The Persona series has hit a new milestone, as Atlus has revealed that over ten million Persona titles have been sold since the series' debut in 1996.
The first game in the Persona series was Revelations: Persona, which was a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei series that has little in common with the gameplay and story style that was established in later titles. The second Persona game was split over two different titles: Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, both of which involved a setting where rumors could become reality. The Persona series finally took off outside of Japan when Persona 3 became a cult hit in the west, which has allowed the series to become its own media franchise that is separate from the Shin Megami Tensei series.
The Persona series has finally hit a major sales milestone, as Atlus has revealed that over ten million copies of the Persona games have now been sold. Persona 5 was a major factor in hitting this milestone; the game has sold almost three million copies worldwide, which will likely be boosted even further when Persona 5: The Royal is released in 2020.
The first two Persona games didn't capture the imagination of the fans in the same way that the later titles did. Persona 3 established the half high school simulator/half dungeon crawler format that fans found so appealing. The social aspects of the Persona games are just as important to fans as the combat and demon capturing, to the point that they helped define the identity of the series in a genre that is filled with fantasy kingdoms and sci-fi dystopias.
Persona 5 helped to propel the series to greater mainstream attention than it had before and it's not surprising that it accounts for such a large percentage of the sales. Masahiro Sakurai loved Persona 5 so much that he put Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, even though the mainline Persona games have been PlayStation exclusives. This is the power that the Persona series has: its characters and stories can resonate with fans in a way few other games can due to a contemporary setting that offers the unique experience of a fantasy high school life that many people wish they had.