Sega revealed a new live-action commercial for Persona 3 Reload today, and I’m trying to pin down why it’s breaking my brain. I think I’m coming to the conclusion that there isn’t just one thing about it. There are so many bad things about it that it just feels like a fever dream. Can anyone who’s watched or read Umbrella Academy explain to me why actor Aidan Gallagher is here?
The video itself is mostly pretty low effort. Gallagher, who has also appeared in Nickelodeon’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, appears in front of a green screen while walking through environments from the upcoming remake of the 2006 PlayStation 2 RPG. He recites what sounds like amateur slam poetry, waxing on about Persona 3’s themes of mortality, seizing the day, and always being aware of your own death. Then, at the very end, he starts sprinting. The 20-year-old actor is booking it to something in the distance. Gallagher is suddenly covered in smoke and emerges from special effects as a Persona 3-ified version of himself. He wields the main character’s sword, strikes down a demon-like Shadow, and tells me to seal my fate.
How did I get here? How did Gallagher get here? I don’t remember seeing this man fighting through Tartarus even once. Is this stolen valor? What connection does this man have to Persona 3? He’s not even promoting the ad on social media because he’s too busy posting about supporting Israel during the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people. Why did Atlus bring this man to Tartarus just to have him tell me the themes of Persona 3, like Michael Caine in a Christopher Nolan movie?
As a long-time Persona fan, it’s wild to see the series having reached a point where it’s getting big celebrities to help promote it. But even so, It feels like Sega and its stable of studios are just hiring whoever has a large social following to help promote their games, regardless of whether they’re the person for the job. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is out on Friday, January 26, and the team partnered with streamer xQc for a sponsored stream. It very much seems like he had no idea the game was turn-based prior to the broadcast.
Anyway, this ad sucked, but Persona 3 Reload seems to be shaping up to be a really strong recreation of what could be the best Persona game. It’s coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 2.