New Persona 5 spin-off ditches one of its most beloved characters, and no one knows why

Persona 5: The Phantom X
(Image credit: Sega)

The new Persona 5 mobile spin-off has seemingly ditched the beloved Sojiro from his cafe.

Earlier this month, Atlus and Sega unveiled Persona 5: The Phantom X, a new mobile spin-off exclusive for Chinese smartphone users. A select few users elsewhere in the world have found their way into the game's limited beta though, and it's thanks to this we now know the new game actually trades out Sojiro from his usual digs in Cafe Leblanc.

Sojiro is gone. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. from r/PERSoNA

Other Persona mainstays like the actual Phantom Thieves themselves return in The Phantom X, which makes Sojiro's exclusion particularly confusing. What's even more head-scratching is that the new mobile spin-off purposefully keeps in Cafe Leblanc, but removes Sojiro from the coffee shop, for some unknown reason.

"It's extremely hard to see a world in which Sojiro is not the one working and owning LeBlanc, unless Sojiro just never existed at all," writes one Reddit user. This user is alluding to an ongoing theory that The Phantom X is actually set in an alternate reality to that of Persona 5, which could be why Sojiro is now mysteriously missing.

After all, this wouldn't be the first time Persona 5 has played around with alternate realities. Not to spoil anything dramatically, but Persona 5 Royal introduced the setting of an alternate reality for the Phantom Thieves to deal with, which proved to be a really compelling point for the re-release.

It's going to be really hard to uncover how or why Sojiro is gone in The Phantom X. The game is only in beta in native Chinese right now, and doesn't have a worldwide launch scheduled at all. Here's hoping someone out there can decipher what the deal is with Sojiro when The Phantom X eventually launches in full.

Check out our new games 2023 guide for a list of games that will probably be out in full before The Phantom X. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.