Galapagos RPG Will Have A Surprising Collaboration And Other Details

By Spencer . April 23, 2013 . 1:45am

imageCompile Heart got in touch with Siliconera to clarify some details about Galapagos RPG. Galapagos RPG is a brand similar to "Super Sting" which was a collaboration between Sting, the developer of Yggdra Union, and Idea Factory. A representative explained the reason why Galapagos RPG exists is because more and more Japanese developers tend to make games for the West by changing their style and Compile Heart doesn’t want to move in that direction.


The Galapagos RPG brand is a testimony to designing games for Japanese gamers. However, that doesn’t mean Galapagos RPG titles are necessarily a Japan-only games. The company wants to release more Idea Factory and Compile Heart games in the West and Galapagos is not an exception. Siliconera noticed Compile Heart was looking for a licensor to publish Holy Sorcery Story in North America and Europe.


We’re told Galapagos RPG will have a very surprising collaboration. The first Galapagos RPG title is a fantasy game slated for release in 2013.

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  • kroufonz

    well that’s nice I am perfectly fine with this.

  • chobitsza

    There’s Holy Mother NISA for you.

    • Kai2591

      (say, why did that comment of yours get a vote down? what the hell?)

  • amagidyne

    That still doesn’t make any sense. What JRPG franchises have moved in a “Western” direction lately? And what does that even mean?

    • kroufonz

      he is talking about jp dev not specifically jrpg dev

      • Tenshiken

        whether it be JRPG or just Japanese development in general, I don’t see them moving in a “western” direction. In fact, over the years I’ve seen them become more inclusive to their own audience.

    • chobitsza

      They didn’t say JRPG at all.

      • But that doesn’t make sense either. They’re making an RPG here, so when and how did any other genre come into the picture? What sort of relevance does that have when “being Japanese” is the emphasis they’re putting on their brand that supposedly will only cover RPGs? And how will this differentiate Galapagos games from many other RPGs in their domestic market that are already “Japanese”?

        (Also, if they’re talking about the entire Japanese market, some developers – like, say, Platinum Games – take the “Western” approach by choice, and even the degree of “western-ness” can vary by game for the same developer. Then there’s also From Software’s Armored Core and Dark Souls which are rather difficult to categorize as either “Japanese” or “Western”. And that’s before going into the semantics about what it means to be “Japanese”/”Western”…)

        I don’t doubt that CH has something they want to say here, but from their statements made yesterday and today, I haven’t really seen clearly what exactly the selling point is supposed to be. Guess I’m just gonna have to wait for the actual reveal of the first game to see what they’re going for.

        • Göran Isacson

          Agreed. I’m not sure what “western” means here: moving away from turnbased combat? Less reliance on anime aesthetics and tropes in favor of a more Tolkien/Howard-esque aesthetics and tropes? I can’t think of a single game Compile Heart has been involved that has NOT been pretty darn anime, so what is the difference between this company and others?

          Man discussions become kinda dull when you really can’t say anything but “guess we just have to wait for them to release the game and find out”…

          • Not necessarily a release; even a small bit of info on the first game in the label would be helpful to give a rough idea of what the label is supposed to represent. As things stand now though, the phrase “being Japanese” alone isn’t descriptive enough, is all I’m saying. But hey, it was just announced yesterday or so, so I’ll wait a while and see.

    • noctis_nox

      Final Fantasy XIII. XD

  • The Galapagos islands are pretty far from Japan though…

    • Kai2591


  • Romored

    If that’s the idea, then I have absolutely nothing against it. The more Japanese-style games, the better. As long as they’ll localize them.

    • Kioku

      I absolutely agree with you.

    • Crazy_O

      Exactly. I like japanese games because they are japanese. If I want to buy american/european games I don’t look at japanese developers. Stay with what makes you unique.

      • Damarius Wingfield

        *Claps hands* A glorious response indeed my good man!

    • 100% agree with you

  • Go2hell66

    “Galapagos RPG titles aren’t necessarily a Japan-only games”

    thats all i needed to hear, good luck Galapagos!

    can i just add its about time something like this happened, i mean you can call me a “weaboo” or whatever but all these games trying to appeal to western audiences has kind of been leaving “a bad taste in my mouth”. western games are all well and good but i hate it when developers sacrifice quality just to appeal to a broader audience

  • isfuturebright

    Doesn’t most Japanese companies that make RPGs already make RPGs for the japenese people first and rest of the world later? Just read Baba’s interview about tales series.

    • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

      I think what they mean is that they want to make games for Japanese witouth thinking in a mass market appeal, for instance:

      SMT Strange Journey was aimed at a global market.

      FFXIII to cater to the CoD fans (Ie linear story).
      Resident Evil going Hollywood inspired.

      And so on, so their point is that they will make games for Japanese first and only instead of a global market.

      • gamefreak86

        Agree with everything but ff. FF was always linear. It just had a more open world exploration.

        • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

          And thats the thing even if an ilusion is still a good one, for instance most JRPGs gives us choices that dont matter at all but they are still giving the notion the player is involved in the story.

          And besides nothing compare to the feeling of exploration, landing in a new continent and searching what monsters you will find. Who didnt skipped the story in FF8 to go to hunt some GFs? Who didnt went to play Chocobo hot and cold in FF9?

          Basically what im saying that while the games are linear giving us the choice to stray from that path is enough tom make or break the experience (Wich ultimately broke FFXIII)

  • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

    No collaboration will ever be more surprising to me than Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. I never saw that one coming.

    • TiredOfMyOldUsername

      Something i think would be much more crazy would be a collaboration between Capcom and Galapagos.
      Imagine a Resident evil Compile Heart style lol

      • Nemesis-chan so kawaaii ;P

        • Phlo

          Thank you for making me imagine Nemesis as a yandere.

            You are welcome ;)

          • MrTyrant

            Stop posting that, i know you like it but the show and that character aren’t that great.

          • I’m just using it as a variation of “Just as keikaku” meme and tht pic is the closest one I can think off atm. Also, if you don’t like it then just ignore my post…. I only posted that one time (IIRC)….

          • Kevadu

            And here I thought the point of that pic was to show how ridiculous fan-translations can be…

  • Kioku

    Can’t wait for the first Galapagos RPG.

    • On a unrelated note, where does your avatar come from? Is tht a chibi Luke?

      • Alexander Marquis Starkey

        I think that’s from Tales of Gekijou. I recognize the art style but I’ve not seen it. Just few anime shorts of Tales characters interacting.

      • Kioku

        Yup, that’s chibi Luke from Tales of Gekijou.

        • Seeing Luke goes moemoekyun is really weird lol.

  • revenent hell

    I agree with them. Games shouldnt try to be somthing they are not just to make sales in another country, sales are nice yeah but not when it changes what the game should have been ,I think.
    I, myself, am not a fan of “western” RPG’s , quite frankly ive played a lot of JRPG’s and am kind of curious how they where “changed” to be less Japanese and more western, but really Ive never agreed with changing a game just because something is popular somewhere else, If I wanted my countries games I’d buy them.
    I know at the end of the day its about making money and what sells blah blah blah, but fans of JRPG’s play them for there style and “uniquness” amongst other things…. Japanese RPG’s hold a value on their own

  • Sentsuizan_93

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Galapagos RPG have to offer. This is getting me curious about their potential.

  • gamefreak86

    I’m all for this. I buy Japanese games for consoles because its unique and can’t be played on other platforms. Western games there are a few games I enjoy but truth is why buy em when they get dirt cheap 6 months later and even cheaper on pc with enhanced visuals and no bc issues. I’m not one to buy ans trade in so I like to have something worthwhile.

  • Kai2591

    “Surprising Collaboration”
    -Come at me Bro.

    “doesn’t want to move in that direction.”
    -that’s the way to go! stay true to yourselves Japan!

    “wants to release more Idea Factory and Compile Heart games in the West”
    -with Jap audio please thanks!

  • CH really are trying their best to make their game available for the west, it’s very unfortunate that no publisher in the west are showing any interest. I hope CH wont give up and try their best

  • Anonymous

    Oh, So they will be localized after all?
    But i don’t know about “Japanese RPGs made for western audience”

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    Sounds much better now that they clarified where the stance of this label will be going, especially the “[not] Japan-only” part.

    Still this means diddly squat if no other companies/licensors decide to play ball to publish/localize these “titles” (not to mention the tens of other games that haven’t and may never make it over).

  • Oltheros

    Cool. Just….don’t forget to localize them

    • Solomon_Kano

      “The company wants to release more Idea Factory and Compile Heart games in the West and Galapagos is not an exception.”

  • Solomon_Kano

    Interest highly piqued. I’m really wondering what this collaboration will be. So many possibilities.

  • I hope it has something to do with turtles. Because Galapagos Island. Maybe implying a megagrind everything RPG experience?

    • Merrick

      It would be funny, and out of left field, if they decided to undertake a new entry in the Evolution series.

  • Ladius

    I hope they realize this kind of ideological stance is extremely popular in the western jrpg niche, too, as the reactions to Hideo Baba and Falcom’s Kondo’s opinions have shown in the past years. I’m interested to know which kind of collaboration this new brand entails, too.

  • MrTyrant

    How are they going to make more japanese oriented games? aren’t their games like that already? i didn’t see any glimpse of western influence in their games.

    Perhaps this decision might related to a company issue. What they couldn’t do as Compile heart it would be possible as Galapagos while supporting developers but there are a lot of them who are not influeced by western.

  • solbalmung

    Specificaly contacting siliconera to clarify things about their new brand is kind of a huge plus for us western, I mean they are not totally ignoring us and only trying to market their games for Japanese gamers.
    Heck they even mentionned their new games under the Galapagos brand aren’t necessarily japan-only games.
    I say more JRPG games are quite welcome !!!

  • ZekeFreek

    I don’t get why this is necessary. It’s not like Compile Heart has ever been westernizing anything ever. Why form another subdivision just to do what you’ve already been doing?

    I swear, this company…. grrr…

    • Ladius

      Why should you be angry about this? :P

      Also, I feel the “anti-westernization” idea behind this new division has been overblown a bit, and I imagine the main focus behind its birth is to promote a new partnership rather than trying a “new direction” that has already been adopted by most, if not all, Idea Factory and Compile Hearts games.

      Maybe the best course of action would be to wait for more information about the partnership and the involved game, instead of assuming Galapagos is 100% based upon an idea that was probably mentioned mainly to reassure their Japanese fans.

      • ZekeFreek

        What is the point? Telling them, “we’ll keep doing what we’re already doing?”.

  • They’re going to team up with Capcom and make a new Breath of Fire? Or how about teaming up with Square-Enix to make a new SaGa? Oh I know! They’re going to team up with Matrix Software and make a new Alundra game! Yeah, that’s it!

    What? I can get my hopes up.

    • Merrick

      You and me both. If we had a million people just like us, than maybe it will happen.

  • Manny Being Manny

    Glad to hear. Far too many Japanese developers recently have been trying to appeal to Western audiences, and this has been ticking off a lot of the Japanese fans since they lose interest in games made for the Western audience. Japan should make games for Japan and the West should make games for the West… they shouldn’t try to make games they themselves don’t enjoy just to try to get extra sales overseas.

  • I agree that Japanese dev don’t need to do more western like game because a lot of us here fell in love with j-rpg for what they’re (I won’t go into details that’s not necessary for a debate).

    The only thing that I would like for j-rpg to improve is making better dialogues. A story can stay simple but the dialogues need to be worked a lot because they aren’t a lot of j-rpg who make good dialogue like in Devil durvivor or Persona or Phoenix wright (the language and vocabulary they use are simple to anyone to understand but it enough well written to be interesting to read).

    Good luck and don’t forget that you’ve fans overseas that would like some games to be translated ^_^

  • DesmaX

    Hm… Pandora’s Reflection was actually kinda cool, but Sting games aren’t my cup of tea, so I just stopped playing.

    But still… Something interesting game might come up

  • A double-edged sword, really. While the notion in itself is greatly appreciated, both Compile Heart and Idea Factory enjoy many of their JRPGs making it to the west even if most of them are decidedly mediocre.

    Japan holds a great deal of gaming awesomeness just begging to be localized, and most of it would have a chance of standing proud simply as-is, with just localization thrown in. Sadly, many such gems seem to pass the west for one reason or the other.

    Just the same, hats off to Compile Heart – the sentiment is spot on! Any kind of westernization is totally unnecessary and Japan simply has to be a bit braver in bringing their big sellers to the west as well.

  • Aristides

    Nice, this news just made the brand pop in my radar.

  • Nice, I’d die without my JRPGs lol

    • Merrick

      They make the video game world go round. I recently replayed Breath of Fire II, and it really made me feel a feeling I hadn’t felt in a while.

      • Yeah, I love all the fantasy, adventure, action, and story they have in them.

  • puchinri

    I am a bit more curious now, and glad to hear that they are still indeed looking at/open to having their games localized.

    Really, the thing I’m most curious about is whether this will be a title that aims even harder at the otaku crowd, or something that tries to have a larger audience and if it is the latter, I am very curious about how they’ll go about that.

  • Just wanted to point out, the use of “Galapagos” here is a reference to “Galapagos Syndrome”, which means when left alone, it will evolve in a way to be incompatible with their peers from other continents.

    They’re essentially saying it’s a Japan-only RPG, and it’s not for Western markets.

    • But… then why did they go out of their way to assure that these titles aren’t necessarily Japan-only? Odd choice for a name in that case.

      • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

        Because we like the fun stuff Japanese makes and they know that, again if we wanted Western games we would get western games.

        For instance P4 is made with the Japanese in mind and see how that turned out.

        • That’s not the point. I’m asking why they named the brand after “Galapagos Syndrome” – in a hypothetical situation that they really did – if the games aren’t strictly for Japan, which then contradicts the implication in the name. But, like I said, it’s a hypothetical question.

          • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

            Oh i see, my bad.

      • Höhlenmensch

        Maybe they are referring to themselves and not the games they produce?

        • They did mention that it’s similar to “Super Sting”, which is a collaboration between Sting and Idea Factory, so maybe it’s like a collective epithet for them plus whichever developer they’re teaming up with.

      • Sorry, not Japan-only in terms of region locks, it just means it’s specifically tailored for Japan.

        Japan’s telecom industry is so far advanced that most foreign cellphones don’t work there. This is Galapagos Syndrome.

  • Kefkiroth

    This was the best possible outcome. I thought it just meant that it would only be for Japan.
    But an untainted, purely Japanese RPG that they ALSO want to bring out for the West is great.
    I’d play Western games if I want that kind of experience, and Japanese games should stick to being Japanese too, not some strange hybrid.

  • Alexandra Cordes

    They… want to release more in the west?
    I officially love them.

  • Alphabet Soup

    And here I thought I would be finally playing an RPG about turtles and tortoises fighting extinction…

  • Go2hell66

    have you heard there theme song?


    • WHAAAAA…… ◉▬◉

      I’ll admit though: It’s strangely catchy.

      • Go2hell66

        in a dictatory sort of way…

        • Perhaps you meant “military”; it does sound like an anthem. Makes me wonder how seriously CH plans to take this brand.

  • Warboss Aohd

    why are we all so against hybridization? dere are plenty o’ great indie gamez dat do it fine.

  • Still waiting on that announcement that Holy Sorcery Story has been picked up by someone TT^TT

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