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At the end of the day, is Reggie actually chickenshit?
Editorial by 
Editor
April 13, 2010, 18:55:34
 
Hearing about Jam With the Band coming to Europe kind of sparked a thought in my mind. Or maybe I've been thinking about it for a long time, and the news caused it to surface. In the business world, an executive will rarely lose his job for making a safe decision. Even if that safe decision gets the company in trouble, it's the same safe decision that others are making/would make, and everyone at the company was on board the safety train. In the corporate structure of America (and probably elsewhere, too), risk is to be avoided at all costs (don't worry, though - you've always got that golden parachute to float over to another corporate position with).

How many risks does NOA actually take? I always used to think that they were just puppets of NOJ, but now I'm not so sure. With recent comments and decisions, I'm starting to believe that they really do have control over which titles get localized and advertised (although NOJ could probably still overrule them). If that's true, then fuck them. There have been an incredible amount of titles that have been passed over for localization, the vast majority of them interesting, most of them good, and many of them great. And it isn't like the American release schedules are jam-packed with titles. There are obvious gaps for smaller games to fit into. Band Brothers DX was a huge, grassroots success in Japan. Why not give it a chance? NOA has let the whole 'music game' craze begin and end without even really trying to localize this fantastic franchise. They publish such a small overall slice of the games that Nintendo releases in Japan. And half of the more modest titles that they do decide to publish (dartboard?) are seemingly sent to die, as they spend all of their advertising budget on Wii Music and getting Beyonce for Style Savvy.

People can nonsensically rant and rave about Nintendo not making real games any more, but this kind of shit has my number one issue with Nintendo for the past couple of years. Other people may only care about Mario, Zelda, and Metroid, but I've always been interested in the fringe titles. Thank god(s) for the downloadable services, because they keep Nintendo's current lineup from looking like a Greatest Hits collection.

How many copies does a game have to sell to justify localization? How about it it's already been localized for Europe? Profit margins are nice, but while you keep shooting for that casual gold, how about tossing the diehard fans a bone once in a while? You never know, right? If you market a good game, it might even turn out to be successful. Even if you don't want to market it, a stealth release is better than no release. Hell, relegate Mother 3 to a downloadable platform (maybe even buy the fan translation). Just get it out there.

I mean, it's actually bad news for Americans when Nintendo publishes a title like Fatal Frame in Japan. That's just not right.

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Posted: 04/13/10, 18:55:34  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/10, 19:08:30    
 
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@littledeadmonkey I think Another Code R, Soma Bringer, and Mother 3 all make sense as well.

And I think ANY game that is localized for Europe makes a lot of sense, since it could be localized for NA fairly easily from that point on.


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 07:51:37
I'd be interested to know how much it costs to localize a European game to the NA. I imagine it isn't that expensive, but since it doesn't happen, I have to wonder. One of the many ways in which I feel under informed to discuss decision making in the video game industry.


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 07:59:32
Nintendo only hires the best to underestimate the intelligence of the North American audience, and pays top dollars for the brightest minds who'll foresee American ignorance of what "Pandora's box" is or the distate for round pink characters unless they look pissed off.


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 08:03:26  - Edited by 
 on: 04/14/10, 08:03:55
Zero said:
@littledeadmonkey I think Another Code R, Soma Bringer, and Mother 3 all make sense as well.

And I think ANY game that is localized for Europe makes a lot of sense, since it could be localized for NA fairly easily from that point on.

Mother series is horrible.. so no. Easily the worst crap Nintendo has ever published.


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 17:27:36
@Jargon
Why would it cost anything to localize? I get the feeling that NOA doesn't like using NOE's translations, though.

I have absolutely no evidence of that, but that's never stopped me from discussing anything, and it never will.


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 17:57:33
@littledeadmonkey
Considering the amount of fans the series has and how incredibly dedicated they are, I think it's safe to say that this is one of those times when you should take a step back and realize that your own personal opinion is in fact not the standard measurement for quality in the world. And thank god for that.

As for localizing costs, I have no idea, but I would imagine that it might take some work to go through the material and - if needed - replace any specific cultural references that might not make sense in other parts of the world. I suppose the cultural differences between NA and Europe in general are much less noticeable than those between Japan and...well, the rest of the world, but there could still be some content that might need tweaking.

I imagine that there are many other, small costs related to the localization as well, such as printing new covers with the proper ratings and information on them and so on. I have a hard time seeing all that as something that should be a problem for a company where the execs are wiping their asses with dollar bills, but I think it's a bit more money than nothing at all.


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 18:35:28
@anandxxx

Yea, getting the ESRB ratings was my first thought. Different box art. I dunno if the different TV signal and voltage requires any kind of changes. Plus, along with localization there is the actual cause of releasing the game and any marketing they might want to do, it's not unfathomable that it could cost more than it's worth. But like I said, I don't really know.


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 18:48:36
Does anyone know how much it costs to have your game rated by the ESRB?


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 18:58:00


Posted by 
 on: 04/14/10, 19:30:21  - Edited by 
 on: 04/14/10, 19:30:54
r_hjort said:
@littledeadmonkey
Considering the amount of fans the series has and how incredibly dedicated they are, I think it's safe to say that this is one of those times when you should take a step back and realize that your own personal opinion is in fact not the standard measurement for quality in the world. And thank god for that.

As for localizing costs, I have no idea, but I would imagine that it might take some work to go through the material and - if needed - replace any specific cultural references that might not make sense in other parts of the world. I suppose the cultural differences between NA and Europe in general are much less noticeable than those between Japan and...well, the rest of the world, but there could still be some content that might need tweaking.

I imagine that there are many other, small costs related to the localization as well, such as printing new covers with the proper ratings and information on them and so on. I have a hard time seeing all that as something that should be a problem for a company where the execs are wiping their asses with dollar bills, but I think it's a bit more money than nothing at all.

... Earthbound flopped on the SNES.. hence it being rare.. not sure where you was going with that.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 00:37:53
@r_hjort For Disaster at least, the only thing I could see being changed are the references to kilometers per hour being replaced by miles per hour, and stuff like that. Aside from that, it's already fine for American release.

@littledeadmonkey He's saying that the Mother series is well-liked by a number of people. It's not that fucking hard to grasp.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 01:00:13
A hand full of "hardcore" Nintendo fanboys claiming to be a fan of it because they played it on an emulator means nothing to Nintendo. The fact is it flopped.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 04:16:31  - Edited by 
 on: 04/15/10, 04:17:45
lol no he called you out for using 'it's horrible' as a reason not to localize. Which is so facepalmy it hurts and you COULDN'T WAIT to cut the gauntlet string and let him know earthbound only sold 140k in the US, obviously no matter what he said.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 04:40:23  - Edited by 
 on: 04/15/10, 04:41:36
It is a horrible game, Earthbound is Nintendo's Shenmue, both are overrated pieces of shit.with a small fanbase that think they know better than the company that released it and go on full attack to anyone that talks negative about it.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 05:05:19
so you hate it because of its fans?


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 06:06:19
I've never played a Mother game but I do remember the smelly ads in Nintendo Power.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 06:13:09
@littledeadmonkey Know better has nothing to do with it, they just want it. I dunno. All kinds of people want all kinds of things, why does this specifically make you bitter?


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 06:39:11
Maybe he played it and hated it, and it annoys him that so many people love it somehow. Kind of like how I once was with Metroid.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 06:48:47
Sure Earthbound didn't sell well, but that does not take away any of the love for the franchise that so many people have today, and it simply doesn't matter if they played it through emulation or not. Over the years the fanbase of the game has grown and there are more people who are curious about it and want to play it today than there ever was, and even if that still should not be enough for Nintendo to make a profit on the franchise outside of Japan, it's still not up to your opinion to decide whether or not people should be enjoying it. You don't like it, we get it, but that doesn't mean others shouldn't, or can't.


Posted by 
 on: 04/15/10, 10:36:41
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