Atlus first announced Shin Megami Tensei V as "Shin Megami Tensei HD" with a teaser during the Nintendo Switch Presentation on January 12th, 2017, with the game being developed with the Unreal Engine 4. On October 23rd during a livestream, Atlus finally announced the game as the fifth numbered title in the series with a new teaser.
Producer Kazuyuki Yamai has said in an interview with Famitsu that he wants Shin Megami Tensei V to sympathize with the troubles that the world is currently going through such as terrorism, nuclear weapons, unemployment, the uneasiness about life retirement and other troubles at home and abroad. He wants people to look at the "characteristics of the time." In the same interview it was mentioned that the Unreal Engine 4 creates a new environment to work with when creating games as it allows them to create something and immediately check it out on the game screen, it gives the creators more time to spend on coming up with ideas and trial-and-error.
Yamai has said that since Shin Megami Tensei V is the first home console release from the mainline series in a while he wants to create a hybrid with the charm of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne with the fun demon upbringing elements of Shin Megami Tensei IV. As such they are experimenting new elements to add to the demon fusion.