Between Persona 4 Golden, Catherine Classic, and Yakuza 0, Sega's recent PC ports have been such a success that they have decided to keep them coming, and are planning to factor the PC into their future releases from the start.
The decision surely has many factors, but the success of the recent port/remaster Persona 4 Golden is a major one. Though created by Sega Sammy subsidiary Atlus, it was published on the PlayStation 2 and Vita by other companies. Regular old Sega stepped in for this year's PC port, and the results are pleasing.
Sega Sammy president Haruki Satomi and senior executive vice president Koichi Fukazawa confirmed as much in a Q&A session with investors held alongside their most recent quarterly financial report (translated by Persona Central):
"We remastered Persona 4 Golden, a title previously sold on the PlayStation Vita, and released it for sale on Steam this fiscal year. Because of the game's critical acclaim and its low selling price, sales were much stronger than expected. We will continue to actively promote porting previously released titles to Steam and new platforms. We are also negotiating with platform holders for new games in the future, and we're considering ways to sell under favourable conditions for each title. Among them are measures such as preparing PC versions of the titles from the beginning, with multi-platform releases in mind."
RPS contributor Edwin Evans-Thirlwell was mostly pleased in his Persona 4 Golden review, despite some disappointment with its queer representation. It was a reasonable £16 on release, while the earlier Atlus/Sega port, Catherine Classic, was similarly priced and called a "pretty fantastic rerelease of a cult hit" by our own Astrid (RPS in peace) in her review. Looking beyond Atlus, our Yakuza 0 review said the PC debut of Sega's brawler RPG "is long overdue, but you couldn't have asked for a stronger start" - and the world apparently agreed, judging by its enduring popularity two years later. Hmm, it's almost as though budget games can do really well on PC if a bit of care is taken. What a discovery.
The obvious candidate to come next is Persona 5, which was a roaring success on its release in 2016, and if anything it's a little surprising they didn't start there. There's also the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster, and potentially a heap of games touched by the labyrinthine international network of Sega Sammy's publishing deals. The better news is that we can expect more than just porting as an afterthought in future, too.
This absolutely is all long overdue, and the very concept of platform exclusivity is more archaic than ever, especially for behemoths like Sega. But let's be positive. This is good news, and particularly welcome in the run-up to a batch of new consoles. We've had several long-running series like Yakuza and Monster Hunter suddenly leap to PC in recent years, and I'm happy to see more of them show up, particularly at a budget price. I certainly hope that continues.