Strong Persona 4 PC sales show why game devs should port exclusives

Atlus has announced that Persona 4 PC sales have hit a major milestone just over a month after this beloved JRPG made its way to Steam. The Persona 4 Golden Steam release has been an undeniable success and it should be a lesson to developers of console exclusives around the world: it’s worth porting your games to PC.

If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the Persona franchise, here’s the quick rundown: it’s a spinoff of yet another spinoff of a Japanese RPG that originally launched all the way back in 1987. That first game soon evolved into two major franchises: Shin Megami Tensei and its spinoff franchise Persona. While Shin Megami Tensei only debuted in the West with its third game, us Western gamers got to play Persona right from the beginning.

Persona has had steady success in Japan and Persona 5 Royal is doing great, but sales of Persona 4 Golden had all but fallen off. As it was a console exclusive, there wasn’t really a chance for people on other platforms to buy it until the Steam version surprisingly launched last month.

Persona 4 PC sales revive a dead game

Persona 4 PC sales Yukiko

Let’s take a look at the sales by the numbers. The game’s Japanese website reveals that there have been over 500,000 Persona 4 PC sales in just over a month. The game sells for $19.99 on Steam, so that’s a total of $9,995,000.00 in revenue. Steam takes a 30% cut of that, and SEGA (as the publisher) takes a percentage as well

For the sake of argument, let’s say that SEGA takes a 20% cut of sales for publishing — that leaves Atlus with a cool $5 million in revenue. That leaves us with the following question: did it cost Atlus $5 million to port Persona 4 to PC? I don’t think it did, and they’ve probably already made a profit. If not, they’ll almost certainly make their money back before the end of the year at this rate.

Persona 4 PC sales show that this Steam port has undeniably been a success. Steam Spy’s estimates seemingly confirm these figures. The game’s popularity is also reflected on Steam Charts where it’s had an average of 12,306.8 players a day and a peak of 29,984 at launch.

At the time of writing, Persona 4 Golden also happens to be ranked #78 on Steam Charts for current players. That ain’t bad for a JRPG that first launched more than 12 years ago.

We saw it coming

Persona 4 PC sales character art

Fans of the franchise — including people like myself who not yet had the opportunity to play a Persona game — practically begged Atlus to port Persona to PC and they’ve finally followed through. That enthusiasm has directly translated into sales, and that’s not even the best part.

PCs change, break down, and get upgraded over the years, but the games will be playable on them forever. When the landfills are full of PS4s, there will still be people playing PC games — and some of those folks will be quite happy to buy Persona 4 Golden on Steam.

Contracts and exclusivity deals can make porting console exclusives difficult, but many of these games are well past their prime. Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t going to get anyone to buy a PS4 today. People aren’t going to be excited to play Persona 4: Golden on a dead handheld.

Let this be a lesson to game developers: dig up the best games out of your back catalogs (cough cough Bloodborne) and port these titles to Steam — we PC gamers will be more than happy to buy ’em.