Technical Difficulties Behind Rune Factory 4′s Cancellation In Europe

By Ishaan . March 25, 2014 . 1:50pm

Back in January, Marvelous AQL announced that Rune Factory 4’s European release had, unfortunately, been cancelled. At the time, the company stated, “While Marvelous AQL has made every effort to secure the title’s release for this territory, it is, unfortunately, not possible to do so at this time.”

 

News of Rune Factory 4’s cancellation in Europe came two months after an announcement that Neverland, Co., the studio that develops the Rune Factory games in collaboration with Marvelous, was filing for bankruptcy and shutting down. The general consensus was that the closure and the game’s cancellation were related.

 

A comment by Xseed Executive Vice-President Ken Berry on the publisher’s Facebook appears to support this theory. In reply to a European fan inquiring if it would be possible for Xseed to pubilish Rune Factory 4 in Europe, Berry shared that technical difficulties would prevent this from being possible. He stated:

 

“Wish it was that easy as obviously everyone involved in the project would love to see it released in Europe, but it’s very difficult from a technical aspect since the people closest to the code are all gone (the Forbidden Magna team does have people from Neverland, yes, but for example the main programmer for RF4 is not one of them).”

 

Forbidden Magna is a new game being published by Marvelous AQL, and is being directed by Rune Factory series director Masahide Miyata, along with other former members of Neverland, Co. Marvelous announced the game in February, playing up the fact that members of the Rune Factory team were working on it. Unfortunately, it would seem that Rune Factory 4’s main programmer and other people involved with the game code aren’t on that list.


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  • chibidw

    All I got out of this article is a reinforcement of the fact that region locking is nothing but a protectionist anachronism akin to DRM, that only results in short-sighted attempts to prop up terrible business practices while costing consumer convenience and good will.

    • Jungo

      So… you didn’t get anything interesting about the importance of working closely with the original company for localization? Sympathy for Europeans who won’t get the game? Information about the fate of the people who worked on Rune Factory 4?

      • chibidw

        Nope, because if it wasn’t for region locking, this situation wouldn’t have occurred to begin with. XSeed could have marketed to both regions at the same time for a simultaneous release, getting it out before Neverland died.

        • Alex Webber

          Yeah thanks for pointing this out Region locking doesn’t actually save any money at all I know dozens of people who are European that have played certain games on emulators because most people can’t afford a US and European console. Nintendo clearly don’t want extra money. Poor Neverland though :(

          • artemisthemp

            That’s exactly the issue with Region Lock, you either have to buy a console/handheld for both Regions or breaking the law and run ROM on a PC.

          • Alex Webber

            I wasn’t happy with my friends doing it and I would be happy to pay for it if I can but ouch that NA 3DS console price would just eat away what little money I have as a student. Region locking to me is a thing of the past and I have seen little evidence supporting that it actually saves money where I have first hand experience of it making them lose money. I can’t even count on 2 hands how many awesome games I have missed out on because of region locking. From my friends and myself they have easily lost out on $3,000 worth we would have spent on games.

      • arkane9

        What localization? The game has already been localized.

        • artemisthemp

          Not in EU, which is the issue

    • nonscpo

      Yup region locking is bad for consumers, but Nintendo’s view on the issue is probably the same as always: “But, think of the babies we can’t let them play a Rated T, Cero B,or PEGI 12 games”. In all seriousness the reason region locking exist is because of money, as long as games are region locked the publishers can charge licensing fees to localizers for bringing there games to their regions.

    • Ferofax

      Ah, but then again businesses will be businesses, in that most of them ultimately prioritize succeeding financially rather than appeasing a certain audience, and any practice that can safeguard that is favorable for them. Investors don’t care diddlysquat about the games (although some might), it’s ultimately whether the company can secure their money money money.

      And region-locking can.

  • X14

    Well, this opens old wounds again.

    • persona_yuji

      I’m still cryin… ;_;

    • SMT

      Your comment made me laugh! XD

      …And then cry ;_;

  • Death Saved

    Um cant they just port the existing NA release and flip the region lock switch off/to another region i mean i seriously doubt that nintendo has a highly unique region lock for each game?

    Sure the lack of languages other than english will hurt its sales but not to the extent of making it bring in less money than the cost of porting.

    • Kumiko Akimoto

      They’d have to get a flashcart

  • Liamv2

    *Cries*

  • SirRichard

    They couldn’t hire the programming staff back for one last job before fondly seeing them off, hiring their friends and co-workers while leaving them to find work elsewhere? Yeah, yeah, I’m bitter about this.

    • JMaster3000

      Only way to release the game here in Europe is that AQL Japan hires the RF4 coder again, but they don’t want to.
      Maybe a petition or something like that would help? But i doubt it.

  • JMaster3000

    Its funny to see this cause i was the one who asked XSeed lol
    AS A FAN I WANTED TO KNOW THE TRUTH, glad that Xseed answered, AQL Europe and Zen United ignored all of my emails.

    EDIT: And i feel better now cause i know what’s going on.
    Still they could bring the game here.

    • X14

      XSeed are really good with that kind of stuff.
      If the answer is a “no” it’ll be given to the public as an outright “no”

      A disappointing conclusive answer is sometimes better than no response.

      • JMaster3000

        I like that they are honest and really answers ur question.

  • Uverdaze

    The most annoying thing is that i live in England and i can’t play a game that is already localised in english. Sorry but i honestly dont care abt the rest of europe, its the UK that suffers the most cus of region locking we are unable import games available in our own language

  • CozyAndWarm

    Quite honestly, it all sounds like excuses to me. I feel like Marvelous MUST have the code they supposedly need, or at least access to it, as the game’s publisher. But yeah, region locking is awful too.

    • http://www.twitter.com/Celedin Celedin

      I don’t think it’s a matter of access rather than having the staff to create the European version…

  • Oguri Murasaki

    This is why we should not have region lock!

  • Seraph

    At least we have an answer now.

    But at the end of the day it still feels like a kick in the stomach for Europe and Oceania.

  • JMaster3000

    American publisher gives European answers why the game can’t be published in their region even thou they aren’t the publishers in Europe.
    Ahh… you gotta love Europe.

    • Cravia887

      Xseed is the American branch of Marvelous, well Marvelous bought them out several years ago and they decided to keep the old branding.

      • JMaster3000

        Yeah i know but its funny cause we need to ask XSeed the reason why the game can’t be released here but they aren’t the one who are publishing it.
        Marvelous AQL Europe should do that but they don’t want to.

        • Cravia887

          Actually Marvelous USA (Xseed) handles some of the technical modification behind the European versions.

          • JMaster3000

            iirc only the translations.

  • Yan Zhao

    Sorry for your loss Europe, and yeah region locking sucks donkey balls.

  • TrevHead

    Surely the region locking on the 3DS can’t be as complex to stop localisation like this should it? If so then that’s fricking crazy of Nintendo to have implemented such a system.

    Say what you want of MS but I’ve never heard a dev or publisher of a 360 game using this excuse.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    Waw, talk about a string of unfortunate circumstances. So not only does Neverland go bankrupt right when a European build was needed, the game’s development team was scattered around enough that rehiring them for the job after the fact is near impossible.

    This sucks so much. =( Even though I’m skeptical of such a thing happening, I really hope the team can somehow be brought together again.

  • Greg

    Is it so hard to have just a JAP version of the game that works only in Japan and have an ENG version of the game where it works in all other english speaking countries (North America AND Europe)? It seems pretty stupid to have two different region copies when the content is EXACTLY the same.

    • Arrei

      European releases usually need more languages than just English. The EU market isn’t comprised of only English-speakers, y’know.

      • Cravia887

        Technically Spanish and French are also spoken in the NA region but 99% of games are still English only.

        If you game you’re just expected to know English.

        • Arrei

          Having Spanish and French people living in the US is kind of different than having the actual countries of Spain, France, and Germany in the EU. Just a little.

          • Cravia887

            Mexico is considered part of the NA region (for games), so is the French Canadian providence of Quebec.

          • Arrei

            And? Those particular exceptions are a much smaller piece of the NA market than France, Spain, Germany, and Italy are to the EU market.

          • Cravia887

            If you say so.

            Nintendo has slipped multilingual capabilities into alot of their titles here but no one else does it that I know of.

          • Arrei

            Hmm, I could be overestimating the weight other game devs put on broadening their audience. I was basing this off the fact that earlier games in the Harvest Moon series had multiple language support, but… it seems even that has stopped as of A New Beginning.

          • Cravia887

            From my understanding all they did was clean up the US English script a bit for the EU release. The NA version was a bit Engrishy because they did the localization in Japan.

          • Arrei

            Which is actually rather strange – after a bit of digging, Tale of Two Towns, which was released in Europe only a year prior, had support for multiple languages in it. And looking at Rune Factory’s own history it appears to have some titles with other languages and some without – makes it pretty hard to identify any sort of trend.

          • Cravia887

            Natsume published and localized Rune Factory 1-3, Xseed (Marvelous USA) took over for and localized/published RF4.

            Rising Star Games also published all prior games in Europe, but “A New Beginning” was published by Marvelous in Europe.

          • Arrei

            Sure, but that doesn’t explain why my digging seems to be turning up that Rune Factory 1 had support for five languages, 2 had fewer, 3 had only English, and Frontier had multiple despite all being published by Rising Star in EU. This info could be inaccurate, it’s surprisingly difficult to dig up info on language availability for some reason. It all seems to suggest that they try to shoot for multiple languages, but sometimes just don’t.

          • Cravia887

            Marvelous largely operated through third parties but have been taking over publication of their own games lately. These localizations are usually done in the USA (like RF4) or in Japan (Like A new beginning). Rising Star was a European company and probably more in tune with the audience there than Marvelous.

            Likely the Japanese CEO’s at Marvelous are thinking “everyone outside of Japan knows English so that’s good enough.”

          • Arrei

            They were working with Zen United for RF4′s EU release, though. Damned if it ain’t even harder to dig up any information on that front.

          • Cravia887

            I think they could publish it there with minimal modification to the NA version. Hopefully they will get their affairs in order and it winds up in Europe eventually.

      • Ladius

        While this is absolutely true, you must consider that niche jrpgs are almost never translated in other European languages when they’re brought to the PAL markets, there are only a few series which enjoy Multi 3 or Multi 5 releases.

        Being English-only has never been a roadblock for an European version of this kind of games, and even if previous titles managed to get localized in more languages it isn’t written in stone that the trend will continue for the whole series.

      • Greg

        Oh this is kinda the first time I’m hearing this, or at least I forgot about the other countries within Europe that would also need a translation. I thought the Europe game market was made mostly of english speakers.

  • CRUSHING

    This is so absolutely depressing.

  • Cravia887

    They should just region change the NA version it would be better than nothing.

  • wahyudil

    so its very lucky for US to got this game first hand … and lucky for me too

  • Pinkemon

    Yeeeah, I wish I was over this already but I’m still pretty sad. Heck, I could play the NA version just fine despite being dutch but it’s the 3DS stopping me, as others pointed out too. :( I’m sure as heck not buying an american 3DS so it seems I still have to just give up on this.

  • pekikuubik

    Implying only people closest to the code are capable of localisation programming. Pay up and any studio can do it.

  • Kurow Akutenshi

    I guess they can just import it- OH WAIT NINTENDO IS STUBBORN ABOUT KEEPING REGION LOCK ON THEIR CONSOLES.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Kaleido-Ruby

    If that was truly the case, then why are people such as Sony allowing me to import a game like Puyo Puyo Tetris on a North American PS3 and play it with everyone across the world online with a NA PSN account?

  • biskmater

    How are you getting anything cheaper in Japan? That nation is the mother of inflation.

  • TrevHead

    I agree region locking is a double edged sword yet most ppl only look at the negatives.

    I have no doubt that it was region locking on the 360 that made the CAVE shmup PAL localisations possible. (plus the total lack of games on the UK PSP PSN store compared to the NA Store)

    The problem with Nintendo’s is their version of region locking is that it seems to be more a hindrance than it should be, they should make region locking more flexible to allow devs to select which region their games can and cannot work on. If they did that I have no doubt we would see games released like Dodonpachi Resurrection PAL that works on both PAL and NA machines yet is locked for Asian consoles.

  • landlock

    Yes but everyone knows and even the companies must know that there are easy work arounds when it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray players. They turn a blind-eye.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Kaleido-Ruby

    Honestly, my take on it is it’s an antiquated practice more or less associated with sentiments towards other countries than anything else. If it was an economical choice these days, you’d figure in a not-so-great economy that -anything- you could easily get and make a mint off of would be worth it regardless.

    But I don’t work for the industry so I don’t have the entire picture…but it does not make sense to me in the long run.

  • tubers

    Oh.. oooohh..

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