A word of warning to those hoping to import Persona 4: Arena: the game will be region locked on home consoles. Yes, that includes the PlayStation 3.
The news comes from EGM Now, who sought confirmation from Atlus after rumours of region locking circulated internet message boards. The fighting game spin-off of the very popular Persona series is scheduled to launch worldwide by the end of August. Though Xbox 360 gamers will be used to some games unfortunately featuring region locking, PlayStation 3 gamers will not be. Despite Sony’s open business policy for game regions, and the PlayStation 3 unit itself usually accustomed to region free gaming, Persona 4: Arena could very well be the first officially region locked game released on the platform. Atlus has not given a reason for region locking of either version.
Persona 4: Arena is scheduled for a release in Japan on 26 July 2012, then on 7 August in the United States (NTSC), and finally in European (PAL) territories on 31 August. Unlike some other Atlus releases, the wait between each region is quite short. But we figured it was important to give would-be importers a heads up. If you own a PAL released PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, you will need a PAL version of the game.