guards. Various methods of capital punishment are utilized as a means of changing your personas into valuable items, sacrificing one to add experience to another, or to fuse personas together into something altogether different. How could this be brought to fruition in the tabletop version of Persona 5: Royal? 

P5:R Card Game, But Not The First..?

While this is the first direct translation of the Persona 5: Royal game into a tabletop card game by ATLUS, this is not the first card game for Persona 5: Royal. The Japanese developer, Japan Desk-top Development, has created a battle royale card game version of various titles under the title, “TrickGear.”

One of the first sets the company developed was the Persona 5: The Royal Trick Gear game along with a themed deck of standard playing cards. The game only utilizes some of the characters of P5R, essentially the Phantom Thieves in and out of their respective Metaverse outfits, and each character has abilities themed after the P5R video game counterparts. Otherwise it uses the standard playing cards for most of the gameplay, such as a means of tracking life and dealing damage. What exactly will this new card game be like? For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Pandasaurus is aiming to publish the game in Quarter 4 of 2023, with a tentative release date teased as October 21, 2023. We’ll be watching ATLUS and Pandasaurus closely just as the world watches the Phantom Thieves of Hearts for their next move.

You can check out the announcement on the Pandasaurus site here and follow Emerson Matsuuchi on Facebook.

Hold onto your hearts!

Til next time!

About the Author
Living in a small town in Arkansas most of his life, he has only had access to TTRPGs, Magic, and the wider “nerdier” world since 2017. He’s run and played D&D, built commander decks, and is always looking for as many fun things his socially awkward heart can handle.

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