Nintendo To Publish Bravely Default In South Korea… But Not In Korean

By Ishaan . April 11, 2014 . 5:01pm

Just like in the west, Nintendo are publishing Bravely Default in South Korea. The game will be available on April 16th as a download title for the eShop. There’s just one major difference—it won’t be localized into Korean.


Instead, the Korean release of Bravely Default is the same one that was released in the West, and will include all the languages that we have access to on the cartridge.


This contrasts the release of Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, another Square Enix game, in South Korea. In the case of that game, Square Enix handled publishing duties, although they didn’t localize that title either—Theatrhythm was released in South Korea in English as well.


Nintendo have localized other third-party 3DS games specifically for South Korea in the past, though. For instance, Shin Megami Tensei IV was localized into Korean.

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  • nonscpo

    This doesn’t make any cense whatsoever…?

  • Jesse

    What is logic.

    • Brion Valkerion

      The level of English in Korea is vastly better than Japan’s (mostly Japan’s fault for teaching the language full of errors in general) and most people will have a decent understanding by high school…. but they are seriously limiting their audience by releasing a RPG in full english no matter how good some peoples skills are. Basically only going to sell this to English majors and foreigners.

      • デ オオカミ

        I don’t know about the English translation, but the Japanese used in that game was extremely difficult too.

        • Longshadow

          Agreed! I can barely understand what Lester says in the Japanese script. He uses some pretty N1-level vocabulary.

          • デ オオカミ

            I didn’t only have problems with Lester, but his dialogues are incredible. Having played rpg’s in English most of my life, I never knew the original could be so rich in vocabulary.

        • GH56734

          Didn’t keep them from releasing last year the standard Japanese release for the Korean e-Shop.

      • SeventhEvening

        Well…… ideally they’d have a decent understanding by high school. There are a lot of people who can’t use English at all and it is usually the very well educated who have good English skills. It’s similar to the fact that many people in the US study Spanish or French in school, but can’t actually use it. Additionally, without practice, you can lose language skills very quickly.

        I think it will boil down to pure determination. Most Koreans known English better than they know Japanese. They can muscle through with a dictionary in hand if they really want to. I knew a guy with very basic English skills who wanted to read Game of Thrones so badly that he spent 6 months pouring over the first book. Really improved his English skills, although now he sounds like a time traveller when he speaks.

        • デ オオカミ

          “Really improved his English skills, although now he sounds like a time traveller when he speaks.”

          Hahaha XD The same thing happens with Japanese learners when all they do is read manga.

        • GH56734

          I know that feeling. I took some french romance novels written in 1900 (the intrigue was captivating enough, that’s for sure) by someone who loved using flowery obtuse vocabulary even for the standards of his era.
          It was like digging through concrete with a broken spoon, I was literally checking the dictionary (equally as old, but with synonyms) each line.

          I had the chance to go to France that year (I was earlier in that year very bad in reading/writing that language), but everyone remarked (even the professors) I was using impressive yet excessively weird and outdated language. Instead of giving a good impression, I came across as a buffoon. :P

  • $102890726

    I never understood these dumb decisions.

    • shuyai

      no really dumb, more like “hmm i doubt S-Korea sale will justify the cost on translation and physical copy but i still want some cash what should i do? wait i know! release the english version digitally at zero cost me! win win situation!pure profit! genius!”

  • SeventhEvening

    I’m excited, disappointed and pissed all at the same time.
    I live in South Korea and have a South Korean 3DS, so I’m glad it is coming over.

    I’m disappointed it won’t be in Korean. My native tongue is English, but I read Korean well and like to read comics and play games in Korean for practice.

    And I’m pissed it isn’t getting a physical release. I like digital games (most of my Vita titles are digital) but Nintendo Korea’s Eshop is garbage. It crashed multiple times a day in December when Pokemon bank came out. It never accepts my credit card, so if I want to buy something, I need Nintendo points. No one sells Nintendo points. None of the big department stores and none of the video game stores I’ve been to. Not even in Yongsan, the Korean Akihabara. Nintendo Korea acts like they want to increase Nintendo’s presence in Korea, but outside of Monster Hunter, Shin Megami Tensei 4 and Pokemon, they’ve done an awful job.

    • Suicunesol

      Send Nintendo of Japan an email about it. Maybe they’ll whip Nintendo of Korea into shape.

      Um… nevermind. Need to know Japanese for that…

    • Thatguy

      At least you have SMT4.

      Europe didn’t… Ah, my old wound! It’s opened!

      • Dystopiq

        RF4 as well. #SaltInTheWound

        • Thatguy

          Gah! Why do this to me?! It’s hurt like hell

    • biskmater

      Hey, back when I lived in El Salvador, I had to put up with the English games I couldn’t even understand, that was pretty much the reason I actually started to put some effort into English.

    • デ オオカミ

      I never realized Nintendo’s presence in South Korea was so weak, is it like that for other consoles/handhelds too? Have you had many other 3DS releases other than the ones you mentioned?

      • popo123

        Console gaming in Korea is pretty much near nonexistent, so support in that country is well, also kinda weak. Gaming in SK is pretty much just PC online gaming.

      • SeventhEvening

        There are roughly a dozen games for the 3DS here. Pokemon, Monster Hunter, Animal Crossing, SMT4, whatever the most recent style saavy is, a couple Lego games and the various Mario games. That is literally all of them. No Fire Emblem, no Kid Icarus, almost no 3rd party games at all. There are a couple more games on eShop, but you basically can’t use it.

        In contrast, almost every PS3 game released in Japan AND the US comes to Korea. All the major releases get Korean subtitles, but no dubbing (God of War, all the Uncharted, Last of Us, Bioshock, etc). Minor releases like the Atelier games or really text heavy games like Yakuza come out in Japanese with a literal text book attached to them that explains the dialog in each part of the game, how to play, tips for difficult areas and translations for major scenes. Basically a strategy guide plus translation guide. The Atelier Logy and Eshe copy I bought came with a book thicker than the game case in a huge box that included a cloth poster and other bonuses. It cost slightly less than the Japanese version and was available the same day. Final Fantasy X is in Korean with Japanese voice acting. For some reason, every single Disgaea game has a completely translated Korean version.

        For the Vita, Sony translated and published Persona 4 Golden. All the first party Sony games for the Vita have Korean text if you system’s text setting are set to Korean, it auto-detects. The Korean version of Soul Sacrifice Delta is already on shelves. There’s also a Korean version of the Neptunia games and Akiba’s Trip. Sengan Kagura was releases in Korea, but the text is all Japanese. That Sorcery Saga Curry game is also available with full Korean text. Dragon’s Crown too. The PS4 came out in December, which was later than in the US or Japan, but so far every game for it has Korean text options.

        I’m not complaining that there is no support for console games, just that Nintendo has made the most promises but done the worst job. The Wii U is in the same boat as the 3DS and the region locking stops people from importing. Sony has really stepped up and made most games available and playable. On the rare occasion something isn’t available, I can import it or download on PSN because there is no lock.

        • GH56734

          Thanks a lot for all the info! It would be really nice if people started making lists of games available in Korean, I find (erronous) information that there are none lots of times.

          • SeventhEvening

            I might be able to make a more comprehensive list. It might be a bit of a fun project. Even though my Korean isn’t too bad, it is quite a bit more strenuous to play something like Disgaea in a language that isn’t my mother tongue. When I play it in Korean, I feel like I’m studying more than I feel like I’m playing a game.
            One thing that also makes it a bit hard, especially on the Sony consoles, is that they seemingly did away with language menus at some point. My copy of Final Fantasy X always have Japanese audio, but it has Korean text only if my system is set to Korean. Otherwise it defaults to Chinese for some reason. The Last of Us is the same as well. It even has a language option in the menu, but it won’t let me select anything outside of English unless I’ve changed my console’s language settings.

    • Christopher C

      you do know that the entire world’s Nintendo E-shop basically crashed on christmas, right? So did the psn.

    • Namuro

      I understand how frustrating things like this can be, but come on, you’re making it sounds like the end of the world.

      First world problems, eh?

      • SeventhEvening

        Yeah, my bad. What kind of entitled dick would would talk about videogames on a videogame site. I could have used my comment to save the children in Africa.

        I’m not raging up there, but it is a legitimate concern to buy an expensive piece of hardware that a company promises to support and then have less than a dozen games for it and little to no support or assistance. It’s not the end of the world, but getting disappointed about it isn’t exactly ridiculous.

    • JW ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      it’s even worse if you live in a region that doesn’t have nintendo support at all, like southeast asia, and the UAE etc. we have to resort to setting our 3dses, NNIDs and eshops etc to canada, because canada is the only country that accepts foreign credit cards and has access to all DLCs (brazil has missing DLCs). if korea’s eshop is that bad, i’d rather you set your stuff to canada instead, at least you have more access to things. (don’t tell customer service that you aren’t actually from canada, tho. some dumbass did that and got his eshop with 100+ usd in it frozen with all the funds unuseable)

  • GH56734

    I could have sworn I saw the exact same piece of news last year for the regular edition? (but in Japanese only, for the regular edition)

  • Japan should release some of their games not in Japanese but in ENGLISH. WHHHHHOOOOOP k maybe not.

  • Romored

    This happens quite often in Europe, too: most jrpgs and Japanese games (like Senran Kagura or Virtue’s Last Reward) are published only in English. Nintendo is one of the few that always localize games in EFIGS.

    • Blackburn7

      Exactly, I was just going to say that. I live in Germany and if you’re into Japanese games but your English isn’t that good, you’re going to miss out on a lot of games (Chrono Trigger DS, The World Ends with you, 999, Radiant Historia, Valkyria Chronicles, Drakengard 3 etc.) If you wanted to get into Visual Novels it’d be even worse since there are no official releases and fan translations are as good as non-existent.

      Personally, I am fine with English translations only, but I know quite a lot of people who are not.

      • shuyai

        i thought English is (semi)mandatory course in school in europe and everyone(modern generation) can read/speak basic/moderate english no?

        • DyLaN

          Not a lot of ppl in my region (SEA) are able to speak/read english efficiently despite being a mandatory course.

        • Romored

          It is mandatory until you finish the 6th grade (after that, it depends on which high school you decide to go, but English is present in almost every of them), yes, but it doesn’t mean most people are good at it.
          Many EU countries are used to watching movies and TV series dubbed in their languages, so to be knowledgeable in English is seen more as an “optional” skill to have than an “useful” one (if you don’t have to use it for work, at least).
          The only games that are almost always localized in EFIGS are Action games (which sometimes are even dubbed) and those produced in the West.

          Another reason why Japanese games are hardly ever localized in languages different than English is also that they’re often handled by small companies (Ghostlight, Rising Star Games, Marvelous AQL, that are, more often than not, based in the UK) that do not have the resources (manpower, money, ambition, etc) needed to localize in other languages.

          • Macros

            Well, last time i checked dubbing wasn’t super popular in EU. Apart from Germany, i’d swear they even dub dog’s barking there and the amount of dubbing there was borderline silly.
            On another note, as far as my experiences go, a lot of people in Germany knows english decently but refuse to use it on daily basis when speaking with foreigners. And in France people simply refuse to even learn it and expect you to know french even if they aren’t in their own country :S .

          • Romored

            From my experience, they’re not really that good with English, in Germany. In fact I was really surprised to see how few German people could use at least a decent level of English.
            Talking about France, it’s exactly as you say. There are some exceptions, like always, but they’re basically as you explained.

            The funny thing is, when companies decide to do some sort of multilanguage localization, they always include AT LEAST French and German. Italian and Spanish are sometimes discarded.
            Tales of Vesperia on X360 was like that, for example.

          • Macros

            Well that depends on what one means by “decent”, but i was surprised how many Germans after a while of bothering them auto-magically started speaking at least communicative english (not that i like bothering others but sometimes it’s a must). But i’ve only dealt with clerks, business people, online gamers and tourists so that might be the case.

            I should probably point out that when i said that dubbing wasn’t so popular in EU i didn’t mean that pure original language is preferred but that subs and lector are more common. Obviously large cinematic movies will get the dubbing for each and every country including even city-states but that’s another topic.

            I think that the case with french movies/anime and german games is that they have some strict/ridiculous censorship there. Not that i deal with those often but still. In France they can sometimes rewrite the whole freakin script and redraw half of the blood and in Germany LoL blood is brown etc. Every time i see some article about censorship it’s about China, France or Germany (sometimes also USA but that’s rarer).
            Germany even has it’s own publisher (prosiebensat1 was it?) so that when a game comes to Europe you get european servers and german servers… which is quite ridiculous if you ask me (and afaik if you ask germans themselves too).

            As far as Italy and Spain goes… well, localization order is bound to potential profit there’s to be made and if publisher/developer decides to get more EU localizations than UK, France and Germany then Spain and Italy are next in line, so they have that coming for them, which is nice :) .

        • Haganeren

          Well, usually, a lot of French people can said somehting simple when they are in United State or England like “Do you know where is the train station?” but reading an entire game is out of the question !

        • Hahahaha nope. I’m living in Paris since September 2013 and French have absolutely no second languages; they speak very little spanish but their English is horrendous and they can’t understand a thing. This is because schools and such don’t push foreign languages onto students and if they do, it’s all very academical and strict. so students don’t feel encouraged to pursue it. That coupled with lack of foreign TV stations, movie releases dubbed in French, relying on the prestige of past French culture, narcissism, and a racist society (believe me I’m Lebanese with sligh mediterranean looks and people look at me funny) and you got yourself a closed-in population.

          • GH56734

            Oh please, enough with the stereotypes. RPGs are niche exactly because they are not localized to much languages besides English. I was essentially left out from playing Secret of Mana/Illusion of Gaia/Wonderboy 5 because I was a child with no real knowledge of English besides “THANK YOU MARIO”, even though I wanted to play those import copies sitting right in front of me in English so bad (and failed miserably).
            Even with a good enough grasp of the language, many people simply don’t feel like reading walls of texts in a foreign language in what’s supposed to be an entertainment activity.

          • You begin your argument by saying “enough with stereotypes” and conclude with “even with good grasp, many people….” Hummmm. Anyway if you read the whole thread you’d notice that we weren’t singling out rpgs since Virtue’s Last Reward was stated. Other than that I fail to see exactly how you’re saying rpgs are niche??

          • GH56734

            I’m willing (from personal experience, and further observations) to make the assumption that kids whose native tongue isn’t Japanese or English are left out of the audience of any title (especially RPG) that’s not localized for their language.

            First four Ace Attorney games (Multi 5): Good enough sales, lots of kids in their 10 or so buy it from what I saw
            Ace Attorney Investigations (English only): A severe dip in sales
            Layton (all games localized Multi 5): extremely popular in Europe

            English only = no buy for many of these kids.

            I’m calling out for stereotyping the issue as French (or that could be any other nationality) not buying English-only stuff that much compared to French-localized products because.. they are obnoxious egocentric jerks/illiterate self-entitled whiny losers. Same fallacy could be applied to any nationality, really. Yes, even the US could be called egocentric jerks for not bothering to learn Japanese when trying to play Japanese-RPGs. But that would be, again, a fallacy.

          • If you read my comment you’d notice never once have I mentionned gaming. I was replying to the comment above about the lame ass education system that doesn’t push second languages. Lmao if you’re not a butthurt french then I don’t see why you being so virulent. Chill and peace out.

      • Tg

        I think the people in countries like Sweden or Norway will have some of the best English skills I’ve ever seen. They learn English as early as 6 years old. Even though, their English is not perfect, it’s still pretty good/understandable compared to the more popular non-English speaking European countries, I think.

        • Blackburn7

          Yes, that’s absolutely true. People from Scandinavia also tend to speak very good English because most movies, TV shows, games etc. are not dubbed in their language. Most of their media don’t even have swedish or norwegian subtitles either, so they’re kind of forced to grow up learning English.

        • Longshadow

          I admire Swedish education of English. An acquaintance who once studied in Sweden said some Swedes actually get flustered if you ask them whether they can speak English. English fluency there seems to be a given.

        • Göran Isacson

          As an actual Swedish person, what the people below me said. I can’t really say WHY we don’t make a habit of dubbing stuff as Germany and France do, personally I think it might be because we’re kind of a small nation and it may be too much hassle, but we start learning English very early on AND we also have a long history of bringing over Japanese videogames when they’re available to the European market. So we usually do not lack for most games, and games only being dubbed in English doesn’t affect us too much.

          • Tg

            This is technically a reply to everyone here, but Disqus does not have that kind of system.

            Just want to say, thank you for all your interesting responses! ^__^ I was in contact with a Swedish friend for several years, so, that’s how I know your English skills are pretty good.

            I’ve traveled around Europe a little bit, during that time period, but I could easily tell where the English skills were stronger.

      • GH56734

        Chrono Trigger DS has a French version and nothing else for some unfathomable reason. They were probably localizing it but stopped midways and decided to just sell whatever is available. I recall Namco (ToV), Konami(Shaman King MoS) and SE (KH 3DS) cancelling Italian and/or Spanish localizations as last minute decisions.
        Nothing beats the stunt Square pulled with Dissidia: anyone feels like playing French/German cutscene subs and English gameplay-relevant text in the same screen?

    • Ethan_Twain

      Huh! That’s an interesting perspective! Normally what I read on this site is people complaining about Nintendo not localizing games (particularly for Europe). It’s interesting to learn that when they do localize something, they do a good job of it. Maybe that’s why their localizations are less common and a little slower – they’re really doing three to five languages per game.

      • Romored

        Sony is also very good. Microsoft too, afaik. I guess it’s normal, since hardware houses have all the interests in attracting as many buyers as possible.

  • Dylan Anantha

    Its pretty surprising how badly Nintendo and Sony handle their Asian markets sometime despite being Asian companies. Sony’s PSN-Singapore constantly gives me Korean translated games and European multi5 games instead of American-region games despite English being the national language.

    And Nintendo has a questionable track record with these things as well.

    • GH56734

      It’s probably because of Square not cooperating here somehow. They did release before Dissidia for Europe halfways localized (the dialogue subtitles in French/German, all other text in the same screen “You got item X/Y did Move Z” and all menus in English…. you guessed it: it was a joke, and nigh unplayable even for people fluent in both languages).. and cancelled KH 3DS in Spain as a last minute decision because they didn’t see dedicating staff to insert the text worth it… or, you know, announcing they will include the European dubs for KH1/2 for the PS3 compilation before releasing it without said dubs.

      Nintendo did publish the first two Layton games in Korea, Zack and Wiki, Keroro Dragon Warriors, and even Four Swords Adventure which is a GameCube title they bothered to translate and release in 2010… They are trying, for sure.

  • Hexodious

    Everytime I hear Shin Megami Tensei IV, I have the urge to hatemail Nintendo.

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