For the 25th anniversary of the Shin Megami Tensei series, Shin Megami Tensei V was revealed (after being previously announced as SMT HD Project) for release on Nintendo Switch, running on unreal engine 4.
Shin Megami Tensei V is developed by Atlus, and is produced by Kazuyuki Yamai, who previously directed Shin Megami Tensei IV. One of the development team’s goals with the game is to depict and sympathize with the “characteristics of the times”, such as unemployment, unease about retirement, terrorism and nuclear weapons, and problems at home. The game is developed as a hybrid between the “profound charm” of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and the demon-raising gameplay in Shin Megami Tensei IV. Development is done using the game engine unreal engine 4, and is Atlus’s first game developed with it; according to Yamai, this changed the way they create games, as the ability to create something and immediately see it within the game allows them to spend more time on trial and error and coming up with ideas. The decision to develop the game for the Nintendo Switch was made as Yamai liked its portability combined with its capability for HD games. The higher hardware capabilities of the Nintendo Switch meant that the demons in the game are developed to match, and take approximately three times as long to develop compared to previous Shin Megami Tensei games for older platforms.
The game was revealed in January 2017 as part of Nintendo’s unveiling of the Nintendo Switch console, in the form of a teaser trailer featuring a destroyed office building and a number of demons. At the time of the announcement, development had just started, and the game was presented as Shin Megami Tensei: Brand New Title; the Shin Megami Tensei V title was announced in October of the same year, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original Shin Megami Tensei, along with a new trailer showing a modern-day Tokyo train station and a post-apocalyptic city scene. At this point, Yamai described development as not even far enough for Atlus to be able to say “coming soon”. By February 2018, he described the project as having entered “full-scale development”, with more and more Atlus staff joining the production. Although Atlus USA did not initially know whether they would get to localize the game for the Western market, they still sent out a press release about the game’s announcement in January 2017; a Western release was announced in November.