Andriasang reports that there’s yet another Persona 4 spinoff on the way, this time a mobile social game set to launch on the GREE mobile gaming network in late September — in Japan, anyway. The new game is called Persona 4: The Card Battle and will see players collecting over 400 different cards in order to battle various opponents from the Persona universe — and other players.
Before you get too excited, however, it’s worth taking a look at what the “card battle” part means. The genre, which is incredibly popular among mobile players in Japan and is gaining traction in the West, is, regrettably, very little to do with deep, strategic titles like Magic: The Gathering et al. Instead, it is little more than a numbers game, where whoever has collected the virtual cards with the biggest numbers on them (usually by spending the most money on the game) will almost definitely win. There is little to no strategy involved, little interaction beyond repeatedly pressing “OK” buttons, and the games are generally very poor in technical terms, with many lacking sounds or being presented in a form more akin to a 1990s Geocities site rather than a well-optimized mobile game. They are monetization traps, in short, designed to wring players dry of their savings while providing the barest minimum of interactive content to qualify as “gameplay.”
This isn’t, of course, to say that Persona 4: The Card Battle will definitely fall into the same traps as festering piles of unmitigated crap such as Rage of Bahamut and its ilk, but the history of the genre should give you pause. We’ll see.