Square Enix Giving Call of Duty: Black Ops Sub And Dub Treatment

By Ishaan . September 1, 2010 . 10:08am


The recent Call of Duty games, published by Square Enix in Japan, have done reasonably well in terms of sales, with Modern Warfare 2 selling around 178,000 copies during the week of its debut. For a first-person shooter, that’s fantastic.


Now, Square are preparing a real treat for their Call of Duty fanbase. For Call of Duty: Black Ops, Square Enix are going to release two versions of the game — one with English voices and Japanese subtitles, and the other fully dubbed in Japanese.


The subtitled version will hit the market first on November 18th. The dubbed version will follow a month later on December 16th. Square revealed on their Call of Duty: Black Ops blog — yes, such a thing exists — that, in to a poll they conducted, 60% of participants voted for subtitles while 40% preferred a full dub.


Interestingly, Spike conducted a similar poll on a much larger scale last year. You can view the results here.

  • nyoron

    Sounds like they’ve got the right idea. If it goes well I hope Square would consider doing this in the US for certain games. But I’m sure they won’t.

    • thebanditking

      edit: misread the article :P

      • nyoron

        It’s not about space at all, they are releasing two separate versions a month apart.

  • Scallion

    I’m interested in this more than previous games because the setting is interesting, (I’m a history buff, and I want to see their fanciful take on the Cold War) and the weapons are unconventional for a “realistic” FPS.

    I don’t play video games dogmatically, either, and drunk four-player split-screen multiplayer FPS tournaments on the weekends are second only to drunk fighting game tournaments. Maybe first, if you can drag them out.

    That being said, I’m interested to hear what the Japanese dub will sound like. I expect tons of Engrish, Squeenix.

    • Especially for games like these, I can understand why people would want a dub so much. There’s that authentic western military slang and attitude based on reality, and it is intrinsically a cultural thing. It’s part of the whole experience. I feel that this isn’t so true with most other games, like fantasy games, where you can change the cast’s native language and there isn’t such a strong dilution of the experience’s integrity.

      Needless to say I’m glad we get the Yakuza games in their original language. I view that as the same situation, just reversed.

      • Aoshi00

        I agree, for war games especially. Just kind of weird to hear US soldiers shouting out in Jpn. Kind of like MGS3, it’s better to play it in Eng. w/ all the Cold War references and such (even though the game was made in Jpn), even though I do like some of the Jpn VAs.

  • malek86

    I wonder if japanese players like to play western games with the original audio, or if they prefer the dub wherever available.

    • Scallion

      “I can’t stand people who prefer to watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad dubbed!
      Peggy’s Japanese actress sounds so nasally and whiny! *True* fans listen to the original audio. *sniff* What’s the matter? Too illiterate to read the subtitles?”

    • Kibbitz

      I wonder too, though I guess it probably is no different from Americans with Japanese anime/games.

    • FireCouch

      I’m sure there are some Japanese people the equivalent of Weaboos in the U.S. who say, “The American voice actors are so much better than the Japanese!”

      • Aoshi00

        Well, it’s not really a matter of better, but original almost always retains the best acting and nuance. It’s like the movie Interview w/ the Vampire, if you have the blu-ray, set your PS3 language setting to Jpn and watch it. I mean Suzuoki Hirotaka and Hirota Hiroaki are great seiyuu, but it’s still better to hear Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt’s original Eng. dialogue and acting, his voice was too deep for Lestat. Problem w/ games is playing requires interaction compared to watching movies, so reading subtitles and playing might prove to be inconvenient and divert your attention.BTW, I finally got back to playing the Jpn ver of Person 4 (just beat the creep Kubo Mitsuo last night). How did call the main char. in the US ver? Kuma calls him sensei, Nanako Onii-chan, and Rise sempai.. did they just use the same suffix?

        • Teddy calls him “sensei” in English, too. Nanako is…Nanako-chan or just Nanako, I think. I don’t remember what he calls Rise though.

          • Aoshi00

            I see, but how did Nanako call the main char, I meant she calls him Onii-chan. I had no idea the main chars in P3/4 have real names until now! (when you name them there’s no default name..) Otherwise I would’ve given them official names instead of Shinomori Aoshi lol..

          • Ohh, you mean for the protag. Nanako calls him “big bro.” It comes off cheesy in here but it sounds okay in the game itself. Rise calls him senpai I think, yea.

            The protags in both P3 and 4 have “official” names in the manga, yea. But not everyone likes to address them by those. I prefer to use the manga names, personally — Minato and Souji — when I talk about them to people, but in the games, I give them custom names :)

        • FireCouch

          Yeah, I agree with you. Most of the time the original cast is better, but there are sometimes exceptions, like Valkyria Chronicles. It’s just that there are some people who won’t buy a game just because there isn’t Japanese voice acting, or will say that the English cast sucks when they are just fine. And keep in mind I’m not talking about movies, those dubs always feel wrong.

          • Aoshi00

            Yeah, I think the Eng. dub for both FF12 & 13 trump the Jpn ver too (even though the original is not bad), I suppose it’s case by case. I’ve only played a little of Valkyria Chronicles in Jpn, maybe I’ll start again in Eng. one of these days, the setting seems fitting. It does seem jarring to hear American actors dubbed in Jpn in movies, it depends I guess.. I watched the first few episodes of the Korean drama “Winter Sonata” dubbed in Jpn, I thought the Jpn is really good (plus I don’t understand Korean), but they’re still Asian so it doesn’t seem as strange :) For these kind of war games though, probably better to play it in Eng. for the genuine Marines feel, even though the Jpn players might need to depend on subtitles heavily.

  • kupomogli

    Why don’t they put everything on one Bluray and then release two 360 versions. No sense in making one consoles version incomplete because the other consoles version won’t fit on one disc.

    • It could be more complicated. That’s my guess. Most of us are seeing this like a typical movie or anime release situation, where you just click for the other audio track and it’s done. This depends on how Treyarch built the game. FF XIII was 38GBs on PS3 with the audio hard-encoded into the 1080p cutscenes. But if Square had been able to devise a different solution, we might’ve seen that game released with both audio tracks for PS3 at least.

    • Aoshi00

      Most 360 games have enough space for dual audio (eg Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2), I have the Jpn ver. of the first Gears of War and it could be played in either Jpn or Eng (audio and text), depending on the system’s language setting. Heavy Rain as well (there’s an in-game language option), the Jpn ver has Jpn/Eng, while the US ver has Portugese, French, etc. I would prefer them putting everything onto one disc instead of needing to choose different versions, space is almost always a non-issue even for DVDs (Lost Odyssey had 5 languages and Blue Dragon 3), w/ the exception of MGS4 or FF13, where two sets of videos are required.

  • YoFace

    “with Modern Warfare 2 selling around 178,000 copies during the week of its debut.”

    There are smart shoppers in Japan.

  • That ´s great SE ! *claps*
    Now if only you would do the same for your other games XD , so i dont have to buy like 3 diferent copies of FF13 for example XD ………. Or you could like release collectors / limited editions with both audios that would be nice too ««
    Custumers like choices !
    Thank you xD

  • Rebochan

    Pssh. Weeaboos. Don’t they appreciate that subtitles cannot convey the true emotion of their native tongue? Obviously, they’re just trying to be elitists.

    *sarcasm mode off*

    • Aoshi00

      I was watching Perfect Storm in Jpn the other day, George Clooney (voiced by Koyama Rikiya, Basch in FF12) and Marky Mark do sound funny in their macho Jpn voices :) You could watch a lot of the WB blu-rays in Jpn if you just switch the PS3’s language setting to Jpn. Koyama also voiced Neo in the Jpn dub of Matrix as well.

  • Aoshi00

    Actually couldn’t they put both Eng. and Jpn on the same disc instead of releasing two separate versions, Alan Wake had like 7 languages or something I heard, in-game text/menu/audio, I’ve tried watching the cutscenes in Jpn after I played it in Eng.

    Like Vanquish, there’s going to be a Jpn dub, I bet both tracks would be on one disc and you just change your system’s language setting.

    • I think it might be more of a timing issue in this case, considering the dubbed version is coming out a full month later. They probably wanted to get the subbed version out ASAP.

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