In a recent interview, Kazuhisa Wada, Atlus’s director of development for Persona 4 Arena, spoke about bringing the recently-released arcade game to consoles.
According to Wada, the very idea of a Persona fighting game came from a desire to introduce the series brand to new users; Wada and other staff were coincidentally big fans of fighting games. Less coincidentally, Wada had invited Arc System Works’ Toshimichi Mori to the Persona Music Live concert a few years ago to introduce Mori to the series, and to formally ask that the BlazBlue team handle Arena.
On the technical side, while the game has strictly 2D visuals, the team did create 3D models for the characters. These were used to help adjust the 2D visuals, which were placed over the final results. As for characters, it was important that selectrion criteria did not conflict with the larger story, though Wada did say that popularity was also a factor.
The game does mix characters from Persona 3 and 4, but Wada insists Arena is in fact canon, and does not take place in a parallel world or story arc. Additional characters are being considered, possibly to added later on, but Wada did not specify which.