Think Zenless Zone Zero was inspired by Persona 5? Think again – one of the biggest influences was Digimon

Zenless Zone Zero may have drawn comparisons to Persona 5 thanks to its urban fantasy anime aesthetic, but producer Zhenyu Li has revealed that Digimon was a far bigger influence on his creative vision for his upcoming HoYoverse title than Atlus’ blockbuster JRPG franchise.

“We happened to choose the urban genre in general, and for some players they might just find urban genres similar,” Li said of the Persona comparisons, in an interview conducted via interpreter. “However, there are a lot of differences if you go deeper into the game.”

Although he didn’t go so far as to disavow the Persona influence altogether, Li was clearly more eager to talk about a very different game franchise that he did consciously draw from during ZZZ’s production: “I draw references from Digimon because I played a lot during my childhood.” He went on to elaborate just one of the ways in which Digimon directly influenced Zenless Zone Zero: “[in] our temporal system, you will meet different incidents in different times [of the in-game day]. This is all something [I] drew inspiration [for] from Digimon World.”

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