Here's a sign of hope, non-Japanese Idolmaster fans! It seems that last week Namco Bandai registered trademarks in Europe for its Idolmaster series. The company registered two, actually, one for "The Idolmaster", and "Shiny Festa", which just so happens to be the title of a recent Idolmaster spin-off title released for the PSP in October.
What could this mean?! It could mean nothing. Companies file protective trademarks all the time, with no intention of actually doing anything with them. Then again, Idolmaster has been around for nearly seven years at this point (it was one of the Xbox 360's killer apps in Japan!), making Namco Bandai rather slow on the draw if brand protection was its sole motive.
If they do end up bringing some part of the Idolmaster franchise to foreign shores, Shiny Festa would in fact be an easy place to start. Whereas core The iDOLM@STER titles have players nurturing a young pop star's career in a Tamagotchi-like fashion, Shiny Festa (trailer shown above) is a straightforward rhythm game in the tradition of Hatsune Miku Project DIVA or Elite Beat Agents. That would make localization simple and relatively cheap.
Gosh, I sure do hope this actually turns into something. Don't let us down, Namco Bandai!
Gasp! Idolmaster Shiny Festa to get localized [Japanator]