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Thread: Editorial - Taking Chances

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    Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff Nyx's Avatar
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    Editorial - Taking Chances

    As much as this editor is not a fan of Celine Dion, she has a point when it comes to taking chances. Sometimes potential has the power to pay off, but only if you're willing to take a risk.

    Editorial - Taking Chances

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    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    Actually, Abba was the first musical talent to come to my mind upon reading the title. "If you change your mind, I'm the first in line/Honey I'm still free/Take a chance on me~"

    Anyway, I think we've been seeing fewer chances taken with the genre recently due to the handheld switchover. JRPGs have largely been concentrated on the DS and PSP recently. Sales have slowed for both handhelds, the 3DS took a while to take off, and the PS Vita is still very new. I imagine things will start to pick up fairly soon with localization, including the more original and rather chancy title. Even so, I imagine there are a number of gems we've missed out on permanently *sighs while looking at copy of import Luminous Arc 3 game*
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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Berry has a good point there, although now it's 4am and I have Abba stuck in my head. I just got up briefly to get a glass of water what have you done to me? :-p

    I do hope to see some PSP-->Vita ports and resulting English localizations for things like Final Fantasy Type-0, which isn't even chancy, but just has the misfortune of being on the PSP. I'm sure that will depend on the Vita picking up in Japan and selling decently here, though. Seems like for the moment the Japanese are telling Sony that it's going to have to pry their PSPs from their cold, dead fingers while the West has long given up on the platform. That dichotomy really doesn't help things.

    Things are looking up for the 3DS in both nations now (thanks, Mario and Monster Hunter!), so I'm hopeful that we'll see localization announcements for things like Beyond the Labyrinth and Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (which will hopefully get a title change upon localization as well) soon.
    Last edited by Ocelot; 02-28-2012 at 01:44 AM.

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    If you're creating freeware, then it's easy to justify making an experimental game. You aren't trying to sell your game, and thus you have no market demands or sales expectations. You do not have to pander to fans who only like video games where the main character carries a gun at all times.

    If you're making an indie game, then it's possible to justify experimentation. But you need to watch your financial bottom line -- if barely anyone buys your unusual games, then you may need to rely on your day job for a while, and think how you're approaching the market.

    If you're a large company which has millions to spend on game development, then you might have trouble justifying a game development decision which doesn't appeal to millions of established fans. Development costs on PS1 were cheap, but now in the era of 360/PS3 games, they are higher than ever. And you need to appease your investors.

    If you're a small to medium size localization company, then you may find it tough to justify creating official translations. There is an audience for Widget Series games (and I'm part of that audience), but it's relatively small. If a game that fans demand is only available on a platform that isn't known for being profitable, then you may have to reconsider. If the game includes a lot of music and voice actors with high fees attached, then you may not be able to afford to publish a voiced version. If no company has a history of making money on a certain category/style of game, then your company may have a tough time changing that trend. If the game which fans want attracts cynical articles and negative media coverage, then good luck publishing it...

    Like all other forms of media, money talks and BS walks. If people don't purchase not-quite-mainstream video games, then don't expect more than a few to be made or localized. Want some more games which aren't about space marines, soldiers, or vigilantes? Then buy the ones that are relevant to your interests. Strive to purchase them just a couple days or weeks after they're released. By the time you see a video game heavily discounted, the publisher is probably trying to cut its losses. And it might be out of print altogether.

    Right now it looks like there's reasons to be optimistic about the 3DS and its software. I don't think that means anything for some of quality DS games which were never localized. But there's more opportunities for publishers to make money on 3DS games. As for the Vita, I guess time will tell. *If* it succeeds, then perhaps there will be more quality PSP software released through the Playstation Store. If you're a company looking for more games to localize, then you might benefit by looking at what's available in other languages for iOS/Android. And there's an entire world of computer games from independent creators and small studios, most of which is still waiting to be discovered.
    Last edited by caddyalan; 02-28-2012 at 04:35 AM. Reason: clarified a few points, corrected mistakes

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    Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff Nyx's Avatar
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    @ Berry and Oce - I wish I could say I was thinking of THAT Abba song last night, but it was actually a Celine Dion song that came into my brain, beat me up and decided to be stuck in my head. Not sure if either of you are familiar with this song? Was a Canadian hit for the last few years. :P

    Also keep the answers coming. I realize I focused on one aspect last night, and I like the answers I'm seeing so far n terms of why less risks are taken. The only reason I picked on NoA is because I started to see this mentality all over twitter going "OMG XSEED IS THE BEST! They are giving us the Last Story!" and that savior/thankful mentality was something that was interesting to watch blossom.Like I said, there's a lot of different factors attributing to this, so I only went one route out of many.

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    News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff Severin Mira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    The only reason I picked on NoA is because I started to see this mentality all over twitter going "OMG XSEED IS THE BEST! They are giving us the Last Story!"
    One thing I noted about that was a fairly frequent interchange between 'localizing' and 'publishing', as I understand it they'll be using NoE's localization (makes no sense not to). Nothing to do with XSEED of course, and it is great that it's being brought over because it's been very enjoyable for me so far, but I do wonder if it might cause some complaints along the lines of "You got The Last Story out really quickly, why not this game?" when they actually have to do the entire localization themselves.
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    Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff Nyx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severin Mira View Post
    One thing I noted about that was a fairly frequent interchange between 'localizing' and 'publishing', as I understand it they'll be using NoE's localization (makes no sense not to). Nothing to do with XSEED of course, and it is great that it's being brought over because it's been very enjoyable for me so far, but I do wonder if it might cause some complaints along the lines of "You got The Last Story out really quickly, why not this game?" when they actually have to do the entire localization themselves.
    That's an excellent point, and I think that's a complete possibility. With TLS they have a complete localization to work and tweak if they need to and it's not like they have to do something completely from scratch the way they did with something like TitS or Corpse Party. It's amazing how people were interchanging the two words on twitter, and I fear people don't understand the difference. You may be right that this quick turnaround is something people may then take for granted and backlash with. Who knows really though if that would truly happen, but it's always possible considering how RPG fans can get. It's something to watch on twitter to see if it actually happens.

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    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    In regards to The Last Story, I am rather glad Nintendo let/gave the publishing right to XSEED. From what I heard, some past Japan-only Nintendo games like Mother 3 couldn't even be localized by other companies because Nintendo wouldn't give them the right. Perhaps with Xenoblade, Nintendo was more willing to let TLS go. Also, they themselves don't have to publish the game, but rather XSEED.
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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    It's certainly great that we have smaller publishers like XSEED around. Big, publicly-traded companies like Nintendo are getting more and more risk-averse. Even if a game has a good chance of making a small profit, a lot of the big boys these days don't want to bother. Smaller, private companies don't need to make massive profits. They need to pay staff and have extra left over to grow the business afterwards. That's why so many experienced game devs tend to split off from the big companies and found a small independent company at some point or another... better to be able to focus on a labour of love. (Of course, many of those labours tend to fail because the dev isn't used to working with a smaller pool of resources and/or forgot to hire anybody who understands the business end of things.)

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    That Guy You Hate RPGamer Staff omegabyte's Avatar
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    Personally, I hope this is a sign that Nintendo is willing to let go of their first and second party niche titles to third party publishers in the west. If we hear that Pandora's Tower is going to come over next through Aksys or Atlus or NISA or hell, even Ignition, I would be very happy.

    And I don't really want to pick on Nintendo too much, because while last year was a bit of a kick in the teeth, 2010 was one of their best years for risky localizations. They brought us Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, which was terrific, but even more surprisingly, they brought us Glory of Heracles, which was just right out of left field. So it's not like they haven't tested these waters before. I'm pretty certain that GoH did extremely poorly in sales, so that may have had something to do with 2011's lack of Nintendo love.
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