Persona 3 Reload leads decided against adding Portable's female protagonist to the JRPG because it'd take too long and be too expensive

Persona 3 Portable
(Image credit: Atlus)

It's bad news for anyone who was holding onto the hope that Persona 3 Reload might add in a female protagonist eventually, as it's now been confirmed that there's "no chance" of it happening. 

For context, even though the RPG remake was received very well when it launched last month, many of us were critical of the fact that it was missing some content introduced in Persona 3 FES and Portable. Namely, the female playable character Kotone Shiomi, introduced in Portable, and the extra epilogue content called "The Answer," which was exclusive to FES, were both absent. Persona 3 Reload was sold as being a remake of the original Persona 3, which didn't include either of these additions, but it still felt as though we weren't getting the definitive experience with all of the previously released content. 

For this same reason, it was especially bittersweet earlier this week when an expansion pass for Persona 3 Reload was revealed, complete with the epilogue content from FES, but still no Kotone in sight. Speaking to Famitsu in a new interview (translated via Google and DeepL), general producer Kazuhisa Wada states that even though adding the female playable character was considered during Reload's development, "the hurdles were too high."

Specifically, he explains, adding Kotone would have had a lengthy development time which would have cost "several times as much" as the epilogue. He adds that the Persona team has "a mission to work on not only remakes but also 'completely new'" projects, too. 

Even though it's by no means the same as having her added to the game officially, it's worth noting that modders are working on making it possible to play as Kotone in the PC version of Persona 3 Reload, which is better than nothing. As well as using a female character model, the UI has also been changed from Reload's usual blue palette to a pink one, much like it was in Portable if you chose to play as Kotone. It's still a work in progress, with contributors making changes to things like gendered dialogue throughout the story, but it's one way to experience the game differently if you're not playing on a console. 

Be sure to check out our picks for the best RPGs for even more games to dive into.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.