XSEED Blog – How To Do What You Love (If Your Love is Nerdy and Awesome)

By Tom Lipschultz - Localization Specalist . November 2, 2010 . 2:45pm

Greetings, Earthlings – and other Siliconera readers!


xseed01 My name is Tom Lipschultz, and I’m a localization specialist at XSEED Games. I’m also XSEED’s resident Falcom fanboy, since long before getting this job…which makes it all the more awesome that I’m now the dude in charge of all the text you read when you play our Ys releases!


Which begs the question: How does one wind up getting paid for haphazardly throwing Castlevania references into games he loves?


Well…let’s find out, shall we?


First things first, you’ll need to learn Japanese (assuming you’re interested in localization, anyway). College classes are probably the best place to start, but there are also plenty of correspondence courses out there, too…and you should never underestimate the value of an import RPG and/or untranslated anime DVD! I learned half my Japanese through college, and taught myself the other half by playing an eclectic assortment of games including PopoloCrois Monogatari I & II, Xenosaga Episode I, Moon: Remix RPG Adventure and Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, all in Japanese.


Next, build up a portfolio. I did a two-year stint as an assistant English teacher in Japan through the JET Programme (an experience I would heartily recommend to anyone who wants to earn a living in localization – though I hear JET’s going the way of the dodo bird, so you might have to settle for an eikaiwa position (look it up!)), then a bit of freelance work through sites like translatorscafe.com while also fan-translating anime, movies and games on the side (51 episodes of PopoloCrois anime and the first Higurashi no Naku Koro ni live-action movie, among others).


I also lucked into a game design position at one of EA’s studios for a good, long while – which began as a Japanese-language customer service position for an MMORPG. So yeah, that probably helped matters a little! The lesson is, always keep your options open, I guess, since you never know how handy some seemingly unrelated bit of experience may prove to be in the end.


Finally, become very, very active in the gaming community. Write eloquently-written game reviews, post on message boards and email game companies like an annoying git whenever something new is announced that you’d really, really like to see one of them release (but make sure to use polite language, proper grammar and lots of compelling arguments as to why you think Game A would be a worthwhile investment for Company B – regardless of appearances, your emails ARE being read by someone, and if that someone is impressed with you, he/she/it WILL remember your name!).


Oh, and send out your resume. EVERYWHERE. Don’t be picky – just plop that baby down whenever and wherever you can! Staple it to prospective employers’ foreheads, if you must – just as long as you don’t draw TOO much blood in the process!




Eventually, you might just get lucky and have a company like XSEED Games take note of your crazy fandom for something they’ve recently acquired…and with all your other qualifications and such, they might just be like, “BRING US THIS MAN/WOMAN/OTHER!” And then in you go!


I count myself very, very lucky to have gotten where I am, and I hope my dedication to the Ys titles shines through. I was still getting my feet wet with Ys SEVEN, but I really fell into a good groove with Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys I & II Chronicles, and I really can’t wait for all y’all to play them, and review them and LOVE THEM AS IF THEY WERE YOUR CHILDREN. Because let me tell you, I’m really proud of my editing on them, and I think any and all Ys fans are going to be absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. And I hope to see more fans such as myself get hired by game companies in the future, because I think dedication makes all the difference between quality work and soulless corporate mash.


Felghana’s release is today, folks. Don’t forget to pick up your copy! I want to read some glowing reviews before the week is out…so get to it! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

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  • *obligatory post whenever Love-De-Lic is mentioned* I really enjoy these publisher posts. Stellar work, all!

  • Hello there Wyrdward! Fancy (not really) meeting you here! (I’m Alexis598 that one stalker and lutker from the Ys forum that you probably don’t remember).

  • Give us word on Half-Minute Hero Second’s localization! >8O

    • and do it in less than a half minute >83

      • And if they don’t… they gotta pay (The Time Goddess).

  • Glad to hear from you Tom! :D

    I guess I’m on my way to my geeky/awesome job. The very beginnings… a job at a supermarket, I get an interview in like two days. Nice!

    And someday I’ll draw great comics and make great games ;D

  • Feynman

    Tell ya what, Tom. I’ll love Ys games as though they were my children so long as you make sure the localization contains my recommended daily dose of wall-crushing goodness.

    Deal? =P

  • I loooove XSEED.

    By thy way, i wish to politely ask you to please release the latest Falcom game, Zero no Kiseki, refusing this may bring unhappines and/or nausea to my psp and my beloved body.

    Thank You very, very much.

    Love, WildArms XOXOXO

    • They will probably after they release Sora no Kiseki but due to the insane amount of work each game carries the closest release Zero no Kiseki would be have is in 2013.

  • Tom you beautiful nerd, hire me for Brandish PSP!

    • Kris

      Seriously, you should do that. Nobody knows Brandish better than this guy.

    • Yeah! I love Brandish and this is the guy for the job! Come on XSEED! You can do it!!!

  • Hopefully XSEED will pick up the unknown Falcom announcement/hopefully Ys Origins PSP port that’s revealed this Thursday in Japan ;D

    • Wait… this is WEIRD, IS LIKE, you knew what is coming!? Aksys have underground channels to get this kind of information!?

      • Haha, no, that’s just wishful thinking on my part as a fan :)

        • Hopefully Aksys will pick up the known Cave DoDonPachi Resurrection 360 port that was revealed on August 14 2010 in Japan ;D

          Just wishful thinking on my part as a fan ;)

        • lol, well, first they have to localize zero no kiseki, i made a “letter” below they can’t deny

    • I either want Origins, IV or V PSP, but it may end up being SEVEN PS3 since Falcom mentioned they wanted to do one.

      Whatever the case may be, I hope XSEED will bring it over, go Tom!

  • Arcm

    After checking amazon looks like I’ll have my limited edition copy by Thursday. Ugh, so many games coming out for the holidays, just started FOTNS eariler and it’s amazing.

  • I’m buying the limited edition on Thursday. You guys at XSEEDs deserve my money. And I certainly will spread the word on how good it is.

  • The Miku Hatsune in her leek car is absolutely adorable. XD

    Great blog Tom! Thanks for taking the time to write it up for us!

  • I will hold you responsible for any future resumes stapled to onto executives.

  • RAVENKam

    Thanks Tom for an interesting insider take on getting into the localisation biz. I’ll be signing up to a local language school soon to get some formal teaching in Japanese but I totally agree, I’ve learn’t so much from just anime and import gaming it’s remarkable.

  • Joanna

    It’s always great hearing about people who like their jobs. :)

    As for myself, I am just horrible at languages. So the most I can aim for is editor. xD

  • “…learned half my Japanese through college, and taught myself the other half by playing an eclectic assortment of games including PopoloCrois Monogatari I & II, Xenosaga Episode I, Moon: Remix RPG Adventure and Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, all in Japanese.”

    Valuable advice! Those are words I live by ;)

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