Fans Divided After Learning Metaphor: ReFantazio Won’t Have Romance

Fans Divided After Learning Metaphor: ReFantazio Won’t Have Romance

Metaphor: ReFantazio, the upcoming RPG from developer Atlus’ Persona team, will bring in a lot of elements from its predecessor when it launches in October. This includes turn-based combat, social elements called “Bonds,” and a time management mechanic as you live out individual days. But one thing that won’t be returning is romantic relationships, and while that might sound like a bummer, the reaction from Persona fans has actually been mixed.

News of this came from a Japanese Q&A presentation with the development team (thanks, Siliconera). During the segment, the question of romances came up and host Mafia Kajita confirmed that love will not be in the air as you travel across Metaphor’s fantasy world in hopes of winning an election. This omission is notable for two reasons: Metaphor’s social elements seemed mostly identical to Persona’s (albeit with different perks in the game’s original Archetype system) until this point, and romance has historically been a big part of the Persona fandom, even if it has mostly been perfunctory in the games themselves.

Arguments about who is “best girl” or “best boy” in each Persona game persist years into the series’ lifetime, but perhaps all that online bickering is why some fans are actually okay with Metaphor not bringing that element into its own social mechanics. Some might dislike that waifu/husbando arguments dominate the conversations around Persona, while others argue that Atlus has never gotten romance right and are glad to see it gone in Metaphor.

“As someone [who] thinks that Atlus is really bad at doing teen romance, thank god,” wrote Worm_Scavenger on Reddit. “Honestly? Thank fuck, given everything,” said MaverickHunterBlaze on the same thread.


That being said, some folks are disappointed because they were already interested in characters from Metaphor’s trailers and pre-release screenshots. Others were surprised to see such a strong positive reaction to the news.

“Wild to see so many fans of this company strongly hate such a core part of it,” Groundbreaking_Can_4 wrote on Reddit. “It would be like if Retro said [Metroid] Prime 4 won’t have scanning, and Metroid fans cheered.”

But others brought up the possibility that Metaphor may have a predetermined romantic plotline that could be better fleshed out now that the team isn’t writing several (frankly shallow) romantic stories for the player to choose from. That’s always been a weird wrinkle in Persona’s social elements in that the relationships that can’t go down a romantic path end up feeling more meaningful in the long run. It’s part of why relationships like Ryuji Sakamoto and Goro Akechi in Persona 5 are often read as romantic because the connection between them and protagonist Joker is so strong. Plot twist: what if no one will be smooching at all? We’ll find out when Metaphor: ReFantazio comes to PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


2 responses to “Fans Divided After Learning Metaphor: ReFantazio Won’t Have Romance”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *