Niche Japanese Publisher Trying To Drum Up Interest

By Ishaan . April 4, 2013 . 6:00pm

Spike Chunsoft, the publisher behind games such as Shiren the Wanderer, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, Danganronpa and Kenka Bancho are trying to drum up overseas interest in some of their more niche games.


Back in 2010, when their visual novel-style adventure, Danganronpa, was revealed in Japan, Spike sent out a press release in English, sharing that the game was in development and was slated for Japanese release later that year. They did the same for another game of theirs, titled Conception: Please Have My Babies, which, despite the ridiculous title, is actually a dungeon crawler RPG for PSP.


Now, Spike Chunsoft are doing the same for the sequel to that game. Conception 2 is being released in Japan this Summer for the Nintendo 3DS and Vita, and it looks like Spike Chunsoft are interested in trying to bring the game overseas, since they sent out an English press release for their Japan announcement.


“The game will be released for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita on summer, 2013 in Japan,” the PR reads. “The retail price is TBD and North American and/or European releases of the game are also TBD.”


While Spike Chunsoft have been doing this for a couple of years now, these games have yet to be brought over by any U.S. or European publishers.


Atlus USA and Sega have published Shiren the Wanderer games in the West, while Nintendo publish the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. Meanwhile, Aksys Games publish the Zero Escape series and Atlus have also dipped their toes into Kenka Bancho. While Conception is, for obvious reasons, not sought after by overseas publishers, it’s a little surprising that Danganronpa has eluded an official localization for as long as it has.


  • JonathanisPrimus

    From what I’ve heard, Dangan Ronpa’s issue is that a lot of the text uses complex fonts, with the game being very weirdly worded out. That makes a localization a painful task when you’re looking at a game that won’t move more than 20k here.

    • Ladius

      Luckily there’s an almost complete, good quality fantranslation effort going on for Dangagnronpa, the same team is also starting to work on its sequel.

      • holyshitstopbeingtaken

        As a person from that thread it’s hilarious you call it a team in when reality it’s just one guy doing a let’s play and getting some help whenever he needs it.

        Unless you’re talking about that OTHER translation that calls everything really stupid anime uguu shit and is awful in literally every way.

        • Laith Rem

          There’s the translator, the artist, the editor and the programmer(s) for the translation patch. Hardly one guy.

          • holyshitstopbeingtaken

            Point taken, was mainly just talking about the translator himself. The other stuff (programming etc) is just using his script almost completely independent

          • Laith Rem

            Nah he is helping with that too. He’s retooling a bit of the translation to flow better.

        • You mean Oren is getting help butchering the script. He’s already messed up one of the lines so bad that a later scene won’t make sense at all.

          The other translation is just for fun. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but at least they’re doing a more literal translation instead of deciding that Souda should sound like a used car salesman just because of how he looks.

          • Chiupon

            welcome to the wonderful world of transliteration

          • holyshitstopbeingtaken

            Lmao no. I’ll admit I’m not sure what line you’re talking about but SUPER DUPER FIREBALLER is the stupidest goddamn thing in the history of literally forever. I’ll take one line being slightly off then translators adding stupid stuff in a attempt to sound “cool”

          • Laith Rem

            Literal does not mean better. While Orenoren is indeed taking some liberties here and there, they are usually justified. considering he already played the game, he knows the twists so I trust him.

            You don’t have to like it, and that’s perfectly fine, but don’t call it bad until its halfway through at least. (Or explain why its bad, I have no problem with spoilers, so we could discuss it. Just add a note that says that it’s a spoiler and we are cool)

          • M’iau M’iaut

            @twitter-599576698:disqus @google-2b1df9a1b00723fafb4acdf3e566ccdf:disqus Let’s try and move this talk to the open thread.


            Keep the topic open here for talk regarding the thread specifically. While we are getting close to the lines we ask our community to reconsider, I will allow talk to continue long as the specifics do not include links and such and our usual rules of behavior are followed.

        • Lucius

          I played their translated demo, It wasn’t bad.

      • phangtom

        You do realise that fantranslations actually leads to these games never getting an official localisation? I wouldn’t say it’s lucky since it basically ruins the company’s campaign to get the game localised in the West.

        • did you just say…th….nevermind.

        • Ladius

          No offence, but there’s no need to be patronizing and you should put what I said in the context of this game’s release before making that kind of remark: Danganronpa was published in late 2010, and no initiative linked to its original press release (if there was actually something more than that going on) has brought to any licensing or localization agreement. Meanwhile, Spike Chunsoft has moved on, releasing a sequel on PSP and teasing another entry in the franchise for Vita.

          Danganronpa’s fantranslation project was announced more than two years after the game was released, and I’m sure you understand most fantranslators actually love the games they work on and would never announce a project soon after its release exactly because they wouldn’t want to jeopardize the chance it could be picked up by a western publisher.

          Even then, they can go so far as to drop their projects in the unlikely chance a game get licensed after a long delay (think about the almost complete fantranslation of Tales of Graces that was cancelled as soon as Namco announced their plans to localize Graces f, for instance). Also, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of fantranslations in expanding the western visual novel scene.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Please be very careful here, Sir. DR has certainly been hinted at as a title ‘under consideration’ and is always on lists when companies ask fans what titles they would wish for. That places it firmly within the boundaries of a game whose legit release could be affected by an overly public fan version. One also must take into consideration what one must do to said PSP to enable a fan patch.

            I also think there are plenty of other things today driving VN interest beyond patches. You have ren’py and other building block programs letting just about anyone dabble in the field. Crossovers and hybrids from the DS also have importance. The market is finding customers who want different things than some Engrishy porn games.

          • The timeline for localization of text-heavy games can be very long. Two years isn’t that much time. A popular and complete fan translation can have an impact on publisher interest—how many people will actually buy a visual novel they’ve already read? Some, sure, but I’ll bet most won’t. Why should they pay for it when they already got it?

    • Alexander Samson

      They’d get more than 20 thousand sales from the Dangan Ronpa Let’s Plays anyway.

  • Andrew Arndt

    ill gald buy the games

  • Zonic505

    I would totally buy Conception 2, even if it was download only on PSN &/or eShop.

  • kool_cid414

    I actualy wanted to play Conception 1 when I first heard about it so I’m a bit bummed it never came out here.

    • It wasn’t a bad game if you like the dating sim aspect. The battle system and dungeon crawling was mediocre, but the characters were fun and the story was light.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    I would try out Conception 2. I wish more of the Shiren games came out here. I think there was another DS game that came out that never made it to the US.

    • Armane

      There were 3 more DS games that didn’t make it over to the US, one a remake of the second Game Boy game.

  • GotoHell

    If only the concept of niche didn’t exist. Then they wouldn’t have to “drum up interest”

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      Noooo, how else am I going to be a hipster?

  • SirRichard

    It’s pretty cool that they even bother to put out English press releases, because that shows they’re really dedicated to really boosting their presence overseas. I mean, of all the people that play Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, how many actually know that it isn’t developed by Nintendo? They aren’t exactly an NIS or an Atlus in terms of recognition, and they probably want to change that.

  • Göran Isacson

    If buying the Conception games could get me even one step closer to a copy of Danganronpa I can buy with actual mony AND understand, I would be a happy little lad. Alas, I fear that is naught but a very unlikely pipe dream.

  • Junko Enoshima

    So….does this mean Danganronpa might have an official localization on PSN or something? :D

  • I can definitely say there will be huge support if Danganronpa was even considered for release outside of Japan. I’ll buy the game if it means I can hold a physical copy of Ronpa (and SDR2) in my hands!

    • psycho_bandaid

      huge fan support. Not sure if there are many publishers who would bite.

      • Alex Sargeant

        It’d be damn tricky, but given how close it is to a 999/VLR/Phoenix Wright experience I think there’s a definitely possibility there.

        I say let Aksys take a run at it. I’d love to play Conception 2 as well but Danganronpa will have the accompanying anime soon so that seems to safer bet.

      • (oops I forgot ‘fan support’ in there, I was too excited to re-read haha)

        We can’t drop the “hope” or we’ll be covered in “despair”!

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Who has the most diehard translation team in the west? XSEED I would think is too busy. Nintendo? Aksys? Konami? Agetec!?
    Pretty cool they are considering a western release though.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Aksys i think is better choice here. X-Seed just had to many project already this year.
      Nintendo is close to impossible there. They never take super niche title with questionable plot there.
      Konami…….sadly had never been relevant to Jrpg anymore after they forgotten main line Suikoden.T_T

  • Skarty

    When I first saw the image, I thought the arcticle was about Persona 3.

    • Lol it looks totally different from P3 ^w^; How did you make that connection? Just curious.

      • Skarty

        When I saw the image, I tought it was Tartarus.

        • The designer of the school must liked Tartarus a lot :P

  • revenent hell

    See the conception games, even though I like dungeon crawlers…the story of the game is not something I think id find enjoyable…..
    Danganronpa on the other hand id buy in a split second no questions asked.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    I would be happy to get this game for sure. The first one unlike what my first assumption, is quite a strategic as some boss need better “baby” and specific class to ease the boss fight.

  • Zharkiel

    I’m aware of the cult following behind Dangan Ronpa, but I can’t honestly say the games interest me. Conception on the other hand, has an interesting concept to it, and I wished it wasn’t so easily dismissed in the article.

  • Kelohmello

    Really shocked Danganronpa hasn’t been brought over to english speaking countries. In an age where we have VN style games like Zero Escape and Phoenix Wright doing really well, I think that game would have been a hit in the west.

    • DiosFancifulRomp

      Those two are really the only VNs doing well in America. Maybe there’s some hard to see, but sustainable niche of American VN lovers, but from what I can tell, that’s not the case, and Phoenix Wright and Zero Escape are the exception, rather than the rule.

      That being said, I would love to see the Science Adventure series in English, as they seem to be exemplary games.

  • brian

    I’ve met a couple people that desperately want Dangan Ronpa, and I’d really like it too.
    I’d also like to have Conception, but I probably wouldn’t buy the second without playing the first one.

  • Hours

    More visual novels? YES PLEASE.

  • Just Tim

    Drumming up interest does not mean “risk the company’s existence for the sake of a AAA marketing budget”.

    With that said, that’s an auto +1, if it decides to serve its games on Steam.

  • Keyanf

    There’s one thing the west would jump on in a heartbeat: PC port of a Way of the Samurai game.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I’m hopeful that we’ll see Conception 2. Our niche publishers have already taken to the 3DS and Vita, so there’s that in its favor. I could see Aksys doing that, bringing something like it overseas, but I suppose we’ll see if anybody bites.

    • I guess if they changed the name a little for release in the West it’ll make things that much more probable? I haven’t had the chance to go further in the game yet, but from the gist of things I understood in their dialogues it seems you just magically get a baby: Mary-style.

      I’m not sure how likely they will release this in English, but I sure hope they at least do Danganronpa. Maybe they’ll announce an English translation is in the works when the anime is on air?

      On that note, I suppose a lot us here will be watching the anime when it’s out? :D

      • Solomon_Kano

        I’ll definitely be watching the anime. It’d be pretty nice to see that spur on a localization.

        As for Conception, yea, I can definitely see there being problems there if they keep the subtitle as is. A lot of stores would balk at stocking something with a title like that.

    • yo1234

      Agarest marriage, blazblue, f/e CCC, demon gaze…. aksys already has its hands full with deciding between these games. chances of them bringing conception 2 over this year when they already announced that there are only 2 surprise games for e3 is very small. Especially since the japanese game isn’t out yet. next year will be more realistic. probably. That sucks but oh wells… personally i want agarest and CCC so i guess it’s not that bad.~ Still wish conception 2 would be thrown in by someone so i’m hoping for atlus or marvelous.

      • Solomon_Kano

        BlazBlue is ArcSys USA’s job now. The other 3 may or may not happen from them at all, though I’d say CCC is the most likely of them.

        • yo1234

          Oh damn. I had no idea they came over here until you mentioned it and i googled it. Thank you! We may have lost most of bandai’s support but i’m glad we got a new publisher to come over.

  • idrawrobots

    I like the 999, Virtue’s Last Reward, Shiren. I even wanted 428 for the Wii to be localized, but someone tell me, why do I want this Conception game?

    • If you like a mix of dating sim elements + RPG lk P3/4, you may like it. And no, it isn’t an eroge.

    • Raze

      >You talk to girl…Like dating sims and all…Choose option to make her happy.etc
      >Make her yours…I mean the one to bear your Star Child…
      >That child of yours will be your party member…And fight monster…
      >If you don’t like to the child’s stats,job,etc or they reached max lv…Send the child to the city to work and make the city better..

      Well…That is conception in the PSP version…

    • ninjapresident

      It’s actually a really really turn-based dungeon crawler. Go figure.

  • Really wish Conception 1/2 and DR will get picked up by some1….

  • Lazulis

    Danganronpa and Conception (I’d rather try 1 and see if I like it enough to get 2) are instabuys if localized. Even if it was PSN I’d get it. Though the day when Steam has jrpgs is a future I’d like to see…

  • Romored

    I want Conception 2 to be localized!

  • NeoAthanasius

    I just want more localized Shiren games! The two DS games that I’ve not played haunt me continually.

  • Conception 2 (and demon gaze) VIta please…Aksys, Xseed, Atlus, Nisa…. Anyone!! I’m interested with the first game too, but since it’s a psp game I know that it had no chance for localization… but I really hope the second game will get pick up in the west.

    Btw, is the second game is a direct sequel?

  • PersonaSpace

    Sorry to be “that guy” but what game is in the header image?

    • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

      Danganronpa according to google.

    • Triplicity

      It’s the Danganrompa mentioned in the article, a PSP visual novel. It’s very much like Ace Attorney except set in a high school.

  • Marik78

    Localisation: Please Take My Game

  • animaster

    … and I thought this is a new series of Persona.

  • Vitor Duarte

    What game is that in the picture? The girls seems to be lost in Tartarus.

    • IvanAzure

      Danganronpa (PSP). ^^

  • XiaomuArisu

    Dangan Ronpa now!!!

  • William Carpenter

    Oh gosh this is cool. Spike Chunsoft are good peeps, and I’d love to be able to play Danganronpa. Get on it, Aksys! I know you wanna!

  • I’ll play them if localized, I wish them the best.

  • superdry

    It would be nice if a US publisher could tackle the localization of one of the best visual novels of this generation – 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de

    One can dream right?

  • Clifford Michael

    I would most definitely support any/all Conception or Danganronpa games if they were brought over.

  • Juuu

    Spike Chunsoft makes and publishes EXCELLENT work. I’d pledge my support for any of these titles, as well as older pre-merger Chunsoft stuff like 428 or Imabikisou. They’ve got some great ideas over there, so by all means, SC, I’m very interested!

  • Alexandra Cordes

    At least Danganronpa is getting a fan translation… my only solace. : (

  • Demeanor

    I’m willing to take an impartial look to Conception 2, I’ll get it IF it’s a good game (to me). I’ll definitely buy any sequel to Zero Escape 2, loved it to no end (and a Vita port of 999 wouldn’t hurt either :P)

  • haqua

    Dangan Ronpa would be a bit difficult to translate into English with all the references to strictly Japanese things, but I guess if there’s a publisher who has translators clever enough. . . ! I’d pick up a PSP just to play DR if it happened.

    And yeah, as someone said before, there’s a lot of text that can’t be edited too easily.

  • It still boggles my mind that something like Sweet Fuse gets localized and Danganronpa gets passed over.

  • Merrick

    I wish that I had enough money to start my own localization team/company. Than I would approach Spike Chunsoft to localize games like Conception II.

  • Benjamin Fennell

    Personally, I’d love to see the Kenka Bancho series make its way to the 3DS and get localized.

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