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So you thought localization was easy

Aug 17 // Kyle MacGregor
Translation is usually what we think about when localization is brought up, as if the process of bringing a game from one region to another were little more difficult than running the script through Google Translate and calling it a day. No. Again, it's way more complicated than that. Translation isn't a quick and easy thing. There are cultural references, idioms, and turns of phrase that just don't, well, translate. But even once the herculean task of converting a mountain of text into a language your target audience can understand is finished, the job is far from over. Just go take a peek at XSEED Games' blog, where localization consultant Jessica Chavez recently discussed the state of affairs surrounding The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky SC, a role-playing game for PSP and PC that the studio has been working on for... God knows how long. There are reasons for that, of course. And I'm not going to get into all of them here out of respect for the parties involved. But chief among them is the fact that Trails in the Sky is a massive game. To illustrate that point, Chavez recalled trying to pull up a document containing the game's full text on her computer, only to have the machine buckle and blue-screen under the weight of the file. Quality assurance sounds like a total headache, too. Even once you cram all those words into the game, the battle is far from over. For example, you are then likely to get problems like this: In addition to randomly inflating words and spacing issues (that sometimes require the localization team to rework entire lines of dialogue) there's all sorts of other bugs that need to be addressed, like glowing doorways to nowhere, whatever is going on in this .gif, and disappearing scenery. And that's just the fun stuff that Chavez decided to share. I'm sure there are other untold horrors. Every game is unique, with its own problems and challenges, all of which can make the process more difficult, lengthy, or just not commercially viable for the publisher or development team. In December 2012, Capcom's then-senior vice president Christian Svensson told fans why the company wouldn't be localizing the gorgeous PlayStation 3 and Nintendo 3DS shooter E.X. Troopers as "all of the text is 'hard coded' as actual art. The text isn't just standard 'text' that could be swapped relatively easily. To localize a release, one would have to redo a ton of art in the game." More recently, Senran Kagura creator Kenichiro Takaki said that while he would love to bring his latest project, a rhythm game called IA/VT Colorful, to western markets, it just wasn't feasible due to all the rights involved with the music. According to XSEED's Tom Lipschultz, the royalties involved with licensing would have bloated the game's budget and made it unmanageable.  So maybe the next time you're about to curse a company's name and hammer out an angry comment here or elsewhere on the Internet when word breaks that a game you really wanted was delayed or isn't coming here, stop and think. Maybe there's a good reason behind the decision. That all said, God fucking dammit, Sega! Bring over Valkyria Chronicles 3 already, you monsters!
Localization photo
Yeah, no
I think we're all guilty of underestimating just how difficult a process localization really is. There are reasons why some games never make it out of Japan. We rarely hear exactly why, but it's probably more complicated than some executive at Nintendo wanting to rain on your parade.

Mii too photo
Mii too

Chinese console knocks off PS4 and Xbox One


Shameless, utterly shameless
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
You'd think China recently ending its ban on foreign video game consoles would end this particular brand of malarkey, but here we are talking about the "OUYE," yet another shameless knock off box. The manufacturer of this And...
3DS photo
3DS

South Korea is getting the smaller New 3DS


Coming this September
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Remember back when the New 3DS released, and North America only got the XL version? Well, it seems we weren't alone. Following the system's North American and European launches in February, the upgraded portable came to South...
Star Wars amiibos photo
Star Wars amiibos

Disney Infinity's new Star Wars: Episode VII toys


These things will print money
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at Disney Interactive's D23 Expo presentation, Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast members Daisy Ridley and John Boyega helped reveal Disney Infinity 3.0 figures based on their characters. So yeah, that's Rey an...
Kingdom Hearts III photo
Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III has world based on Big Hero 6


Baymax!
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at Disney's D23 Expo, Square Enix just announced Kingdom Hearts III will include a world based on Walt Disney Animation Studio's 2014 computer-animated film Big Hero 6. 
Red Ash photo
Red Ash

Red Ash returns to crowdfunding for more cash


Studio 4℃ wants to make the anime longer
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Mega Man Legends wannabe Red Ash needs more money. No, not the game. Keiji Inafune and company already secured a publisher prior to the project failing to meet its lofty Kickstarter goal. Animation group Studio 4°C i...
Phantasy Star Online 2 photo
Phantasy Star Online 2

Sega announces Phantasy Star Online 2 for PS4


Not for the West, obviously
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 in Japan next year, Sega announced today. The free-to-play online role-playing game initially launched on PC in 2012 and came to PlayStation Vita the following year. Last spri...

Gallery: Our favorite cosplay from Comiket 88

Aug 16 // Kyle MacGregor
[Images via なんだかおもしろい, @M_Schmitt1, @7thpolaris, @Buffy_0926]
Comiket cosplay photo
Show us yours!
This weekend in Tokyo, roughly 550,000 people attended Comiket (Comic Market, if you're nasty), a biannual event where independent creators sell games, manga, and other items directly to the fans. It's also a hot spot for the...

Ironfall: Invasion photo
Ironfall: Invasion

Nintendo pulls 3DS game over homebrew exploit


Ironfall: Invasion removed from eShop
Aug 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Ironfall: Invasion is a decent little shooter for Nintendo 3DS that you likely haven't heard of; and now that you have, you can't play it, as Nintendo has removed the game from its online store. The move came mere days after...
Splatoon cosplay photo
Splatoon cosplay

Splatoon Squid Sisters cosplay staaaays fresh


'Hold on to your tentacles'
Aug 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Splatoon's "Squid Sisters" Callie and Marie (or Aori and Hotaru, as they're known in Japan) seem to be a big hit with the Comiket crowd, as there are more than a few pairs of cosplayers have been spotted wandering around this...
Comiket 88 photo
Comiket 88

This Chun-Li cosplay is fierce!


More like a spinning beard kick amirite?
Aug 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Comiket 88 is well underway and the cosplayers are out in force in and around the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center, so you can expect more wonderful photographs like this throughout the weekend.
Dragon Quest XI photo
Dragon Quest XI

Dragon Quest XI's first screenshots look amazing


No matter which version you choose
Aug 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix unveiled Dragon Quest XI for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS late last month at an event in Tokyo, where the publisher gave attendees a nice long look at the game. Today, the company has shared the first ...
Rodea: The Sky Soldier photo
Rodea: The Sky Soldier

Rodea: The Sky Soldier delayed again


Now planned for November
Aug 12
// Kyle MacGregor
NIS America has once again delayed the release of Rodea: The Sky Solider. After initially planning on a September release, the publisher pushed the game back a month. Now it's happening again. The new target dates are Novembe...
Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey photo
Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey

Final Fantasy vets, Scottish studio making a RPG


Introducing Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey
Aug 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Final Fantasy VII writer Kazushige Nojima and composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Valkyria Chronicles) have joined forces with French developer Kobojo's Scottish satellite studio to create Zodiac: Orcanon Odyss...
KONAMI photo
KONAMI

Konami is killing PES 2014 servers in November


Better buy this year's version
Aug 11
// Kyle MacGregor
In case you were looking for another reason to curse Konami's name (as if there weren't enough already), the publisher is shutting down online support for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014. It's not a very good reason, mind you,...
PlayStation Plus photo
PlayStation Plus

Sony is hiking PS Plus subscription prices in the UK and Europe


Subscription costs rise Sept. 1
Aug 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Sony is preparing to raise PlayStation Plus subscription prices in the UK and Europe. Currently, a one month membership runs £5.49, whereas three months go for £11.99. The company hasn't yet announced what the new...
Yokai Watch x Just Dance photo
Yokai Watch x Just Dance

Yo-Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version is a thing that is happening


Surprise!
Aug 11
// Kyle MacGregor
For the love of money, Level-5 and Ubisoft are joining forces to put out Yo-Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version, a crossover (for Wii U of all things) that's a sure-fire bet to sell millions.
Japanese indie games! photo
Japanese indie games!

Steam discounts Japanese indies for Comiket 88


Doujin deals abound
Aug 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Valve is always looking for an excuse to throw a sale, and this week Steam has deep discounts on Japanese indie games. The occasion? This summer's Comiket is taking place over the weekend. Comiket (Comic Market) is a biannual...
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir photo
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

Good lord, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is pretty as hell


Or at least as pretty as Valhalla
Aug 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Odin Sphere was pretty. But this, this is better. Oh man, it's so much better. Oh, in case you haven't heard, Vanillaware is remastering its 2007 PlayStation 2 classic as Odin Sphere Leifthrasir for Sony platforms. The u...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco might be localizing Tales of Link


Trademark filed in Europe
Aug 09
// Kyle MacGregor
As spotted by Gematsu, Bandai Namco filed a European trademark for Tales of Link last week. The free-to-play role-playing game launched on iOS and Android devices in early 2014, but only in the Japanese market. Given the publ...
Halo 5 leak photo
There's a hole in my beta, dear Liza
The theme music from Halo 5: Guardians and shots of multiplayer menus (including Warzone, the new 12-on-12 mode) have leaked online following a recent update to this winter's now-defunct beta. Despite having concluded m...

Japanese indie games! photo
Japanese indie games!

Here are all the doujin games from Comiket 88


Over an hour of Japanese indie trailers
Aug 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Comic Market (or Comiket for short) is scheduled to take place this upcoming weekend, starting August 14. There, hundreds of thousands of people will pour into the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center to get their hands on rare ...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

These Persona 4: Dancing All Night remixes are hot!


But I still prefer the originals
Aug 09
// Kyle MacGregor
I'm sure most Atlus fans would agree one of the Persona series' greatest strengths is its music. The studio's in-house composer Shogi Meguro and his crew do brilliant work, which makes the idea of an entire game dedicated to...
Need for Speed photo
The experience is built around Autolog
The new Need for Speed reboot is an always-online experience, which might be a bit of a damper if you live in an area with a less than stellar Internet connection. But them's the breaks, I guess. According to executive produc...

Podtoid 302: Virtual Reality is the Future

Aug 08 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]297458:59878:0[/embed] What We Discussed Gamescom (Star Wars, Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed, MMOs) Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest Oculus VR inventor Palmer Luckey's unfortunate TIME cover Dark Souls  Darren is playing some dumb mobile game Penny Arcade Expo Gardevoir Rocket League Inside baseball and actual baseball Recent Episodes Podtoid 301: The Least Interesting Man in the World Podtoid 300: Randy Pitchford's Little Asshole Podtoid 299: Blast Ball Podtoid 298: Tales of E3 and Batman: Arkham Knight  Podtoid 297: E3 2015 Predictions, Tips & Tricks  Send any and all questions, tips, and Steven Hansen fan art to [email protected]
PODCAST photo
LOL
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or download it here. No Brett or Steven this week, as the beastie boys are still off gallivanting around Cologne, Germany for gamescom. But we did manage to bring back PCWorld's illustrious Hayden Dingman to discuss the hottest, sweatiest, smelliest news in the world of video games for your listening pleasure.

A Boy And His Blob photo
A Boy And His Blob

There's a new A Boy And His Blob in the works


Coming soon for consoles and maybe PC
Aug 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Majesco may be hanging by a thread these days (the company only has five full-time employees at the moment), but that isn't stopping it from publishing "new exciting titles" like A Boy and His Blob. Among other things, depart...
Lara Croft GO photo
Lara Croft GO

Lara Croft GO launches on August 27


Just in time for PAX
Aug 08
// Kyle MacGregor
I was pretty fond of Lara Croft GO, the new minimalist Tomb Raider from Square Enix Monréal, when I checked out the game at E3 a couple months ago. So, I'm delighted to hear we needn't wait too much...
Forza Motorsport 6 photo
Forza Motorsport 6

The Forza 6 team is way too hyped about rain


They recreated every damn puddle y'all
Aug 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Look, Forza Motorsport 6's dynamic rain features might be all well and good, but to your average dude that just wants to race cars real fast, these guys are way too stoked about some puddles.
Homefront photo
Homefront

Homefront: The Revolution is doing an Xbox One exclusive beta


Can you feel the excitement?
Aug 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Guerrilla warfare shooter Homefront: The Revolution is getting an exclusive multiplayer beta this winter on Xbox One. Until then, watch some propaganda about our faceless Korean overlords.
Thimbleweed Park photo
Thimbleweed Park

Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park coming to Xbox One, Windows 10


'Use balloon animal with corpse'
Aug 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at Microsoft's gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany, The Secret of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert took the stage to announce that his upcoming adventure game Thimbleweed Park would be coming to Xbox One and W...

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