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I could see a game featuring slightly older protagonists, maybe at a workplace setting.
You could set the game at a "Junes" or something. - you could visit your friends at different departments, and whatnot, and transfer to different positions in the store to gain skills, meet new people,etc. You could also, still explore the town and stuff, too.
Instead of gaining in something like "academics" you could instead move up in positions at Junes (ie cashier to stock clerk, shift manager, asst store manager, store manager, etc.)
I like the school structure of it all. I'd love to see an off shoot of Persona with FF8. Everyone at the time were SEEDs or somethin like that. Their tests would be defeating monsters and what not. I wouldnt mind going into a futuristic setting. Instead of being high schoolers they are in a school for mercenaries. You have a rival like Seifer too and throw a love triangle in there. There's a lot of good ideas. Incorporate the dream aspect as well like with Laguna, a totally different person but still the same person and carry the same stats.
The Persona formula is good and i have confidence they will do a good job in the next one.
I personally would like to go back to fighting demons or at least make shadows reversed / corrupted versions of Personas instead of random reskins. And make it so you gotta duke it out with the ultimate persona of each arcana after maxing out the slink before you could summon it. Kinda like Raidou 2. Bring the good optional bosses back.