Soul Hackers U.S. Version Voice Acting Cut Back “Just A Touch” [Update]

By Ishaan . February 26, 2013 . 8:30am


Update: Atlus have clarified just what voices were cut in the U.S. version, and it’s a very minor edit. Over on the Atlus forums, they share: “The voicework that was cut was the map NPCs. The reason we cut that was because the JP version used one voice for every type of person: every man had the same voice, every woman had the same voice. It was pretty ridiculous, since these are definitely not the same person. To save time (and, yes, costs for studio work and actors), and to improve the work as a whole, we took out that bit.”


Original story: Among other improvements, the Nintendo 3DS version of Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers in Japan has an extensive amount of voice-acted conversations. In Japan, Atlus considered it a big enough feature to make mention of it when the game was revealed.


On the other hand, Atlus USA haven’t really been talking it up, and it made us wonder if the voice-acting in the U.S. version was being cut back to an extent that it wasn’t worth mentioning in the list of features. However, that isn’t the case.


Alex Armour, who’s handling PR duties for Atlus, shared with us that, while the voice-acting in the U.S. version of Soul Hackers is being cut back just a bit, the game still features an extensive amount of voice-over work.


“We did not shy away from making the game fully English voiced,” Armour replied to our query. “It’s almost as much as the JP version but it is cut back just a touch. It’s still a very robust production for voicing.”

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  • $39420547

    did you guys read anything about this coming to Europe?

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Atlus USA only publishes in North America. Until a European publisher decides to pick this up, there won’t be a European release.

      That said, I think this game has a good shot at being released over here as well. It’s definitely the kind of game Ghostlight would be interested in.

    • this game is never coming to Europe *sigh*

      • Farid Belkacemi

        Like Etrian Odyssey 4… Oh wait ! :p

  • Marcelo Gouvea

    …What? This needs elaboration. So are they cutting voiced tutorials and that sort of thing?

    (And oh boy, I sense people boycotting the game because of this.)

    • Whoever boycotts this game because it doesn’t have voiced dialogue every five seconds is a moron who doesn’t deserve to play it.

      • Ceci “Ruzuzu” Kiyomizu

        Amen to that.

      • Quinton Cunningham

        Let’s not forget what happened to Mugen Souls now…
        “I can’t get my CGs of underage-looking girls in suggestive poses and a creepy minigame where I have to rub said girls?! BOYCOTT!!!”

  • Natat

    Umm… and what is this “Just a touch”? C’mon Atlus

  • Jonattas F.

    With or without voice acting every SMT is a day one purchase!

  • hunterrnl

    Yes yes Soul hackers !! Oo wait its from atlus and i am from europe :(

    *i am going to sit in a corner and cry*

  • Eric Harris

    Buying this day 1. I wish wish wish more companies would go back into their vaults like Atlus does. COUGH COUGH SEGA. Sega you have some amazing fricken Sega CD and Saturn RPGs. I would die if Sega would grace us with some 3DS or VIta ports.

    • I would be very glad if Sega releases 7D2020 in english….

  • Sergio Briceño

    – Soul Hackers U.S. Version Voice Acting Cut Back “Just A Touch”

    – … and it made us wonder if the voice-acting in the U.S. version was being cut back to an extent… However, that isn’t the case.

    – … while the voice-acting in the U.S. version of Soul Hackers is being cut back just a bit…

    – … “We did not shy away from making the game fully English voiced,” … “It’s almost as much as the JP version but it is cut back just a touch…”

    Okay, I’m officially confused. Guess I’ll have to wait until it’s released and see how much people are complaining (or if any at all). I don’t think it will be a biggie for me actually, but usually when a spokesperson talks about something it’s to clarify matters, not to make things more complicated…

  • AkuLord3

    Not a big deal for me…i just wanna play a fun game, Little or no voice acting isn’t going affect my fun/buy

  • Oltheros

    It should be noted there are no compromises for these cuts (like, say dual audio which is also missing). Same thing they did with growlanser. As a consumer, I’d never support this.

    • Wait, so first you’re complaining about the voice actors in this game, and now you’re complaining that there isn’t more voice acting? What’s your deal?

    • Lifehack: The ‘compromise’ here is ‘localizing a risky niche title that would never see the light of day in the US otherwise’

    • ShawnOtakuSomething


    • raymk

      There comes a time when you really should just stfu seriously. Atlus doesn’t even do dual audio all that much and its not anti consumer if the majority of the consumers don’t even care for the jp va.

    • Ferrick

      as a consumer, especially on the SMT line, you’d come to appreciate that atleast this game is coming to the states, and atleast they cut only the voices not the actual game content

    • Quinton Cunningham

      “The voicework that was cut was the map NPCs.
      The reason we cut that was because the JP version used one voice for
      every type of person: every man had the same voice, every woman had the same voice. It was pretty ridiculous, since these are definitely not the
      same person. To save time (and, yes, costs for studio work and actors),
      and to improve the work as a whole, we took out that bit.”

  • I doubt this is anything for anyone to RAGE over, I don’t know to what extent the Japanese version was dubbed but I would imagine what was scrapped were some scenes not vital to the story or characters that only make brief appearances…

  • vileBrenman

    I’m just glad it has voice acting at all considering this never hit the states before and most smt games don’t have any voices

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Wait the game is voiced? Then Im buying this then, its bound to be good!

  • Brimfyre

    We are getting the game. Let’s not nitpick. I’d be happy with no English VA, if that what it takes in the future to localize.

    • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

      Retaining the licenses for the original VAs is in some cases actually more expensive than dubbing the game.

      • Brimfyre

        Then cut out all VA and only used text boxes. Sometimes I think that is better anyway.

        • mirumu

          Agreed. There’s a certain group who only buy voiced games so Atlus would lose those sales, but most likely it’s no bigger than the group clamoring for Japanese audio. Vastly smaller if taking the international audience into account. Of course Atlus USA isn’t selling outside the US so they inevitably focus on that market.

          In a lot of cases I do prefer having no VA. Even a good voice track, rare in my opinion, can break immersion. Ones with partial voicing even more so. Playing Ni no Kuni lately really made that clear to me. It feels really weird when you’re taking in a conversation and then suddenly are left reading a text box again.

          • Brimfyre

            One thing I really do think, is comedy doesn’t work if you have VAs reading text boxes. Probably not on topic as SMT games are rarely funny outside Persona, but take something like the Monkey Island remake where they voiced all the previous lines that were text only. It absolutely murdered the comedy.

            And I like all the MI voice actors in the games that were written to be voiced, but even then the games were much funnier when it was all reading the text.

            Acted out comedy is an art and timing is the key. And if you have a player in charge of pressing “x” to advance the screen, say farewell to any chance of comedic timing.

            though I think that still holds true for any acted dialog, as the natural flow of conversation is ruined if left in charge of the player to progress the scene.

            Or you have something like Fire Emblem Awakening where the VA says some random, usually unrelated word before a box of text pops up, and that is just really distracting.


          • mirumu

            Totally with you on that. I find it funny watching kids play games like this too where they’re reading way faster than the slow paced voices and pressing “x” so fast the voice actor is constantly being cut off mid sentence. I usually have more patience myself to let the voices finish, but the pacing of some vocal tracks is painfully slow.

  • What’s being cut back? I don’t really understand this portion? Why cut back? So many questions on this bit of information. It’s pleasing to know that we’ll be getting a ton of voice acting, but why is any of it being cut back (aside from the obvious ‘costs’ reason, which, if that’s the primary reason then I understand completely)?

  • Herlo Rerelo

    wan’t cait

  • Jessi Cat

    Cutting corners ftw! Though I don’t really care, I just want to know if you can turn off the voices XD

  • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

    “just a touch” and “still very robust” seem to clash a little.

  • Alex Sargeant

    Obviously not a deal breaker, but matching at least the Japanese level of voice content seems like it should be standard practice (I’ve no idea if that’s actually true though).

    Devil Survivor: Overclocked I thought was fantastic. I loved having that much voiced content, particularly in a 3DS title where Fire Emblem was recently extremely conservative. If it’s as much as DS:O I’m happy. I just don’t think it’ll ever be nice to hear something has been cut/lost in translation.

  • This is really not a problem. Atlus games do not need every other line of text to be voiced. In fact, voiceovers of text over static images add literally nothing to the experience. It weirds me out when companies/fans act as if the mere presence of voice acting in a game is in and of itself something to get excited about, especially when the quantity of voice acting is given more emphasis than the quality.

  • Spirit Macardi

    Hey, they got Liam O’Brien to voice the main character, and that’s all that matters XD

    I mean, it is a bit odd that they’d cut back on English voices after the absolutely insane amount of detail that went into Devil Survivor Overclocked in that department. At the same time though, these are niche games in the states and voice acting can cost a pretty penny (even though the wages for individual actors are abysmal).

    In the end though I can’t bring myself to be even mildly upset at Atlus over this. The simple fact that they’re bringing this overseas is awesome, and I really like what I’ve seen so far of it.

  • SetzerGabbiani

    Never understood why VA was such a big deal in games. It seems to me that the money could be better used to create more robust experiences with better chances for localization.

    Having said that, Atlus is likely using the savings from this port for SMT IV’s VA work…which probably features most of the same VAs.

  • brian

    I gotta wonder if cutting it back “just a touch” actually had any purpose, but maybe I’m misinterpreting it because I think of that as being a few lines of dialogue.
    It makes me think of Luke Rideout, a similarly cool name.
    edit: I thought that trailer did almost nothing to explain the game, and the voices were okay but seemed like they were miscast possibly.

  • Crevox

    Are people seriously complaining about this?

  • LynxAmali

    Hopefully, it’s not as bad as Growlanser’s cutback then

    Probably won’t be, either way.

    EDIT: Rereading this.
    -“We did not shy away from making the game fully English voiced”
    -“It’s almost as much as the JP version but it is cut back just a touch. ”


  • Still going to be a fun game no matter what. Also, Laura Bailey’s voice is heavenly as usual =^_^=

  • Crevox

    Akihiko IS THAT YOU

  • Warboss Aohd

    They were open about it, wasn’t a large amount. ‘ave no reason ta complain. Though i am curious az to da reason.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    so what ^_^, still getting it

  • disgaea36

    Who cares strange journey had no voice acting or anime cutscenes and it was awesome. So I expect this one to be just as good or better. can’t wait.

  • IshimaruKaito

    not that big a deal

  • TruSpindash

    That doesn’t seem to bad, I’m happy this game is coming here at all. I’ll have to make sure to pre-order it when I pick up EO4 latter today.

  • another dick move from atlus

    • xzeldax3

      Are you seriously whining? We are lucky to even get this game localized!

    • TheExile285

      Yeah, because handheld games sell millions of copies in the west and can pay for VA bills. /Sarcasm

      Spoiled gamers like this are we get less and less localizations…

      • and games likeCursed Crusade and Game of Thrones can pay the bills?

        less localization like Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (psp)?

        • TheExile285

          Yes, a multi-platformed $60 console game can probably can probably sell more than a $40 borderline niche RPG only available on one system.

          • probably…if those games games were god, but surprise, they dont

          • Göran Isacson

            I agree, the day when I realized that Game of Thrones was not Jehova in digital form come to enact the rapture, was the day my faith in life and goodness completely died.

          • mirumu

            I’m just going to stop reading the thread here. It can’t get any better than this.

      • LynxAmali

        Actually, the reason we get less localization of niche titles is a wonderful thing called economy. Don’t put the blame on things that are unrelated.

        • dont justify atlus, they even fail to give an answer for Persona 2: Eternal Punishment fiasco

          • LynxAmali

            Except I’m not justifying it.

            I’m using a mysterious, inhuman concept known as common sense. You’ve heard of it I assume?

          • M’iau M’iaut


            Please take a moment to check the rules. If you are just going to come and bicker and curse, that can be taken elsewhere.

  • Ladius

    I’m glad to see Atlus fans are reasonable enough to support the series they like despite the dub issues, if this was an Atelier Ayesha thread we would have at least three different boycott initiatives going on, as sad as it is.

    • Firekitty

      It’s more likely that those of us who prefer the original voices have given up on Atlus and moved on. I happily supported their dub-only releases throughout the PS2 era and found alternate means of playing with the original tracks because there legitimately wasn’t room for a second set of voice back then!

      Now that disk space isn’t even remotely an issue unless your name is Squeenix or Kojima, however, they won’t get a cent out of me with their crying about how much ‘extra’ it would cost to retain the Japanese track when MANY, if not most, games (not just Japanese in origin) contain multiple tracks these days, and VA are normally paid a flat rate per LINE or HOUR spent recording, full stop, no royalties.

  • Hinataharem

    I’m guessing its like the camp scenes in Tales of the abyss. The rest of the game was voiced, but those small bonus convos were not.

    • Ladius

      I don’t think that can be the case, Tales of the Abyss had hundreds of skits and skipping them meant cutting almost half of the game’s dub, while Atlus is saying they only toned down a little the quantity of voiced dialogues in SH.

  • Askray

    At least it’s not NISA and their 15% dubbing for Neptunia V.

  • TiamatNM

    cause heaven forbid Atlus put in dual audio! THE HORRORS

  • Rol

    I’ll be passing on this since it doesn’t have the original vocal track. But hey, Atlus, don’t worry, I just dropped 40 on Etrian Odyssey 4.

  • Just Tim

    May we have the VA as complementary (free) DLC, in case VA work could cause delays?

    • l777l

      What a terrible idea. I’d rather wait to get a complete product instead of having background animation, music, and voice acting delivered as “complementary DLC”. The current reliance on “patching” is bad enough already.

  • Kinda shocked by how many people apparently care more about playing this game with Japanese voices than playing it at all.

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      Yeah. They use to before,but now its worse

    • Zeik56

      I’ve been around the internet long enough not to be surprised in the least. There is always that vocal minority that gets up in arms every single time a game comes out that doesn’t have the Japanese dub. Every. Single. Time.

      At this point I just sigh and move on.

    • mirumu

      I don’t really see anyone saying that in this thread. Only Oltheros came close and everyone jumped on that post.

      But it’s like anything else. Every person weighs up a game’s feature list differently. What may be a big deal to one person may be inconsequential to someone else. People who choose not to buy for whatever reason aren’t wrong. It’s their money and their choice just the same as those who do choose to buy.

      • I’m pretty sure at least one guy on this page said he was not buying the game specifically because it doesn’t have Japanese voices. Sure, it’s every individual’s choice, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a dumb choice. I mean, do you want to play this video game, or do you just want to hear Japanese people talk? Because you don’t have to pay $40 for the latter option.

        • mirumu

          Sure, but would you still buy the game if the default audio track was a heavily localised Malaysian English dub, or an Australian English dub? Even if you would I imagine many others wouldn’t.

          That’s an extreme example, but localizations have always been polarizing. You may call it a dumb choice, but an audio track that doesn’t work for you can be a big distraction or can outright make you want to stop playing a game. I guess perhaps you’ve just never run into this?

          I’m generally happy myself as long as I can turn the voices off. There’s a few like the original Burnout where that isn’t an option unfortunately.

          • There is a ~99% certainty that this game will have an option to turn the voices off. If there weren’t, I might understand complaints about the voice acting – yes, a bad localization can be distracting and significantly detract from the game experience.

            But again, that isn’t the case here, or in most other modern games like this one for that matter.

  • l777l

    Voice acting – unsurprisingly – makes a difference, that includes its absence in intermittent sections. (I miss the PS2 Atelier Iris games.) It’s good that Atlus US recognizes this as a concern. That being said, they were being vague, it seems. At least it promises more than the average reduced-voice-acting title.

  • PersonaSpace

    Ugh. Atlus USA, I love you guys a lot, but you need to be transparent about things like this! A lot of people still haven’t forgotten about the features chopped out of Persona 2 PSP, and the PR response to that was terrible.

  • Göran Isacson

    Agreed with so many others here- what IS “just a touch”? Like I can understand cutting some audio if it’s too expensive or whatever, but you gotta be a little more forthcoming than this Atlus. I am gamer, I instinctively distrust anything a PR person says that aren’t solid facts.

  • Watahashi

    “The voicework that was cut was the map NPCs.

    The reason we cut that was because the JP version used one voice for
    every type of person: every man had the same voice, every woman had the
    same voice. It was pretty ridiculous, since these are definitely not the
    same person. To save time (and, yes, costs for studio work and actors),
    and to improve the work as a whole, we took out that bit.”

    So there. It’s not worth moaning about.

    • Göran Isacson

      Upvoted in the hopes it will make it into the article itself. Solid facts are an always-good, after all.

    • Thanks for pointing this out. Post updated.

    • Zonic505

      Glad to hear clarification as to what it was, & from the sounds of it, it wasn’t truly anything that important.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    As ussual, i believe there will be a huge backlash here considering the VA problem here.

    Hell, i would be happy enough to get this game here considering i never played this game in English ever and i would love to understand the story more.

    I mean, while having original VA is nice, it does not actually take away to much experience here. Like we know, Strange Journey also have ZERO VA but it is still such a blast to play.

  • Alex

    That does sound stupid and annoying. Good choice Atlus.

  • After hearing the explanation as to why, I’m actually relieved!

  • Hraesvelgr

    To be honest, I’ll be switching the VA off (that option is there, right?), so I don’t really care either way, but their reasoning for it seems reasonable. More VA with everyone having the same voice is much worse than less VA, after all.


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