Home is where the Phantom Thieves of Heart are.

Katsura Hashino, a developer for Atlus and the director behind Persona 5, starred in the latest episode of Toco Toco TV, a YouTube video series that follows the lives of various Japanese media creators. In it, he goes into slight detail about P5’s development, letting some surprising details slip out over the video’s 10 minute run time.

While discussing the mindset that his team went into production with for P5, Hashino admits that Atlus “was facing a difficult period…the only thing we could do was (focus on) releasing a good game.” This may sound odd, given the level success the company has seen in recent years, but there’s merit to that assessment. Something that a lot of people forget when ragging on Atlus for delaying P5 so much (which, to be fair, I’m more than guilty of) is that the game was being developed during one hell of a transitional period. At the start of production, Sega had just bought out Atlus’s bankrupt parent company, Index, which had to have put a strain on production as it went ahead.While never referencing the sale directly, Hashino admits that the discussions he and his team had during this period (mostly on on long, aimless walks throughout the Sangenjaya district of Tokyo) were a direct inspiration for P5’s storyline and characters. It’s an interesting bit of insight into the development of P5, and the video doesn’t stop there. Toco Toco delves into Hashino’s creative process, his design philosophy, and even his upcoming fantasy game, Project Re: Fantasy. It’s absolutely worth a watch.You can check out more of Toco Toco TV here. I personally recommend the episodes on No More Heroes’ Suda 51 and Gravity Rush’s Keiichiro Toyama, but all of them are pretty spectacular.