Tales Producer Discusses The West And Shortening Localization Times

By Ishaan . May 9, 2012 . 6:00pm


Tales series producer, Hideo Baba, is back with another community interview where he fields questions from western Tales fans. He also takes the opportunity to show off some Tales merchandise, like a Tales of Xillia pillow. You can watch the clip above, but we’ve transcribed some of Baba’s more interesting quotes below:


On how Namco could handle Tales differently in the west:

“This is a very difficult problem. We are proud of making the Tales of series a distinctly Japanese RPG. But, for it to be accepted overseas requires all kinds of promotions and things from all angles. We consider this an important issue which we continue to think deeply about.”


On localization and the gap between Japanese and overseas releases:

“Although this isn’t what makes it difficult, Japan is the biggest market for the Tales of series. You all know this already. We do want to have people all over the world play. As an RPG, there’s a lot of text. To localize everything at the same time takes a lot of time, cost, and even work on development. So we can’t help but launch in Japan first, but we’re always looking for ways to make the process more efficient and bring the launch dates closer together.”

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  • RmanX1000

    Dont care how long it takes. Just localize em.

  • MrRobbyM

    …at least he didn’t totally put down localizations.

  • Is it just me or couldn’t he be more obvious that xillia is coming to the west next? o_O

  • Part of the problem is that not much effort goes into establishing the series in the West.  Very few games come over so no brand is established.  No brand recognition leads to lack of interest, even among those that might otherwise be interested.

  • That producer… he doesn’t waste any opportunity to advertise merchandise…

    • Raharu95

      Something in your post makes it sound likes is a bad thing… But I’m not sure what

      • Did it? Hmm… Well, he didn’t miss any chances! It’s not at all a bad thing, it is a business! But, it is something that you pick up first before any of his answers from this whole interview. And I didn’t mean to sound like a ******.

  • Time doesn’t matter actually. Confirmation is all we need.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Frankly, short of successively successful Tales games, the Tales franchise will never build the brand recognition that it needs to consistently succeed in the west. Which means, they need hop to it with marketing.

    On that note, it goes without saying that cost of marketing is taken into effect by them when considering the merit in localizing the series, but it makes me question what that cost is when you hardly see these Tales games advertised. Thanks to the pre-order bit with Gamestop, I saw a little marketing for Graces. Abyss on the other hand, well, I saw nothing for that. Clearly, word of mouth isn’t doing anything for Tales in the west, so Namco themselves need to MAJORLY step up their marketing effort if they really want this series to be successful globally.

    Honestly, it doesn’t make sense that they want to see the series do better in the west but are simultaneously unwilling to foot the bill for that success. This is a prime case of “you have to spend money to make money.” Without a major push, this series won’t cut it. The PS2 generation was infinitely more friendly to JRPGs, and their failure to capitalize on that has followed them into this gen. I don’t even play Tales games (I’ll be picking up Graces and Abyss over summer), but it hurts me to see this series do poorly and Namco do nothing as if the lack of success is puzzling.

    I’m sure there are lots of other things taken into account by them but, at its heart, this is simply an issue of risk vs. reward, and they’re chasing the reward while being too scared to take the risks necessary to get it.

    • Spirit Macardi

      This is a problem I see with a lot of Namco properties, not just Tales. Really, I think the only games of theirs that actually receive advertisement in the west are Soul Calibur, Tekken, and Ridge Racer. If their well-known properties need advertisement to thrive, then that should go double for their niche titles.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Yea, it’s more or less an issue for Namco across the board. I focused it on Tales for the sake of this article, but it’s really much bigger than that.

      • They even hired Kaz Hirai to advertise Ridge Racer, maybe they could ask him to do the same. Just joking :P

        • boundries_san

          Well Tales sales is always good in Japan so why should they hire a Japanese actor to advertise Tales there again.

          Maybe hiring a famous actress or actor in U.S or Europe will be able to incerease their sales however, their expectation for sales will skyrocket lol and if they misfire there, they will surely never bring the game heres anymore.

      • kroufonz

         they do advertise their try of “western appeal” enslaved get big marketing even inversion get decent marketing they even give space for it in e3 2011, at the same time no way tales getting even a little bit of marketing lke those title

    • Ladius

      To be honest, I think things are more difficult. Tales of Graces’ Gamestop campaign is something you won’t see for most jrpgs except for FF and KH, and they had a tons of ads on anime and videogame sites, from Crunchyroll to Gamefaqs. It was a major step up from anything they did before with the series in the west, and yet sales have apparently been disappointing.

      What you’re suggesting is to make another step up in their marketing budget, but that would mean going to a level of costs that’s usually reserved to first party games or big sellers. Do we really think a series that has western sales in line with Disgaea or Persona (or even less, apparently Disgaea 4 did better than Graces f in its first month) can justify allocating such resources to marketing?

      Not only those kind of tactics would drain a major amount of money, but they could very well be aiming at a target that doesn’t even exist. Of course there will be many jrpganimeetc fans who never heard of Tales and could give it a chance, but the total audience itself is kinda small in the US and chances are that someone interested in those topics has already known the franchise in some form, while the overwhelming majority of western gamers wouldn’t care regardless of advertisement because of aestheticgraphicsetc.

      Personally, I think the best thing they can do is budget their localizations in the most cost-efficient way (I absolutely love voiced skits, but they’re probably a major issue for them), outsource the localization of spinoffs to other publishers like XSeedAtlusNISAAksys and localize every mothership game themselves in order to keep a steady presence in the niche. Limited editions could also be a decent factor to improve revenues and first day purchases, and DLCs can at least partially offset the low sales.

      • Opn

        actually nisa and xseed offered to help with the localization heck nisa tried localizing some of the tales games not released over here like vesperia PS3…and it didnt work out well.

        • Ladius

          Yeah, apparently Namco (just as many other big publishers) doesn’t like to have its key franchises handled by other publishers. There have been exceptions, but so far Tales games have been a strictly “either us or nothing” affair, and I think that doesn’t really make sense for minor entries like spinoffs or outsourced motherships that won’t be localized anyway.

          Hiring the old NISAXSeedetc brigade would let them make at least some money from those games in the west, while keeping the fanbase happy and well-fed and making the franchise constantly present in the market so that people are ready to buy the mothership games they localize directly.

          • Opn

            yep its kinda self centered and dumb guess namco just has too much pride to let tales go to anyone else or even have someone help translation to cut the cost possibly what namco could also do is just put some of the old games they didnt localize (like TOD2) or some of the old ones like TOE that should make the fanbase happy and it’ll be download only and it might get more people interested in the franchice :).

      • As someone that isn’t a Tales fan, my objective thoughts on this are that Abyss and Graces F were the wrong games to spearhead Tales’ new western initiative with. The way I see it:

        Abyss: Looks god awful in screenshots and video (although, Laura assures me it looks much better on a 3DS screen), is a port of an old game that apparently has something of a “reputation” for being one of the more off-kilter Tales titles. I can see why it may have been a good fit for Europe, though, since they never got it before.

        Graces F: The art. Symphonia and Vesperia are still among the more successful and recognized Tales games in the west. I honestly don’t think very many people even in the western Tales community care for the Team Destiny titles. From what I can observe, people prefer the more realistically-proportioned/less stylized Team Symphonia titles.

        As I said, I’m not a Tales fan by any means, so I could be entirely off the mark here. This is just the general “vibe” I get from seeing all the debates around here and on other Tales sites.

        • Ladius

          Sadly, I think one of the issues here is exactly that there aren’t many chances of a Tales game ever being able to really unite the fanbase and make the franchise more relevant in the west (barring some major step up in budget to make graphics more appealing, a less divisive art direction and a marketing push at least on the level of Graces f), but I can absolutely see where are you coming from considering the fanbase’s debates. 

          I think one of the issues regarding the series in the west is that its fanbase is extremely fractured, conflictual and prone to infighting, even more than FF’s while being overwhelmingly inferior in numbers. You can find pretty much any position in there, and a lot of people ready to defend it in extreme ways: there isn’t that kind of “consensus”, or even that sense of friendliness, that allows other fanbases to keep a reasonable amount of unity while retaining legitimately different takes on the various games.
          As in everything web-related, negative persons are often the most vocal, too, and the end result is that while extremely niche games often have a compact fanbase that’s able to push their games to new players, the Tales fans are usually really good at belittling their own series.

          If you look at the discussions surrounding Xillia, you will see that a lot of people are already dismissing it because it has allegedly less contents than other entries, because it was “rushed” (even if the original affirmation has been twisted in every possible way, to the point of equating speculations and facts), because it could get an updated port etc, and things will get even worse when they announce a new mothership since ToX won’t be the most recent entry anymore. The same has happened after Graces f’s announcement with people going straight from pestering Namco’s Facebook page asking for a localization to trolling it because of it being a Wii port (the Tales fanbase is also really affected by system wars, sadly), not being the latest entry, having a different take on the battle system, or simply not being Xillia or Vesperia PS3.

          • Yeah, this is exactly the vibe I get from the Tales community. That there’s no overwhelming consensus on just what the series needs to be. At the same time, Namco have played a role in dividing the fanbase, too, perhaps similarly to how Square Enix have handled Kingdom Hearts.

            Some people say that Symphonia is still the most popular Tales of them all to date because Nintendo helped market it. If that’s the case, one would assume that more effort would have been put into further Tales games for the “Nintendo audience,” but that wasn’t the case for that entire generation.Then, there was the fact that the Xbox 360 came out well ahead of the other current-gen systems, which left Namco with little choice but to start their HD development on that platform, as ill-suited it may have been for JRPGs, purely from a sales standpoint.

            When Vesperia was ported to PS3, it was well-received in Japan, but there was no chance of it being released in the west. Meanwhile, Symphonia 2 on Wii looked like they did try to make some sort of an attempt to see if they could pull that audience back in, but that game isn’t considered to be very good. Again, this is a case of not being able to hit the right audience with the right kind of game.

            They then followed up with Graces on Wii. Since Graces was following up Symphonia 2, I could see people being wary of it, since that previous Wii Tales game wasn’t very good. Of course, immediately after it released, the news of the bugs/glitches hit, which surely hindered sales to an extent. And again, this game was not released for the west. At the same time, on the DS front, Innocence and Hearts were following up on Tales of the Tempest, which also did a great job of souring users that were introduced to the series on the DS.

            Then, finally, Graces F was ported to PS3 with enhancements, where Tales managed to find an audience once again, quite by coincidence, since the PS3 happens to be Japan’s de-facto Blu-Ray player for anime fans and collectors, several of whom also happen to be Tales fans. With this in mind, Namco settled on PS3 as their platform of choice and followed up with Xillia and a big anniversary event, which helped push the game to big numbers.

            In the meantime, Abyss and Innocence get bad looking ports and Graces F gets localized for the west. Games that, from what I can tell, no one really asked for. To this day, western Tales fans seem obsessed with Vesperia on PS3 and Xillia, which is Team Symphonia’s latest major project.

            I don’t know… it just feels like, whenever there was even a slight opportunity, Namco managed to botch it either through incompetence or unfortunate timing. Ultimately, Tales found its new home on PS3, but this was quite by coincidence. It makes me wonder if they really have any sort of strategy in place for the series.

          • Dimentionalist

            Actually, I can recall the months leading up to Tales of Graces’ announcement for the West. Far more people asked for Graces, strangely enough. I actually counted the requests on Facebook, various forums and comment segments (including this very site!) and on Rich’s Twitter. The overwhelming consensus was that fans wanted Graces… kind of like how many fans are now clamoring for Xillia. Tales fans change their mind easily.

            Among the importers, though, Team Destiny is usually the preferred team.

            I do agree with you, though. This fanbase is divided, and Namco’s inconsistent localizations only serve to further the divide.

            (Also, Xillia wasn’t developed by Team Symphonia. It’s mostly by people who developed Hearts, although I’m pretty sure the character modeler for Vesperia did Xillia’s characters as well)

          • boundries_san

            I love that there are some people who understand why Tales does not sell here. It is not about the game, it is all about the fans which thought that Tales must be flawless in every aspect and if there is something that does not suit their taste, they will shout in all corner telling the game sucks.

            In the end, i can even said that the fans here is even worst that Sonic fans who complain about Sonic physics as this fanbase is even worst. They complain from sounds, VA, battle system, story, hell even the consoles become involved here.
            which makes me sad as those people who complain are mostly those people who ask the game to come here and the moment they arrived they just shoved it aside and said that it is not what they wanted.

            Here i can only that Bamco will still bring some of the game here as i kinda feel bad for Bamco and Jrpg genre as Tales series should not even loses to FF series as FF 13 is just not as good as Tales but how can they sale much better here?

            Well enough ranting. As long as Tales still maintains its souls as animesque Jrpg, I will keep supporting whether it comes here or not.^^

        • Anime10121

          Actually Abyss is generally accepted as one of the high points in the series (at least as far as plot goes), Tales of Legendia is the one that people tend to hate on (although that game is worth playing for the music alone, GOD DAT OST :P) as its not made by either of the two main Tales branches Team Symphonia or Team Destiny.  If I recall correctly Legendia was made by some Tekken staff, which is why Go Shiina did the music to your ears OST for the game.

          The reason people in the west dont care much for the Destiny titles is only because (aside from Graces) only one of them released in the US, Tales of Destiny.  They are generally held to have the better gameplay of the two and are also in JP the highest selling games in the series.  From what I recall JP only releases Tales of Destiny II and Tales of Rebirth are two of the highest ranking games in the series.  Tales of Destiny I and Tales of Destiny II are the 2nd and 3rd highes selling games in the series right under Symphonia and Tales of Rebirth sold close to 600,000 in Japan alone.

          If you wanna see how well the series did on their original consoles heres a link

          •  That’s actually quite true, especially with how the main characters seemed to be more rounded out in that entry. Regardless I don’t think it should matter much what system it comes out on, show your support so eastern game companies will want to bring titles like this over here if not sooner.

          • Anime10121

            Oh trust me when I say I buy every Tales of release that’s released in America, I’m not one of those fidgity fans that flake if its not on my console of choice, I’m a working adult, I’ll buy the console.  I dont care what system it comes out on, I dont know how you got the vibe that I dont support them from my comment (if it was directed to me).

          • Yeah, I’m aware of Legendia’s reputation, but even Baba spoke of Tales of the Abyss in that one Iwata Asks feature like it was one of those quirky experimental titles with an unlikable lead character that you really had to play as for several hours to get into. It isn’t the kind of game I’d choose to introduce the series to potentially new fans with.

          • @Anime101210:disqus  Comment wasn’t aimed at you at any way or form, it was just an addendum in compliance to what you were saying. You’re talking to someone if they come across a game you don’t see here very often like Growslanser or Radiata Story, they snatch it the hell up the same day (provided I have the funds). It gets me hyped and to try and get other people interested in games like that so they can see the day of light in western countries.

          • Anime10121

             Oh ok then, well you and me are on exactly the same page, because I do the same for most japanese games that are released here too.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Woah there. I can see how that could be perceived from my post, but don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to suggest anything.

        If it’s unclear, what I’m saying is that asking for greater success while being unwilling to take measures necessary to achieve it simply doesn’t make sense. I’m not saying they SHOULD spend more on marketing, I’m merely observing that better marketing would be a good step towards seeing more success with the series. I’ll be the last to suggest throwing money into a pit, which is why I also said that they’ve got more to consider than what I’d mentioned.

        As for Graces’ marketing… I’m aware that it’s a cut above what the series has been afforded prior, but that doesn’t exactly make it good. Again, I don’t mean to advise they blow the bank on marketing, but the placement of Graces’ advertising felt, by and large, as if they were preaching to the choir. If you’re willing to make the (reasonable) assumption that a JRPG/anime/whatever fan is likely to have heard of the series, then wouldn’t it make sense to try and reach beyond that audience with what little they’re apparently willing to put to marketing? You’re saying that target may not exist, but what ifs aren’t really the best territory to take this discussion when numbers show that their current tactic isn’t working. If they won’t spend more on advertising, cool, but I’d like them to be more strategic with it in the future.

        While I can agree with your suggestions on budgeting localizations, the notion of Namco outsourcing the localizations of side titles is a bit far-fetched. It’s my understanding that offers have been made in regard to assistance with localizing the series and, as the lack of titles shows, those offers have never been accepted. Besides, that then brings into question how they’ll split the profit and whatnot, since none of our niche publishers are exactly in the business of contract work. It’s just a whole other can of worms.

        • Ladius

          As I see it, the issue is that the Tales series is targeted from the start to an extremely specific niche that isn’t likely to improve outside of those already interested in jrpgs and animes, and Namco itself knows it very well, as Baba’s interviews have proven.

          Expensive marketing strategies aren’t simply meant to get some new people on board (the animejrpg fans who never heard of Tales, in our case), they are meant to repay themselves in full by catering to the whole market and gaining a lot of support, and that’s why you won’t see them employed for niche games that haven’t a big market to appeal to in the first place (the PersonaDisgaea examples, to name a few). 

          Graces f’s marketing is probably the most they could do with those conditions, since having a month of Gamestop coverage meant having a lot of “neutral” gamers see the game for the first time, while ads on anime and videogame sites tried to attract like minded individuals.

          Regarding the whole localization outsourcing deal, yeah, they won’t do it, and they’ve already refused many attempts in the past. That was just my personal take on what they could do to improve the situation, but I agree that it’s very unlikely they will try to work with other parties to push the series, even if those other companies would be enthusiastic about it.

    • Anime10121

      Let me warn you in advance that the Graces story is EXTREMELY corny and the plot has the vibe (constant talk of friendship or whatever) of a saturday morning cartoon, however the gameplay is among the best in the series.  There is a couple of awesome characters while the rest are pretty meh inducing and the story is ok (although nowhere near Symphonia, Abyss, Vesperia, or even Legendia IMO). The world is interconnected kinda like FFXII but nowhere near looking as good graphically.

      Abyss is the game where the plot is great, with all around great characters and antagonists.  The game has an overworld much like the psOne Final Fantasies and the music is better too.  The main character you’ll probably find annoying as crap for the first quarter of the game, but you’ll come to understand why after reaching a pivital point in the game.  The gameplay is pretty much the same as it is in Symphonia and Vesperia but considering you’ve never played either it’ll be extremely fun as action RPG (although not quite as solid as Abyss’ but its made by a different team).

      All in all Graces F for great gameplay (and Pascal :P) with little else
      Tales of Abyss for good gameplay and great everything else

      • MrRobbyM

        I can back this up as I am playing it now. On top of the corny script and plot, there’s lots and I mean LOTS of back tracking and lots of “they couldn’t bother to animate that?” moments. I suggest skipping every cutscene to save you time and just play for the battles.

  • He said he’ll like to see more of this spin-off, gaiden, titled Tales game with the player playing as themselves as their avatars in the future so hooray for a possible RM game in the future! I love those, even if I can’t understand the story!

    And those Tales Of magazine look cool and I’m interest in reading them.

    I really hope they can find an improved way of localizing the Tales game to the west, because I love them and want to play them and understand the story in my own native language! It’s kinda tough learning Japanese.

  • Auragar

    Hopefully Xilla and Innocence R come soon. :(

    • raymk

      I can go for Innocence R but unless Xillia has a directors cut they can keep it and give us the next one.

      • Auragar

        Well… Ok. I guess that would make sense.

      • boundries_san

        I don’t understand why everybody keep asking for DIrector cut for Xilia here. So when Xilia arrive here and no DC u guys won’t buy the game?

  • They need to R(E)think their development process ;) If SE can pull it off in “just” several months (FF XIII/XIII-2), Namco Bandai can do it too.

    • Do you want quality or do you want a single linear dungeon for a game?

      • Quality is a matter of opinion here : I didn’t like FFXIII but some fans LOVE it !  And then, you have XIII-2 which isn’t a “single linear dungeon”. So I don’t understand your comment :p I could say the same thing for Kingdom Hearts : The 3D one is coming this summer in EU/US. 

        Plus, I was talking about localization here and the one made for FF XIII was nearly perfect :)

        • Ladius

          I think we should consider the average script size in the Tales series before comparing them to other games’ localization process.

          Tales is one of the most text-heavy jrpg series out there along with Trails in the Sky and Ar Tonelico, with tons of event scenes, skits, optional events and npc dialogues (with a failry high turnover of new texts), and the decision to voice hundreds of skits probably made the localizations far more heavy, both in terms of costs and of time. One of the side effects of FF13’s structure, by comparison, was that the game’s script was pretty much made up by event scenes, with little to no npcs and almost no optional conversations.

          • Nitraion

            Yup you’re right Tales always have skits and also unique battle quotes witch FF doesn’t have

        • enorka miho

          well said my man.. 

  • Would like to see the other Tales of the world psp games come over!
    I have the first one and loved it!
    Would be nice to play with more characters and a bit of a better character customization.

  • Ladius

    It’s really nice for Baba to keep in touch with the series’ western fanbase, I really hope for some Tales-related news at E3.

    Other than that, the Tales of Festival at the beginning of June will apparently see the unveiling of a new mothership entry and games for 3DS, PSP and Vita, at least according to Yoshizumi.

  • I liked the old theory that the Tales studio just plain hates the West.

    • More that they hate Americans, instead.

      • KuroiKen

        And they’re right in doing that.

        • Hraesvelgr

          And I see no point in making that kind of comment.

      • AuraGuyChris

        And especially our poor European brethen.

    • Nemesis_Dawn

      Or it could be that Westerners will find excuses to not buy Tales games when they do get localized.

  • Strain42

    While I am not personally a player of the Tales of games, I do admire and support any Japanese developer that takes the time to acknowledge and show some respect to the Western audiences.

  • Visa Vang

    I want to sit on Asbel’s head because he’s really annoying and indecisive.

    • MrRobbyM


      Sorry, first thing that came to mind.

  • I love the Tale series, I’ve known about it since I was 10 but have yet to play any of them, and the main one I was hyped for the most before it came out was Tales of Symphonia. I mostly know the about how great the series is from reviews from EGM and X-play xD. Anyway, some of you have already pointed out, advertising is an issue with Namco, but it hasn’t always been the case because did use to big up many of their titles before the last system generation, and then it started to gradually pander down to where it is now, and this can honestly be applied to any game regardless if it’s from the west or not. Advertisement costs money, and with the advent of many gamers getting gaming news online and not always out of a magazine (which I actually prefer) it makes it difficult at times,especially if funds have not been allocated to account for advertisement or just an unwillingness to do so to pinch cash or not chance it.

    I don’t think it’s just that or a niche market, but if anyone is going to put forth the effort to reach out to some of these companies who have games that people are interested about or could get people interested in, and that’s along with the fact that a lot of JRPGs run on the same formula gameplay or story wise at times, and granted that is the same case with WRPGs. That’s not even accounting for games in other genres that are gems that don’t get enough attention or the japanese creators will not bring out to other countries due to the brand possibly not being recognizable enough.

  • I like this kind of communication he’s participating in.  While they have been honest in saying that Tales targets Japan foremost, it’s also not an active slight to the West.  I’d really like to play Xillia in my native English someday, so I hope they can maintain optimism. 

    • AuraGuyChris

      Except we’re still getting screwed either way, but with a “humble” reason that reminds us how we’re not that loved.

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Who is getting screwed? They gave us a chance to buy Graces F. If we don’t buy it, they see that other Tales games won’t sell here either, so they won’t bring them. It’s not rocket science.

  • dis iz a good sign.

  • I hope they start with Tales of Vesperia for the PS3. I’m dying to get that version.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      XBOX 360 EXCLUSIVE (for the west atleast) WHY DO YOU ALL NOT UNDERSTAND THIS.

      • Nitraion

        I know it already but my brain doesn’t want to understand :|

        • Luna Kazemaru

           MAKE IT >:#

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        In fairness, that’s never really meant anything for any other third party release before. Bioshock…Mass Effect 2…Ninja Gaiden 2…

        • Luna Kazemaru

          Not really fair seeing as how Bioshock and mass effect alone are triple A titles come on now.

          • Nemesis_Dawn

            Even more reason for them to stay exclusive, actually.

    • boundries_san

      This is like asking Halo for PS3 lol.

  • MrKappa

    This whole community questioning thing to me just seems like nothing but soulless PR.
    I hate to say it but I doubt Namco is doing or is gonna do anything to change how they go about the Tales series and when I say that I only speak to how they release them.

    • MrRobbyM

      This, unfortunately.

    • Nemesis_Dawn

      There was this little game they released called Tales of Graces F. Maybe if people want to see future Tales games, they’ll buy Graces F…

      Oh, who am I kidding? They’ll just continue to blame Namco and not take ANY responsibility for their own actions.

      • boundries_san

        A like for u for stating the truth of this fanbase.^^

  • SpecDotSign

    Localize the game. English subs and if they want/dub it, I don’t mind. Then, put it on the PSN for $35-$40. OR, make limited quantities and have special edition packages ala Nis America or Atlus. Why is Bamco so backwards thinking? Argh!

  • tales of magazines! ALL OF MY WANT

  • enorka miho

    I like tales games.. But not a great fan.. Reason? Because I do not get characters that can make me swoon over or really relate to in Tales game.. Well, Yuri is exceptional, though he looks like a woman to many.. Story wise, hmm.. Its alright.. Its just the character..

    Nevertheless perhaps many people will not agree.. I still think that maybe.. just maybe the reason they are not that popular in the west, is because of their too “child” like characters while that does not hold true for KH. But KH has a dark and confusing plot that balance it out..

    • MrRobbyM

      People really mistake Yuri as a woman? Really? I’d get it if it was fanart but Yuri is the manliest protag in all of the recent Tales games.

      • enorka miho

        Well, if he did not open his mouth to speak, I think those who had minor to major hard time differentiating anime style man from woman might think he is a lady which is the most lament I’d seen amidst the trolls.. 

        But yea, I really like him him allot, I mean he is the manliest guy out there and still has a silky long hair.. Lol.. 

    • Yuri has been the only character I could relate to as well…besides the “femininity.” I don’t think he’s feminine at all. Must be Troy Baker.

      Anyway, I’m inclined to agree. Just because Baba doesn’t want his games to look realistic doesn’t mean he should sacrifice the anime look to his games. It’s not impossible to add more textures to a character and not destroy the “anime” feel. Just look at CyberConnect2 and Atlus’ Catherine.

    • raymk

      I don’t see yuri as a woman at all I really never saw that..

  • The_Real_Oyashiro

    I like the Tales games, but I’m glad I’m not a Die hard fan. Bamco is to stingy when it comes to localizing them.

    • boundries_san

      The fanbase itself is stingy on their wallet for really buy the game too.

  • AuraGuyChris

    “Although this isn’t what makes it difficult, Japan is the biggest market for the Tales of series. You all know this already. We do want to have people all over the world play. As an RPG, there’s a lot of text. To localize everything at the same time takes a lot of time, cost, and even work on development. So we can’t help but launch in Japan first, but we’re always looking for ways to make the process more efficient and bring the launch dates closer together.”

    Oh, I know. Your guys couldn’t complete that “Pa…” word in Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox360. I know it’s hard. I really do.

    • Nemesis_Dawn

      What are you complaining about? 360 owners, like myself, got to play it. PS3 owners, like myself, didn’t get to play as Patty either. 

  • takopako

    i love the console tales games and have never been disappointed. XD i do wish, however, that they would stop all of this exclusive stuff…i know they have their reasons, but i want to be selfish. lol.

  • Xien12

    They could, you know, just release it as an international edition with the option to switch between English and Japanese text. That way we can just import it.

    • Solomon_Kano

      That makes absolutely no sense. Essentially, you just asked them to localize it but skip the part where they make available in English-speaking countries. It would be nice if the games were import friendly, but having importing as the ONLY way to get it

      Please, clarify if I’m misconstruing your point, but that doesn’t sound like a good idea.

    • Nemesis_Dawn

      Why would they do that if they’re not going to localize it? Yes, it’d be cool if all companies did what Square Enix did with Star Ocean: The Last Hope for PS3, where the Japanese and Western editions were pretty much the same, BUT the only way it makes sense to do that is to release both versions at around the same time.

      Otherwise, why would they put English text in Japanese release and stop English speakers from buying the localized versions?

    • This is not Aniplex. The Japanese game industry isn’t that capable or interested in going for a localization of that scale, not like it makes any sense whatsoever. Plus, we’ve seen worse things they’ve done when localization is left mostly in their hands, like what happened to BlazBlue CS: Extend.

      I think you’re applying two different arguments by accident.

  • This dude needs to have a talk with some people from Atlus. They seem to have figured out how to sell their extremely “Japanese” games in the West pretty well.

    • SolidusSnake

      lol, no offense to Tales fans, but which Tales games have you play as a man who cheats on his pregnant girlfriend, and finds himself trapped in dreams of a demented puzzle game that could result in his death? Or, which Tales game begins at the end of the world, and has you play as a human turned demon who has the opportunity to shape the new world in his own image? Pretty big difference between Tales and Atlus games, imo :3

      • Jirin

        Personas 3 and 4 are very Japanese games that take place in a high school and they both sold well.

      • I’m not directly comparing the games, my point is that Atlus has managed to find an audience in the USA who are more than willing to buy games that would have been considered “too Japanese” by nearly any other publisher. When Atlus has managed to find success in the US and Europe with games like Persona and Catherine, it seems almost laughable for the producer of the far less esoteric Tales series to lament that his games are “too Japanese”. Though I’m sure what Namco executives actually want is for each release to sell a million copies, which is also laughable.

      • Jen Parker

        If you’d play any Persona game you’d know they’re drenched in Japanese culture. Atlus advertises them, teases the fans, does EVERYTHING right to sell these games like hot cakes. Namco SHOULD look to them to see how to sell really Japanese games in the west. Atlus games usually are also pretty niche , but they do it right. Namco has failed a lot with even pushing it for the niche, there’s people not buying Graces for reasons that could of been prevented entirely by proper advertising :( . 

        • SolidusSnake

           @gatotsu911:disqus @Jirin:disqus The problem isn’t really that Tales is “too Japanese” (what does that even mean?) but that the series appeals to a very narrow group of people: namely, folks who are addicted to shounen anime, and want a lengthy RPG chock full of the tropes associated with that medium. Persona has themes, aesthetics, and gameplay that appeal to a much wider group of people, even if it is steeped in Japanese culture.

          • Jirin

            I had to Wikipedia ‘shounen’, and while I can’t say the comparison is unfair, I think there are plenty of people who hate shounen style anime who might like Tales.  I watched anime maybe twice in the last year, but all the anime I do end up liking falls more under the ‘seinen’ description, and Tales seems to fall somewhere between the two.

            At least I don’t think you can reasonably claim games like Final Fantasy are oriented at an older age range than most Tales games.  Final Fantasy games just have graphics that look less like anime.

            I suppose you could make the argument that Persona games appeal more because they’re darker and Final Fantasy games appeal more because of the graphics.

            Kingdom Hearts, on the other hand, is much more ‘shounen’-like than Tales, how’s that selling?

            Don’t think you can get away with attacking anime fans while cleverly separating yourself out from the group you’re attacking.  ;)

          • That’s kind of short-selling the Tales series. Sure their primary audience is younger teens and shonen fans, but their appeal extends to JRPG fans in general, and the character writing has a reputation for charming even adults with more “mature” tastes. Symphonia was helped by a number of outside circumstances, sure, but it wasn’t a breakout hit for nothing.

            Not to mention, the Persona games are pretty shonen-y, especially Persona 3.

    • boundries_san

      Well the problem is the expectation of the fans and of sales estimation is different between both companies as Bamco is much bigger here and Tales is a big thing in Japan. So i don’t believe method use by Atlus can be use by Bamco here.

      • But the problem is, specifically, that because Namco Bandai is a big company and the Tales series is big in Japan, Namco Bandai expects the Tales games to sell as well in the US as in Japan and are then disappointed every time they inevitably don’t. Namco and a number of other big Japanese publishers (*cough*NINTENDO*cough*) need to learn from companies like Atlus that they can localize “niche” titles at a profit if they only adjust their expectations and know their audience.

        • boundries_san

          The problem is here. Atlus succesful game is now Persona 3 and 4 which is released on PS2 era or PSP(for the third series) while the last game that success is Catherine which is for PS3.But here is the main problem those who love Atlus knows that they are niche company with niche genre.

          While for this case Bamco itself has a lot of succesful game.Ace Combat, Naruto, etc.

          It is just Bamco and Tales fans has thought themselves to as succesful as the FF series here which cause this whole kind of not selling problem.

          And for Nintendo, what game that does not come here anyway? Most of Nintendo game actually come here u know. Even FE is going to come here according NoE.

  • All we can really hope for is that this is a sign that they are; at the very least, planning on releasing a few games here.

    If we’re lucky; we’ll get Xillia some day.

  • I’m glad that these interviews are happening. Understanding his standpoint is critical to understanding how we will be affected. I can see that anywhere other than Japan is not a priority, however, it is a consideration as they make the games. Honestly, I like the Tales of games. I want to see more of them in North America.

    • boundries_san

      Why can more people be like u?T_T and just love the game.

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    As much as I like Baba getting in touch with the western audience. The fanbase makes me weep and rage

    •  There are worse fanbases, but then again, there’s never a worst fanbase.

      • Luna Kazemaru

        I haven’t seen one as bad tho.

        • CirnoLakes

           Funny, I haven’t come across any Tales fans I would even describe as “bad”. Mind telling me about this?

          Last Tales fans I talked to were enthusiastic people who helped make other people interested in the games. One of them was a particularly big fan of Presea, and the other was a particularly big fan of Asch.

          • Luna Kazemaru

             Oh boy you haven’t been around here when its other news dealing with tales are you? Or any livestream? Granted there are some that aren’t bad.

          •  eh, still sounds like over-generalizing

          • @yahoo-HAEBCODVH3BGFIHE47BKNDXD2I:disqus Nope, it’s not far off.

            There have ALWAYS been livestreams and forum threads that show many instances of what a bad fanbase looks. Talk about rumors and “arguments” about localizing Tales never ceases. Fans keep talking and talking in more ways than one.

            And worst of all, much of fanbase never really matures.

          • MrKappa

             Some people will just as easily tell you the CoD, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, MegaMan and Sonic fanbase are much worse.
            This is always why I laugh someone comments negatively on the fanbase of a game because they are usually doing it because they are upset at something a handful of people say. Or even worse, one person.

          • Luna Kazemaru

             @MrKappa True enough but the thing is all those games fanbase supports there games as loud as they are and oh believe me they are VERY loud they go out and support the games. When it comes to this not so much they always come up with small BS reasons like ‘no duel audio no buy’ or “why can’t you release X game that was released over 9 years ago’. Or like in @Garyuu:disqus ‘s link they spam up the like bars with dislikes or comments with hate just because someone has an opinion( Not defending the reviewers but really even I know most of the time a review is just an opinion of the person playing it and you should take it with a grain of salt.

          • CirnoLakes

             I think that maybe fans have just become more demanding about games in general lately. Tales certainly isn’t alone, and if anything, seems to get a lighter version of entitlement than a lot of Western companies are getting.

            I have seen some complaining about English voices in Tales of Graces, certainly. But it wasn’t that bad, and a lot of people have been spoiled by people like Nippon Ichi giving dual audio.

            When I think of entitled gamers, the first thing that comes to mind is certainly not Tales fans.

        • Hraesvelgr

          Sonic and Fire Emblem have worse fanbases (as much as I love FE).

          • I see your Fire Emblem fanbase and raise you a Kingdom Hearts fanbase.

            (Can’t get much worse than Sonic though.)

          • boundries_san

            At least Sonic fanbase still buys the game and tried them before jumping to the bandwaggon and said the game sucks.

            While FE is also one of the worst at least in competitive battle.(Claiming u are hackers/cheaters if u RNG training. *facepalm*)

    • CirnoLakes

       Are you talking about Tales fans, or RPG fans in the West?

      • BadenBadenPrinny

         Tales fans in the west in particular, I can’t say anything about fans on the other side for obvious reason

        • CirnoLakes

           I’ve had probably better experiences with Tales fans than most other fandoms.

  • kroufonz

    he really want to bring us more tales, much faster localization and give tales games  proper marketing in the west, but scamco/ his boss and or also probably the western branch have no interest or intention to do so (T-T)

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    Here’s the problem with Tales fans in the West, and Graces F has taught me many of these things:

    If Graces were to be released for the Wii, Wii owners wouldn’t buy it, because it wouldn’t include the F arc and they’d say they had been treated like second class citizens. They’d complain if it was a full priced game. They’d complain if it only had English voiceovers.

    If Vesperia PS3 were released in the West, PS3 owners wouldn’t buy it, because they’d complain if it cost $60 or even $50, because it’s a four year old port. They’d complain if it didn’t have dual audio.

    If Xillia gets released in the West, people won’t buy it because they’ll say that sine it’s a “rushed” game, it isn’t worth $60. They wouldn’t buy it because they’re still expecting a Director’s Cut. 

    In other words, while everybody likes to throw blame at Namco, and two years ago, they certainly deserved that blame, today, the fanbase has no one to blame but themselves. I saw every possible excuse used for people to not buy Graces F. They’d come up with just as many excuses for Graces Wii, Vesperia PS3, or Xillia PS3.

    Namco put out Graces F and Abyss. It’s a very simple equation…you want further Tales Of games, you buy one or both of those two. Period. The argument is over. If you don’t want to buy those titles, you don’t get the others. It’s not hard to figure out. To paraphrase Vince McMahon, Namco didn’t screw the Tales fanbase, the Tales fanbase screwed the Tales fanbase.

    • OverlordZetta

      I and many others would gladly pay full price to be able to play Vesperia, thank you very much. Not to mention that, while some say that about Xillia, others are still ready and waiting for it to hurry up and come out over here already. It’s ALREADY on the Sony System, it has nothing to beta test for this time.

      The problem is that we just never get the damn games. We want to play them. I should not be considered a “problem” fan because I don’t own a 360 and therefore can’t play Vesperia, even though I’d gladly shell out full price if it came out here on PS3.

      Namco IS still to blame here, at least a hell of a lot more than the fans. That’s like how Capcom blamed the fans over Legends 3. No majority is actually doing/going to do what you said.

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Did you buy Graces F?

      • boundries_san

        U keep asking for Vesperia for not having X-BOX here. So can i consider that all Vesperia fans is also hating Bamco because Graces F and Xilia don’t come to their consoles?….. No they already call Bamco=Scamco.

    • Ladius

      I have to agree with you. There are obviously a lot of good-natured fans whose only interest is enjoying and supporting the series, but in all my years of gaming the Tales fanbase is probably the one I learned to dislike more for its depressing mix of infighting, entitlement, trolling, self-loathing and overwhelming negativity. Those issues are rather normal in the fanbases of mainstream million sellers, but Tales is all but that in the west.

      Namco has its own faults, that’s obvious, but if Tales had a fanbase more similar to the ones of Ys, Trails in the Sky, Disgaea, Growlanser, Atelier, Persona or even Neptunia (i.e. people who actually like and buy their games, trying to present them in a positive light to newcomers and to support their beloved series) the situation would be far better.

      For example, if the Trails in the Sky fanbase reasoned like the Tales fanbase we would get something like “lol, Trails in the Sky 2 is just an old port of an old game, a rehash of Trails 1 with tons of recycled areas, sprites and spells, not to mention the anime tropes… gimme a full-blown remake for my hardware of choice or sell it for 9$, obviously with Japanese dub even if it never had one in the first place” every time the series’ future was discussed. Thankfully, the Tales fanbase’s attitude so far hasn’t spread to other contexts.

      • malek86

        I’ll tell you why the Namco fanbase is so different from the others.

        All those series you mentioned – Trails, Disgaea, Growlanser, etc. – are niche. They were born as niche, and if they do eventually die, it will be as niche. Some of them are successful here (Disgaea), some others not so much (Trails), but overall, those are series that have always lived and thrived on their niche status. That’s why fans are so reasonable about them. They are niche, so they know they’ll need to accept what they are getting. And every localized game is a reason for happiness for them.

        Tales was like that too, but then it had a problem, which is called Symphonia. The game sold abnormally well for a niche series here. Half a million copies? What the heck. This gave Namco the idea that perhaps the series was not just niche, perhaps with time it could become the next Final Fantasy… when in fact it was niche (TOS was just a coincidence, a series of factors that probably won’t be repeated together anytime soon). As a result, Namco started expecting the series to sell more, and when it didn’t, they cut support.

        What about the fans? Well, when TOS sold a lot, they also got the idea that perhaps the series was worth more than it actually was. Therefore, they started asking to be treated as fans of a popular series – they don’t want bugs, they want a bunch of extras, they want japanese voices… their idea being that, since the series is so popular, Namco would make a lot of money if they did those things, and they are stupid if they don’t. And of course, when Namco cut support some 2-3 years ago, they even felt backstabbed. “What?”, they must have said, “a series that sold half a million copies isn’t getting localized anymore? Heresy!”. And there goes the boycotting.

        So now on one side we have Namco which is once agan treating the series as if it were niche, and fans who won’t have none of that and will demand king treatment, and won’t buy the games as a result. If they got a bit humbler, and started getting into their heads that TOS only sold half a million copies 8 years ago and those times are long past, most of the problems might just go away.

        • SirRichard

          The problem there is that you’re expecting a fanbase to mature, and judging by comments on other articles in which they beg for Vesperia PS3/Xillia in one breath and call the same publisher they’re begging “Scamco” in the next, that’s not going to happen any time soon.

        • SirRichard

          The problem there is that you’re expecting a fanbase to mature, and judging by comments on other articles in which they beg for Vesperia PS3/Xillia in one breath and call the same publisher they’re begging “Scamco” in the next, that’s not going to happen any time soon.

        • Julien_N

          I love the idea of Symphonia as a problem, not because I don’t like the game (it isn’t the case, I like it even if no free run is excruciating), but because it is a very interesting point. When you see for example fans of Hyperdimension Neptunia being very excited with every new announcement (I chose this example because I saw some recent news about the new installment) and you compare it with all the issues brought up in articles like this one, I cannot help but be very surprised by the difference and wonder why this fanbase can seem picky.

          However, I admit Namco Bandai is to blame for several reasons, such as all the hopping and the bopping between consoles (All the HN games are on PS3, to continue with that example), the numerous updated ports that alienate a part of the fanbase and the shy localization announcements. (Except that with Abyss 3DS and Graces f, we have proof that they try) But the blind hatred against the English VA from those who absolutely want a Japanese VA they can’t all understand, or the childish boycotts that do nothing more than cripple Namco’s efforts are both major hindrances for everyone…

          • boundries_san

            Thats why niche fanbase and “not so big” fanbase will always had this problem.

            Neptunia is niche for sure which is why i as a fans and many more accept their flaw and go with it. However for Tales series it has different kind of problem. The truth is Tales is a niche title however all of its fanbase thought that it can be better than FF which makes them arrogant and thought they are king of kings.

            About moving from one platform to another, i don’t think is the main problem. It is the fan itself.(Ever tried seeing Gamefaqs thread on Tales series?) Thats the whole elitist people claiming they are Tales fans without buying any of the games.

          • Julien_N

            Yeah, sure. Even if I only played two Tales of games, I somewhat feel enjoying myself more than some who claim to be “hardcore fans”.
            As for the endless console switch, I think it still represents an issue, as it divides the fanbase. If you could play all of a generation’s Tales of games on a single console (Or maybe two if you count handhelds), then all of your fanbase will move to this console. For example, all CAVE STG ports are on the 360 and STG fans know they should stick with this console. (Shiki’ 3, Raiden 4, Otomedius, Shooting Love, Senko no Ronde and other STGs are also available for the 360) If your series is very “big” (Final Fantasy or Call of Duty), you can afford going multiplatform, but here, this is no true multiplatform as the versions have plenty of differences (Graces VS Graces f, or Innocence VS Innocence R for instance) which leads to some people thinking they have an inferior version, and then there’s the whole lack of PS3 Vesperia localization mess…

          • boundries_san

            Well, as long as still like Tales titles and buy the games, i can said that u are a good fan for the series.

            Well the case about inferior series is kinda funny here. Wii’s release of Grace is one year early than Graces F in Japan. It is like u can buy the game faster to play first or u can wait for more content in the future. So if u ask me, i can’t said that Bamco is totally wrong here.

            Is it wrong for Bamco to try to get money by releasing the same game into different market? As Graces F is a Tales game that is targetted for PS fans not Wii fans anymore but people in PS claims that Grace is just a simple port from Wii and they don’t want to buy the game even when it is not released on PS platform they are those who shout loudest for the game to come PS3.

          • Julien_N

            I understand the idea of the compromise between those who wait and those who want the game early, but in this case, it is problematic when it is a completely different platform, which means an entire part of the audience if “forced” to have the unfinished version (And as there is no default console for Tales games and as we can’t all afford to buy all three machines, it can seem frustrating) If you take Devil Survivor Overclocked, both versions are on a similar console (more or less), and there was no huge outcry, only the consensus that the updated version is better suited to those who haven’t played the initial game or are die-hard fans.
            And then I remember the Sting games, with Riviera and Yggdra Union ported from the GBA to the PSP and there was also no problem with that among the community. Okay, in that case, all versions were localized, so it may not be te best example…

            And, about what you said in your last paragraph, it once again boils down to the fanbase’s mentality, indeed. In such a situation, I would have expected Wii players to be annoyed that they received the buggy Graces, but there is no reason for PS3 players to complain…=S

            All in all, I think both sides are to blame. Namco Bandai for all these alienating console jumps (A paradox, as ports are supposed to unify players of the targeted consoles…) and the “fans” for all the pointless whining.

        • boundries_san

          Friend, Fanbase will never be humbler especially after they feel on the top once. The only thing they will do is keep boycotting and boycotting and in the end killing this series into a “Japan” only series.

    • I just want every JRPG with language I understand (English) :(

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Which makes sense, but there are many people, some of them even here if you scan the comments, who will not buy a game without dual audio.

        • I know right, there are even more worse and they say it will make their ear bleed because of English voice in my forum. For me I’ll be happy as long as it have English text.

          Just not they said “You’re not true fans if you play in language other than Japanese”. Best thing I’ve heard from Tales fans today :D

    • How the hell is Xillia a “Rushed” game? 

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Ask the people who keep saying it is.

      • boundries_san

        Claim all the Tales elitist when Baba only mention that they had some ideas that they left behind because they need to finish faster however he never mentioned if the ideas is going to be used or not.

    • RedShadoww

      Yes but you also have to consider what types of fans would throw those complaints out there. Graces Wii would be the people who only have Wiis. Vesperia PS3 would be the people who bought Vesperia on the 360 already. Xillia’s case is kinda different. People who bought the game want a directors cut, meaning they’re willing to buy the game again so they can play a more complete version. If it’s so ‘rushed’ that it resorted to people buying the game being disappointed and wanting a directors cut, i’d consider that the developer or Namco’s fault, not the fans. It also splits into 3 other categories: 1) People who believe that there will be a Directors Cut. 2) People who don’t believe there will be a Directors Cut. And 3) People who are willing to buy the game a 2nd(maybe 3rd if you count the japanese version) time just so they can have early access to the game.

  • badmoogle

    Two things i don’t like in Tales games (in every single one) are the costumes and character faces.
    I don’t have a problem with anime style but there’s something about Tales characters that really turns me off.

  • C.C.

    Don’t go astray like what Final Fantasy did.

    I like the anime cutscenes :D

  • siliconera plz tell the producer that fans want Japanese voice option in upcoming localizations, ps3 has blu-ray so it can be done easily, we fans want to enjoy the original acting, and new comers can still listen to the english voice actors, it’s a win win situation

    • Ladius

      They would probably have to pay the licensing for the Japanese seiyuu one more time if they included it in the western releases, and with the series’ sales it isn’t probably the best move they could do.

      In a perfect world every Japanese game should have voice acting contracted with a one-time fee valid for every market in order to have dual audio in the case of a western release, but that’s probably unfeasible.

      • This is not always the case. Most Japanese games, especially fighting games, include the original Japanese seiyuus. Star Ocean and other JRPGS also keep these language options, it is not a question of money but is there the actual space to put in the content in t he disc. As Demon Lord originally stated, this should be simple on a Blu Ray disc but it’s difficult on a HD DVD so perhaps the reason they don’t put in Japanese voice is cause one version of the game has more content than the other. Release two versions of the same game, you want to make them exactly the same in order to make a profit or else people will lean to what offers more and what doesn’t.

        • Hraesvelgr

          1) Don’t compare fighting games to games that actually have huge amounts of voice acting.

          2) “Most” Japanese games don’t include Japanese voices, especially RPGs.

          3) It is a question of money. They have to pay extra money for Japanese voices and any songs that the game may have, and from what I’ve heard, the Japanese tend to gouge on these kinds of things.

          • i don’t think that’s the case, or else we would have never seen games with dual language options there are a considerable number of those, rpg and non rpg games too, the company already own the game i don’t think they have to pay for usa/europe for jap voices since namco bandai usa/europe is is main part of the company not a 3rd party like xseed or etc 

          • SirRichard

            But they do have to pay for the Japanese voice tracks, it’s a matter of licencing or something of the sort. Of the games with Japanese or dual audio, they either tend to have no English track (and thus the money used to hire VAs went to licencing the Japanese track) or are mostly bigger releases like Final Fantasy (for an RPG example) or Sonic the Hedgehog (for a non-RPG example).

            There’s been interviews that have mentioned the cost of licencing Japanese tracks, look some up. When we do get dual-audio from a smaller publisher, it’s normally as a reward for a fanbase or a carrot on the end of a stick to get some more diehard Japanophiles on board.

          • malek86

            @SirRichard:disqus wait, what? When did FF ever get dual audio?

          • SirRichard

            @malek86 Did they not have any? I saw FF thrown around as an example, I don’t play with Japanese audio even in games that have it, normally. If that’s wrong, then whoops, gotta find a better example and edit that in.

        • malek86


          Uh, are you sure you know what you’re talking about? If the 360 actually used HD-DVDs, there would be no problems of space at all, and we would have had even Lost Odyssey on a single disc.

          But like others said, dual audio is usually not a matter of space, so it doesn’t make a difference here whether the 360 uses Blu-rays, DVDs or floppy disks.

          • SirRichard

            @malek86:disqus Oh Christ, I messed up the mention down there so I’ll just post it here:

            Did they not have any? I saw FF thrown around as an example, I don’t play with Japanese audio even in games that have it, normally. If that’s wrong, then whoops, gotta find a better example and edit that in. 

            EDIT: Oh hey, it worked this time. Least I know how to use that now.

          • malek86

            Never had it. Just like Tales, Shin Megami Tensei, almost any other series you can think of. Usually only NISA titles and very few others get japanese voices. At this point, I think NISA has to get dual audio pretty much just to avoid fans backlash, so they have to pay and swallow it.

          • Uhh Blu-Ray makes a big difference, I’m just going to throw that out there.

        • boundries_san

          This is my question. Why must Bamco spend more money on alternatives here? It is not like they don’t provide u sounds. They give us VA from U.S hell it is not so bad either.

          By adding japanese voice actor, it will obviously add cost and it is not cheap. Not to mention they have a risk of the game not selling.

          Not all companies had the resources to keep taking loses especially with this distorted fanbase here.

  • The only thing I hate about the Tales series is the English Voice acting. It’s just so… weird. I wish they could include the original voices too, as an addition. Or at least ask the fans if they want JP or English voices in the game

    • Really? As much as i enjoy JPN Voice actors, i think the English VA is alright if not good, but i agree it be nice to have a option for Japanese VA for the series

      • They’re okay enough, but they don’t fit the characters. They sound more like “robots”, but is okay in non-emotional scenes. The JPN voices are carefully picked to fit the characters and they use professional voice actors, instead of just picking random people into the dub to hold the costs low.

        The opposite goes for cartoons though: Japanese voices on American cartoons sounds horrible and way too high pitched…

        • Luna Kazemaru

           ‘The JPN voices are carefully picked to fit the characters and they use
          professional voice actors, instead of just picking random people into
          the dub to hold the costs low’

          So the professional VA’s they used in the last Tales for the western releases where random people to hold the costs low…Didn’t know guys like Yuri Lowenthal where random and not professional.


          This is clearly what I was talking about in my statements below lol.

          • Nemesis_Dawn

            “Hey, Bob, put down that mop! We got some voicework we need done! Sure you can bring your friends. We need a couple more voices.”

          • Luna Kazemaru

             I lol’d

          • What is this, Chaos Wars? lol

          • That’s why they gave him and the other “pros” minor roles and didn’t even credit him for his work in “Tales of the Abyss”. They make people go like “OH S***, THAT GUY DUBS THIS” and then it appears that he’s only the voice of a little random slime enemy you fight in the game.

        • Quality post right there. People should think more like this person. 

    • CirnoLakes

       I have to wonder if the reason is pricing. It’s been found that sometimes Japanese fans of things, like Japanese fans of anime and Japanese fans of games, will import a Western version of the game to save money.

      Thus to avoid this, I’ve heard that Japanese developers will often give Westerners an inferior, or at least radically less Japanese version of the game. And thus aiding the mentality in Japan of Western games as undesirable(aiding, not causing). I don’t think they’re so much Westernized to get more sales in the West, but to get more sales in the East. They don’t want Japanese people buying a game for $50 or $60 when they can sell it for $80 or more in Japan.

      There are of course exceptions, but that seems to be why it happens when it does.

      • Hraesvelgr

        “I’ve heard that Japanese developers will often give Westerners an
        inferior, or at least radically less Japanese version of the game.”

        Hahaha, oh boy.

        • You can’t get much less Japanese than being in English

        • CirnoLakes

           Well, why else do things like it seem to happen? After all, we only got the Gamecube version of Tales of Symphonia even though the PlayStation 2 version is widely considered vastly superior.

          • SirRichard

            I think that’s down to Namco Bandai not publishing it outside of Japan of their own free will and not some demented drive to sabotage foreign versions of their games to discourage importing, mate.

      • I don’t really think they’ll save any money. Shipping is always around 10-20$ and they take extra costs for importing. However, Anime DVDs are mostly abused, as Blu-ray sets of whole series is around 500$ in Japan while it is 50$ at most in the US.

      • boundries_san

        Pliz there are no such thing lol. Don’t follow all those crazy people who thought Japanese people is the one who import our games rather than the reverse.

        • CirnoLakes

          Forgive my ignorance, and it has been a difficult claim to believe at times, but I’ve certainly heard that claim a lot.

        • Japanese hobbyists DO import US stuff a lot, because it’s usually way cheaper. That’s the exact reason why anime license holders are so particular about R1 releases of their properties, often putting them out with some gimped feature (hard-subbing, no Blu-Ray, removed special features, or in rare cases even no Japanese language track) or delaying their release in the US to allow Japanese copies to sell first (c.f. the two-year delay between the Japanese and US releases of the newest Eva movies). See here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BadExportForYou

          Not sure how common this is with games, though.

  • brian yep

    I have an idea on a way to expand its audience outside of Japan.
    Stick to one or two platforms, one at home and one portable instead of jumping across platforms.
    Or have it be multiplatform at launch.

    • CirnoLakes

       I bet the West would love to see Tales games on Steam.

      Well, I know I would.

      • MrRobbyM

        I don’t think that’d be in the best interest of Bamco though. JRPGs have always had a home on consoles. Bamco just needs to stop platform jumping everywhere and stick with one or two platforms.

        • CirnoLakes

           True, jRPGs haven’t been popular on the PC since the 80s. And one of the many reasons I’m as far from being a PC gamer as a person can get.

          But there’s also the fact that Japan is starting to become a little more comfortable with PC gaming thanks to things like the Touhou boom and, MMORPG popularity in Japan, and just how cheap PCs are nowadays. The whole nation practically is 2ch addicted. It might be possible to see a resurgance of PC gaming in Japan if companies were actually willing to cater to it.

  • SirRichard

    I’m not bothered with Japan getting it first, that’s fair enough, the game’s made there. But you could at least try and narrow down the gaps between US and EU releases, fellas. We still don’t have a proper date for Tales of Graces f, for one! 

    • I thought it was coming out 25th May. Was that just the retailers speculating then?

      • SirRichard

        Yeah, it’s all speculation, there’s been no official announcement beyond “2012”; Amazon UK and ShopTo have it down for September 1st whereas Zaavi put it down for June 29th, for instance. That probably puts it in the middle of summer, unless they’re holding off even longer.

  • omenaaa

    oops wrong article

  • It’s good that the producer takes the time to make a interview video…

    Anyway, I’m disappointed in some of the commenters in this article… Some are complaining horrible English VA, don’t want Graces but Xillia or Vesperia, wanting Japanese VA, etc…. Some of you are halfway there of being in the infamous whining Tales fanbase..

    For the past 4 years, we haven’t gotten any localized Tales games since Vesperia until now… We are finally getting not one but two localized Tales game.. What more do you want???

    •  I feel the same and it’s ridiculous how some people are acting. People are not entitled to squat if they are going to nitpick over everything when there isn’t really much to nitpick over, especially when you haven’t bought any games from a standing series. And then you have the flipside where people complain when changes are made to a long standing series instead of at least giving it a chance when it comes out.

    • MrRobbyM

      I don’t get the complaining about the English VA. While I think some characters in Graces were horrible, Tales games have been overall consistent quality. Sure, it’s not Final Fantasy quality VA but it’s certainly not bad. Though I do sympathize with the whiners sometimes. I wouldn’t mind them not including English VA as long as all the text is translated though I do know why they would never do that. As Baba said, Bamco wants to extend the Tales fanbase. While a lot of people might not care for English VA just to get the games over here faster, it’s not going to do them any favors extending their fanbase. The whole “I only care for the Japanese VA!” crowd is very niche. At the same time, Bamco doesn’t keep the flow of localized Tales games steady so that doesn’t help keeping a fanbase at all. While they have been a bit better this generation, they could really benefit by marketing the games better and announce localizations in a way to build up more hype. Square Enix always teases us with CG trailers of their games a good amount of time before releases. Bamco needs to find an equivalent of that that would work for the Tales series.


      • boundries_san

        They did market them better this time compared to the previous series lol and we still see that it sells badly. So i can said marketing is the problem here. It is more on the fanbase problem for sure.

        • MrRobbyM

          Vesperia was marketed…alright I guess. The big mistake was releasing it for the 360. Graces actually did alright for a Tales game. So yes, better. This time around was more fault of it being a Wii port with not so favorable reviews from big name reviewers(can’t blame them as Graces f does have a ton of flaws). I’ve seen better marketing for even more niche games though. The whining fanbase doesn’t help but as I said above, marketing the series better with a more consistent flow of localizations will extend the fanbase.

          • boundries_san

            The main problem is how can they maintain a consistend flow of localizations if the game itself does not sell? After all things where the fans are asking them to bring the game here and now it does not sells?

            No company wanted to waste money like this don’t they?

          • MrRobbyM

            They don’t sell well in the west BECAUSE of the inconsistent flow of localizations and marketing.

          • boundries_san


            The inconsistend flow of localizations also comes from the game not selling well enough.

          • MrRobbyM

            ..I’m simply giving the answer to what Bamco wants. They said they want to expand the Tales series more in the west. I’m saying, if they want to achieve that, they would have to do what I mentioned before.

          • MrRobbyM

            ..I’m simply giving the answer to what Bamco wants. They said they want to expand the Tales series more in the west. I’m saying, if they want to achieve that, they would have to do what I mentioned before.

      • I’ve hearing people whining about the english VA making their ears bleed.. Back in my day as a 10 year old child, games don’t have emotional or sexy-sounding VA but instead we get texts and dialogues…

        Seriously, gamers nowadays are spoiled too much… When they want a particular something and doesn’t like what they’re holding, they demand and whine… Makes no difference between whining and complaining… The whining Tales fanbase needs to remind themselves that the Tales series isn’t a big budget series compared to say, the Final Fantasy series….

        Yes… Console jumping isn’t helping at all… to anyone and Namco… Divided Fanbases would have never existed if Tales series didn’t go console jumping…

        • MrRobbyM

          People also forget that sometimes it’s not fault of the voice actors as much as it is the script. People confuse those all the time. One of my main gripes with FFXIII was the characters. I couldn’t take it every time they opened their mouths. It’s not that the voice actors did a bad job, it’s just so much you can do with a cheesy script. Tales games are ridden with cheesy scripts and lost-in-translation humor. While it doesn’t bother me, I can see why it would other people. Not that I’m defending the whiners. They’re a lost cause. I didn’t really pay attention to how the community reacted to Vesperia but I thought the English VA was really well done. Easily my favorite.

          Kind of off-topic, Graces f has my least favorite English VA in any of the recent Tales games but I don’t entirely blame Bamco. Graces f is aimed at a slightly younger audience. On top of that, with a more simple and cliche storyline/characters/script, I can see why they chose the voice actors they did. Just sayin’.

    • boundries_san

      U should not be suprised lol, This IS Tales fans.(Bark loud and buy none.)

      • Luna Kazemaru

         Some of the comments prove this true lol.

  • boundries_san

    As long as the games still maintain their main power and going to come here, i don’t care how long i need to wait. Hell even if some of the game is not released here, i will still import it to show my love for the series Bamco.^^

  • Jirin

    I don’t care if there’s a wait time, as long as I get to play the game eventually.  And I don’t care about the VA since, to me, VA is useless unless it’s happening at full conversational speed anyway.

    What bugs me is the way they’re so mum about their intentions.  Why do they wait so long to tell us we’re getting their games?  Need a year or two to translate Xillia?  Fine!  Tell us that!  With Xenoblade Nintendo went so far as to first announce it for localization, then say “No, we have no plans to localize it”, after it had already been translated and released in Europe.  All that does is make us feel cheated, and the message we hear is “Oh you Westerners only want to see big muscular guys blow stuff up”.

    I don’t mind waiting.  I just want to know that I will be able to play this game.

    • Alexander Marquis Starkey

       That is usually what we get. There is no localization announcement until they announce it. They will give us the “We have no plans to localize X game at this time.” every time someone sends a message and what not.

  • I’ll put it like this, how I found out that Graces f had come out over here was via a friend of mine who lives in New Jersey and is about as urban as you can get….playing it on his PS3 the day it came out. And this was after I read articles months ago that Xillia and Graces f might come out over to the west, that and I didn’t know he was a Tales fans and he plays more game than I do.

    If that’s not a show of support when something like that drops then I don’t know what is. Even so, Tales is not that well established here so it makes it difficult for fans to even have a leg to stand on to make demands or complain, but the bullheadedness of some game companies to not use common sense when approaching these things does not help either. Obviously the fans being nitpicking over everything or the fans feeding into simpleminded tendencies are just as much at fault as the companies being stubborn or caving in to some of the ignorance being throw in their faces.

  • s07195

    Glad they localized Graces f, bought it (to play on my friend’s PS3 haha). Looking forward to the next release in English!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething


  • Brandon001

    cant help but wonder if these are just empty words, wouldnt put it past namco that we still wont get many localizations from them

    just sounds like an excuse

  • buy any localized tales games regardless if its a port of inferior console without astounishing graphic or english dub only and surely you will get what you want eventualy

    • KuroiKen

      As if. 
      I will only buy localizations if they will include japanese voices, and will be translated decently.
      Not? I’m buying the japanese version(hey, that’s what I did to all Tales of… games I ever bought).
      I can’t just waste money on crappy localizations while hoping they’ll get better. No sir, I prefer playing games how I like them – in japanese, if a decent english version is not available(it’s easier to read, so obviously if a decent one is available, I have no reason to refuse it). Well, not the case with Tales of… games.
      Also, learning japanese was hell of a cheaper solution than to fund localization companies hoping for good localizations. I never spend any money on learning japanese, just downloaded 7GB of reference material and practiced-practiced-practiced.

      • MrRobbyM

        Since when have Tales localizations been crappy? Well, besides Eternia.

        • KuroiKen

          Since the start.
          I consider localization good if:
          1. japanese voiceacting is left intact, either coming along with english dub, or without it(dual voice, or just japanese voicetrack).
          2. The translation is as much literal as possible, the less adaptation the better.
          3. No kind of censorship is involved.
          4. No kind of name change is involved(gods, I was really disgusted with the original Destiny namechanges. die those who did it).

          So far, the last decent localization I’ve seen is Endless Frontier: Super Robot Taisen OG Saga for Nintendo DS, no, probably the best. It was exactly how I like it – a pretty straight literal translation, with not really much adaptation(some phrases were adapted, but they weren’t contradicting what was said in japanese, and could be translated like that as well), only japanese voicetrack, skills translated as close to the original as transliteration of skillnames that are hard to translate, names are left as-is, no censorship is involved. Great localization.
          Can’t consider Persona series localizations good since they’re dub only, so only by efforts of undubbers they become even playable. Though, the translation is good.
          Tales of… localizations aren’t even near it, so they’re crappy since the start.

          • MrRobbyM

            Well, if you look at it that way… yeah I guess they’re bad. But you do have to understand some things get lost in translation so changes are inevitable. Also, by that logic, most localizations of Japanese games must be bad to you since most of them don’t include the Japanese VA. Sounds to me like you just prefer Japanese VA.

          • KuroiKen

            Of course I do. They do a much better job than english ones, but well, no wonder, they learn to control their voice at seiyuu university for years, and they’re chosen pretty strictly for character’s character.
            The only really sloppy japanese voice acting is in Blue Dragon, but since the villain is voiced by Wakamoto, I forgave the rest of the seiyuus.
            And yes, most japanese games localizations are bad to me, and for that reason, I rarely touch them since I learned japanese to an acceptable level. Much easier for me as well, because I don’t have to think about anything and just have to get the japanese version of the game I want.

          • KyoyaHibari

            What, Lion becoming Leon and all that crap? I prefer Leon; who name’s a person Lion? lol

          • PoweredByHentai

            Someone whose name is Lionel?

          • KyoyaHibari

            @PoweredByHentai:disqus Lionel is different, having your actual FULL BIRTH NAME be “Lion” is weird. I wouldn’t want to be named after an animal, it just sounds rather odd. That being said, I have qualms with Monkey D. Luffy as well and other similar names. Lionel on the other hand, is a badass name, like Lionel Richie. It’s human, and it sounds good ;P.

          • KuroiKen

            No, its about Woodrow becoming Garr, Johny becoming Karyl, Mighty Kongman becoming Bruiser Khang, Miktoran becoming Kronos . Well, Lion becoming Leon is too a name change.
            And it’s not about preference, it’s about how the localization has to be – exactly what was in Japan, just in another language, either dual voiced, or japanese voiced only.
            Name changes make the script unreadable, and localizator’s have a weird taste in naming, seriously, and a bad one, I have to say. Seriously…

          • fayt255

             that’s when I have kids my first born will be named Lion!!!!!!

          • shuratan

            transliteration =/= translation =/= localization. It sounds like to me you think that LOCALization companies could just run all the text through google translate and you’d probably be happy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m original japanese dubs + subs over an english dubs person, but I think you’re being unduly harsh. And let’s face it, they want to sell the game to an audience as wide as possible, which quite frankly probably don’t share your tastes and concerns. 

      • Luna Kazemaru

        ” I will only buy localizations if they will include”
        “I can’t just waste money on crappy localizations”

        Lol and people wounder why people let alone Bamco can’t take the western fanbase serious.

      •  oh yea. thanks for supposing us

  • thebanditking

    “for it to be accepted overseas requires all kinds of promotions and things from all angles”

    OMG you mean you would actually have to *gasp* run ads and promote a game if you actually want it to sell? Amazing…next you’ll tell me one day everyone will be able to simultaneously connect with each other without every leaving their homes.


    • MrRobbyM

      I lol’d.

    • leadintea

       I think that he was trying to say that it’ll cost a lot of money to do that, and seeing as how the Tales of series is really Japanese in it’s nature, there probably won’t be a lot of people overseas that would react strongly to it (at least in a positive way).

    • Tell me about it, it doesn’t surprise me that big publisher never have any clue about how to sell niche titles anymore.

      • It doesn’t help that big publishers are going after COD-level profits nowadays.

    •  I think he was talking about the cost of advertising at that level, and would it pay off.  Most niche games don’t get a lot of advertising because of this. it cuts in to what little profits they make. Most of the time these games are targeted at hardcore gamers who already know about the game without the advertising.

  • Hero_ZaFakeo

    First few questions in the video:

    Not-Informed-Person: Yo, custom characters are cool! Gonna add some?
    Producer:Pfft, Japan has this cool game already AND this spiffy magazine.

    Earlier: Yo, can nuke mages suck at melee less?
    Producer:But *words in multiple directions but rellating to the same thing* No.

  • KyoyaHibari

    I’d prefer to get the new Tales released later on, I wish Hearts, Innocence R, Destiny DX, Vesperia PS3 and Rebirth PSP came over here in the meantime, but like hell that will happen. If they aren’t going to make an improved Xillia, Bamco should bring the Vesperia & Innocence ports over here instead, it would be a much wiser decision…

  • They need to go a long way into closing the launch date gaps because so far their track record isn’t all too hot. So far there’s still no PS3 Vesperia and we’ve yet to get Xillia.

  • lol.

    a good amount of tales fans are picky children…just horrible.

    if u really want japanese dub then buy the japanese version an find a faq to help u through the game.

    can’t have ur cake an eat it too…or whatever.

    that said i hope xillia comes over…..if not i’ll try the jap version.

    • Oltheros

      lol ya bro ur so machure.

      I really dislike the “hurr durr u just import it” argument. Tell me, why do you think games get localized in the first place? Surely “u cud just import”

      •  Because misspelling “machure” is definitely a means to counter immaturity.

        Whatever. He’s talking about the consistent arguments regarding people asking for a JP voice option X number of times despite the fact that it’s near impossible, even for NB. If they want JP voices so much, then they’ll play the JP version. Or wait for another localization and see if NB accomplishes this, because asking for voice options over and over again changes nothing on how NB wants to approach (or “can” approach) this.

        • Oltheros

          Clearly you are not familiar with satire. The original poster’s comment was riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, yet he went on to call the fans “children”. I was simply pointing that out.

          That aside, fans have a right to voice their opinions and complaints. Otherwise, how do companies know where change is needed? If we all sit back and do nothing, NB has no incentive at all to even -try- to implement dual audio.

  • usagi_san

    I’m interested in picking up Graces f, but I’m not sure if I’m going to get it as a day-one though. I look forward to Xillia, too, hopefully it gets a localisation. 

    I’m not really that bothered with simultaneous worldwide releases. I’m just happy when a game gets a localisation and I’m able to play it – did it with Catherine (thanks Deep Silver).

  • This is what I find sad, the fact that Namco gives you a Tales game, The tales fanbase some of them complain about things that was fairly obvious to you. Thing is, you’re not gonna get much tales games if the tales game that’s been released to NA or Europe don’t get enough sales enough to bring another game over regardless if its a new title or a better version of the previous tales game. Sure there are things to consider, but without a sufficient amount of sales, there’s no way developers or others will support a game that didn’t sell, the fault could lie on the fanbase as much as the developers or publishers. It depends on whose doing some stupid crud in the first place that ruins it for others who waits patiently for the game.

    Look you can nag all you want but you can only get what they release to you. Buy it and try to keep supporting them the best you can, feedback and all that stuff the right way and you could end up getting more what you asked for.

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