Top
20°

Lessons from Layton: Localization is Key

BMC: The Japanese video game industry has found itself in a puzzling conundrum lately, one that even the great Professor Hershel Layton would likely find difficult to solve.

At its core, the problem is simple: Japanese games don't sell very well in America. Franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and BioShock - all created by American companies - have risen to the top of the industry, earning their studios more money and acclaim worldwide than their Japanese counterparts..

Read Full Story >>
brokemycontroller.com
The story is too old to be commented.
Yi-Long2703d ago (Edited 2703d ago )

... I think one of the main problems with Japanese games 'not succeeding' in the west, is because they usually force a localisation upon the west that the gamers who are actually interested in Japanese games, DO NOT WANT!

For example, there are a bunch of Japanese games I potentially WOULD have bought, but didn't, because maybe some content was cut (Yakuza 3) or we got stuck with a horrible english dub only (Metroid Other M, some of the Tales games, among MANY others...)

I'm really glad games like Naruto UNS2 and Vanguish will offers us the CHOICE if we want to play the game with the original japanese voices, or the english dub.

I think, in this day and age, that choice is an absolute must. There's absolutely no reason whatsoever to release a modern game with a horrible dub only, or with content cut.

Most gamers who are into japanese games, are already into anime and japanese culture etc, so they WANT those games to reflect that japanese special something.

Neckbear2703d ago

Actually, some Japanese games keep Japanese voices.

I, myself, do NOT mind Dubs, since even when given the choice, I play them on english (Unless the dub is unbearable).

"I think, in this day and age, that choice is an absolute must. There's absolutely no reason whatsoever to release a modern game with a horrible dub only, or with content cut."

You have to keep in mind than, when localizing, changes have to be made. Be it the script (I mean, there could be some jokes that could not ring a bell to most of the people, or some stuff that would simply make no sense in english, and that's where changes happen) or simply cut content. I didn't minded Yakuza 3's cuts, since they were mostly mini-games.

About voices, sometimes the localization budget gives for either:

Paying the fees to those Japanese Voice Actors so their voices can appear in english as well, or..

Having a full-voiced dub on the game.

Keep in mind, most of the localization budgets are very small since Japanese games are normally aimed towards a niche fanbase.

"Most gamers who are into japanese games, are already into anime and japanese culture etc, so they WANT those games to reflect that japanese special something."

I actually agree with this, up to some extent, but to be honest, as far as the game as a whole is enjoyable, I do not mind anything else.

SpaceSquirrel2703d ago

Good thing Sega won't cut any content from Yakuza 4

Neckbear2703d ago

Another example of this is Recettear. An incredibly well executed localization that gave that little game a certain charm.

This article is right; core mechanics and games as a whole can stay Japanese, but what I love, as well as other people, I'm sure, is when a game was quality writting and really just focuses on doing its thing.

Wich is why the concept of Westernization -in my opinion- is completly wrong, and why Japanese developers should just stick to making great games, instead of attempting "something else".

Valay2703d ago

Nintendo's Treehouse team does an amazing job with localization. I'm kind of wary that Level-5 wants to handle the franchise on their own now.