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Persona 3 Reload’s Story DLC Is Only Available As Part Of $35 Expansion Pass

Image: Atlus
Image: Atlus

Episode Aigis, the contentious DLC coming to Persona 3 Reload this September, is going to cost players who own the base game a pretty penny. To be precise it will cost $35. That’s because it will only be available as part of the game’s Expansion Pass, which bundles three pieces of post-release DLC. That means it costs half the price of the base game. And while this is a move certain to polarize fans even more on Episode Aigis, it is a decision that feels in line with Atlus’s established approach to paid DLC.

Talking to Push Square, an PR representative for Atlus said that “the three parts of the Expansion Pass will not be available separately.” Those three parts are Episode Aigis (a lengthy epilogue to the base game), as well as music and costume packs themed to Persona 4 and 5. The price of the Expansion Pass has already sparked criticism from fans, due to it costing half the price of the base game and not being included for those who purchased the $100 Premium Edition or $200 Aigis Edition of the game. The only way to get the Expansion Pass at no extra cost is to download it as a Game Pass subscriber, in which case you actually own it even if your subscription ends. The Steam page for the Expansion Pass currently has mostly negative reviews, even though the first wave of content only launched on March 12, with users admonishing Atlus over the price.

The inclusion of Episode Aigis has struck a nerve for its own reasons. Episode Aigis is Reload’s version of The Answer, the epilogue to the base game originally included on the 2007 FES release of Persona 3. Not offering fans the opportunity to purchase Episode Aigis alone is just another way Atlus is digging itself into a hole with fans, as it reduces the choice to a binary buy or don’t play the DLC at all. In recent years Atlus has earned the ire of fans for its DLC practices on multiple occasions. I wrote at length about Soul Hackers 2’s day one DLC that added a “bonus” story expansion that felt like an essential piece of content to fill out the empty sections of the game. Persona 3 Reload’s Expansion Pass is the unfortunate, but natural progression of this approach to DLC.

In the lead up to Reload’s release, developers advertised the game as a remake of the original Persona 3. It would not include content from the FES or PlayStation Portable releases of Persona 3. That meant fans were told not to expect The Answer or the female protagonist. Persona series general producer Kazuhisa Wada even reassured audiences that Reload was a “complete experience,” just one month before announcing Episode Aigis. Now, after all those promises, Atlus is charging $35 more to get access to content that probably should have been part of the remake’s base release.

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