Posted on January 20 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
While most of us are pretty sure that there’s no way Nintendo could leave The Last Story, one of the biggest Wii titles ever, behind as a Japan-exclusive, we’re finally getting a solid statement from the Western divisions about why that might be the case. For Europe at least, the process of localizing so many games into so many languages is a daunting one. Eurogamer chatted with David Yarnton of NoE on that very subject. Here’s what he had to say:
With all the conversions, when we do it in Europe we’ve got to do the whole of Europe. So it’s multiple languages. It has to be viable. We’ve got so much on our plate at the moment. The most important one is in the first quarter this year. Kirby’s Epic Yarn is the most important title. We’ve got some great product coming out. On top of that, when we add in 3DS, it’s just so much.
We’ve released quite a lot of RPGs on the Wii in the UK. It’s an area that’s been growing for us. It’s up to the market. We never write anything off.
I don’t quite know what to make of this statement. On the one hand, he seems to be perfectly open to bringing The Last Story to the West should it perform well in Japan, which is nice, but on the other it sounds like they’d rather focus their manpower in other areas. Sure, first-party software is important and Nintendo should prioritize localizing in-house titles, but if projects with high interest among certain constituencies are getting shoved aside because you just can’t get them done, then the way you’re handling localization probably needs to change. In this case, if localization can’t cover all bases in a timely manner, grow the localization division. The increase in volume of titles published should more than offset the costs of doing so.
But most frustrating is that other software companies (and indeed the competing hardware) get large-scale JRPGs all the time, and it seems – well, silly – for Nintendo and the Wii to miss out on such an extremely popular genre among Western players.